Keswick, with some of the most spectacular scenery in England and located in the largest national park in England, the Lake District National Park.
Whilst fell walking is probably the most popular reason for visitors to Lakeland, there are other activities based around Keswick that are available for those who enjoy the Great Outdoors. Golf, Canoeing, Cricket, Bowls, Mini Golf and sailing are all provided nearby. There are Golf Courses at Keswick (at Threkeld, with great views of the surrounding hills on a course with only one bunker), at Cockermouth, Maryport, Workington and at St Bees, the westernmost point of the famous Coast to Coast walk. There are also courses at Kendal and Windermere, Penrith and Appleby, as well as many along the coast. Outdoor bowling, tennis and putting are found at Fitz Park, whilst Hope Park caters for miniature golf enthusiasts. Derwentwater provides facilities for sailing, canoeing and rowing.
Fell walking close to Keswick on Skiddaw or Blencathera provides the more adventurous with a challenge, whereas the Borrowdale and Newlands Valleys provide for more leisurely and reflective walking. A walk through wooded upland brings you to a small hill called Castlehead. From the top the views are exceptional, revealing the entire three-mile length of Derwentwater and a vista of Borrowdale that allows you to look into its distant jaws. Apart from devising your own walks, the Tourist Information Office have leaflets and information showing walks which afford good exercise and splendid views. When walking on the hills, planning and great care must be employed. Whilst objects of great beauty, the weather can make the hills dangerous places. A leaflet is available throughout the National Park, entitled ‘Enjoy the Hills in Safety’. Telephone 08700 550575 to use the National Park Authority’s 24-hour ‘Weather Service’.
Keswick is well known for its great cycling terrain. Hiring a bike and travelling the lanes, bridleways and forest tracks provide great exercise and a swift, quiet way to see the countryside. For example, going up into the quiet Newlands Valley using minor roads, is a great experience. The road winds its way to the top of the valley, passing a spectacular waterfall on the way. The route can be steep but is rewarding and the ride back exhilarating to your Keswick hotel. The best mountain bike route in the Lake District is considered to be around the bridleways of Skiddaw. For the less ambitious there is a ten-mile circuit of Derwentwater all on minor roads, providing an easy passage for all ages. Other facilities that are provided in the area and which cater for outdoor activities include equestrian centres, and rock climbing tuition is available at Keswick’s indoor climbing wall. Within easy reach of the town there are many other outdoor centres, details of which are available from the TIC at The Moot Hall in the Market Place.
Keswick is geared up for activities and makes an excellent destination for families. Keswick hotels can be found with family friendly rooms and with excellent leisure facilities on site. These facilities include heated swimming pools, gyms, tennis courts, putting greens and some even have games rooms with both board games and computer games such as Wii consoles installed. As there is no way of guaranteeing dry weather in the Lakes, on site facilities in Keswick hotels to keep children (and adults!) entertained is a real bonus.