Quiet Places to Visit Near Keswick
A Guide to Exploring Keswick’s Hidden Treasures
Explore the hidden treasures in and around Keswick
A Guide to Exploring Keswick
- Contemplated the Neolithic past at Castlerigg Stone Circle
- Seen a film at the charming Alhambra Cinema
- Taken in a show at the Theatre by the Lake
- Gone ape at Whinlatter
- Learned about the history of the pencil at the Derwent Pencil Museum
- Been on a cruise round Derwentwater;
- Taken a photo at that most-photographed of bridges – Ashness; and
- Sat on the bench to admire the view at Friar’s Crag…
…you might think you’ve done Keswick. Wrong! There’s so much more around and about to see and do.
Here are a few of our favourite hidden gems for you to discover.
With its riverside setting, large open space, children’s play park, cricket pavilion, BMX track and games area, Fitz Park is a busy and popular attraction near the centre of Keswick.
But what a lot of people don’t know – even some locals – is that there is another part to the park. If you prefer to picnic in peace, head under the bridge to Upper Fitz Park and you’ll find yourself in a smaller, quieter section with gorgeous landscaped gardens and an impressive arboretum to explore.
Have a look at one of our nearby holiday cottages.
Chances are you’ll see lots of sheep on your travels through the Lake District, but thanks to Alpacaly Ever After, a social enterprise dedicated to rehoming unwanted alpacas, you can get up close and personal with some very different woolly wanderers too – you can even take one for a walk.
Just a short drive from Keswick, near the western shore of Derwentwater is the Lingholm Estate, where you can meet and feed the resident alpaca herd – we’ve heard they quite enjoy a paddle in the lake too. Ideal for all ages – particularly children, it’s a great way to spend time in nature and you can also find out everything you ever wanted to know about these adorably friendly and fascinating creatures. You can also walk with alpacas in Whinlatter Forest, the only true mountain forest in England.
Home is where the cave is
Lots of people dream of giving up city life and moving to the country, but not many take it to the extreme Millican Dalton did.
In the beautiful Borrowdale valley, not far from Keswick, on the side of Castle Crag, you can find the split-level cave where the former insurance clerk spent much of the next fifty years, living frugally and self-sufficiently, making his own clothes and baking his own bread, while earning a modest living as a climbing guide. It’s a bit of a hike to get there, so make sure you’re well-prepared before you set off. Millican’s cave (there are several on the climb up) is the highest one with the best views over Derwentwater – and while it is stunning, you’ll be glad you have somewhere more comfortable to go back to afterwards and are not bedding down up there like Millican did.
Check out our adventure cottages.
Mining the past
If you fancy a different kind of day out, just three miles from Keswick is the Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum, which offers a fascinating (yes, really) insight into Cumbria’s industrial heritage. You can take a ride on the narrow-gauge railway up to the quarry – check out the awe-inspiring views of Blencathra and the surrounding fells as you chug along; see the vintage excavation machinery on display; learn about the mine’s history and what was mined there; and even pan for ‘gold’ in the stream that runs through the quarry.
And while they no longer run underground tours into the mine, there’s plenty above ground to keep you occupied. If you want to really make an industrial day of it, you can walk to Threlkeld from Keswick along the route of the old Penrith to Cockermouth railway line – you can stop for refreshments at the Threlkeld Coffee Shop in the village hall before continuing on to the museum. You can even catch a bus back to Keswick from the village hall if you don’t fancy the return walk.
Check out one of the oldest cottages in Keswick.
A very big house in the country
A couple of miles north of Keswick, and in a peaceful spot next to Bassenthwaite Lake, you can find Mirehouse & Gardens – a17th century manor house with extensive grounds and woodland to explore – owned and lived in by the Spedding family for over 200 years.
With four woodland adventure playgrounds for children to tackle; a heather path maze and bee garden to get lost in; a rhododendron tunnel leading to a poetry walk; a family nature trail to enjoy – look out for red squirrels, rabbits, deer and badgers; and a house with rich literary connections to peruse, there’s certainly no shortage of things to do. And when you need to refuel, The Old Sawmill Tearoom will feed your hunger and slake your thirst. We can highly recommend their Cumberland sausage roll with apple sauce.
Find your next favourite very big house.
Grab a beer where it’s brewed
All that exploring around and about can you leave you a bit parched. Luckily, one of our favourite gems is on hand to help.
The Keswick Brewery Company offers regular tours of its brewery. On the 45-minute tour you’ll learn all about the history of the brewery and about the brewing process, and yes, you get to sample three of their beers too. There’s also a shop on site so you can stock up for your stay or to take back home, and a tap room – the Fox Tap – where you enjoy a beer or two where it’s brewed. Cheers!
Take a look at one of our central cottages, near the pubs, shops and restaurants!
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