A hub for outdoor adventurers looking to explore the Lake District, there’s a whole host of things to do...
One of the most popular towns in the Lake District, you wont be short on things to do in Keswick. Brimming with sights, attractions and amenities, Keswick has everything you could possibly need.
Keswick is the hub of the North Lakes; a bustling centre for climbers, walkers, and day-trippers. Settled on the banks of Derwentwater, Keswick is a must-see during any visit to the Lake District.
There is a collection of family-friendly sights and attractions in the area, promising a memorable staycation for all ages. Read through our hand-picked list below to find out more!
The Theatre by the Lake is Keswick’s premier cultural venue. Offering a wide variety of performances, from plays and musicals to lectures and films, this is a must!
The theatre is idyllically positioned near the shores of Derwentwater lake, and offers an on-site café and bar facilities. Why not treat yourself to a glass of wine and an evening of entertainment?
Visitors can try their hand at something new at this indoor climbing facility. King Kong Adventure Centre aims to provide services for climbers of all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or a high-level climber wishing to hone your skills, this ones for you!
If you’re not ready for the fun to end, you can even take on the Escape Room or the challenging Ice Wall!
On a beautiful summer day in Keswick, the town’s two parks are the best places to spend your time.
Hope Park is famed as one of Keswick’s most popular places to visit. Its manicured grounds can be found nestled alongside the glistening shores of Derwentwater lake. The park boasts a 18-hole crazy golf course along with a birdwatching area and a café.
Offering a change of scenery, Fitz Park is situated on the banks of the River Greta. The park comprises of an upper and lower tier, split by a road. Food stalls, children’s play areas and large lawns are spread out across the two levels.
There’s a range of galleries local to Keswick, including The Northern Lights Gallery, The Cookhouse Gallery and Gallery 26. You’ll find exhibitions of contemporary art alongside oil paintings of the Cumbrian countryside.
The Keswick Museum and Art Gallery is a must, showcasing the stories of local people, places, and artefacts. There’s also a calendar of exhibitions and activities, so be sure to check out what’s on ahead of your visit!
The pedestrianised town centre offers a relaxed browsing and shopping experience. The streets are lined with a charming assortment of convenience, craft and gift shops. There’s even a weekly market held in the square!
Shops stocking outdoor essentials and locally sourced ingredients can be found in abundance. The high-end supermarket, Booths, sits in the centre of the town, selling quality produce. Further afield, Cranstons Food Hall offers an enticing range of regional foodstuffs.
Whether you’re looking for a keepsake or a tasty treat, you’re sure to find what you need here!
Keswick is home to a fabulous collection of bars and restaurants, sure to suit all tastes and budgets.
If you time it right, you might even catch Keswick Beer Festival in the late summer. If you’re a fan of real ale or cider, this is one for you!
Further afield, dining options in Buttermere are popular with locals and day-trippers. And if you’re spending long days exploring the fells, local delis serve up the perfect pre-prepared lunch!
For takeaways, The Old Keswickian Fish and Chip Shop is situated in the Market Square. There’s also a choice of Thai, Chinese and Indian for something a little different.
If you can tear yourself away from all the things to do in Keswick, it’s easy to explore the delights of the Lake District.
A short journey along the A66 towards Penrith brings you to the shores of Ullswater. One of the finest lakes in the area, Ullswater served as the inspiration behind Wordsworth’s poem Daffodils.
Majestic lake cruises and scenic walks through the fells offer an alternative way to explore. Visit the Keswick Launch and enjoy a leisurely boat trip across Derwentwater!
Borrowdale Valley, the Honister Pass and Buttermore sit to the West of Keswick. To the north lie the Northern Fells, including Skiddaw and Blencathra.
If you’re feeling adventurous, drive south toward Helvellyn, or carry on to Grasmere and Ambleside. Be sure to stop to sample some traditional Grasmere Gingerbread along the way.
Walking comes with its own set of safety precautions. The Tourist Information Centre is a great place to visit for advice ahead of any walk. We recommend that you obtain an Ordinance Survey Map or similar, especially for longer routes.
There are many outdoor stores stocking walking essentials in town, so there is no need to hit the hills under-prepared.
We’ve listed a few of our favourite walks below!
One of the most popular fell walks in the area due to its superb views and relatively short duration. Cat Bells is suitable for walker of all abilities and showcases the best of the Lake District.
Starting point: Hawes End Landing Stage
Distance: Approximately 3.5 miles/5.7 km
Time to complete: 2-3 hours
Amongst the best things to do in Keswick is to take a stroll to the iconic Ashness Bridge. Board the Keswick Launch to Ashness Pier where your walk will begin.
Follow the trail to Ashness Bridge, where you’ll be rewarded by spectacular views of the valley. These are surpassed only by the view from Surprise View further along the trail. Perched on a cliff above Derwentwater, views stretch as far as Bassenthwaite Lake.
Starting point: Ashness Pier
Distance: Approximately 2 miles/3.2kms
Time to complete: 1 hour
Blencathra is one of the finest of the Lake District fell walks. Also known as Saddleback, Blencathra is one of the best known fells in the region.
There are several routes to approach Blencathra summit depending on experience and ability. Those up for the challenge can undertake the exhilarating scramble of Sharp Edge. A grade 1 scramble, this route isn’t for the faint of heart!
The Bowder Stone walk is a short, pleasant woodland walk beginning at the National Trust car park. The trail leads to the iconic Bowder Stone, a large rock deposited by glacial action. A ladder leads to the top of the stone, where the landscape can be viewed from a different perspective.
This fabulous fell walk begins from Gatesgarth Farm on the edge of Buttermere lake. With its fascinating ascent, unique rock formations at its peak, and breathtaking panoramas, this mountain is a fantastic choice for a hike.
The famous writer, Alfred Wainwright, chose to have his ashes scattered on Haystacks. Though not the highest in the region, it was one of his very favourite fells to adventure.
England’s only true mountain forest, Whinlatter lies a few miles west of Keswick. Popular with families, this is a must-see for a fun day out.
You can enjoy the stunning scenery on the Altura mountain bike trail or the Quercus trail. Cyclewise Whinlatter offer on-site bike hire, so there’s no need to pack your wheels! There’s even training courses available for thrill-seekers.
This ancient stone circle sitting in a field near Keswick is well worth a visit. You can park in the country lane nearby, and a short stroll takes you to the circle and information boards. With a backdrop of the Lake District fells, is a wonderful way to appreciate the landscape.
Explore England’s oldest working slate mine with a guided tour through the passages and caverns deep in the heart of Fleetwith Pike. The mine can be found at the top of the Honister Pass in Borrowdale.
There are great climbing opportunities here, with two via ferrata’s. These add rungs, ladders and cables to the traditional climbing experience.
At the northern end of Derwentwater, this marina is perfect for watersports. Taster and refresher courses in windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking and sailing are available. You can even hire paddle boards, kayaks and canoes and explore the lake for yourself.
Ghyll scrambling, rock climbing and canoeing are among the activities offered by this local company. Whether you’re part of a group or looking for an individual adventure, an action-packed day out awaits!
There’s so much to see and do with Keswick Canoe and Bushcraft. Learn to canoe and visit the hidden bays and islands around Derwentwater. Observe the local wildlife and engage in various bushcraft activities. Specialist tutoring and equipment is provided, so just bring yourself and your eagerness to learn!
With so many things to do in Keswick, secure your stay in a Keswick cottage today and experience these delights for yourself!
If you’re tempted to get lost in the beauty of the lakes and its rugged mountains, browse our range of lake district cottages. Read out guide on what’s on in the Lake District to plan your itinerary ahead of time!