15 Best Things To Do In Keswick, England

15 Best Things To Do In Keswick, England

By will

When it comes to exploring the picturesque beauty of England, Keswick is an absolute gem that should not be missed. Located in the heart of the Lake District, this charming town offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions that will captivate any traveler.

From serene strolls along the tranquil Derwentwater to exhilarating hikes through the stunning trails of the Lake District, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Keswick.

One of the highlights of a visit to Keswick is undoubtedly the opportunity to explore Derwentwater. As I ventured along the peaceful lakeside, I was instantly mesmerized by the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and lush greenery. The calm waters of the lake offered a serene atmosphere, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a romantic picnic. Whether you choose to rent a boat and paddle across the crystal-clear waters or simply sit back and relax on the shores, the beauty of Derwentwater is truly captivating.

So, join me as we embark on an exciting journey to discover the 15 best things to do in Keswick, England.

Exploring Derwentwater: A Peaceful Stroll Along the Lake

Derwentwater from Crow Park, Keswick
Photo by Ian Taylor

Take a leisurely walk along the serene shores of Derwentwater, basking in the tranquility of the glistening lake and immersing yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding landscape.

As you stroll along the path, you’ll be greeted by the gentle lapping of the water against the rocks and the soothing rustle of leaves in the wind. The air’s crisp and clean, filled with the scent of pine and wildflowers. The view’s simply mesmerizing, with the majestic mountains in the distance casting their reflection on the calm waters of the lake. It’s a scene straight out of a postcard.

As you continue your walk, you’ll come across charming little pebble beaches, perfect for a picnic or simply to sit and soak in the peaceful ambiance. You might even wanna dip your toes in the cool water, feeling the refreshing sensation against your skin.

The lake’s teeming with life, from graceful swans gliding across the surface to ducks bobbing in the water. Take your time to observe the wildlife and appreciate the harmony of nature.

Derwentwater isn’t just a place to walk, it’s a place to let go of your worries and connect with the beauty of the natural world. Whether you choose to walk the entire perimeter of the lake or just a portion, you’ll be amazed at how quickly time flies when you’re surrounded by such tranquility.

So, put on your walking shoes, grab a map, and get ready to embark on a peaceful stroll along the shores of Derwentwater. You won’t be disappointed.

Discovering the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery

Keswick Museum and Art Gallery
Photo by Ian Capper

Immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant culture of Keswick by exploring the fascinating Keswick Museum and Art Gallery.

As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by a world of wonders, from captivating exhibits to stunning artworks.

The museum showcases the town’s heritage, taking you on a journey through time. From the prehistoric era to the present day, you’ll discover the stories that have shaped Keswick into the charming place it is today.

The museum not only presents artifacts and displays, but also offers interactive experiences that bring history to life. You can try your hand at traditional crafts, dress up in period costumes, or even participate in a guided tour led by knowledgeable staff.

The art gallery, on the other hand, features an impressive collection of works by local artists, showcasing the beauty of the Lake District through various mediums. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply curious about the local talent, the gallery is a must-visit.

In addition to its historical and artistic treasures, the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery also hosts a range of events and activities throughout the year. From workshops and talks to live performances, there’s always something happening to engage visitors of all ages.

So, make sure to check the museum’s calendar before your visit to make the most of your experience.

Overall, a visit to the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery is a truly immersive and enriching experience, where you can delve into the town’s past, appreciate its artistic heritage, and create lasting memories.

Hiking the Picturesque Trails of the Lake District

Grasmere from Loughrigg
Photo by Jim Barton

Explore the breathtaking beauty of the Lake District by hiking along its picturesque trails, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in nature’s wonderland.

As I set off on my adventure, I’m immediately captivated by the stunning landscapes that surround me. The rolling hills, majestic mountains, and crystal-clear lakes create a scene straight out of a postcard.

The trails in the Lake District offer a variety of options for hikers of all levels. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a beginner looking for a leisurely stroll, there’s something for everyone. The paths wind through lush green valleys, past cascading waterfalls, and up to breathtaking viewpoints.

Along the way, you may encounter friendly wildlife like sheep grazing peacefully in the fields or birds soaring through the sky. The air is fresh and invigorating, and the tranquility of the surroundings is truly rejuvenating.

Hiking in the Lake District not only allows you to appreciate the natural beauty of the area, but it also provides an opportunity for self-discovery and reflection. It’s a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with the simplicity and serenity of nature.

So grab your hiking boots, pack a picnic, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the picturesque trails of the Lake District.

