Keswick: A Beginner’s Base for England’s Lake District

woman on top of mountain overlooking lake

Wanting to explore England’s Lake District but don’t know where to start? Keswick is the perfect place to begin your first adventure to this beautiful part of England! Surrounded by the stunning fells and nestled beside the photo-worthy lake of Derwentwater, Keswick does not disappoint in showing off the beauty of the Lake District.

It is ideally located to get to using public or private transport, but far enough away from the hustle and bustle to feel like a proper escape back to the countryside. It is also a great base for walking up the Lake District’s well-know fells!

view of valley in springtime

There are plenty of campsites in Keswick, as well as hotels and holiday homes to rent. I would always go for the camping options, as staying in a hotel for a walking holiday seems like cheating. I stayed at the smaller Derwentwater Camping and Caravanning Club Site, which was easy to find and ideally located as it was only down the road from Keswick’s biggest food shop, Booths, and a short walk to the centre of the town. The staff were very friendly and welcoming which made the trip even more enjoyable, and the facilities were very clean, it almost felt like we were glamping instead of camping!

countryside with old wooden fence

But it is mostly a caravanning and holiday home site, there are alternative camping sites such as Keswick Camping and Caravanning Club Site which are as good in terms of their proximity to the town centre and the facilities.

There are plenty of walks to choose from in Keswick. Skiddaw is a popular option for a good hike as it is the mountain that dominates the skyline in this part of the lakes. It is a fairly moderate hike with some steep parts and flatter sections, as well as rewarding you with a fantastic view of Keswick and the surrounding area at the summit.

The most popular walk up Skiddaw is Jenkin Hill Path, which is easily accessible from the town. On this path, the walk from Keswick to the summit and back should take around 6 hours, so give yourself the whole day for this walk. Pack some lunch to have at the top of the summit, plenty of snacks and lots of water, then get going!

woman on top of mountain overlooking lake

Aside from walking up the fells, there is plenty to do in Keswick that won’t give you blisters. You can ride a boat on the beautiful Derwent Water which is good fun on a sunny afternoon when your legs are recovering from the hike the previous day! The lake also boasts some beautiful walks around its edge, which are significantly easier and flatter than hikes around any of the surrounding fells.

Keswick also has a good selection of nice restaurants and pubs to try out. You can’t go walking in the Lakes without trying a pub meal or two, especially after a day hiking. The Royal Oak is a gorgeous gastro pub that serves delicious food and drinks. If you want to go somewhere a little cosier, then head to Magnolia Bar Bistro. This little bar not only has a great selection of local and international beers, wines and whiskies, it serves delicious, no-fuss food in a relaxed atmosphere.


1 Comment

  1. Ian Gair
    October 1, 2018 / 3:02 pm

    There is clearly more to Keswick than being the home of lead pencils..

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