Things to do in Keswick
Keswick holds the distinction of being the northernmost town in the Lake District, and perhaps it enjoys the most advantageous location. Lying at the northern tip of the enchanting Derwentwater, Keswick is surrounded by imposing fells, notably Skiddaw and Blencathra, which rank among the favourite destinations for walkers and hikers in the region.
But it’s not just walking, there are plenty of other outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and natural wonders to be enjoyed in Keswick. If you're staying at Haven Lakeland Leisure Park, make sure to include Keswick on your list. To help you plan, we’ve made a list of the top things to do in Keswick for an unforgettable visit.
Address: Keswick CA12 5DJ
Begin your Keswick adventure with a leisurely cruise on Derwentwater, one of the most stunning lakes in the Lake District. The crystal-clear waters are surrounded by dramatic fells and lush woodland, creating a postcard-perfect setting.
You can hop aboard one of the traditional wooden launches, operated by Keswick Launch Co., and take in the breathtaking scenery as you relax on the deck. Some cruises even offer informative commentary about the lake's history and the surrounding landscape, enhancing your appreciation of this natural wonder.
Cat Bells mountain
Address: Keswick CA12 5TU
The Lake District is a haven for hikers, with numerous trails catering to all skill levels. Cat Bells, a local favourite, offers a relatively short and rewarding hike with panoramic views of the region. The trail is accessible for beginners and families, making it a great introduction to the Lake District's hiking opportunities.
For more experienced hikers, consider tackling Scafell Pike, England's highest peak, or exploring the less-trodden paths around Borrowdale, where you can immerse yourself in the wild beauty of the fells.
Theatre by the Lake
Address: Lakeside, Lake Rd, Keswick CA12 5DJ
If you're in the mood for some cultural enrichment, don't miss the opportunity to catch a play or performance at the Theatre by the Lake. This award-winning theatre is beautifully situated on the shores of Derwentwater, providing a unique and picturesque backdrop to your evening of dramatic entertainment.
The theatre offers a diverse range of productions, including classic plays, contemporary dramas, and musical performances. Check the schedule to see what's on during your visit and treat yourself to a night of culture in a stunning lakeside setting.
Address: Market Square, Keswick CA12 5JR
Immerse yourself in the local culture by exploring Keswick market, held on Thursdays and Saturdays. This bustling, award-winning market is a vibrant hub of activity, where you can find a wide array of local produce, crafts, and souvenirs.
Stroll through the stalls, interact with friendly vendors, and sample some of the region's finest offerings. It's a great place to pick up unique gifts, from handcrafted jewellery to artisan cheeses, or simply indulge in some regional delicacies like Cumberland sausages, Kendal Mint Cake and freshly baked pastries.
Keswick Museum & Art Gallery
Address: Station Rd, Keswick CA12 4NF
Explore Keswick's rich history and vibrant art scene by visiting the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery. This cultural gem offers a deep dive into the town's past, showcasing exhibits, interactive displays, and artefacts including Napoleon’s tea cup and other oddities.
You'll also be able to admire the works of local artists, many of whom draw inspiration from the picturesque surroundings of the Lake District. The museum's ever-changing special exhibitions ensure there's always something new to discover, making it a must-visit for history buffs and art enthusiasts alike.
Castlerigg Stone Circle
Address: Castle Ln, Keswick CA12 4RN
Just a short drive from Keswick lies Castlerigg Stone Circle, an ancient and mystical site. This neolithic stone circle, estimated to be around 5,000 years old, is a remarkable example of early human construction.
Set against the stunning backdrop of Skiddaw and Blencathra, it's a place where history and natural beauty intersect. The circle's alignment with the midwinter sunrise and various lunar positions only add to the air of mystery and fascination to your visit, making it an excellent spot for photography and contemplation.
Derwent Pencil Museum
Address: Southey Works, Keswick, Cumbria, UK CA12 5NG
A visit to the cosy Derwent Pencil Museum is a delightful and unique experience for all ages. This charming museum, nestled in the heart of Keswick, offers an intriguing journey into the world of pencils and graphite. Discover the fascinating history of this humble writing instrument, from its origins in the Borrowdale graphite mines to its role in World War II espionage.
Marvel at the world's largest pencil and explore a vast collection of vintage and novelty pencils. Interactive exhibits and workshops make it an engaging outing for families, and you can even create your pencil masterpiece to take home as a memento. Whether you're an art enthusiast, a history buff, or simply curious about the world of pencils, this museum might just surprise you with the creative ways it manages to explore the world of pencils!