Enjoying Watersports on Derwentwater

Feel the thrill of the wind in your hair as you glide across the sparkling waters of Derwentwater, experiencing the exhilaration of watersports in this stunning natural playground.

Derwentwater, located in the heart of the Lake District, offers a wide range of watersports activities for both beginners and experienced enthusiasts. Whether you’re a fan of kayaking, paddleboarding, or sailing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on the crystal-clear waters of this picturesque lake.

As you paddle your way through the tranquil waters of Derwentwater, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking scenery and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. The calmness of the lake provides the perfect setting for a serene kayaking or paddleboarding experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

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If you’re new to watersports, don’t worry! There are plenty of rental shops and instructors available to help you get started and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

For those seeking a more high-octane adventure, sailing on Derwentwater is an absolute must. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you navigate the strong winds and waves, testing your skills and pushing the limits of your abilities. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a beginner looking to try something new, the vast expanse of Derwentwater offers the perfect playground for an exhilarating sailing experience.

The waters of Derwentwater beckon adventure enthusiasts from all over the world. From the tranquility of kayaking and paddleboarding to the adrenaline-fueled excitement of sailing, there’s no shortage of watersports activities to enjoy in this stunning natural playground.

So why wait? Grab your gear, hop on a board or a boat, and get ready to create unforgettable memories on the sparkling waters of Derwentwater.

Visiting the Ancient Castlerigg Stone Circle

When you step foot into the Ancient Castlerigg Stone Circle, you’ll be transported back in time, surrounded by the mystique and marvel of this ancient monument.

The stone circle, located just outside of Keswick, England, is believed to have been built over 5,000 years ago during the Neolithic period. It is one of the most impressive and well-preserved stone circles in the country, consisting of 38 stones arranged in a circular pattern.

As you walk among the towering stones, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe and wonder at the sheer scale and craftsmanship of this ancient site.

The Castlerigg Stone Circle holds a special significance for many visitors. Some believe that it was used for religious or ceremonial purposes, while others think it may have been an astronomical observatory. Regardless of its original purpose, there’s no denying the spiritual and historical significance of this ancient monument.

The stones themselves are thought to have been sourced from nearby quarries, and their precise alignment with the surrounding landscape is a testament to the ingenuity and skill of the people who built them.

As you explore the site, take a moment to appreciate the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, with the majestic peaks of the Lake District National Park serving as a stunning backdrop.

Visiting the Ancient Castlerigg Stone Circle is a truly unique and immersive experience. It offers a glimpse into the lives and beliefs of our ancient ancestors, and allows us to connect with a time long gone.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a lover of nature, or simply looking for a peaceful and contemplative spot, the Stone Circle is sure to leave a lasting impression.

So, make sure to include this remarkable site in your itinerary when exploring Keswick, and prepare to be transported back in time to a world of mystery and wonder.

Sampling Local Delicacies at Keswick Market

Indulge in the mouthwatering flavors of Keswick Market’s local delicacies. As I strolled through the vibrant market, my senses were immediately captivated by the enticing aromas wafting through the air.

The market stalls were brimming with an array of delectable treats, each one more tempting than the last. From freshly baked breads to artisanal cheeses, and from succulent meats to indulgent desserts, Keswick Market offers a culinary experience that’s truly unforgettable.

One of the highlights of the market is the wide selection of traditional Cumbrian delicacies. I couldn’t resist trying the famous Cumberland sausage, made with a unique blend of herbs and spices that gave it a distinctive flavor. It was juicy, flavorful, and simply divine.

Another must-try is the local Keswick gingerbread, a delicacy that’s been enjoyed by locals and visitors alike for centuries. Its rich, spicy taste and crumbly texture made it the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea.

The market also offers a variety of international cuisines, showcasing the diverse culinary influences in Keswick. I delighted in sampling the mouthwatering Thai street food, with its fragrant spices and bold flavors. The freshly made sushi was another standout, with its delicate flavors and beautiful presentation. And of course, no trip to Keswick Market would be complete without indulging in a slice of homemade cake or a scoop of artisanal ice cream.

Visiting Keswick Market isn’t just a feast for the taste buds, but also a cultural experience. The friendly stallholders are always happy to share their knowledge and passion for their products, making the whole experience even more enjoyable. Whether you’re a foodie looking for new flavors or simply want to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, Keswick Market is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting this charming town.

Climbing the Iconic Peaks of Skiddaw and Helvellyn

Embark on an unforgettable adventure by conquering the iconic peaks of Skiddaw and Helvellyn. These towering mountains offer breathtaking views and a thrilling challenge for outdoor enthusiasts.

