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By on April 5th, 2020

5 reasons to visit Keswick and the surrounding area

If you ask anyone who loves the Lake District what their favourite Lakeland town is, it’s no surprise that so many people say Keswick.

The busy market town of Keswick is a northern gem in the Lake District with a never ending list of things to do and places to explore. Known for its historic landmarks, iconic walks, picturesque views and friendly ambience, the Keswick and Borrowdale area make for a perfect Summer staycation location.

What’s more, it’s one of the most dog friendly towns in England! Making it the perfect place to escape to with your furry friends.

Here’s 5 reasons why we think you should visit the Keswick area this summer…

1. A tale of two lovely lakes

At the top of Cat Bells

Keswick is the epitome of a Lake District town being located in between two lakes, Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite lake.

One of the most beautiful stretches of water in the Lakes, Derwentwater is surrounded by woodland, bays and fells. You can easily walk around the whole lake, take a boat ride on it and walk to the shore in less than 10 minutes from Keswick town centre. Derwentwater stretches all the way down into the Borrowdale Valley.

On the other side of Keswick, slightly further away than walking distance easily allows, is Bassenthwaite lake – the only true ‘lake’ in the Lake District! With Skiddaw’s shadow looming over the lake the scenery is dramatic and it is a less populated lake compared to Derwentwater. There are walks along several parts of the shoreline, where you can take in the views, as well as enjoy the abundance of wildlife including spotting the nesting osprey or having a twitch in the national park’s first ever wetland nature reserve, Silver Meadows.

A walk around Derwentwater is an ideal hike for people of all abilities. Taking approximately 3 – 4 hours depending on your speed and breaks, this mainly flat walk will let you admire the scenery while getting those daily steps in.

Don’t forget to stop off at the Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa on your way around where we’ll be serving up tasty food, yummy nibbles and a selection of hot and cold refreshments. We’re also dog friendly so you can bring your pooch with you!


2. Front Door to a World Heritage Site

Keswick World Heritage Site Prince

In 2017 the Lake District was awarded World Heritage Site status, which puts the National Park on the map alongside Taj Mahal and the Egyptian pyramids. Prince Charles, a huge advocate of Keswick and the Lake District, marked the important occasion on the shore of Derwentwater (pictured above). But what makes the Lake District worthy of this accolade?

  • The landscape is naturally beautiful but has been shaped over thousands of years through farming and industry – look out for the beautiful Herdwick sheep which roam the fells and were a favourite of Beatrix Potter.
  • With spectacular romantic views and scenery, it’s no wonder that famous poets and writers such as ‘The Lakes Poets’ which included Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey, lived in Keswick which inspired some of their most famous works.
  • The area is protected and maintained by the Lake District National Park As well as other groups such as National Trust, ensuring that the beauty of the Lake District is preserved.


Keswick has an abundance of interesting heritage sites to visit such as Castlerigg Stone Circle, the Bowder Stone, Honister slate mine and the Derwent Pencil Museum which demonstrates why Keswick was the world-centre of pencil manufacturing!


3. Get kitted out in the latest outdoor gear

Shopping in Keswick

As someone once said, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing” and with the most outdoor shops per square kilometre in the UK* you can have your pick of the best gear to suit your type of adventure. Whether you just want to look a bit more outdoorsy or need to up your game for that next adventure, there are walking shops, fell running shops, bike shops, wild adventure shops, shops to kit out the family, and even a pet shop which suits and boots your dog in preparation for a day on the hills.

That being said, you might not be interested in outdoor adventures, but still Keswick has an array of lovely shops such as Fultons Jewellery where you can see your bespoke piece being made in front of you, Northern Lights art gallery where you can browse beautiful limited edition local art, Treeby & Bolton which is filled with delightful art and home pieces, Bookends bookshop where you will find the shelves packed and include local interest books, and Friar’s chocolate shop to name but a few.

Did you know? George Fisher is renowned far and wide for its personal boot-fitting service and you can hire walking boots for free if you’re new to hiking when staying with Lake District Hotels. Remember to pick up one of the Hike & Bike guides from our hotel receptions!

There’s also the popular weekly Keswick market every Thursday and Saturday on the Market Square, where you can pick up a wide selection of local foodstuff or souvenirs.

*this is a guess, but we think it is probably very accurate!


4. Get ON the water

For the complete Lake District experience we recommend getting on the lake in some shape or form. There are plenty of options to choose from depending on how adventurous you feel. The Keswick launch offers a 50-minute round-trip lake cruise aboard its open air boats or you can disembark at different points round the lake and walk back to town. You can also rent a rowing boat, kayak or canoe have a wind-surfing or sailing lesson or go out on a paddleboard tour.

Take a look at the activity providers around Keswick on the Keswick.org website.


5. Walk one of Britain’s favourite walks starting in the centre of Keswick

Voted fourth on ITV’s Britain’s favourite walks: Top 100, Catbells has been a much-loved walk amongst Britain’s hiking enthusiasts for decades.

With it’s uninterrupted views of Detwentwater and the surrounding fells, it comes as no surprise that people travel far and wide just to take in the landscape. The walk is easily manageable for even the youngest and most inexperienced walkers, making it a popular route for both families and hiking-newbies visiting the Lakes.

You can start from Keswick, or join the route at the bottom of the mountain, with a circular loop of Catbells taking you less than half a day and includes the perfect mix of flat fellside and minor scrambling.

The above picture is taken from the summit and overlooks the Skiddaw mountain range as well as Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake.


Here’s a few extra ideas to tantalise your taste buds in and around Keswick this summer:

Enjoy a handmade ice cream while taking in the views at Casa Bella Gelato – they have two shops in Keswick to visit.


Take a whisky tour and try some top notch whisky, vodka and gin with a tour and tasting at The Lakes Distillery, just a few miles away in Bassenthwaite

Eat a ridiculously large, handmade donut from Bruce & Lukes and get the sugar rush you need to power you through your adventure

Need a souvenir to return home with? Don’t forget to buy a box of Cumbrian tea from one of the shops in town. It tastes great and it’s plastic-free!


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Book your Keswick staycation

If Keswick and the surrounding area sounds like somewhere you’d love to explore this Summer, why not book into one of our 6 Lake District Hotels.

With 3 unique hotels situated in Keswick’s Market Square and 2 within the pretty Borrowdale Valley, we’ve got a hotel to suit any taste or budget. Not forgetting our lakeshore hotel by Ullswater, 17 miles from Keswick.

Summer Pimm’s Break

Our exclusive Summer Pimm’s Break will be available on stays between 17th May – 31st August.

From just £370* for 2-nights this offer includes:

  • 2 or more night’s accommodation at the heart of the action
  • Dinner each evening
  • Full Cumbrian breakfast both mornings
  • Pimm’s and strawberries on arrival

To get this exclusive offer, give us a call on 0800 840 1240 or book online.



Get in touch

Reservations: 0330 0564 880
Email: reservations@lakedistricthotels.net

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