In Explore

The capital of the Northern Lakes, Keswick is one of Cumbria’s best-known towns, and with very good reason. Nestled between Skiddaw and Derwentwater, this walker’s paradise offers a wide range of activities and attractions.

Enjoy a lake cruise on the Keswick Launch and experience the beauty of Derwentwater, with breathtaking views of the surrounding fells. Enjoy special views of Skiddaw, England’s fourth highest mountain, Catbells, and the ‘Jaws of Borrowdale’.

Take the 50-minute round boat trip or disembark at one of the eight jetties en-route and take a lakeland walk via well-marked paths to famous landmarks such as Ashness Bridge, Lodore Falls, Grange in Borrowdale and Brandelhow.

Derwentwater is 3 miles long, 1.5 miles wide and 72 feet at its deepest point. Cruises sail past its four islands, now owned by the National Trust and each with its own special history; Derwent Island, Lord’s Island, Rampsholme and St Herbert’s Island.

The four launches have open & covered decks and operate on a regular timetable throughout the year. Rowing boats and motor cruisers are also available for hire, so you can explore the lake at your own pace.

From water to woodland, no trip to this part of the Lake District, Cumbria, is complete without a visit to Whinlatter - England's only true mountain forest. Managed by Forestry England, this vast woodland rises 1,000ft above sea level, and the forest and visitor centre provides a whole range of outdoor activities for everyone. 

Start at the visitor centre, where the staff will give information and help plan your morning. Enjoy some retail therapy in the forest shop or sample morning coffee and cake at Siskins café, eating out on the balcony whilst overlooking the woods, red squirrels and woodland birds.

For children, the Whinlatter WildPlay trail is a fantastic 600m long trail with 9 different play zones. Despite the forest’s hilly nature, there are suitable walks for people of all abilities, which take in spectacular views across the fells and forests. The Bassenthwaite Ospreys can be seen live from their nest on a giant screen in the exhibition or in their natural environment from the Dodd Wood open air viewpoint between April and August.

A great spot for lunch is just 15 minutes away by car, at The Lingholm Estate. The Lingholm Kitchen & Walled Garden was once the base of a certain Beatrix Potter, who stayed there while working on several of her legendary stories. In fact, visitors can actually explore part of the grounds that inspired the tales of Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and her most famous character, Peter Rabbit.

Alpacaly Ever After offer alpaca walks around the beautiful grounds of Lingholm and along the shores of Derwentwater. The private grounds are teeming with wildlife and closed to the general public, with the chance to spot deer, red squirrels and hares. Walks last around an hour & a half and are available at flexible times to suit you. Bring your wellies or shoes that you don’t mind getting wet! 

Back in Keswick itself, be sure to visit the Derwent Pencil Museum – where you’ll discover that the history of the humble pencil is more captivating than you perhaps may think… Meanwhile, the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery reopening from the 27 July boasts an impressive collection of local historical artefacts, chronicling the town’s fascinating history.

So where to stay? With plenty of attractive accommodation options from hotels to B&Bs, there’s something to suit every taste and budget. Soak up the views at the Borrowdale Gates Hotel or the Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa , go for something extra special like the Michelin-star rated Cottage in the Wood, or head down the traditional, cosy pub with rooms route with The Horse and Farrier. You can check out the full range, here.

And finally, let’s not forget, Keswick is a place where every man, woman and dog is made to feel extra welcome! Considered to be Cumbria’s most dog-friendly town, the vast majority of shops, attractions and accommodation providers are all very happy to welcome travellers of both the two-legged and four-legged variety!

We look forward to welcoming you and to help you make the most of your time here in the Lake District, Cumbria, make sure to plan ahead and book your stay prior to visiting.

Related

Keswick Launch Co - Lake Cruises on Derwentwater
Sightseeing Attraction
Keswick Launch Co - Lake Cruises on Derwentwater

Keswick Launch offers 50-minute cruises around Derwentwater. Rowing boats and motor boats are also available to hire.

Lodore Falls
Waterfall or Gorge

In a ravine behind The Lodore Falls Hotel. 40ft fall surrounded by woods and crags. Parking 0.5 mile from entrance to falls behind Hotel or take the launch down Derwentwater. On property owned by hotel - small charge for access.

Whinlatter Forest & Visitor Centre
Visitor Centre
Mountain Biking

Whinlatter Forest Park is England's only true mountain forest. Rising to 790 metres above sea level Whinlatter offers spectacular views of the Lake District and into Scotland.

The Lingholm Kitchen & Walled Garden
Cafe
The Lingholm Kitchen

Open every day, The Lingholm Kitchen & Walled Garden has quickly become a popular Lakeland destination for Breakfast, Lunch and Afternoon Tea.

Alpaca Walks or Meet & Greet at The Lingholm Estate
Experience
Alpaca Walks at The Lingholm Estate

Alpacaly Ever After... are thrilled to offer meet & greets and alpaca walks around the stunning grounds of the Lingholm Estate along the beautiful shores of Derwent Water.

The Pencil Museum
Museum
The Pencil Museum

Located in Keswick, the home of the first pencil, visitors enter this museum through a replica graphite mine which would have served as the source of the pencil industry over three centuries ago.

Keswick Museum and Art Gallery
Museum

Treasures and tales of the north lakes in a beautiful Lakeland slate building in Fitz Park with special exhibitions, activities and cafe.

Borrowdale Gates Hotel
Country House Hotel
Borrowdale Gates Hotel

Our country house hotel is the best-kept secret in the Borrowdale Valley, with log fires, wonderful Lakeland-inspired cooking and warm, comfortable bedrooms updated in classic, modern style - a real home-from-home.

Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa
Country House Hotel
Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa

The privately owned, four star 17th century former stately home, has 42 individually designed bedrooms, wood panelled public rooms, real log fire, Lake View Restaurant, six conference rooms, croquet lawn, tennis courts and spa facility.

The Cottage in the Wood
Restaurant with Rooms
The Cottage in the Wood

We are a cosy gourmet getaway nestled in Whinlatter Forest, with nine contemporary rooms offering woodland or garden views, it’s a haven of tranquillity and relaxation.

The Horse and Farrier Inn
Restaurant with Rooms
The Horse and Farrier Inn

Fine food, drink and accommodation at the foot of Blencathera. Dine unwind and stay in our finely refurbished facilities – locally sourced food, local real ales, open fires bedrooms and suites to suit all.

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