Skiddaw, standing at 931 meters, is the fourth highest peak in England and boasts panoramic vistas of the Lake District. As you ascend its slopes, you’ll be treated to sweeping views of the surrounding valleys and shimmering lakes. The hike may be challenging, but the sense of accomplishment and the beauty that awaits at the summit make it all worthwhile.

Helvellyn, on the other hand, is known for its dramatic and rugged terrain. At 950 meters, it’s the third highest peak in England and offers an exhilarating experience for those willing to take on its steep slopes. The ascent to the summit can be challenging, but the reward is unparalleled. From the top, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding mountains, including the famous Striding Edge and Swirral Edge ridges. It’s a truly awe-inspiring sight that’ll leave you feeling on top of the world.

Whether you choose to conquer Skiddaw or Helvellyn, both peaks offer an unforgettable experience for outdoor enthusiasts. The sense of achievement, the breathtaking views, and the thrill of conquering these iconic mountains make them a must-visit for anyone exploring Keswick, England.

So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your sense of adventure, and get ready to embark on a journey you’ll never forget.

Taking a Cruise on Derwentwater

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Keswick by taking a cruise on Derwentwater. As I stepped onto the boat, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the stunning scenery that surrounded me.

The crystal-clear waters of Derwentwater stretched out before me, reflecting the majestic mountains that framed the lake. It was a true feast for the eyes, with lush greenery lining the shores and vibrant wildflowers dotting the landscape. The gentle breeze carried the sweet scent of the nearby woodlands, creating a serene and tranquil atmosphere.

As the boat glided across the tranquil waters, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of peace and serenity wash over me. The knowledgeable guide on board shared fascinating stories and historical tidbits about the lake and the surrounding area, adding depth to the experience.

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I marveled at the rich wildlife that called Derwentwater home, from graceful swans gliding gracefully through the water to playful ducks diving beneath the surface. The boat gently rocked with the rhythm of the waves, creating a soothing and meditative experience.

The cruise on Derwentwater not only offered a chance to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery, but also provided an excellent vantage point for taking in the surrounding peaks. As we sailed further into the lake, the iconic peaks of Skiddaw and Helvellyn came into view, their rugged beauty contrasting against the serene waters. It was a sight that truly took my breath away, and I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of awe and appreciation for the natural wonders that Keswick had to offer.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or simply seeking a moment of tranquility, a cruise on Derwentwater is an absolute must-do when visiting Keswick.

Exploring the Pencil Museum: A Unique Experience

Once inside the Pencil Museum, I was immediately transported into a world of creativity and innovation. The museum is a treasure trove of fascinating exhibits and interactive displays that highlight the history and importance of pencils. From the moment I stepped through the doors, I was captivated by the vibrant colors and intricate designs that adorned the walls.

The museum truly celebrates the humble pencil in all its glory.

One of the highlights of my visit was learning about the pencil-making process. I was amazed to discover the intricate craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into creating a single pencil. From the selection of the wood to the precise insertion of the graphite, every step is carefully executed to ensure the highest quality. I even had the opportunity to try my hand at pencil-making and was delighted to create my own personalized pencil to take home as a memento.

The Pencil Museum also offers a wealth of information about the history and significance of pencils. I was fascinated to learn about the origins of the pencil and its evolution throughout the centuries. From the discovery of graphite in Borrowdale to the invention of the mechanical pencil, the museum provides a comprehensive look at the pencil’s journey. Additionally, the museum showcases a stunning collection of antique pencils, including some that were used by famous artists and writers.

Exploring the Pencil Museum was a unique and enriching experience. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a history buff, or simply curious about the world around you, this museum offers something for everyone.

As I left the museum, I couldn’t help but feel a newfound appreciation for the pencil and its role in human creativity. It truly is a place where imagination comes to life.

Discovering the History of Keswick at the Moot Hall

As I left the Pencil Museum, my curiosity about the history of Keswick was piqued. Lucky for me, just a short walk away was the Moot Hall, a historic building that serves as a gateway to the town’s past.

Stepping inside, I was immediately transported back in time. The Moot Hall is a striking structure, with its imposing stone façade and intricate architectural details. As I entered, I was greeted by a friendly guide who was eager to share the fascinating stories and artifacts within its walls. The hall was once a meeting place for the local council, and it still retains that sense of importance and significance. The wooden paneling and high ceilings added to the grandeur of the space, making me feel like I was stepping into a different era. I couldn’t help but imagine the lively debates and discussions that must have taken place within these walls.

