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Peaceful and picturesque, yet much less visited than the South Lakes – the market town of Keswick and the Northern Lakes has so much to offer anyone looking for a break in dramatic scenery with lots to do, on your doorstep. Compared to the popular Central Lakes, this region is like a Lake District in miniature and with more lakes!
The dramatic Skiddaw mountain range dominates the market town of Keswick and can be viewed from everywhere in the town centre, making for a most surprising and wonderful backdrop. Derwentwater, whilst petite in length is the ‘widest’ lake in the Lake District and her intriguing shores lie only a 10-minute stroll from the town centre.
In Keswick town centre, there’s a relaxing rhythm set around the pedestrianised market square lined with cafe culture, an award-winning outdoor market (the largest in the Lakes), high-end shops and a mix of fine-dining and the smell of fish and chips. A delightful wander through the car-free town takes you to the well-presented Hope Park gardens, with crazy golf, cafe and motorised boat attraction. Many come to Keswick to take in the culture at the Theatre by the Lake, followed by a lakeside stroll or drink on the terrace overlooking Derwentwater.
Here lies Lake Road, a wooded lakeshore promenade that takes you past boats bobbing on the jetty to the famous view point at Friar’s Crag.
The breathtaking beauty of the Borrowdale Valley lies to the south of Derwentwater and performs a thrilling journey through idyllic Lake District scenery, taking visitors through the ‘jaws of Borrowdale’ and to the highest summit in the Lakes, Scafell. Closer to Keswick, there are the popular attractions of Ashness Bridge and Surprise View.
There are 16 major bodies of water in the Lake District, and most of them are here in the northern Lakes. Get 3 lakes in 1 when leaving Derwentwater and exploring over the otherside of the Derwent Fells. Where once horse-drawn coaches noisily followed the ‘Keswick Round’, today the peace and tranquillity of the western lying lakes in the dreamy Buttermere valley draws the Honister Rambler bus over the rousing Honister Pass, to the lakes of Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater. The motorboat and crowd-free series of 3 Northern Lakes is the place for truly letting go – kick off your shoes for a paddle, dare yourself into a skinny dip, and lose yourself over a half or two of Loweswater Gold ale.
The northernmost lying lake is Bassenthwaite, pooled at the foot of the Skiddaw range. Here you’ll find Osprey’s and GoApe at Whinlatter Forest, the UK’s only true mountain forest. There are other gems, like the Lakes Distillery, Mirehouse and Gardens and Lake District Wildlife Park too.
Mountains, lakes, shopping, culture and lots more – there are surprises aplenty in Keswick and the Northern Lakes.