Things to do nearby The Stables (Keswick)
Keswick is a bustling town that boasts peaceful, quiet areas as well as a vibrant town centre. There are plenty of independent shops just perfect for browsing for outdoor gear, books, antiques and local art. There is also a popular, twice-weekly market in the pedestrianised town centre. To refresh yourself after all that retail therapy, choose from anything from coffee bars to teashops, Mexican to fish and chips, pasties to ice cream, or just head to a traditional pub for a pint and a tasty meal.
There’s also lots of other entertainment within the town. Try a round of crazy golf or sail a radio controlled boat in Hope Park, ascend the King Kong climbing wall, be baffled at the Puzzling Place, or learn something new at the town museum and the Pencil Museum. In the evenings, enjoy a film at the lovely Art Deco cinema (which also holds an annual film festival) or take in a show at the Theatre by the Lake (discounted tickets are available for guests with Sally’s Cottages). You could even book in a day course at The Makers Mill which offers workshops including bag making, scarf weaving and clay throwing!
Keswick is undoubtedly popular with walkers, climbers and cyclists. There are low level walks along the lake’s shore or along the river and plenty of heights to scale on the surrounding fells. Head to Catbells (small and sweet with fantastic views), the Coledale Horseshoe (a challenging ridge walk), Skiddaw (one of the Lake District’s highest mountains) and Blencathra (voted England’s best walk!). Borrowdale is a popular location: here you will find the starting point for climbing up Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain.
A regular Launch service crosses Derwentwater and this allows you to either circle the whole lake by boat or hop on and off as you please. Lodore has a waterfall and the plush Lodore Hotel where you can treat yourself to afternoon tea; Ashness Gate leads up to Ashness Bridge and Surprise View high above the valley; at Lingholm you can view the walled garden that inspired Mr McGregor’s garden in Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit. There are also lovely and easy lakeside walking routes between landing stages; just walk until you have had enough and then jump back on the boat at the next stop.
If you’re looking for fun and adventure, Keswick has something to fill that need! Try paddleboarding on the lake, rent a bike from Keswick Mountain Bikes, or make a splash with some ghyll scrambling. There are lots of outdoor adventure activity providers around the lake.
The ancient and mysterious Castlerigg Stone Circle sits just above Keswick and boasts incredible, panoramic views of fells including Helvellyn and High Seat. You can walk up to Castlerigg via a narrow road (please note there is no footpath), take a short car trip there, or else catch the Caldbeck Rambler, which stops off there.
The Caldbeck Rambler is a seasonal circular bus that runs from Easter to October between Keswick and Caldbeck. The route includes Dodd Wood (a forested mountain with Osprey viewing points), the Lake District Wildlife Park (including a café, petting zoo, soft-play centre and bird of prey displays), the pretty, little St Bega’s Church, and stately home, Mirehouse, with its adventure playgrounds and extensive gardens.
Rising above the nearby village of Braithwaite is Whinlatter, a mountain forest with tree-lined paths, mountain bike trails, a Go Ape! high ropes course and playgrounds. The shop and café in the visitor centre are well worth visiting, as is the information display; you can even see the magnificent Osprey nesting site from here.
Cockermouth is a small market town with a wonderful choice of independent shops, restaurants, cafés and other attractions. History and literary fans will love a visit to Wordsworth House and Gardens, the childhood home of the Romantic poet. Made to look as it would have in 1770, there are interactive activities and the opportunity to dress up in traditional clothing. The Jennings Brewery is also a popular choice for its tours and tastings or, if you just fancy a stroll, wander along the river or along the quaint, hidden back streets.
Penrith is an attractive town that prides itself on its range of small independent shops, stocking everything from books to sweets. It has an artisan bakery, cake shop, and even a smokery! Look out for the adorable Devonshire Arcade, an original indoor Victorian shopping arcade in the centre of town that is home to small boutiques and food retailers. Penrith holds farmers' markets on the third Tuesday of the month (between March and December) in Market Square and you can also find out about the town's history through the town trail. Don’t forget to stop off at nearby Rheged with its shops, cafés, pottery painting, arts exhibitions, a 3D cinema, and a soft play area.
Honister Slate Mine is perched on top of the steep and twisting Honister Pass and has fabulous views down the valley. You can take an underground tour of the mine, balance high above the valley on the Infinity Bridge (the longest of its kind in England), or take on the Via Ferrata, following the old miner’s path with the aid of a guideline. You can also pick up souvenirs and gifts here from the shop selling products made from the local slate.