Things to do nearby Riverside Cottage
A delightful place to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, yet handy for the nearby adventure capital of Keswick and the lovely Georgian town of Cockermouth, both offering a wealth of attractions, shops and eateries. Thornwaite has a delightful gallery and tearoom, and close by, Whinlatter Forest is home to adventure companies such a Go Ape and Cyclewise, as well as having an excellent playground, a host of walks and an informative visitor centre with café
Thornthwaite is a pretty village on the edge of Bassenthwaite Lake that boasts its own art gallery, beautiful scenery, and views to the impressive Skiddaw Range across the lake. The lane linking Thornthwaite and Braithwaite was formerly the main road before the A66 existed and steam trains puffed alongside the lake. Nowadays the lane sees little traffic and is pleasant for walking or cycling along whilst admiring the hedgerows, meadows and fells.
Thornthwaite Gallery is a converted bank barn that displays the work of local and regional exhibitors. Here you can buy original paintings and prints, jewellery, wood, pottery, and silk scarves, amongst other things. The tearoom serves Fairtrade products and the elevated position in the village gives a wonderful vista over Bassenthwaite Lake and Skiddaw. The gallery is worth a visit; you may even find a suitable memento of the local area to remind you of your holiday!
Whinlatter Forest is a true mountain forest with plenty to explore. There are mountain bike trails, forest trails (for bikes and walking), a Go Ape! high ropes course, and a visitor centre with café. You can hire bikes and take tuition from Cyclewise. In the spring, the Osprey Project begins with cameras and binoculars stationed so you can watch these rare birds nesting and fishing on the lake.
To the north of Bassenthwaite Lake lies the Lake District Wildlife Park where you can get to know lemurs, otters, zebra and many more animals that roam the 25-acre estate. You can even arrange to be a zookeeper for a day or watch one of the bird displays! The new Lakes Distillery also lies to the north of the lake and there you can enjoy a tour and tasting or perhaps just a delicious meal at the bistro.
The village of Braithwaite has three great pubs and a hotel all serving good food and drink. There is a bus service that runs between the two villages. Why not take a pleasant walk to Braithwaite to build up your appetite and catch the bus back? The last bus leaves Keswick at 11pm, so you have plenty of time to enjoy a meal in Braithwaite before it reaches the stop just by the Royal Oak.
Braithwaite is a good starting point to walk the Coledale Horseshoe, a fantastic ridge walk taking you up Grisedale Pike at one end, and down Barrow at the other, finishing in the Coledale pub!
Keswick is a vibrant market town with lots on offer. You can spend plenty of time in the town itself with its plethora of outdoor shops, independent shops and eateries, as well as The Puzzling Place, a Pencil Museum, and a swimming pool. A short, easy stroll will bring you to glistening Derwentwater where you will find crazy golf, rowing boat rentals, the Keswick Launch and plenty of walking. Why not take a walk along the lakeshore and catch a boat back to the town? In the evening you could take in a show at the Theatre by the Lake (guests with Sally’s Cottages can purchase discounted tickets) or a film at the vintage cinema in town.
For adrenaline junkies, Keswick is the perfect spot. Whether you head to one of the indoor climbing walls, or take to the water for ghyll scrambling or wild swimming, you’ll find plenty to do. There are plenty of outdoor activity providers in the town who can introduce you to all sorts of activities. There are also bike rental shops if you want to get out on two wheels.
A drive through the Newlands Valley will bring you out at Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater. These are little lakes in a quieter area, surrounded by the high fells and perfect for walking round. There are two pubs, a tearoom, and an ice cream parlour in the village of Buttermere and the ever-popular Kirkstile Inn in Loweswater for refuel at after a day out.
Cockermouth is another popular market town with a wide main street, independent shops, and a Sainsbury’s supermarket. This is the town where William Wordsworth was born and you can visit his house, now run by the National Trust, to learn about life in the 1700s. Cockermouth is also home to the Jenning's Brewery – tours and tastings here are not to be missed! Cockermouth also has the Kirkstile Arts Centre, with a wide programme of theatre, film, and music, a ruined castle (not accessible to the public but standing proudly and visibly over the river), and an auction house.