Things to do nearby Swallow Barn
With its six adjacent summits towering above, Swallow Barn is an excellent starting point for hiking up Blencathra. However, you don’t have to take on such extreme challenges to enjoy the area; visitors to Threlkeld will fall in love with its riverside rambles and gentle strolls. Families will enjoy a visit to the Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum, and just four miles away, the popular town of Keswick has plenty to entertain kids and grown-ups alike.
Wallthwaite and Guardhouse, in a picturesque setting at the foot of Threlkeld Common, offer stunning views towards the imposing southern face of Blencathra. Three rocky spurs and ridges draw your eyes skywards and the mountain appears symmetrical when viewed from the south east. Blencathra consists of six separate fell tops linked by a lovely ridge walk. This popular mountain ranks highly with walkers for the great selection of thrilling ascents and glorious views over the vale of Keswick.
Mountain bikers and cyclists are well catered for in this particular part of Lakeland. A great route starts from Threlkeld across the A66. Once in the village, take Blease Road, which climbs westwards out of the village and terminates at the Blencathra Centre, formerly a sanatorium. From here, a rough track follows the curve of Blease Fell, the western extension of Blencathra, into the Glenderaterra Valley. This challenging route offers fantastic views from its high position, across to the craggy face of Lonscale Fell, and down to the valley floor. It is possible to return to Threlkeld over the top of Latrigg and along the old railway line. For competent riders only; there are narrow sections not suitable for children on this ride.
In Threlkeld, a small village post office sells a selection of sweet and savoury snacks - very handy if you need to stock up before you head out on the fells. On your way back, make sure to visit the local café situated right behind the village hall. It is an excellent place to grab a slice of home-made cake and relax with fantastic views towards Clough Head and Helvellyn Range.
Threlkeld is well served by two pubs conveniently situated across the road from each other, The Horse and Farrier Inn and The Sally (formerly The Salutation Inn). Both serve good food and local ales. You can find well-kept Jennings on tap in The Horse and Farrier. They serve bar meals and have a restaurant that has been awarded an AA rosette. The Sally, a traditional inn with exposed original beams, a roaring open fire, and a games room, also serves takeaway pizza.
Threlkeld Quarry & Mining Museum operates underground tours, an interesting geology and mining museum, and a shop. A narrow gauge locomotive hauls passenger trains on a daily basis during the summer months and at Christmas operates the Santa Special! The train ride travels uphill past the engine sheds and vintage machinery, right into the heart of the blasted-out fellside. The museum sits in the disused microgranite quarry in an area of the Lake District where copper, iron, lead, zinc, tungsten, graphite, baryte and fluorite were mined. It contains a fascinating array of artefacts, plans and photographic records of explorations of many local mines. Walkers may find particular interest in the photographs featuring well-known fells and their changing faces after years of mining activity.
Keen golfers will love Keswick Golf Course. The picturesque, 18-hole course stretches across Threlkeld Common onto the fellside behind Guardhouse. The course is blessed with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and has been designed around beautiful natural features. Visitors are welcome.
If the weather is s bit wet, Keswick is a short drive away and has plenty of attractions. A Pencil Museum, climbing wall, swimming pool, Puzzling Place, cinema and a theatre are just some of the things on offer! Guests at Sally’s Cottages can even receive a discount on some theatre tickets!
A short walk from Keswick’s pedestrianised town centre is Derwentwater. This beautiful lake is surrounded by terrific mountain scenery and has several picturesque islands. The Keswick Launch operates a service around the lake stopping at several jetties. It is ideal for sitting back and enjoying a cruise or getting off to stretch your legs and hopping back on at a later stage. You can also hire rowing boats or try out an array of outdoor adventure activities.
Keswick offers a comprehensive selection of places to eat out. Indian, Italian, Chinese, Thai, Mexican and British cuisines all available. Whether you are looking for fish and chips and a bench to eat them on, or upmarket dining in more refined surroundings, there is an establishment to suit every taste and budget.
Castlerigg Stone Circle is described by English Heritage as one of the most atmospheric and dramatically sited of all British stone circles, with panoramic views and the mountains of Helvellyn and High Seat as a backdrop. It is also among the earliest British circles, raised in about 3,000 BCE during the Neolithic period. Castlerigg is a perfect spot for a short walk if you don't fancy a long day on the fells, and why not make a day of it by dropping in to Keswick for a meal afterwards?