Things to do in Keswick

Castlerigg Stone Circle by Ben Bush Photography

Keswick market town is one of the Lake District’s most popular destinations, dominated by the awesome backdrop of the Skiddaw range.

This friendly town hosts a twice weekly market that has recently won the coveted “Best Outdoor Market” in the Great British Market Awards.  The pedestrianised and ancient market square is lined with cafes, pubs, hotels and makes for a great wander, with a mix of everything from fine dining, pub food, local bakeries & delis, to fish and chips.

A wander through the car-free town takes you to the lovely Hope Park gardens, with its crazy golf, cafe and motorised boats.  You might be here to take in the culture at the Theatre by the Lake, followed by a lakeside stroll or drink on the terrace overlooking Derwentwater.  Have a wander down to the boat landings, alongside Lake Road, onto the wooded lakeshore path that takes you to the famous view point at Friar’s Crag.

The breathtaking beauty of the Borrowdale Valley lies to the south of Derwentwater and offers a thrilling journey through idyllic Lake District scenery, taking visitors through the ‘jaws of Borrowdale’ and in the distance,offers  the highest summit in the Lakes, Scafell.  Closer to Keswick, there are the iconic special places:  Ashness Bridge and Surprise View.

Jaws of Borrowdale

There are 16 major bodies of water in the Lake District, and most of them are here in the northern Lakes.  Leave Derwentwater and explore over the other  side of the Derwent Fells.  Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the western lying lakes in the dreamy Buttermere valley when you head over the amazing Honister Pass, to the lakes below of Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater.  Hop on a Mountain Goat bus and see where you end up – the views are truly breathtaking..

This crowd-and-motorboat free series of 3 Northern Lakes is the place for truly letting go – kick off your shoes for a paddle, have a swim, simply relax and be in the beauty of the place, and then treat yourself to a pint of Loweswater Gold ale, or a proper cup of tea and a cake.

The northernmost lying lake is Bassenthwaite,  at the foot of the Skiddaw range. Here you’ll find Osprey’s nesting, red squirrels, along with GoApe at Whinlatter Forest, the UK’s only true mountain forest. There are other gems here,  like the Lakes Distillery, Mirehouse and Gardens and Lake District Wildlife Park too.

In Keswick itself, you’ll enjoy an excellent selection of shops offering everything from craft bakeries, craft breweries, antiques,  local produce, gift shops and more. If you want to treat yourself and go out for the evening, there is a fabulous choice of pubs, restaurants, bistros, cafes and wine bars as well as the nationally-renowned Theatre by the Lake.

The stunning Derwentwater offers regular cruises, boat hire and adventure activities for all ages and is just a beautiful backdrop for walks and generally being outdoors and enjoying nature.  The walking here is fantastic, with a great variety of different grades right from your doorstep.

A great walk from your lodge is up to Latrigg with fabulous viewpoints over the town; or explore the mystical Castlerigg Stone Circle, atmospheric whatever the weather.

If you’re fit and and an experienced walker, why not tackle the summit of Skiddaw that towers above the town, or the awesome Blencathra or Saddleback that looms high above.

Cat Bells is a fabulous walk right next to the Lake, further afield is Coledale Horsehoe leading up to so many high fell walks.

Cat Bells Keswick
The view up the path to Catbells, Keswick

You can also head underground and explore the Honister Slate Mines or for the adventurous, challenge yourself on the Via Ferrata!

Perhaps a day mountain biking in Whinlatter Forest is more your thing?

With so many options, you’ll need plenty of time to do them all!

Our Keswick Bridge lodges are a 10 minute walk away from the town centre, as is our lodge at Burnside Park.