A THRIVING MARKET TOWN
Keswick is a thriving market town and caters for visitors all year round – it never has the “closed up” feel of a seaside resort after the summer months – there is always plenty going on whatever the weather or season. The town has won many Britain in Bloom awards over the past few years; it obviously has a head start with such a superb location. It offers a wide range of places to eat out and has an attractive shopping centre. Of course the outdoor clothing industry is a speciality here! Our market days are Thursday and Saturday with special markets arranged at other times throughout the year. They offer the opportunity to buy, among other things, local farm produce, craft work, and photographs.
Keswick is a great base from which to explore the Lakes. Learn the literary past of Coleridge, Wordsworth, Southey and of course Beatrix Potter; visit stately homes and gardens or go further afield – Hadrian’s Wall is easily explored from here and is a popular destination for visitors. It has lovely parks, museums, tennis courts, bowling greens, pitch and put, an excellent theatre, cinema, climbing wall, leisure pool and mountain bike hire for the more energetic. Water sports can be arranged from several venues on Derwentwater and there are numerous other organisations who will take you on the fells; anything from an easy walk to rock climbing or paragliding. There are several good golf courses in the area.
For those coming by public transport the nearest railway station is Penrith (National Rail Enquiries for timetable and other up to the minute information) and there are regular bus services from the station. Life in Keswick without a car is not a real problem as you can try one of the local mini bus tour companies – Mountain Goat Tours, Lakeland Panoramic Tours with Activus Travel or simply use our local Stage Coach bus service
Things To Do
There are a lot of outdoor activities and many of our visitors are keen walkers and make use of sites such as Walking Britain and Go Lakes to plan their days out. There are local guided walks from the Moot Hall, which is also where you will find the nearest Tourist Information Office.
The Borrowdale Bus Service is very useful for walking locally and a good way to view the area, or to take a short cut to the start of your walk, is to use the Keswick on Derwentwater launches. You can take the Keswick Launch to any landing stage on Derwentwater and explore the valley, returning by a later launch, or just walking back to town.
For what’s on in Keswick, visit our town website for everything you need to know Keswick.org
Keswick Through The Seasons
The natural rhythm of life in this lovely town across the seasons is something like this:
Lambs in the fields, snowdrops are replaced with Wordsworth’s daffodils, the hedges begin to burst, birds sing and walking the fells is a pleasure without summer heat. Crisp, clear high pressure days are a bonus for photographers and lengthening days mean more time exploring the fells and enjoying the spectacular views.
February brings the Film Festival (Keswick Film Club) and the film club has an interesting selection of guest films showing on Sundays throughout the year. The Theatre by the Lake stages their annual festival of Words by the Water in March and Keswick’s Half Marathon takes place usually on the Sunday of the first May bank Holiday. Another favourite to look out for is the Jazz Festival where pop up music events across town bring a fabulous atmosphere.
Mid May is always a wonderful time in the woods. Bluebells carpet the floor, a walk around Rydal is a special treat and there are rhododendrons out in gardens and roadsides bringing patches of vibrant colour to the scenery. Keswick’s parks are very busy and visitors can enjoy a game of bowls, tennis or mini golf in these wonderful surroundings Parks in Keswick. The ospreys return from Africa and can be viewed at Dodd Wood and on live link at Whinlatter Forest Centre. The Siskins Cafe at the Whinlatter Visitor Centre is a great place for lunch!
We have the annual Mountain festival in May which combines sporting events, guided walks and lots of opportunities to try outdoor activities with great local food and live music in the evenings (Keswick Mountain Festival). Keswick’s Annual Beer Festival is held in early June (Keswick Beer Festival) and the summer also sees Regatta events on Derwentwater, live music in Market Square and summer dog shows in Fitz Park.
For 3 weeks in July the Keswick Christian Convention takes place (Keswick Ministries). The Keswick Show is held on the August Bank Holiday Monday and there are many other agricultural shows, fell races, sheep dog trials and hound trails held throughout the area.
The Theatre by the Lake has a packed summer season of plays on both of its stages which run from May to the end of October.
Early September brings blackberries in the hedgerows, the colour of rowan berries in the woods, the bracken and leaves begin to turn so each fell side glows golden and red as the sun slants lower each day. The autumn colours are breathtakingly beautiful and walks on the fells over the early morning mist of the valleys are a wonderful experience.
There are plenty of cosy pubs with open fires to enjoy the longer nights and several pubs run quiz nights which are a pleasant way to end a day.
Keswick looks amazing with the Christmas lights up; we defy anyone to find a prettier town! The Annual Victorian Fayre is usually held on the first Sunday in December. It is lovely to relax with a cup of hot punch and wander about the stalls selling homemade produce and gifts for Christmas whilst making money for local charities. Keswick is a great place for Christmas shopping! The Theatre by the Lake always puts on an excellent winter show and there are many other productions organised for all tastes.
Although the days are much shorter we still get some fantastic days for walking, clear crisp skies and, with the leaves of the trees removed, you can appreciate the massive crags of the fells as the bones of the land are laid bare. Paths are less busy and lakeshore walks on frosty days are a perfect way to relax and work up the appetite for a huge pub meal by a roaring fire.