By Darren Griffiths

18 Best Things to do in Keswick Lake District in 2023

16th March 2023

Last updated on August 26th, 2023 at 04:31 am

[UPDATED  26 January 2023]

In this comprehensive guide to the best things to do in Keswick, you will definitely find something in the town of Keswick and the stunning lake district around it to pique your interest. A quaint place in Cumbria county with plenty of history, a relaxing ambiance, and a culture all to its own, Keswick is somewhere you won’t forget. 

Settled right along the Derwentwater Lake and outlined by the River Greta, this small town offers some incredible scenery. Don’t worry though – if natural beauty isn’t your calling, you’ll still find plenty of things to do in Keswick from puzzle places to markets, to Ghyll Scrambling!

Related reading about the lake district:

1 – The Puzzling Place

One of the best things to do in Keswick for kids – The Puzzling Place – offers up quite an interesting adventure and is unique in the Lake District. Here you’ll find interactive optical illusions that will bend the minds of adults and children alike.

The Puzzling Place

Watch gravity reverse itself, points of view change, and art pieces that will challenge your perception. It may seem like one of the more unusual things to do in Keswick, but don’t let that dissuade you from a fun time!

The Puzzling Place is set right in the heart of town, which makes it great for midday adventures.

Whether you use it to break up some shopping or to work up an appetite for lunch, this attraction is one of the most intriguing opportunities Keswick has to offer. 

Tip: Can become crowded in school holidays on wet weather days!

2 – Derwent Pencil Museum

Another one of the more unusual things to do in Keswick, The Derwent Pencil Museum is exactly what it sounds like. A great choice for those interested in history or any travel writers or artists among us.

Inside you will learn the history and inner workings of the Derwent company and their finely made writing tools. This has an important cultural significance for the Lake District, as the graphite mines of the region have been used by the Derwent company since the 1800s.

Make sure to grab some of their amazing products on your way out too!

3 – Lake District National Park

If you’re a fan of breathtaking scenery, look no further than the Lake District National Park. Now a World Heritage Site, the park offers some amazing views of the countryside and nearby bodies of water. 

Lake District National Park

The expansive walking trails make it one of the best things to do in Keswick for kids, as they can burn off energy as you explore the natural beauty of the area together.

Boat tours and kayaking opportunities allow you to get on the water and enjoy your surroundings as you float along the bay. 

But it’s during the nighttime when the Lakeside District National Park really stands out. Come out and gaze at the stars without the worry of severe light pollution or the bustle of the big city.

This sure is one of the best things to do in Keswick for couples and romantics!

4 – Honister Slate Mine

Are you a history buff or enthralled by heavy machinery? Then mark down the Honister Slate Mine on your list.

Not only is it a museum of the mining industry that has been an economic staple of the Lake District for generations, but it’s also still an active mine used by the Honister company.

This allows for an amazing close-up view of the modern mining industry, which makes it a one-of-a-kind place to visit in Keswick. 

5 – Castlerigg Stone Circle

The Castlerigg Stone Circle is definitely of the most profound tourist attractions in Keswick. Dating back to potentially 3,300 BC, it is one of the many stone circles that dot Britain.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

A distant cousin to Stonehenge, this is a great place to visit for its historical significance and beautiful view.

Rain or shine, the stone circle is open to the public 24/7, so it’s easy to schedule a visit here. Make sure to take lots of pictures, because this is one of those places you’ll want to show your friends when you get back home!

6 – Theatre by the Lake

One of the most prominent things that put Keswick on the map is its theatres. The community is a collective lover of the arts, and it really shines in their productions and viewings.

The best theatre and the best thing to do in Keswick for those that are also lovers of the arts is The Theatre by the Lake. One of the oldest theatres in the area, Theatre by the Lake has been upgraded not only to allow for in-person plays but also film screenings and live streams of plays from across the world.

Come here during one of their film festivals for an added treat.

7 – Keswick Museum and Art Gallery

The Keswick Museum and Art Gallery is a treat for the eyes. Both regional history and beautiful art pieces can be found inside this building’s walls. 

Keswick Museum and Art Gallery

The Keswick Museum and Art Gallery is a treat for the eyes. Both regional history and beautiful art pieces can be found inside this building’s walls. 

This is a perfect thing to do in Keswick for couples, especially when paired with a romantic dinner right after. The museum offers collections on subjects from everything to tourism, geography, artists, and writers all prominent to the area. Make sure you don’t pass up on this opportunity, or you’ll definitely regret it. 

8 – Keswick Beer Festival

Taking place in the first week of June, The Keswick Beer Festival is a rare treat. Come sample both ales and draughts of all kinds at this annual event that began in the late ‘90s. While you do so, make sure to stay a while and enjoy some of the great musical guests and performers during the festival.

Here you’ll experience the culture of the area with long-time residents and other travelers alike, making it one of the best tourist attractions in Keswick. This is definitely an event to keep in mind when you’re scheduling your trip. 