The Moot Hall also houses a small museum that showcases the history of Keswick and its surrounding areas. From ancient artifacts to documents and photographs, the exhibits provided a comprehensive look into the town’s past. I was particularly captivated by the displays highlighting Keswick’s role in the mining industry and its connections to the local landscape. It was fascinating to learn about the town’s transformation over the centuries, and how it has managed to preserve its heritage while embracing modernity.

Exploring the Moot Hall was like peeling back the layers of Keswick’s history, and it left me with a deeper appreciation for this charming town and its rich cultural heritage.

Enjoying Live Performances at the Theatre by the Lake

When you visit Keswick, don’t miss out on the vibrant live performances at the Theatre by the Lake. This charming theater nestled on the shores of Derwentwater offers an unforgettable experience for theater enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

As you step into the theater, you’ll be greeted by a warm and inviting atmosphere, with a picturesque view of the lake just outside. The intimate auditorium allows for an up-close and personal experience, where you can truly immerse yourself in the magic of live performances.

The Theatre by the Lake boasts a diverse range of shows, from classic plays to contemporary productions, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a fan of Shakespearean dramas or prefer lighthearted comedies, you’ll be captivated by the talent and passion of the performers. The theater also hosts a variety of musical performances, showcasing local talent and renowned artists from around the world.

From the moment the curtain rises to the final applause, you’ll be transported into a world of imagination and emotion. The talented actors, intricate set designs, and impeccable sound and lighting create a truly immersive experience that will leave you spellbound.

In addition to the exceptional performances, the Theatre by the Lake offers a range of amenities to enhance your visit. You can indulge in delicious pre-show meals at the theater’s on-site restaurant, which features a menu inspired by local ingredients. After the show, you can take a leisurely stroll along the lake and soak in the tranquility of the surroundings.

With its breathtaking location and exceptional performances, the Theatre by the Lake is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the vibrant arts scene in Keswick. So, make sure to check the theater’s schedule and book your tickets in advance to secure your spot at one of the most memorable live performances you’ll ever witness.

Shopping for Unique Souvenirs in Keswick’s Boutiques

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore Keswick’s boutiques and discover unique souvenirs to take home. As I wandered through the charming streets of this quaint English town, I stumbled upon a multitude of delightful boutiques that were filled with treasures waiting to be discovered. Each shop was a treasure trove of handmade crafts, locally produced goods, and one-of-a-kind mementos that perfectly captured the essence of Keswick.

One of my favorite boutiques was tucked away on a narrow cobblestone street. As I stepped inside, I was immediately greeted by the warm scent of candles and the soft glow of fairy lights. The shelves were lined with beautifully crafted pottery, intricately designed jewelry, and hand-stitched textiles. I couldn’t resist picking up a hand-painted tea cup, adorned with delicate flowers, to remind me of the cozy tea rooms I had visited in Keswick. The friendly shopkeeper shared the stories behind each piece, making the experience even more special.

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Another boutique caught my eye with its vibrant display of local artwork. The walls were adorned with vibrant landscapes, capturing the breathtaking beauty of the Lake District. I couldn’t resist purchasing a small print of a majestic mountain peak, reminding me of the awe-inspiring hikes I had taken. The boutique also showcased locally produced preserves, chocolates, and even handcrafted soaps made with natural ingredients sourced from the nearby countryside. It was truly a haven for those seeking unique and meaningful souvenirs.

Exploring Keswick’s boutiques was an adventure in itself. Each shop had its own distinct personality, and the passionate shopkeepers were eager to share their love for the town and its local artisans. From handmade jewelry to locally produced delicacies, the boutiques offered a wide range of souvenirs that perfectly captured the spirit of Keswick. I left each shop with a piece of Keswick to cherish forever, knowing that I had discovered something truly special in the heart of this enchanting town.

Admiring Stunning Views from Latrigg Fell

After exploring the charming boutiques, you won’t want to miss admiring the stunning views from Latrigg Fell.

As I made my way up the gentle slopes of this beautiful fell, I couldn’t help but marvel at the breathtaking scenery that unfolded before me. The panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and lakes were simply awe-inspiring.

The hike up to Latrigg Fell was relatively easy, making it accessible to people of all fitness levels. As I reached the top, I found myself surrounded by a vast expanse of rolling green hills, dotted with sheep and wildflowers. The view of the majestic Derwentwater shimmering in the distance was truly a sight to behold.

