Keswick - the vibrant heart of the North Lakes
There’s always lots to do in Keswick - for a change of scene, a new experience, or that rare wet Lake District day! From the peaceful Lorton valley it’s only a 17 minute drive into this bustling little tourist town with its excellent outdoor shops, 700 year old market, and wide selection of interesting things to see and do. Keswick has an award winning museum and art gallery, two beautiful parks, a leisure centre, and the famous Cumberland Pencil Museum which they hope to re-open in March. There’s the Keswick Launch for a trip on Derwentwater, the Theatre by the Lake for an evening out, or you could visit the Alhambra Cinema - one of the longest-running of its kind. If you feel more active, you could hire a boat on the lake, take a Keswick Brewing Company tour, try climbing at the Kong Adventure Centre, or step into the ‘Puzzling Place’ and be amazed! Click on the photos below for more info.

You can also print the entire list or download a pdf.
For still more ideas, including forthcoming events, see: www.keswick.org
  • Outdoor retailer of the year
  • Lots of tea shops
  • Plays, films, museums, art galleries...
  • Rowing, swimming, climbing, hard play...
  • Take a tour with the Keswick Brewing Co
  • Be amazed at the Puzzling Place
  • Enjoy Derwentwater from the Keswick Launch
  • Or just collapse in the park in the sun!
Browse the outdoor gear shops
Though important as a market town for the last 700 years, Keswick is now almost certainly better known for the sheer choice and excellence of its outdoor gear shops. This has earned the town the title of Outdoor Retailer of the UK - if not Europe.

In addition there are many independent and individual shops offering antiques, books, paintings and pottery, jewellery, speciality foods and local produce as well as clothes, gifts, and traditional toys. Keswick also has several delightful tea rooms where you can take a break to rest your feet and enjoy a cuppa and some cake when needed!
Keswick Museum & Art Gallery
This award winning Victorian museum displays fascinating collections of objects that tell you about the history and culture of Keswick. Though only 5-10% of its 20,000 objects are on view at any time, they include the Musical Stones of Skiddaw, Southey manuscripts, and a collection of sculptures and paintings of regional and wider importance. Children are especially catered for. Entry price: adult £3.75 Child £2.20 Concessions £3.30.

Museum opening hours: 10am - 4pm.
Cafe West is open 9.30am - 3.30pm daily (later in Summer).
Station Road, Keswick CA12 4NF Phone: 017687 73263
See: www.keswickmuseum.org.uk
Be amazed at The Puzzling Place
Do you believe your eyes? Maybe you shouldn’t…! The Puzzling Place is a fun and eye-opening attraction based on optical illusion. Your visual system has floors - and a visit to the Puzzling place will expose them. Well worth a visit!

Adults £3.75, Child/Concession £2.90, Under 5 years Free.
Free entry to: The Puzzling Shop and to The Puzzle Area.

Opening Hours: 11am to 5.30pm daily March to November. 10am-5pm during school holidays. (Nov-Mar closed Mon. January only open weekends).
Just off Main Street, CA125DZ Phone: 017687 75102
www.puzzlingplace.co.uk
Visit The Theatre by the Lake
The Theatre by the Lake has a setting on the shores of Derwentwater no other professional theatre in Britain can match. Each year it stages up to nine of its own productions of classic, modern and new plays on its two stages and has won multi-starred reviews from national critics. It also hosts festivals of literature, jazz, film and mountains.
Light snacks and evening meals available.

Buy tickets online: www.theatrebythelake.com (choose your seat & see its view of the stage).
Box Office: 017687 74411 open 9.30am - 8pm daily.
Lakeside, CA12 5DJ Adjacent car park. Good Access.
A trip on the Keswick Launch
The two beautiful old Keswick launches start their journey around Derwentwater from the Keswick boat landings and cruise this beautiful lake stopping at 7 lake shore jetties. You can buy a ticket for a single trip, a round trip, or an Explorer ticket that allows you to hop on or hop off. The boats travel clockwise and anti-clockwise: 6 boats daily from March to November; in summer there are 2 extra afternoon sailings and a twilight cruise. In winter there are just 2 sailings a day.

Rowboats and self-drive motor boats can also be hired next to the launch jetties on an hourly or half-hourly basis.
Lake Road, CA125DJ Phone: 017687 72263
www.keswick-launch.co.uk
Relax at dog-friendly Hope Park Café
Hope Park is located on Lake Road between Keswick and Derwentwater and has attractive landscaped grounds with a stream, garden and woodland walk set in magnificent scenery. Enjoy the ornamental garden, try Pitch & Putt, Crazy Golf, or simply relax on a bench in the sun. The park also has a woodland walk with wildlife observation point.

