The Area

Keswick lies on the shores of Derwentwater in the north of the English Lake District. It is an excellent centre both for committed fell walkers and for sightseeing in the area.

Fell walks and other active leisure pursuits accessible from Keswick

Derwent LaunchFrom Alvamere it is a short walk to the shore of Derwentwater (approximately 10 minutes). From there a circuit of the lake at low level (approximately 12 miles). This walk can be shortened by taking the Keswick Launch for part of it (click here for launch timetable) or catching the No 78 bus along the B5289 (Click here for access to the relevant bus timetable: if you are lucky enough to ride on the top deck of the open topped bus which runs during the summer months, just take care, if sitting on the nearside, that you do not lose hat or spectacles to passing branches). Or you can walk through the town and across the footbridge at Portinscale, then, say, to Braithwaite, or up Catbells. Or take Springs Road out of Keswick to climb Walla Crag, descend to Ashness Bridge with the option of a visit to nearby Surprise View, and then back along the lake side (an approximately 7 mile circuit). Or walk up to atmospheric Castlerigg Stone Circle, with its stunning 360° views of Lakeland fells. The possibilities even without a car are many and varied, and a ride by car or trip by the public bus service (or, during the season, the Mountain Goat) brings yet more fells and valley systems within reach.

Rowing boats are available for hire at the Keswick end of Derwentwater, and other boats (kayaks, canoes, dinghies) can be hired on the other side of the lake at Nichol End Marina or Derwentwater Marina. Bicycles are available for hire, for example at Keswick Bikes Ltd in Main Street.

The Keswick Leisure and Fitness Centre has pool and gym facilities, including a wave machine and water slide. Indoor rock-climbing and other activities suitable for all ages and abilities are on offer at the Keswick Climbing Centre or the King Kong Climbing Centre. The latter features a children’s play area, tunnel complex to simulate caving, and an ice wall.

Fishing permits can be obtained (April to October only) at Watendlath, a scenic high-level tarn stocked with trout, which nestles in the hills about 6 miles south of Keswick. Boats for fishing are also available for hire.

Keswick Golf Club, located in a spectacular setting at Threlkeld 4 miles outside Keswick, welcomes visitors all year round.

Surprise View

Attractions and entertainment in or near Keswick

Popular attractions in or near Keswick are the Pencil Museum, the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, the Lakeland Distillery and the Threlkeld Mining Museum.

Keswick CinemaKeswick boasts a wide variety of entertainment options including the Theatre by the Lake, in an idyllic setting overlooking Derwentwater, and the Alhambra Cinema, a small cinema on St John Street, over 100 years old and full of character. To the east is the Rheged Centre, just off the A66 near Penrith, which hosts exhibitions and talks, and has regular showings of IMAX films. To the south, Ambleside is home to the Zeffirellis and Fellinis cinema venues.

Keswick also hosts a number of festivals and events throughout the year, typically the Keswick Film Festival in February, Words by the Water in March, the Keswick Jazz Festival in May, the Keswick Mountain Festival also in May, the Keswick Beer Festival in June, and the Keswick Convention in July. Current programmes, if available, can be found by consulting the dedicated festival websites.

For details of the availability of Alvamere or to make a booking, please click here.

Skiddaw panorama