If you’re staying in Keswick in the Lake District for a long weekend, or a week’s holiday. Check out the top five things that we can think of to make your stay here remember-able. From outdoors ideas to relaxing evenings at the theatre, find out more below.
Table of contents
- Walk Around Derwent Water
- Visit Castlerigg Stone Circle
- Climb a Wainwright
- Theatre by the Lakes
- Hire a Rowing boat on Derwent Water
- Where to Stay in Keswick, Lake District
- To conclude on our top five things to do around Keswick . . .
- Discover More Attractions Around the Lake District
- Guest Post Authors
- Want to Write a Guest Post?
- Pin “5 EPIC Things to Do Around Keswick | Lake District”
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Walk Around Derwent Water
If you love the great outdoors and the Lake District just as much as we do, then this has to be on the top of your list. Staying in Keswick means you have the bonus of Derwent Water on the doorstep and one of the top things to do in the area.
The whole walk around Derwent Water will take you around three to four hours if you stop at each beauty spot along the way. It is a 10 mile round walk and on a sunny day, it has to be one of the top things to do around Keswick. The walk starts at the shoreline of Derwent Water next to the Theatre by the Lakes in Keswick. From here you begin your walk heading south. It feels like a long walk in the Lake District but then a lot of them are. And with it being 10 miles around it’s not for everyone.
But you can always hop on and off the steamers around Derwent Water to shorten your walking time from Keswick. This way you don’t lose out on a little walking, but get to see the sights at the same time. So it makes for a great alternative for enjoying your time in the northern Lake District.
Some of the idyllic spots that you will see along the way include the likes of the Ruskin Memorial, Hundred Year Stone, the Chinese Bridge, and the sculpture of Entrust on your walk around Derwent Water. These are all treats along the way. And you can download a map of the entire walk itself too, so there is little chance of getting lost on your way around Derwent Water. This is what makes it so great and one of the top things to do around Keswick and in the Lake District as a whole, as you can simply take your time.
Seeing the sculpture of Entrust is one of our favourites. It sits in the woods itself along the walk on the west side of Derwent Water. You can get a photo of it or if you have kids you can play hide and seek in the hands themselves. It makes for a great hiding place while on the edge of Derwent Water. Another reason it is in our top five things to do around Keswick. For us, it’s all about the experience and having a good time while out and about.
We’d advise taking a picnic with you and plenty of water for the day trip too. This means you can take a break at any time and really enjoy the views over the Lake and back towards Keswick. There really is no need to power walk your way around here. But slow down the pace and enjoy the time that you have in Cumbria. Being back into nature and getting lost in the beauty of what the Northern Lake District has to offer just can’t be beaten.
This is why it comes in at number one of the top things to do in and around Keswick. For us, you can’t beat it.
Little Detours Around Derwent Water
There are also some short detours which you can take along your walk if you choose to do so. One of these is to visit Ladore Falls. This is easy to find and doesn’t take you too far out of the walk either around Derwent Water. But to see the waterfall in all its glory after some heavy rainfall really is special. There are plenty of photo opportunities to take with different heights of the fall to stand at too. Just don’t get too close and be careful on the ground around the waterfall if it is wet on the day too.
One of the other natural beauties of the Lake District close by to Derwent Water is Catbells. One of the most popular Fell walks around Keswick. We’ll talk more about this later as it comes into one of the top things to do around Keswick. But you can take a detour off from the Derwent Water walk if you want a little bit more of a challenge along the way. And the views from the top really take some beating.
Visit Castlerigg Stone Circle
If you haven’t been to Castlerigg Stone Circle on your visit to the Lake District before. Then you’re missing out on one of the top things to see and do around the bustling town of Keswick itself. It is literally a stone’s throw away from Keswick, literally about a half-hour walk from the centre of the town. It doesn’t matter what time of year you head to Castlerigg Stone Circle or even the time of the day you go. You will not be disappointed at all.
There is so much history on Castlerigg stone circle itself and there is a little information board as you head into the area too. So you can have a read about this if it is something of interest to you. But as you walk around and really get a feel for the structure and its views, you almost feel as though you’re somewhere else completely. Even though you’re just on the outskirts of a busy town like Keswick. And that’s the beauty of being in the Lake District, you really can be away from everything within a few minutes along a path.
Looking around at the views from Castlerigg Stone Circle near Keswick you’ll see across some of the Lake District and when the light hits stones and the Fells behind. It really is quite a magical place to be at that moment. There is no way this couldn’t be part of our top five things to do around Keswick. And try to arrive early in the day, or later in the evening, as the light is much better and there will be fewer people around too.
Always a good tip to get the place to yourself.
Climb a Wainwright
You cannot come to Keswick in the Lake District without climbing a Wainwright, and this should be on your top things to do here. Anyone visiting the Lakes and especially in such a prime location to some of the lower-lying Fells shouldn’t pass the chance to climb one themselves.
