Activities in and around Keswick

A good website to look at for all information about Keswick and the surrounding area is, but here is a selection of things to do:

In Keswick itself...

Keswick is a lively market town with lots of shops and restaurants to choose from. Market days are Saturdays and Thursdays. It is located on the shores of Derwentwater, surrounded by hills and beautiful scenery. There are endless possibilities for walking, but that topic has a page all to itself! There are several festivals throughout the year including The Mountain Festival and The Beer Festival, and there is also the Keswick Agricultural Show held every year on August Bank Holiday Monday.

Keswick is home to the famous Theatre by the Lake (017687 74411) and for the latest films, there's The Alhambra Cinema in St John's Street (017687 72195).

You can visit The Pencil Museum to see how the famous Derwent pencils were manufactured and used in the making of 'The Snowman', or why not try The Puzzling Place in Museum Square. Keswick even has its own brewery The Keswick Brewing Company - to book a tour Tel 017687 80700.

The lake is a magnet for visitors. There are rowing boats and self-drive motor boats to hire, or you can use The Keswick Launch to explore the lake - hop on and off at seven lakeshore jetties or stay on the boat and enjoy the 50 minute trip around Derwentwater (Booking office 017687 72263).

The River Greta flows past Two Chimneys and then onwards, past one of Keswick's two parks - Fitz Park, which has an 18 hole putting course, green bowls and grass tennis courts. For the children there is a multi use games area and the new, much acclaimed children's play area in Lower Fitz Park. It is also home to the Victorian Keswick Museum and Art Gallery which reopened in 2014 after a major refurbishment. Keswick Cricket Club can also be found in Fitz Park and with the Skiddaw range for a backdrop, surely deserves its description as 'The Loveliest Cricket Ground in England'! Keswick's second park is no less beautiful; Hope Park, near the lake, has a 9 hole pitch and putt course, 18 holes of obstacle golf, an 18 hole putting course and a cafe.

For those who want to try out more energetic activities there are swimming & gym facilities at Keswick Leisure Pool and Fitness Centre. There is an indoor climbing wall - Keswick Climbing Wall - at Goosewell Farm, and there is the new Kong Adventure in Keswick itself, which also has a 'Hard Play Area' for children! Keswick Adventure Centre has a range of activities on offer such as Ghyll Scrambling, Rock Climbing, Abseiling, Canoeing and Raft Building. There's Platty+ for watersports, located at the southern end of Derwentwater (Tel 017687 76572) and Derwent Water Marina at Portinscale (Tel 017687 72912). You can hire bikes at Keswick Mountain Bikes and cycle the three miles along the old railway cycle path which runs between Keswick and Threlkeld and passes right by Two Chimneys!

In the surrounding area...

Whinlatter Forest Park at nearby Braithwaite is well worth a visit; it has an adventure play area and discovery trails, and for the more adventurous there are the 'Go Ape' tree top trails. If you prefer mountain biking, the Cyclewise mountain biking centre is located there and the forest is home to the Altura/Quercus trails.

Honister Slate Mine is located at the top of the Honister Pass in Borrowdale. It runs fully guided mine tours and Via Ferrata. Threlkeld Mining Museum is only a short drive from Keswick; guided tours are available and a Steam Locomotive runs on certain days.

Mirehouse is a family run historic house on the shores of Bassenthwaite with gardens and a lakeside walk. This can be combined with a visit to Dodd Wood, where in the spring each year bird watchers wait for the arrival of the ospreys who can be seen from viewpoints in the forest. The Lake District Wildlife Park located just to the north of Bassenthwaite at Coalbeck Farm is also a great day out for the kids.

Castlerigg Stone Circle, about 2 miles outside of Keswick, is an atmospheric and dramatically sited stone circle from around 3000BC, with panoramic views towards the mountains of Helvellyn in one direction and Blencathra in the other. Another famous landmark - The Bowder Stone - near the village of Grange-in-Borrowdale, is a huge rock around 30 feet high and weighing about 2,000 tons. There is a ladder that allows you to climb to the top and it is a popular spot for rock climbers.

A little further afield...

Within easy reach are many other well known Lake District villages and towns. Travelling south, the road will take you past Thirlmere and the Helvellyn range to arrive in Grasmere, famous for Dove Cottage and Grasmere gingerbread. Ambleside, a few miles further on, is situated at the head of Lake Windermere; it is a lively town with a good selection of shops and has a 17th Century Bridge House over Stock Ghyll. From here a road branches off west to the pretty villages of Hawkshead and Coniston and the lovely Tarn Hows. Travelling a few miles further south from Ambleside you will arrive at the tourist centre of Bowness-on-Windermere, where there is an abundance of shops and cafes. You can visit the World of Beatrix Potter or take a boat trip on the lake. Travelling East from Keswick takes you to beautiful Ullswater and the villages of Pooley Bridge and Glenridding. Rheged is worth a stop - it's an award-winning visitor attraction with a cinema, specialist shops and activities for the kids. North of Keswick is Cockermouth - a town where you can browse independent shops and visit Wordsworth's childhood home. Going around the western edge of The Lake District, there is Buttermere and the more remote lakes - Wast Water and Ennerdale. About an hour's drive will take you to Ravenglass where you can catch a steam train on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway to the remote village of Boot, or visit the reputedly haunted Muncaster Castle and Owl Centre!

Theatre by the Lake
Pencil Museum
Puzzling Place
Keswick Brewery
Rowing boats
Keswick Leisure Pool
Cyclewise Whinlatter
Honister Slate Mine
Castlerigg Stone Circle
Grasmere Gingerbread Shop
Ambleside Bridge House
World of Beatrix Potter
Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway