Cumbria Tourism, the county’s Destination Management Organisation, has recently welcomed the government’s announcement to re-open the tourist sector on Saturday July 4. Though there may be some measures taken and changes to accommodation when they re-open next week, that certainly won’t stop visitors enjoying their stay.
Arguably one of the most beautiful areas of the Lake District, Keswick bridges the gap between town and country and has a wide variety of places to stay and things to see and do.
The town’s holiday lettings are great for outdoorsy types, but they can also be a base from which to expand your cultural horizons in terms of music, art and history.
Sitting in between the domineering skyline of Skiddaw mountain and the tranquil lake Derwentwater, it’s an atmospheric place that may inspire you as it has generations of poets before.
You might simply just want to an excuse to light an outdoor fire however.
With so much variety on offer, here at Cumbria Live, we took a look at three of each option on offer in and around the historic market town.
The Barrowdale Hotel
The family-owned Barrowdale hotel on the B5289 is nestled at the foot of Shepards Crag in the scenic Barrowdale Valley. The four star hotel has earned an excellent reputation for fine hospitality over the years.
It first opened its doors in 1866 and started to welcome Victorian visitors just a year after the railway line reached Keswick.
Many original Victorian features still remain and some its bedrooms have spectacular lake views. Terraces also overlook landscaped gardens and the surrounding mountains.
With open fires, the oak-panelled lounge bar and conservatory are open for light lunches and afternoon teas. The AA Rosette Restaurant also features a fine menu and friendly staff.
Classes as a ‘best seller’ on Trip Advisor, it has an excellent rating of 4.5.
Nearby views to take your breath way are at Surprise View, at the hamlet of Watendlath, at Lodore Falls near the Grange end of Derwentwater, and at the traditional stone-built Ashness Bridge which is a single-track road from the Borrowdale Road to Watendlath; grid reference NY270196 to be specific.
If you fancy some adventure in the outdoors, Platty Day adventures isn’t far at Ladore Boat Landings along with Lake District Off-road quad biking and Keswick canoe and Bushcraft.
The Glaramara Hotel
If you’re in for a walking holiday, this is definitely the place for you. The location of the Glaramara House has striking views of the Barrowdale Falls and has easy access to some of the best routes in the Lake District. It’s also not far from Keswick Market.
The privately owned house is two miles from Honister where visitors can enjoy the Via Ferrata ’Indiana Jones’ style adventure packed activity sessions. Honister Ghyll also offers waterfall climbing, tunnel exploration, and plunge pools.
The hotel has twenty five double/twin en-suite rooms and eight single en-suite rooms. It boasts a spacious resident’s lounge with log fire, bar including log fire, a drying room and free wi-fi. Award winning chef Gareth and his team prepare breakfast every day made from locally sourced ingredients in the on-site restaurant where lunch and dinner are also served.
Couple’s particularly loved their stay here rating it 9.7 on booking.com.
Inn on the Square
Located in the heart of Keswick, this hotel is a great central location by Keswick’s market square. It has a modern, Scandanavian style to it combined with traditional Cumbrian elements.
Hotel chain Lake District Hotel describes it as “designed for laid-back luxury escapes with a hint of urban-cool.”
The property features a chic lounge bar and a steakhouse and its 34 modern bedrooms have en suite bathrooms. It’s close to shops, bars and restaurants and you can also take a boat out or enjoy the sights at Derwent Lake which is ten minutes away.
With such variety on its doorstep, no wonder the inn has a 9.7 location score.
Keswick is full of beautiful cottages to stay in. Whether you’re looking for a romantic break, weekend break or a family week’s holiday there will be a holiday cottage for you. There’s a great variety of large, small, pet friendly, traditional, modern and luxury. It’s a great alternative to a hotel if you have children or pets and wish to self-cater and have home comforts away from home.
