Keswick is lovely Lakeland town set on the edge of Derwentwater which has been a draw to visitors ever since tourists started trickling into the area many years ago. The lake is only a short walk from the town centre. A stroll around the picturesque lake is a great way to spend a day. For those walkers in seek of greater altitude you can take the ferry across the lake to start the climb up Catbells which offers tremendous views back across to the town.
There are some fabulous restaurants, cafes and pubs to enjoy in Keswick.
The Round is located opposite the steps of Moot Hall which sits in the centre of the high street. It serves cracking burgers and cocktails and has a great reputation for superb flavours and service. Our top tip if you’re not a burger person is to order the chicken and swap the bun for an amazing salad.
The Dog & Gun pub is a popular spot with locals and visitors alike. They are renowned for serving well kept local ales and their hearty goulash which is perfect after a day hiking in the fells.
If you’re after a vegan option then Kat’s Kitchen is the place to head to. They serve brunch and lunch year round and early dinner during the busier months. They also have a well stocked vegan shop at the back.
In the town centre, the traditional Cumbrian architecture and block paved pedestrian areas give the area an authoritative feel.
There is a good range of independent boutiques shops such as jewellers and gift shops. Interspersed with the the obligatory outdoors clothing and equipment shops.
There is a very good farmers market which is packed full of more than 70 stalls bursting with locally produced food, crafts and traditional market fayre.
There are a great variety of museums located in the town. Here are a selection of our favourites…
The Puzzling Place
If you like optical illusions this place will delight you. This inexpensive small museum has lots of unique exhibits which are great fun for all ages. It’s a great place to pass an hour or so on a rainy day.
You can witness balls rolling uphill in the antigravity room and visibly grow and shrink in the Ames room. You’ll be amazed by the interactive optical illusion exhibits, artwork and sculptures, as well as the hologram gallery! There is also a lovely little gift shop with puzzles to take home.
Derwent Pencil Museum
Think pencils are a bit boring? Think again with after a visit to this wonderful little museum. It tells the history of local pencil manufacturing from the first discovery of graphite to the present day. It is packed with lots of wonderful facts about how pencils are made and how they were used as strategy tools during World War 2. Children can fill in a quiz to win some pencils and there’s also the opportunity to do some colouring sheets.
To gain a greater appreciation of the local area pay a visit to the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery. The informative exhibits on display show visitors the cultural, geographical and historical stories that are associated with Keswick and surrounding areas.
There’s some really interesting permanent exhibitions plus great temporary displays. There’s also plenty here to keep younger visitors entertained, not least to have a go at literally making some rock music on the stone xylophone.
If you’re a frequent visitor to the area the good news is that your ticket lasts a year so you can keep coming back.
Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum
Situated three miles east of Keswick is this fascinating mining museum. Take a step back in time and experience what life was like for local miners. The steam train ride is a highlight for many visitors which take you take you right up to the quarry face. You can walk all around the quarry and get up close to the all the excavators and other machinery on the site.
Try your hand at panning for valuable minerals but if you have no luck the shop has plenty to purchase. As well as friendly guides who will explain the history of the quarry there is a small enclosed museum area with informative displays.
How to find Keswick
Opening times: Always open
Distance from park
18.9 miles (approx. 36 mins)