Keswick Travel Guide

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Keswick Moot Hall

Steven Tilly

During the Ice Age, glaciers carved away at the landscape in what we now know as Northern England, forming majestic valleys, mountains, and lakes. This area makes up the Lake District National Park, and Keswick actually makes up about half of this park. It lies on the shores of lovely Derwentwater and is near 5 major lakes, tiny, unspoiled villages, and expansive valleys.

There are a variety of quaint shops, restaurants, accommodations, and art galleries all along the pristine shoreline.

History

The area has much archaeological value, as it was settled during the Stone Age at the time when stone axes were used by Neolithic man to create spaces in the forest to keep domesticated animals and grow crops. It fact, 3 of these axes, dating from 4,000 years ago, were found in the Castlerigg Stone Circle. This circle’s function is still unknown.  Tourists are always welcomed to visit the site.

At one point in the history of Keswick, mining was a huge industry. Later, pencil-making took over as the main industry; it is said that the first pencils were actually made in Keswick following the discovery of this better use of graphite or “black lead”. Pencils are still made there to this day, and if you’re interested, take a look inside the Cumberland Pencil Museum which displays the history of pencils up to the present.

Activities

A vacation to Keswick probably is more fitting for adults and teens rather than children. It’s especially good for romantic couples. Stroll along the shoreline, or take a relaxing Derwentwater Lake Cruise. There are two gorgeous parks to explore, Fite Park and Hope Park. The Mirehouse Historic House and Gardens is always interesting and lovely to view. If you’re into fresh, homemade beers, the Keswick Brewing Company is worth a visit as well. Also, for a closer look at the mining past of Keswick, check out the Honister Slate Mine.

As well as the activities in town, there are also plenty of outdoor activities to try. Hiking the forest trails or lakeside paths, biking, and boating are all entertaining ways to get some fresh air.

Food

The cozy pubs and restaurants of Keswick are extremely inviting. Make sure to try local favorites and traditional fare. Fish and Chips, Kebabs, TattlePot (a rich stew), and just “pub grub” in general are rich and filling, and are especially tasty after a long day of exploring. Additionally, many places try to use local and fair trade products.

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