There are several Wainwrights around Keswick in the Lake District which can take your fancy. And each of them has clear routes heading up and back down. All you need is a local ordinance map to keep you on the right tracks and you’re well away. So let’s take a look at a couple which you can start off with to warm yourself up on a cooler day. Or enjoy on a sunny day to get the most out of the views overlooking Keswick and the surrounding area.
This little Fell of Catbells is one of the Wainwrights that you can climb. It’s located close to Keswick and that’s why it’s on our top things to do around the area. You can start your walk from the shoreline of Derwent Water, or park a little closer to the Fellside too. The choice is yours. But with a hiking time of around an hour to the top it’s a great little walk. And perfect for all the family, young and old, and of all abilities.
There is plenty to mix the hike up to the top. From steep sections to a scramble up the rocks here and there, to flat easy walking. This Fell has it all, and it can be the start of your Wainwright bagging too. Once you start and make it to the top of your first Fell, the bug usually kicks in to want to go out and see more. And with Helvellyn in the distance from the top of Catbells, it gives you the chance to see the big mountains around the Lake District too.
Read More: 10 Easy Walks in the Lake District
Again Latrigg is a small Wainwright and can be hiked up to from the town of Keswick. Or by parking a little closer to the summit itself. If you choose to park closer, it is around a ten-minute walk to the top and so you really can’t go wrong. Walking from the base of Latrigg to the top will take about an hour, so again perfect for a morning stroll in the Lake District. It’s located to the north of Keswick and is a great top thing to do around the area. With views over Derwent Water and down into the valley.
If you want more of a challenge you can keep on hiking from Keswick up to Skiddaw. This will add on another few hours walking time up to the top of Skiddaw and back down again. But if you really want to add a big mountain into the top things to do around Keswick, this would be the Wainwright for you.
Theatre by the Lakes
So you’ve come on a visit to the Lakes and you want an evening of entertainment. Then look no further than Theatre by the Lakes. This has to be recommended as a top thing to do in and around Keswick. It’s right near the shoreline of Derwent Water and they do have a little cafe just to the side too. So if you wanted a little snack while staying in Keswick it’s a cosy place to have a drink with views over the Lake too. They do offer a selection of vegan dishes so you must try them out while here.
But Theatre by the Lakes has some great shows on throughout the year. There is something for everyone, and we’ve been so many times that we just had to put it in our top things to do around Keswick. It’s a relaxed atmosphere in the theatre itself and the shows that they put on just make you forget about the world around you for a little bit. One of the best ways to switch off for the evening in good company.
Read More: 5 Best Photo Spots in the Lake District
Hire a Rowing boat on Derwent Water
Yes, we’ve done a full circle. We’ve back to Derwent Water, but this time for an experience you can’t avoid while staying here. To conclude our top things to do around Keswick, it has to be to hire a rowing boat and have an hour on the water itself.
We’ve done this in blazing sunshine, and during a rain downpour. And the thing that we remember most is smiling the whole time. If you want a little bit of something different while on your stay around Keswick then look no further. It’s a great price for the hour on the Lake and you can go as far out as you want. Or stay close to the shoreline if you prefer. But you won’t regret it for a minute.
If you’ve never rowed before then there really is no better time to learn on Derwent Water. With the views of the mountains all around you, there isn’t a better backdrop for this sort of activity close to Keswick. Switch your mind off for an hour and give yourself to feel like a child again, have fun and laugh. That’s what life is all about.
Lake District Essentials
If you’re heading to the Lake District, you’ll need a waterproof jacket, hiking boots, and a few other essentials like National Trust and English Heritage memberships (they pay for themselves with free parking). Check out our recommendations below.
Where to Stay in Keswick, Lake District
Check out the interactive map below for places to stay and experiences in Keswick!
To conclude on our top five things to do around Keswick . . .
The Lake District has so much to offer. And Keswick is one of the busiest tourist towns in Cumbria. There are plenty of ways to keep yourself amused while on a stay here. But the above are our top five things to do around Keswick itself. We’re very much outdoors people, and will always opt for being outside whatever the weather. And going to visit the Lake District is like one huge playground for adventure.
We could write a list of the top 100 things to do around Keswick and the Lake District. But these are our top five, and we think they deserve to be listed at the top too. There is something for everyone on the list and whilst staying in Keswick you will find plenty to do in the town itself too. But for us, being away from the town and the crowds is something that everyone should try while there too. So it’s time to get your boots muddy, hair wet, and really jump into the experiences.
Discover More Attractions Around the Lake District
Check out the posts below to discover more things to do around the Lake District!
Guest Post Authors
We’re Hazel and Zoe, True Freedom Seekers, who blog about all things relating to the Lake District. From hiking each of the Wainwrights to our crazy adventures around Cumbria and Keswick, we’re Lake District lovers, and proud of it.
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