Quick Guide

Tour Keswick in the Lake District

The most northerly of the Lake District’s major towns, Keswick has perhaps the most beautiful location of all.

Image by Adam Burton – Guest article courtesy of Lonely Planet

Encircled by cloud-capped fells and nestled alongside the idyllic, island-studded lake of Derwentwater, a silvery curve criss-crossed by puttering cruise boats.

Keswick is fabulously positioned for further adventures into the nearby valleys of Borrowdale and Buttermere, and a great base for walking – the hefty fells of Skiddaw and Blencathra rise nearby. Tour and explore the area, you could start with a few featured places below.

Keswick Museum

Keswick’s quirky town museum explores the area’s history, from ancient archaeology through to the arrival of industry in the Lakes. It’s a diverse collection, taking in everything from neolithic axe heads mined in the Langdale valley to a huge collection of taxidermied butterflies.

Its best-known exhibits are a 700-year-old mummified cat and the Musical Stones of Skiddaw, a weird instrument made from hornsfel rock that was once played for Queen Victoria.

Lakes Distillery

The first craft distillery in the Lake District has made a big splash since opening in 2014. It’s located on a ‘model farm’ built during the 1850s and was founded by a team of master distillers.

So far its range includes a gin, a vodka and a flagship whisky, plus liqueurs flavoured with damson plum, elderflower, rhubarb and rosehip, and salted caramel.

Keswick Fabulous Lake District Holiday Cottages

Whinlatter Forest Park

Encompassing 4.6 sq miles of pine, larch and spruce, Whinlatter is England’s only true mountain forest, rising sharply to 790m about 5 miles from Keswick.

The forest is a designated red squirrel reserve; you can check out live video feeds from squirrel cams at the visitor centre.

It’s also home to two exciting mountain-bike trails and the Go Ape treetop assault course. You can hire bikes from Cyclewise, next to the visitor centre.

Derwent Pencil Museum

Keswick’s oddest museum is devoted to the charms of the humble pencil – with exhibits including a pencil made for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, wartime spy pencils that were hollowed out for secret maps, and the world’s largest pencil (a mighty 8m long).

It all stems from the discovery of graphite in the Borrowdale valley during the 17th century, after which Keswick became a major pencil manufacturer.


Looking for a holiday cottage or place to stay in or near Keswick?

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Pocket Lake District

Lonely Planet Pocket Lake District, a colorful, easy-to-use, and handy guide that literally fits in your pocket, provides on-the-go assistance for those seeking only the can’t-miss experiences to maximize a quick trip experience.

Climb to the top of Scafell Pike for eye-popping views, spot the inspiration for Beatrix Potter’s tales at Hill Top and cruise Coniston Water in stately 19th-century style on a steam yacht gondola – all with your trusted travel companion.

Get to the heart of the Lake District and begin your journey now!

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