Here’s three lovely cottages you can look at right now:
Hollows Farm is a National Trust working hill farm which also offers B&B in its adjoining self-catering 17th Century Farmhouse. Converted in 2001 from a stable and hay loft, the cottage comprises of downstairs kitchen/dining area and shower room with WC and wash basin, stairs leading to an open plan bedroom/sitting room.
The farm is 1/2 mile from Grange Village and is on the edge of Wainwrights favourite square mile. There is a variety of walks from the farm which include Catbells and Castle Cragg. Rhe path south towards Millican Dalton’s cave and Castle Crag is has been regarded as the most beautiful stretch in the UK and was featured on the BBC’s Wainwright Walks with Julia Bradbury.
Built in 1891 the cottage is a fabulous maisonette made of traditional lakeland stone and has been converted to five star quality. Up to six guests can stay and it has four bedrooms and two bathrooms. The kitchen is completed to a high standard with integrated Neff appliances, induction hob, granite work surfaces and slate floor. There is a wall mounted Sony flatscreen TV and iPod docking station. Not far is Moot Hall (where many of the local walks start), Fitz Park, Keswick’s Leisure Centre and plenty of restaurants, pubs and shops.
This holiday home is situated in an excellent location right in the town centre. It has excellent transport links too as the bus from Penrith train station stops opposite the cottage. With two bedrooms and one bathroom, up to four people can stay at this cottage. It is stylishly furnished with modern and antique pieces and decorated tastefully with feature artwork. It also offers private parking and Wi-Fi internet access.
This one is a guest favourite time and time again in Independent reviews.
If you really want to make the most of the outdoors, then camping in somewhere like Keswick is an excellent idea. Whatever location you choose you will find amazing 360 views -it’s also a super cheap option!
If you like the idea of camping but don’t want to rough it outdoors then this site is the best of both worlds. Located at Longthwaite, Borrowdale, it has a variety of options comprising of a hostel, camping pods and a site to pitch a tent. It’s an ideal place for outdoor activity breaks, school trips and family holidays.
The hostel has earned an excellent reputation as a Lake District favourite and is a recommended stop on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast. It has 86 beds including a selection of dorm beds and private rooms has a well-stocked bar, great value meals and extensive grounds.
The site has three rustic wooden camping pods, perfect for those who want to give “glamping” (glamorous camping) a go.
Bring all your usual camping gear except sleeping bags and mats as the pods sleeps two each. You can have all the fun of camping except you’re protected from the elements and they even come with heaters!
Last but not least, if you do wish to have more of an authentic camping experience here, there’s an amazing site on the banks of the river Derwent and surrounded by high Lakeland fells. This place is very popular throughout the summer months and there is room for up to 25 campers to sleep comfortably.
Lane Foot Farm
This a peaceful scenic Lake District site around three miles from Keswick and is an excellent base for walks at Skiddaw, Catbells and Derwentwater. It sits in a picturesque setting, between Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwentwater, with panoramic views of the surrounding fells. Civilisation isn’t far either with pubs, shops, bus stops and hiking trails within walking distance. It sits in between the little villages of Thornthwaite and Braithwaite and Keswick town is a five minute drive away.
The site facilities are excellent too. It has an information point stacked with local maps and leaflets, a drying room for if you get rained on and a small shop that sells wood for the campfire, marshmallows to poke into the flames and ingredients for a tasty breakfast. It also has well-kept toilets, showers, and even has underfloor heating!
Keswick Camping and Caravan Site
This site is a prime location in the north of the Lake District with stunning views extending over the lake to the hills beyond.
It’s an incredibly organised campsite with a washing up area, a laundry and a backpacker room for those arriving on foot or by bike.
Skiddaw is within walking distance along with Derwentwater that offers a wide rang of water-based activities such as canoeing and kayaking. Fishing can also be enjoyed here and you can hire a boat from the eastern shore and head to the centre to catch pike, bream and trout. It’s also not far from the magical Neolithic Castlerigg stones circle and the medieval, much photographed, pack horse bridge at Ashness.