The lake district is well known for its walks for all ages and abilities and its stunning landscape. What is less well known is that it is an area which hosts many different arts centres, cultural exhibits and activity facilities. And I tell you what, the Lakes have really upped their game for October half term and Halloween this year, there are so many things to do for so many varied interests that I could write a book and probably still not have space to talk about everything on offer. Here is a taster of what's on in Keswick this half term. Many of these activities and events are friendly to all ages, adults and children alike.
For the adventurous - Keswick is a hotspot for adventurers of all types, from cycling to potholing. Here are a couple of centres offering exciting activities for all ages.
Kong Climbing Centre
With indoor climbing, an ice wall, bouldering, an 80m caving system, a family zone AND a café, this little gem has something for anyone with an adventurous spirit, or just someone after a coffee! The highly experienced trainers and state of the art equipment mean this centre is safe and fun for all ages and abilities. There’s even a soft play area for the really little ones. The King Kong Centre also offers outdoor activities in either half-day or full-day packages. There truly is something for everyone, whatever the weather!
Keswick Climbing Wall/ Newlands Adventure Centre:
Only 5 minutes’ drive from the centre of Keswick is another climbing centre with both indoor and outdoor activities including a climbing wall (of course), ghyll scrambling, kayaking, indoor or outdoor archery, mountain biking and a 170m zip wire. They’ve recently set up the new activity trail with activities for ‘Little Adventurers’. In the Newlands Valley the centre offers fully catered accommodation for groups, so there’s the option to fully immerse yourself in a few days of adventuring!
For the culturally minded - Keswick and the Lake District’s history is both vast and fascinating. We luckily have a host of places to experience and read about this history first hand. Here are just a few.
The Pencil Museum:
The home of the world’s first pencil is going all out for this year’s October half-term. From Monday 26th October to Wednesday 28th October, leading international children’s illustrator and author Shoo Rayner will be in residence, holding Art Workshop Demonstrations daily (10am-4pm) where you can meet Shoo and some of his characters. As well as this, on Monday 26th Lakeland Radio will be celebrating their birthday by broadcasting live from the museum! On Thursday 29th October a local artist, Karen MacDougall will be at the museum holding a workshop on how to make and decorate a special ‘pencil’ with a secret compartment and create artwork to hide inside. Perhaps it’ll be big enough to hide your Halloween sweeties?!
The Keswick Museum & Art Gallery:
This beautiful, recently modernised building is currently hosting an exhibition on the Wainwrights, a fantastic collection giving an insight into the life of Arthur Wainwright and the story behind the historic ‘Pictoral Guide to the Lakeland Fells’. The museum is also home to natural history collections and has plenty of hands-on exhibits and trails. During this October half-term, the museum is hosting 2 events. ‘Drawing with Wool’ is on Tuesday 27th October (10.30am-12.30pm or 1.30pm-3.30pm) where you can learn the traditional art of wet-felting and take home your own picture. In honour of Halloween the museum is also holding a ‘Halloween Crafternoon’ on Wednesday 28th October (1-3pm) where you can create your own spooky piece of art and discover their collection of all things creepy! The museum also has a café where you can take the weight off your feet and enjoy a lovely coffee and a cake.
Lakeland Hauntings, The Ghost Walks:
Staying with the spooky and creepy, this relatively new attraction has grown to be hugely popular. Taking place in the evening (7.30pm for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes), you “follow ‘The Lady’ through the streets of our historic town as she reveals the dark secrets lying beneath the waters of the lakes, in the shadow of the fells and in the ancient superstitions of the lake counties”. Sounds scary and perfect for a slightly different All Hallows Eve! The event takes place in both Keswick and Cockermouth so there’s nothing to stop you going to both if you really enjoy yourself! The walks are developed with adults in mind but they are broadly accessible to children of 10 and above.
For something a little bit different - A glance at Trip Advisor will tell you that Keswick has a wide range of good quality cafes, restaurants, ice cream shops, sweet shops, clothes shops and many other places for a mid-afternoon snack or window-shop. Here are just a couple of places in and around Keswick that offer time to chill out with something a little special.
Hope Park and Café:
Hope park is situated between the town centre and the lake and is a little piece of paradise. There’s a fantastic 9-hole Pitch & Putt golf course, as well as an 18-hole crazy golf course, an 18-hole putting green and a boules pit! You can also race Launch boats around a replica of Derwent Water. The new café is open all year round and serves seasonal specials, home-made soups and a wide selection of cakes and tray bakes to accompany their infamous cream tea. The café also runs a kiosk, where you can pick up light refreshments, ice creams and sweets. It’s a sparkling little gem in the centre of our town!
On Derwentwater you will find the Keswick Launches. These boats sail from Keswick and call at 6 landing stages. It’s a fantastic way to spend an hour, basking in the stunning scenery. There’s even a covered seating area for if the weather suddenly turns!
The Puzzling Place:
This great little museum is located in the town centre. It is home to a world of illusion including an anti-gravity room, the Ames Room (the only one in the country!), the ‘Eyelusions’ Exhibition and the Hologram Gallery. Suitable for ages 1-100, the Puzzling Place is a great way to while away a couple of hours whilst waiting for the rain to stop!
I hope that this has given you a few ideas of what to do in Keswick, whether you’re here for a day trip, or a whole week this October Half Term! If you want any more information about the places listed above give us a call at Sally’s Cottages 017687 80571. View all our Keswick Cottages.