Things to do nearby Orchard Barn
Keswick is the adventure hub of the northern Lake District, with a vast choice of outdoor activities on two feet, a bike, and on water. The town also has lots of places to eat and a wide choice of things to do in rainy weather. You couldn’t get a better base for a Lakes holiday!
Keswick’s lake has an easy, ten-mile path around it, and a paved, pushchair-friendly stretch along its western shore.
Fishing licences are available from the Tourist Information Centre at Moot Hall, in the centre of Keswick
Lake cruises take 50 minutes for a round trip, or you can hop on and off at any of the seven jetties around the lake.
Hire self-drive motor boats and rowing boats, or even hire the Keswick Launch for special events.
Derwentwater Marina, Portinscale - Here you can have lessons in sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, climbing and scrambling. Also hire out boats.
Platty+ - Based at the Lodore boat landing. Here you can have lessons in canoeing, kayaking, dinghy sailing, rowing, dragon boating, Viking longshipping and power boating. Also hire out boats. Open Mar- Oct, 10-6.
Derwent Island House - This eighteenth century house is on an island on the lake. It is owned by the National Trust but lived in by a tenant (how lovely). It is open to the public for a few days each year, subject to lake levels. Tickets must be booked in advance either by calling 017687 73780 or visiting the small National Trust shop by the lakeside.
Hope Park - This park, between the town centre and the lake, has a 9-hole pitch and putt course, crazy obstacle golf, a plant centre, lots of seats, and an ice-cream stand.
Fitz Park This park has a children’s playground, a cricket pitch (see the locals play in summer), a bowling green and tennis courts
The Theatre by the Lake - Positioned between Hope Park and the lake, the Theatre has a summer season of 6 rotating plays. It is much loved for its Christmas shows and also the many festivals it hosts, including Words by the Water and the Jazz and Mountain festivals.
The Pencil Museum - At Southey Works, Main Street. The Cumberland Pencil Co. has been based in Keswick for 175 years, and this well-thought out museum tells the history of pencil making, with a replica of a graphite mine. It is highly suitable for kids, with a quiz and drawing zone. There is also a café and pencil shop. Open daily from 9.30-4.
The Mining Museum - It’s not well known outside the area, but Cumberland was a hive of mining activity for hundreds of years. This museum, at Otley Road, tells the story, starting with the immigration of German mining specialists in 1564. In the geology room, you can find out about mining copper, lead, graphite, slate, coal, iron and gypsum and discover how they were smelted and treated to provide familiar objects. Open 10-5 daily, closed on Mondays in winter.
Threlkeld Mining Museum - The mine at Threlkeld, 3 miles east of Keswick, produced granite for road building until 1982. Here, you can go underground to see a real mine, see the original quarry machinery and visit the geology and mining museum. Open 7 days a week from Easter to October.
Honister Slate Mine - The mine is on Honister pass, 9 miles west of Keswick. It is the last working slate mine in the country. There are guided tours of the mine itself, and a visitor centre, but most people go there for the Via Ferrata. This ‘iron road’ is an updated version of the climbing system used by Victorian miners to get to work; it has iron cables and hand holds up the rock face, reaching the 2126 ft-high summit of Fleetwith Pike. Open 7 days a week, 9-5.
Keswick Museum and Art Gallery - This free museum was opened in 1898 and well deserves its moniker as the ‘3rd strangest museum in the world’! It has a mixed collection of interesting objects left to the museum, including a stone xylophone, a 664-year old desiccated cat and a penny farthing bicycle. More seriously, it also has a credible collection of the manuscripts of Southey, Wordsworth and High Walpole, and examples of the Keswick School of Industrial Art’s arts and crafts items.
St. Kentigern’s Church, Crosthwaite - This gem lies to the west of Keswick. The first church at this site was allegedly established by St. Kentigern himself in 553AD, but the current church mostly dates from 1523 with parts from the late 12th and 14th centuries. It is unique in having all twelve consecration crosses. It has a 14th century font, a fine mosaic floor and two alabaster effigies dating from 1495. It also houses a monument to the poet, Robert Southey. Weekly services.
The Puzzling Place - At Museum Square. This interesting exhibition aims to entertain with confusion, with lots of optical illusions, including holograms and an ‘anti-gravity’ room. There is a puzzle shop and a puzzle room. Open 10-6, seven days a week from Easter to November. Open 11-5 from November to Easter, closed Mondays.
The Keswick Brewing Company - You can tell how long this has been here – it’s based on Brewery Lane. Full brewery tours available but opening times vary – call 017687 80700.
Alhambra Cinema -On St. John’s Street.
A number of eating places have live musicians in the evening. Try
• The Oddfellows Arms, Main Street, has live music seven nights a week in the summer months .
• The Square Orange, St. John’s Street, has live music on Thursdays.
Lake District Spas - Treat yourself to a Pamper Day at one of Keswick’s most beautifully sited hotels. Indoor pool, sauna, gym, tennis court and full range of beauty treatments.
Keswick Golf Club - Based at Threlkeld Hall, three miles to the east of Keswick. 18-hole parkland course with Lakeland views. Club house with bar and restaurant, golfing shop.
Castlerigg Stone Circle - This sight is not to be missed – a short 1.5mile walk or drive to the southeast of Keswick. This circle of 40 stones is believed to be 5,000 years old, and, in common with a lot of Cumbrian stone circles, is supposed to be aligned to midwinter sunrise…but we don’t know why! Sited on a flat-topped hill, overlooked by the peaks of Skiddaw and Blencathra, it’s a beautiful place to visit, whether you’re interested in ancient monuments or not.
Keswick is famed for excellent festivals. Try these:
• Film Festival (Feb)
• Words by the Water (Feb-Mar)
• Half Marathon (May)
• Jazz Festival (May)
• Mountain Festival (May)
• Beer Festival (June)
• Street Theatre (June and July)
• Christian Convention (July)
• Derwentwater Trail (September)
• Christmas Faeroe (December)
Adventure Training. There are many activity providers in the area. Here are just a few:
• Keswick Rambles offers guided walks between April and November.
• Tim Mosedale - Learn to rock climb with an Everest Summiteer .
• Pace the Peaks offer guided walks .
• Mountain Sense offer guided rock climbing, scrambling, gorge walking and canoeing.