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What to see and do when you visit Keswick and the North Lake District

The North Lakes area provides a very popular base for those visiting the Lake District, as virtually all the National Park is within one hour's motoring. Skiddaw and the other highest mountains in England (Helvellyn, Great Gable and Scafell) are within easy reach. Activities available locally include walking, climbing, mountain biking, sailing, canoeing, wind surfing & paragliding, to name but a few! For those who like a more leisurely pace then there is fishing or bird watching, and beautiful scenery to photograph, paint - or to simply enjoy.

Thornthwaite and Bassenthwaite Lake
Thornthwaite and Bassenthwaite Lake from Whinlatter Pass

There is a variety of waymarked walks running through Whinlatter Forest, all starting at the Whinlatter visitor centre which also has some educational displays and a live feed video wall showing a red squirrel feeding station in winter and the Osprey nest in Spring and Summer.

Whinlatter is England’s only true mountain forest, so many of its footpaths offer spectacular views of the Lake District and across the Solway into Scotland. There are many longer walking routes through the forest onto the surrounding fells, such as Lord's Seat, Barf and Grisedale Pike.

For the more adventurous, and those looking for a more strenuous challenge, there are miles of forest roads in Whinlatter Forest that are great for mountain biking. The challenging 19-kilometre Altura and the Quercus Mountain Bike Trails are very popular, with bike hire available at the visitor centre. There are several Lake District golf courses within easy reach.

Bassenthwaite Lake

Skiddaw across Bassenthwaite LakeBassenthwaite Lake is an easy and pleasant walk from Jenkin Hill Cottage, passing through Powter How Woods, which is covered in wild daffodils in Spring, and taking advantage of an underpass below the A66 to reach the shore. About half of the shoreline is accessible to the public, the remainder being inaccessible or on private land. On the West side of the Lake is Mirehouse, a historic house much visited over the years by the great poets, such as Wordsworth, Tennyson and Southey. The house is open to the public on two days a week, the spring gardens are a delight, and St Bega's church on the estate is located close to the Lake shore.
Download a map of Bassenthwaite Lake

Derwentwater

DerwentwaterThe waters of Derwentwater lap almost to the edge of Keswick, and the lake, which is about 3 miles long, stretches into Borrowdale. As well as access from boat landing stages in Keswick where a launch provides a taxi service around the lake, there are two marinas and launching points for sailing and canoeing around the lakeshore.

Good footpaths allow a circuit of the Lake at both high and low water levels, giving an opportunity to enjoy the magnificent scenery and provide an insight into some of the flora, fauna and bird life which makes Derwentwater unique.

Keswick

Keswick Market SquareKeswick is 3 miles away; just a 10 minute drive. Here you will find a wide variety of shops, tea rooms, coffee houses and galleries around the pedestrianised market square. There are some interesting attractions for visitors, such as the Puzzle Place and Cumberland Rexel Pencil Museum. A market is held twice weekly, a farmers market on Thursdays and a traditional market on Saturdays. The popular Theatre by the Lake provides an excellent mix of plays and entertainment throughout the year.

There are parks with beautiful gardens in which to relax, and a short stroll along the shore of Derwentwater past the boat landing stages leads to Friars Crag, a small promontory in the lake where Ruskin described the view as one of the three most beautiful scenes in Europe.

 

Other Lake District attractions

There are a wide range of different attractions within a short drive from Jenkin Hill Cottage. The list is by no means exhaustive, but serves to illustrate the usefulness of the area as a base for touring the North West of England

Within Thornthwaite itself

The very popular Thornthwaite Galleries - Bassenthwaite Lake - Thornthwaite Forest

Within Keswick

Cumberland Pencil Museum - Derwentwater Launches - Fitz Park - Friars Crag - Hope Park - Keswick Museum and Art Gallery - Leisure Pool - Theatre by the Lake - Lonsdale Alhambra Cinema - The Puzzzling Place - Viridian Galleries

Within a 15 minute drive

Ashness bridge - Borrowdale Valley - Castlerigg Stone Circle - Derwentwater and Nichol End marinas - Keswick Golf Club - Mirehouse - Thirlmere - Whinlatter Forest Park

Within a 30 minute drive

Ambleside - Buttermere - Brockhole National Park Visitors Centre - Dalemain - Dove Cottage - Grasmere - Hawkshead - Hutton in the Forest - Rydal Mount - Helena Thompson Museum - Trotters Animal Farm - Wordsworth House, Cockermouth - St. Johns-in-the-Vale - Lilliput Lane visitor centre

Within a 45 minute drive

Brantwood (John Ruskin's home) - Coniston - Hill Top (Beatrix Potter's home) - Maryport Roman Museum and Aquarium - Windermere Lake, Cruises & Steamboat Museum - World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness - Ullswater Steamer - Patterdale - Aira Force Waterfall - Eden Valley

Within a 60 minute drive

Abbot Hall & Museum of Natural History, Kendal - Alston and South Tynedale Railway - Carlisle Castle, Cathedral and Tullie House Museum - Eskdale - Muncaster Castle - Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway - Grizedale Forest - Holker Hall - Haweswater - Levens Hall - Muncaster Water Mill - St. Bees Head - Wastwater - Stott Park Bobbin Mill - Sellafield Visitor Centre - Florence Mine, Egremont

Within a 90 minute drive

Hadrian's Wall - Scottish Borders - Yorkshire Dales National Park - Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle - Laurel & Hardy Museum, Ulverston

Ambassadors for Theatre by the LakeThe Theatre by the Lake

At Jenkin Hill Cottage we are Ambassadors for the Theatre by the Lake and are able to offer our guests discount vouchers for use when booking tickets.