I took a moment to catch my breath and soak in the tranquility of the place.

The beauty of Latrigg Fell lies not only in its natural landscape but also in its accessibility. Located just a short distance from the town of Keswick, it offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply looking for a peaceful spot to relax, Latrigg Fell is a must-visit destination.

So, lace up your hiking boots and get ready for an unforgettable experience of nature’s grandeur.

Exploring the Surrounding Villages and Hamlets

To fully immerse yourself in the charming atmosphere of the Lake District, you’ll want to venture beyond Latrigg Fell and explore the surrounding villages and hamlets.

These quaint and picturesque settlements offer a glimpse into the traditional English countryside, with their charming stone houses, lush green gardens, and friendly locals.

One such village is Grasmere, located just a short drive from Keswick. Famous for its connections to the poet William Wordsworth, Grasmere is a haven for literature enthusiasts. You can visit Wordsworth’s former home, Dove Cottage, and explore the Wordsworth Museum to learn more about his life and work. Don’t forget to try some of the local delicacies while you’re there, such as the famous Grasmere gingerbread.

Another village worth visiting is Buttermere, nestled between two stunning lakes. The idyllic setting of Buttermere is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic by the water’s edge. The village itself is small but charming, with a lovely church and a few traditional pubs where you can enjoy a pint of local ale.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can embark on a hike to the nearby Haystacks, a fell beloved by the famous writer Alfred Wainwright. The views from the top are simply breathtaking, and you’ll feel a sense of tranquility and contentment as you take in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Exploring these villages and hamlets around Keswick is a delightful way to discover the hidden gems of the Lake District and experience the true essence of this enchanting region.

Relaxing and Unwinding in Keswick’s Quaint Cafes and Pubs

Indulging in a hot cup of coffee or a refreshing pint of local ale at Keswick’s charming cafes and pubs will transport you to a world of relaxation and tranquility. As you step into one of the quaint cafes, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee fills the air, instantly awakening your senses.

The cozy atmosphere, with its comfortable seating and warm lighting, invites you to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The friendly baristas greet you with a smile, ready to create the perfect beverage to suit your taste buds. Whether you prefer a creamy cappuccino, a rich espresso, or a soothing herbal tea, you will find a wide array of options to satisfy your cravings.

As you take a sip of your chosen drink, you can’t help but appreciate the charm of the surroundings. The cafes in Keswick often boast stunning views of the surrounding mountains and picturesque streets, adding to the overall ambiance. You can sit by a window and watch as the world goes by, or find a cozy nook to enjoy your drink in peace.

The cafes also offer a range of delicious treats to accompany your beverage, from freshly baked pastries to mouthwatering cakes and sandwiches. It’s the perfect opportunity to indulge in a sweet treat or have a light snack while you take a break from exploring Keswick.

If you prefer a more lively atmosphere, Keswick’s pubs are the place to be. With their traditional decor and friendly locals, these establishments provide a welcoming and vibrant experience. The sound of laughter and conversation fills the air, creating a sense of camaraderie that is hard to find elsewhere.

You can choose from a wide selection of local ales and beers, each with their own unique flavors and characteristics. The bartenders are knowledgeable and passionate about their craft, always ready to recommend a new drink to try. Whether you prefer a classic pint or a trendy craft beer, you’re sure to find something that tickles your taste buds.

So, whether you’re in the mood for a peaceful cup of coffee or a lively evening at the pub, Keswick’s cafes and pubs have something for everyone. They offer a chance to relax, unwind, and immerse yourself in the welcoming atmosphere of this charming town.


In conclusion, Keswick, England offers a plethora of activities that cater to every individual’s interests. From leisurely strolls along the peaceful Derwentwater to exhilarating hikes through the picturesque trails of the Lake District, this charming town has something for everyone.

The Keswick Museum and Art Gallery provide a window into the rich history and culture of the area, while the ancient Castlerigg Stone Circle offers a fascinating glimpse into the past.

For those seeking adventure, Derwentwater offers an array of watersports to enjoy, while Latrigg Fell provides breathtaking views that will leave you in awe.

Exploring the surrounding villages and hamlets allows you to immerse yourself in the local charm and discover hidden gems. And after a day of exploration, Keswick’s quaint cafes and pubs provide the perfect setting to relax and unwind.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for a peaceful getaway, Keswick has it all. With its stunning landscapes, rich heritage, and warm hospitality, this charming town is truly a hidden gem in the heart of England. So pack your bags, put on your walking shoes, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in Keswick, England.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.