Café Hope is dog-friendly and sells hot and cold drinks, ice cream, and snacks – with picnic tables also available nearby.
Café: Phone 017687 80844
Take a brewery tour
The Keswick Brewing Company is a small craft brewery set up with quality and environmental issues at its heart in spring of 2006 on the site of a much older brewery from the late 1800s. The present owners are enthusiastic and passionate brewers with great pride in the beers they produce. On the tours that they offer you can sample their beer, discover how it is made, and find out how they use sheep’s wool in their brewing process!

There is also a Brewery Shop… Tours cost £9
Brewery Lane, CA125BY Phone: 017687 80700
www.keswickbrewery.co.uk
Go see a film at the Alhambra
The Alhambra Cinema in St John Street opened in 1913 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning cinemas in the country. Despite its beautiful old decor it has state of the art digital technology and satellite receiving equipment for live screening of plays, operas and ballet from the National Theatre, Royal Opera House and other venues in addition to its own film screenings.

Open 7 days a week all year round. Wheelchair access.
St John’s Street, CA125AG Phone: 017687 72195
www.keswick-alhambra.co.uk
Climb at the King Kong Centre
The King Kong Climbing Centre offers a range of activities to keep even the most frequent user happy: slabs, mega overhangs, feature wall, ice wall, and an indoor caving system that finally exits into the café upstairs! The centre also offers taster lessons to get a group to the point of climbing together on the walls unsupervised. There is a great hard play area for children, and the centre can also arrange outdoor challenges from ghyll scrambling or caving to via ferrata… Equipment available and there are always friendly staff on hand.

Wall open: Mon-Fri 10:00-21:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-18:00.
Shop & Hard Play: 10:00-18:00 daily
Heads Rd, CA12 5EZ. Phone: 017687 75907
www.kingkongclimbingcentre.co.uk/
Pencil Museum reopening soon
The famous Cumberland Pencil Museum is currently closed due to flooding, with an expected reopening between March & June 2016.
When graphite was first discovered in Borrowdale in the 1500s it was mainly used for lubricating cannonballs! However by the 19th century Keswick was one of the world’s main pencil producers. The museum is definitely worth a visit once it reopens – packed full of interesting facts, with plenty for children to see and do.

See their excellent website for more details: www.pencilmuseum.co.uk
Southey Works, CA125NG Phone: 017687 73626
Swim at the Leisure Centre
Keswick’s Leisure Centre is to be found in Station Road, and includes a swimming pool and gym. The pool complex has a water slide and wave machine. There is also a pool access chair for those requiring assistance when entering the water. The cost of the Pay & Display car park is refunded when you pay for the activity at reception. (Trip advisor reviews of the pool vary)

Opening hours depend on the day of the week:
Keswick pool at the Leisure Centre
Station Road, CA12 4NE Phone: 017687 72760

Browse the outdoor gear shops
Though important as a market town for the last 700 years, Keswick is now almost certainly better known for the sheer choice and excellence of its outdoor gear shops. This has earned the town the title of Outdoor Retailer of the UK - if not Europe.

In addition there are many independent and individual shops offering antiques, books, paintings and pottery, jewellery, speciality foods and local produce as well as clothes, gifts, and traditional toys. Keswick also has several delightful tea rooms where you can take a break to rest your feet and enjoy a cuppa and some cake when needed!

Keswick Museum & Art Gallery
This award winning Victorian museum displays fascinating collections of objects that tell you about the history and culture of Keswick. Though only 5-10% of its 20,000 objects are on view at any time, they include the Musical Stones of Skiddaw, Southey manuscripts, and a collection of sculptures and paintings of regional and wider importance. Children are especially catered for. Entry price: adult £3.75 Child £2.20 Concessions £3.30.

Museum opening hours: 10am - 4pm.
Cafe West is open 9.30am - 3.30pm daily (later in Summer).
Station Road, Keswick CA12 4NF Phone: 017687 73263
See: www.keswickmuseum.org.uk

Be amazed at The Puzzling Place
Do you believe your eyes? Maybe you shouldn’t…! The Puzzling Place is a fun and eye-opening attraction based on optical illusion. Your visual system has floors - and a visit to the Puzzling place will expose them. Well worth a visit!

Adults £3.75, Child/Concession £2.90, Under 5 years Free.
Free entry to: The Puzzling Shop and to The Puzzle Area.

