A complete guide to Keswick  holiday cottages

A complete guide to Keswick

Kim Brough 04 October 2022

Keswick is one of the best places to visit in the Lake District, and it’s easy to see why so many people choose this town as their favourite holiday destination. 

It sits in the heart of a truly breathtaking landscape with lush green fields and woodland at the lower levels and a great panorama of mountains surrounding you in all directions. You can sign yourself up for a wide range of outdoor activities or appreciate some of the town's many indoor attractions.

To enjoy your visit to the fullest, ensure you find your perfect Keswick accommodation from our gorgeous selection of cottages.

Cottages in Keswick

Outdoor activities in Keswick

Kayaking on the water in Keswick

If you're coming to the Lake District and to Keswick in particular, you're going to be spoiled for choice when it comes to outdoor recreation. No one comes to this part of the UK just to sit on the sofa, so get ready to see some spectacular sights and pursue some incredible endeavours.

Outdoor activities in Keswick

Indoor activities in Keswick

Climbing walls with a mountainous backdrop

The weather in Keswick isn’t always ideal. Lukcily, there are plenty of indoor activities for those wet-weather days. Whether it's scaling the heights at a climbing centre, taking in some culture at a renowned theatre or learning something new at a museum, there's something for everyone.

Indoor activities in Keswick

Keswick walks

Mountainous walks around Keswick

You’re in the Lake District, so this is an obvious one – and for good reason! Keswick really has a walk (or 10!) for everyone. The short, flat walk to Friar’s Crag is good for wheelchairs and prams, Latrigg offers an easy mountain walk with big views over the town, and Skiddaw and Blencathra provide something a bit more challenging! 

You can also find plenty of good quality walking kit from local shops, including boots, walking poles, and waterproofs. Try The Keswick Boot Co. or George Fisher for supplies.

Keswick walking guides

Eating and drinking in Keswick

A cafe in a beautiful roadside setting

Whether for your evening meal, a tasty brunch, or a refreshing drink after a day on the fells, the town has all the bases covered when it comes to food and drink. There are lots of pubs in Keswick serving local brews and hearty meals made from Cumbrian produce. Restaurants range from cheap and cheerful fish ‘n’ chips to international taste sensations and gourmet meals. Or perhaps you just need a tasty lunchtime snack or a sweet treat from one of the many cafés?

Places to eat in Keswick

Shopping in Keswick

A couple with shopping bags. Jams and chutneys at Keswick marketPhoto credits: Cumbria Tourism

Keswick is well stocked with lots of places to go shopping. As well as the outdoor shops - with kit for everything from winter climbing and paragliding to kayaking and wild swimming - there are lots of independents to be found too. Take a look at Packhorse Court for The Cheese Deli, toy shop and interiors. 

The main pedestrianised street, and those just off it, have lots of unique gift shops, art galleries, sweet shops, and clothes stores, as well as convenience stores and local supermarkets like Booths. Keswick has a twice-weekly market selling fresh meat and veg, gifts, baked goods, and flowers.

The town is the perfect blend of high-street favourites and local boutiques!

Shopping in the Lake District

Festivals in Keswick

A man playing a piano accordion at a festival

Though most people come to Keswick for its incredible scenery and wonderful outdoor activities, there is lots more on offer in the town. Numerous excellent festivals take place throughout the year and draw large crowds. There’s a vibrant atmosphere at these times, and loads going on.

Keswick Mountain Festival is one of the biggest events of the year. The celebration of the great outdoors is a mix of outdoor activities and music, with the opportunity to take part in races and competitions, or to try out a completely new sport.

Other prominent festivals include the Keswick Film Festival, Keswick Jazz and Blues Festival, and Scruffs - a fun alternative to the Crufts dog show!

Dog-friendly Keswick

A dog surrounded by bluebells

As a multi-time winner of the Kennel Club’s Most Dog-Friendly Town in Britain award, Keswick loves our four-legged companions. From dog-friendly restaurants and dog-friendly pubs to excellent dog walks, a dog-friendly Lake District holiday with your dog is a breeze.

Dog-friendly Keswick

Keswick with the kids

A girl playing on a lake beach, and some children with bikes looking at flowersPhoto credit: Cumbria Tourism (right)

From toddlers to teenagers, Keswick has plenty of options for keeping the younger members of your group entertained. Outdoor adventure activities, museums, play areas, parks, bike hire, boat hire… the list is practically endless!

Keswick with the kids

Getting to Keswick

By car

Keswick is conveniently located just off the A66. Most visitors will arrive at Penrith either via the A66 or the M6. Drive along the A66 west from the town and simply follow the signs to Keswick. The roads are good and the signage is easy to follow.

By public transport

There is a mainline train station in Penrith. From here, you can catch the X5 bus directly to Keswick. Alternatively, travel to Workington on the west coast and catch the same bus, which also travels via Cockermouth.

Buses also travel between Keswick, Windermere and Kendal on the 555 and between Keswick and Carlisle on the 554.

If you want to try something a little different while you’re staying in Keswick, you can get around by boat. The Keswick Launch runs a regular service across Derwentwater, allowing you to easily visit locations such as Borrowdale, Portinscale, and the Lingholm Estate.

Parking in Keswick

Keswick from the air

There is plenty of parking in Keswick, though do be aware that it can fill up quickly, particularly in the summer. There are several long- and short-stay car parks operating in the centre of town or a short walk away.

If you are staying in Keswick for more than three days, consider purchasing a parking permit from the council. Click here for more information on Keswick parking.

Self-catering cottages in the Lake District

After taking on one or more of these activities, whether indoors or outdoors, you will no doubt need a place to rest your head before choosing which one to try next. Luckily, we have an excellent collection of Keswick self-catering cottages. Click the button to start your search.

Cottages in Keswick

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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