The Lake District – Travel Guide To Keswick

Nestling on the wooded shore of Derwent Water, Keswick is the busiest tourist town in the Northern Lakes, and a buzzing centre for outdoor enthusiasts. Keswick is easily accessible by car hire from Manchester airport (only 134km away) and car hire from Liverpool airport (only 129km away) – leaving you free to indulge in everything from fell walking to watersports.

6 Things to Do in Keswick

Cruise Derwentwater

You are in the Lake District, after all, so it would be almost rude not to take a cruise. Derwentwater is remarkably beautiful, surrounded as it is by hills (known locally as fells), and luxuriant woodlands. A regular passenger launch operates from seven jetties, where you can disembark and explore, or stay put and enjoy the 50-minute cruise around the lake.

Tackle the Cumbria Way

Take a deep breath: The Cumbria Way is about 113 km long, and walkers should allow five or six days to complete it, but, with car hire, you have the option to do as much or as little as you like. The trail is divided into five sections – Ulverston to Coniston ( 24 km), Coniston to Great Langdale (17.5 km), Great Langdale to Keswick ( 24 km), Keswick to Caldbeck ( 22.5 km), Caldbeck to Carlisle (24 km) – each lined with scenery of epic beauty.

Do the Catbells Lakeland Walk

If you’re not quite up to the challenge of the Cumbria Way, the Catbells Lakeland walk is a far more manageable (6.5km) route above the western shores of Derwentwater that offers newcomers a wonderful first taste of the delights of fell walking.

Visit the Honister Slate Mine

England’s last working slate mine, Honister Slate Mine is situated at the head of Honister Pass in the heart of the Lake District. Here you’ll see where the beautiful Westmorland Green Slate has been extracted for centuries.

Tour the Cumberland Pencil Museum

Home to the largest colouring pencil in the world and site of the establishment of the pencil industry 350 years ago, the Cumberland Pencil Museum in Keswick traces the history of pencil making from the time of Elizabeth 1 to the present day.

Amble along Borger Dalr

Yes, another walk, along Borger Dalr, but this one was described by the celebrated fell-walker Alfred Wainwright as the “finest square mile in Lakeland.” Starting in Grange, 47km from Keswick with car hire, you will climb to the site of a hill fort on Castle Crag for some of the best views you will ever encounter. Reflect at Peace How, a small summit established in 1917 as a place where soldiers returning from the trenches in World War I could find some solace.