When it comes to choosing a family holiday location, Keswick has everything on offer! With its beautiful lake and surrounding mountains, it is a natural playground for children and adults alike. It offers everything from tranquil lakeside walks to exhilarating tree-top rope courses. The spirit of adventure is so richly entrenched in the history of this quaint mining town, you will never be short of things to do!
Here are some of our top things to do with the kids during your stay in Keswick. And don't forget to find your perfect family-friendly holiday cottage!
1. Keswick Launch
The beautiful wooden launches on Derwentwater are a quintessential part of Keswick as a visitor attraction. The launch stops at eight locations around the lake, so you can take in the scenery on a complete circuit of the lake or can use the launch to get you from place to place. Why not catch a boat to get lunch at Lingholme Kitchen and Walled Garden, or to Nichol End Marina for some water activities?
2. Keswick Climbing Wall
Located just a 5-minute drive from Keswick, this indoor climbing wall is great fun for kids. If you’ve never tried it before, there are instructors available to assist you. For younger children, they also have Rookery Woods, an exciting low level assault course. The building is conveniently located next to the historic landmark of Castlerigg Stone Circle, so you can take in a bit of Neolithic history - and the panoramic views - while you’re there!
3. Kong Adventure
Kong Adventure is a great indoor adventure facility boasting a climbing wall, clip and climb, indoor caving system and a soft play area for the younger children. There is a café in the adventure play area, so you can have lunch or enjoy some tea and cake while the children play. There are instructors available for those who have never climbed before.
4. The Puzzling Place
Great for a rainy day, the Puzzling Place exhibits a wide range of weird and wonderful optical illusions, holograms, funny mirrors and fun puzzles. It will take you approximately 30 minutes to make your way around the loop of illusions and they offer affordable family ticket options. This is ideal for children of school age. Make sure you bring your camera!
5. The Pencil Museum
The Pencil Museum is a fun and interactive way to learn about the history of Keswick’s graphite mining industry. The museum contains one of the largest pencils in the world, at nearly 8 meters long, as well as miniature pencil sculptures. You will learn all about how the pencils are made, the fantastic story of maps being hidden in the pencils during World War II and the history of mining in the area. The children can practice their drawing skills at the craft table and there are often art workshops on offer, so check out their website for information and dates.
6. Derwentwater Marina and Nichol End Marina
Derwentwater Marina and Nichol End Marina are located right next to each other, on the north western side of Derwentwater. It takes just ten minutes to drive there from Keswick, or you can catch a launch to the jetty at Nichol End Marina. Both Marina’s offer a full range of water vessel hire: kayaks, canoes, row boats, paddle boards, wind-surf boards and sailing boats. There are some small islands that can be explored just a 30-minute paddle away, so the children can get out and have a swim around or you could take a picnic with you, though watch out for nesting geese!
7. Whinlatter Forest and Visitor Centre
Whinlatter Forest is a 15-minute drive from Keswick and offers a whole host of activities. This mountainside pine forest has a maze of different walking trails, including a 600m activity trail, a Gruffalo Walk and an orienteering course. Bike hire is available for those wanting to enjoy the single-track mountain bike trails, or you can book a place at Go Ape!, a fantastic treetop adventure. The Visitors Centre has a webcam screen showing live images of the Ospreys in their nests on Bassenthwaite Lake. The café and picnic benches throughout the forest mean you can eat, making Whinlatter Forest a fabulous full day out!
8. Hope Park Mini Golf and Crazy Golf
Hope Park has a beautifully maintained floral garden and is located at the northern end of Derwentwater. There is a crazy golf and mini golf course, as well as a bird hide nearby. After you’ve enjoyed a few games of crazy golf, why not wander down to the lake to see the ducks, geese and swans. You can also head to Fitz Park by the River Greta for tennis, open grassy spaces, and a fabulous play area!
9. E-Venture Bikes
At E-Venture, you can hire a range of different e-bikes, as well as standard pedal bikes. The e-bikes provide additional power when you pedal and are a fun way to get around the national park and children’s bike trailers are even available to hire for those with toddlers in tow! E-Venture Bikes have custom-made route maps and will happily advise you on the best option for your family. For those with older children, these bikes are fantastic for getting up those high mountain passes and will allow you to take in much more of the scenery than you would get if relying on your own pedal power!