Opening Hours: 11am to 5.30pm daily March to November. 10am-5pm during school holidays. (Nov-Mar closed Mon. January only open weekends).
Just off Main Street, CA125DZ Phone: 017687 75102
www.puzzlingplace.co.uk

Visit The Theatre by the Lake
The Theatre by the Lake has a setting on the shores of Derwentwater no other professional theatre in Britain can match. Each year it stages up to nine of its own productions of classic, modern and new plays on its two stages and has won multi-starred reviews from national critics. It also hosts festivals of literature, jazz, film and mountains.
Light snacks and evening meals available.

Buy tickets online: www.theatrebythelake.com (choose your seat & see its view of the stage).
Box Office: 017687 74411 open 9.30am - 8pm daily.
Lakeside, CA12 5DJ Adjacent car park. Good Access.

A trip on the Keswick Launch
The two beautiful old Keswick launches start their journey around Derwentwater from the Keswick boat landings and cruise this beautiful lake stopping at 7 lake shore jetties. You can buy a ticket for a single trip, a round trip, or an Explorer ticket that allows you to hop on or hop off. The boats travel clockwise and anti-clockwise: 6 boats daily from March to November; in summer there are 2 extra afternoon sailings and a twilight cruise. In winter there are just 2 sailings a day.

Rowboats and self-drive motor boats can also be hired next to the launch jetties on an hourly or half-hourly basis.
Lake Road, CA125DJ Phone: 017687 72263
www.keswick-launch.co.uk

Relax at dog-friendly Hope Park Café
Hope Park is located on Lake Road between Keswick and Derwentwater and has attractive landscaped grounds with a stream, garden and woodland walk set in magnificent scenery. Enjoy the ornamental garden, try Pitch & Putt, Crazy Golf, or simply relax on a bench in the sun. The park also has a woodland walk with wildlife observation point.

Café Hope is dog-friendly and sells hot and cold drinks, ice cream, and snacks – with picnic tables also available nearby.
Café: Phone 017687 80844

Take a brewery tour
The Keswick Brewing Company is a small craft brewery set up with quality and environmental issues at its heart in spring of 2006 on the site of a much older brewery from the late 1800s. The present owners are enthusiastic and passionate brewers with great pride in the beers they produce. On the tours that they offer you can sample their beer, discover how it is made, and find out how they use sheep’s wool in their brewing process!

There is also a Brewery Shop… Tours cost £9
Brewery Lane, CA125BY Phone: 017687 80700
www.keswickbrewery.co.uk

Go see a film at the Alhambra
The Alhambra Cinema in St John Street opened in 1913 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning cinemas in the country. Despite its beautiful old decor it has state of the art digital technology and satellite receiving equipment for live screening of plays, operas and ballet from the National Theatre, Royal Opera House and other venues in addition to its own film screenings.

Open 7 days a week all year round. Wheelchair access.
St John’s Street, CA125AG Phone: 017687 72195
www.keswick-alhambra.co.uk

Climb at the King Kong Centre
The King Kong Climbing Centre offers a range of activities to keep even the most frequent user happy: slabs, mega overhangs, feature wall, ice wall, and an indoor caving system that finally exits into the café upstairs! The centre also offers taster lessons to get a group to the point of climbing together on the walls unsupervised. There is a great hard play area for children, and the centre can also arrange outdoor challenges from ghyll scrambling or caving to via ferrata… Equipment available and there are always friendly staff on hand.

Wall open: Mon-Fri 10:00-21:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-18:00.
Shop & Hard Play: 10:00-18:00 daily
Heads Rd, CA12 5EZ. Phone: 017687 75907
www.kingkongclimbingcentre.co.uk/

Pencil Museum reopening soon
The famous Cumberland Pencil Museum is currently closed due to flooding, with an expected reopening between March & June 2016.
When graphite was first discovered in Borrowdale in the 1500s it was mainly used for lubricating cannonballs! However by the 19th century Keswick was one of the world’s main pencil producers. The museum is definitely worth a visit once it reopens – packed full of interesting facts, with plenty for children to see and do.

See their excellent website for more details: www.pencilmuseum.co.uk
Southey Works, CA125NG Phone: 017687 73626

Swim at the Leisure Centre
Keswick’s Leisure Centre is to be found in Station Road, and includes a swimming pool and gym. The pool complex has a water slide and wave machine. There is also a pool access chair for those requiring assistance when entering the water. The cost of the Pay & Display car park is refunded when you pay for the activity at reception. (Trip advisor reviews of the pool vary)

Opening hours depend on the day of the week:
Keswick pool at the Leisure Centre
Station Road, CA12 4NE Phone: 017687 72760