Keswick Tourist Information
Keswick (pronounced Kezzick) is high on the list of favourite Lake District and Cumbria holiday destinations. Here, on the towns doorstep, the wide open spaces of fells and lakes merge into panoramas of stunning scenery to provide many of the joys of life to all who choose to walk, climb or just stand and admire the landscapes of this beautiful part of the Northern Lakes.
Visitor accommodations are well aware that many of their guests are in Keswick to participate in outdoor activities and as such are happy to provide secure cycle storage, washing/drying facilities, packed lunches and quite often, well behaved pets are welcome.
Annual Sheepdog Trials, traditional shows and sporting challenges in the neighbouring areas are major attractions and add to the popularity of Keswick as a tourist centre. See our Cumbria Events Page for dates and information.
There's a good choice of eating places in the town ranging from cosy tea rooms to restaurants, pubs and cafés serving hearty meals prepared from local produce plus a selection of drinks including beers from the long established local brewery www.jenningsbrewery.co.uk.
How to get there:
By rail: Take the London to Scotland West Coast main line to Penrith. From Penrith, proceed by road on the A66.
By road: Reach us on the A66 either from J40 of the M6 or from the direction of Cockermouth.
If travelling from the South Lakes, take the A591 from Windermere via Ambleside and along (Lake) Thirlmere.
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Keswick Museum and Art Gallery
The museum was once ranked by helium.com as the third strangest museum in the world. It earned this status for the reason of its wide and varied unusual collections. Where else but in the Lake District would you find a 500 year old cat and a set of musical stones? The stones of course are components of a lithophone made from hornfels rock found in the fells of Cumbria. This museum holds a wealth of information and exhibits of local history plus a “Poets Corner” dedicated to the writings of William Wordsworth and Hugh Walpole. You will find it situated in the charming Fitz Park, a few minutes walk from the town centre.
This is a truly tranquil Lake District riverside setting with views of Skiddaw and Latrigg Fells. It’s a large area offering both active and passive liesure activities for both children and adults. Sit quietly in the ornamental gardens or take advantage of the well laid out bowling green, mini-golf course and tennis courts. Only a few minutes walk from the town centre.
Theatre by the Lake
This is a very well known Lake District attraction famous not only for its broad repertoire of professional stage productions but its splendid views from the lake side setting. Coffee shop, café, bars, meeting and conference facilities. Open from 9.30am daily.
Only a step from the Theatre by the Lake to a launch offering a rewarding comfortable means of exploring one of the Lake Districts most scenic areas. The launches ply between 7 landing stages around the lake which enables passengers to disembark and walk the generally level paths through wooded areas by the lake shore. Enjoy both the special Lake District hospitality together with that of Father Christmas during some December sailings.
This massive 30 feet high, 2000 tons of rock balanced on one of its corners is in the nearby Borrowdale Valley. The stone is not of the type found in Cumbria and is thought that it was carried to its present position from Scotland by glacial action. Here again is a popular Lake District attraction and visitors can safely climb to the top by means of a wooden ladder.
Jaws of Borrowdale
Continue your journey from the Bowder Stone and enter the imposing Jaws of Borrowdale where the accumulated waters from the fells combine and flow to Derwentwater through the narrow gap of The Jaws. This area of the Lake District fells is a walkers and photographers favourite with acces to the surrounding fells of Skiddaw, Cat Bells, Walla Crag, Scafell Pike and Great Gable. Alfred Wainwright considered The Jaws to be “the most beautiful square mile in the Lake District and Cumbria.
The hamlet of Watendlath is found at the end of a narrow winding road (motorists take care) set amid stunning scenery. It is the starting point for many recognized walks including ones to the south and west of Thirlmere. The Watendlath Tarn is one of Cumbria’s most popular trout fishing waters.
Honister Slate Mine and the Via Ferrata route
The mine is placed almost in the centre of the Lake District about 9 miles from Keswick and reached via the Jaws of Borrowdale and the Honister Pass. It is England’s only working slate mine producing the famous Westmorland Green Slate and occupies an area rightly described as one of perfect natural beauty. Tours of the mine are among the top ten attractions in the Lake District and Cumbria. The recently installed Via Ferrata route (iron road) is attracting large numbers to its exciting journey to the top of Fleetwith Pike. However, it is not for those without a head for heights. Visitors are taken to the summit of Fleetwith on a cable system to which you are strongly attached by harness. All visitors are reminded that strong footwear and waterproof kit is essential. Good parking, breathtaking views, underground tours, café and shop.
Whinlatter Visitor Centre near Bassenthwaite
Whinlatter is England’s only mountain forest. Here, you have the chance to see roe deer, red squirrels and osprey from the well placed Osprey Watch Viewing Facility. It’s great fun for all with colour coded forest trails most of which are non demanding and the added advantage of push-chair and wheelchair access. Trail”O” is ideal for the young and not so young and children will enjoy the forest playground and junior trails. The path to Spout Force Waterfall is well worth taking. Good parking at Dodds Wood car park, shops and toilets.
Mirehouse, Historic House and Gardens
Mirehouse is situated 3 miles from Keswick in the north of the Lake District, overlooked by Skiddaw, the Whinlatter Forest, and close to the lake of Bassenthwaite. Stroll the lovely gardens and grounds through a rhododendron tunnel, take the gentle walk through the parkland and woods to the shores of Bassenthwaite and the small church of Saint Bega. There are adventure areas for children, refreshments and good parking at Dodd Woods which provides toilet facilities and shop. Mirehouse is yet another of the Lake District “specials”. Check the Osprey Bus operating a service around Bassenthwaite at weekends and summer holidays.
Keswick Mining Museum
The museum is conveniently placed in the town centre. It is the first Cumbrian mining museum to be established in the Lake District and displays a fine collection of mining memorabilia. The curator, Ian Tyler, will welcome you to this important piece of Lake District history.
Mining Museum Heritage Walks
Waterproofs, strong footwear and a packed lunch are the essentials for these walks of minimum of 5 hours. You will be guided by the mines historian and curator to a selection of workings in the area of historical interest. The walks are not suitable for children under 16 years of age. Charge 6 pounds per person.
Phone: 017687 80055 or 01228 561883
This museum holds a comprehensive history of the Lake District and Britain’s first pencil factory created after the discovery of graphite in the nearby fells. Your visit begins with an entrance through a replica of the Seathwaite Mine and source of the graphite. Inside, is the worlds biggest coloured pencil and a chance for children to have a go at drawing activities and drawing competitions. It is an exhibition unique to Cumbria and well worth seeing. Open 362 days a year.
Jennings Brewery Tour
A friendly guided tour of the brewery.
Book online www.jenningsbrewery.co.uk or call 0845 129 7190.