9 – Jazz Festival

If you’re a jazz fan, then Keswick has probably been on your radar for a while now. Hosting the largest Jazz Festival in the UK, Keswick further solidifies itself as an artistic powerhouse. 

Jazz Festival

The festival has been going on for some decades now, and you can definitely tell by both the turnout and the performers themselves. Even if you’re not big on jazz, this is one of the best things to do in Keswick due to the sheer energy that it radiates.

10 – Lake District Tours

What better way to experience the area than with a local guide? Book one of the local tours to experience the full splendor of the surrounding countryside or waterfronts. 

Boats, bikes, and hikes are only a few options available for tours of Keswick. These tours are some of the best things to do in Keswick for those who want to get a better sense of the area and what it has to offer.

Plus, if you have any questions, your tour guide is sure to know where to find the answer. They may even be able to point you in the direction of some locations only locals know about!

11 – Brockhole on Windermere

If you aren’t completely sure of what to do for a good time in the lake district, then you may want to begin at Brockhole on Windermere. 

Brockhole on Windermere

They offer a broad range of things to do that’ll suit people across a broad range of interests. Want to channel your inner Robin Hood? Head over to the archery course.

More of a modern sharpshooter? The laser clay range may be for you. Looking for a more laid-back experience? Go check out the mini golf course or even a stroll around the gardens. 

No matter what you choose, if you work up an appetite, do yourself a favor and grab a table at the café for some quality dining.

12 – The Lake District Wildlife Park

A great thing to do in Keswick for kids is to visit the Lake District Wildlife park. It truly is a unique spot to consider while on vacation here. Come see over one hundred different animals from lemurs, red pandas, otters, zebras, owls, and so many others. On top of that, there are other specialty experiences you can opt for as well.

Take a walk with an alpaca or even learn from an expert falconer how to call some of the park’s beautiful birds to your hand. There are options here for all ages and all types. 

13 – Keswick Breweries

More often than not, you’ll run into a bit of a drizzle on your trip. If you’re looking for things to do in Keswick when it rains, then consider going to one of the town’s many breweries. 

Keswick Breweries

More often than not, you’ll run into a bit of a drizzle on your trip. If you’re looking for things to do in Keswick when it rains, then consider going to one of the town’s many breweries. 

Here you will find local drinks and food to comfort you on those dreary days inside. There’s plenty to choose from too, so don’t be afraid to hop around and find your favorite. What better way to sample the culture than to sample their drink, am I right?

Here you will find local drinks and food to comfort you on those dreary days inside. There’s plenty to choose from too, so don’t be afraid to hop around and find your favorite. What better way to sample the culture than to sample their drink, am I right?

14 – Keswick Outdoor Market

Got some money to spend? Or do you just like window shopping? Either way, this market is the place to go – it was voted the “best outdoor market” in the UK a few years ago.

One of the more prominent tourist attractions in Keswick, and located (of course) in Keswick’s market square, the shops here offer a wide variety of goods and souvenirs to take back home. 

Art, clothing, hiking gear, food and so much more are up for grabs at the market. This is a great way to learn and support the local culture as well as enjoy the weather and overall gorgeous architecture of the town. It would be a missed opportunity to not stop by here for a little retail therapy!

You’ll always find this impressive lake district market open on Thursdays and Saturdays, except for the month of January when it reverts to a Saturday-only weekly market.

15 – Visit Hope Park

Hope Park was once a big open space where horses that pulled coaches to the train station would graze.

Hope Park in Keswick, Lake District, England

These days there are lovely gardens, impossibly beautiful scenery and outlooks, and a score of things to do that include boats that you control via remote controls, a woodland walk, and lots of golf fun. There’s a pitch’n’putt nine-hole course, a crazy golf course, and an 18-hole putting green.

16 – Sample whisky at the Lakes Distillery

The lake district is renowned for its clear water and so you won’t be surprised to hear that it’s the site of a whisky distillery and one of the region’s top attractions. The whisky distilled here is unpeated and aged in different kinds of casks to create different flavours.

The distillery is in a 160-year-old farmhouse only 5 miles northwest of Keswick.

17 – Newlands Adventure Center

For a more active lake district holiday, the Newlands Adventure Center offers some of the best things in Keswick for those who need a bit more thrill. This place has something for all ages as well. 

Newlands Adventure Center

It would be easy to spend an entire day or more here with a list of outdoor activities opportunities including archery, kayaking, a ropes course, a rock wall, bike and hiking tours, and much more.

Whether you want to go show off your athletic prowess or burn off some steam amongst some of the country’s best scenery before the dreaded return to work, the Adventure Center has some great options available to you.

18 – Go Ghyll Scrambling

If boating is too sedate for you, on the north shore of the lake you’ll find the Derwent Water Marina where you can spend the day Ghyll Scrambling.

Ghyll scrambling means “canyoning outside of the Lake District”. The Stoneycroft Ghyll is a pristine mountain stream full of pools and rapids with names like the Sheep Dip and the Washing Machine.You can jump and slide, or abseil and descend into areas only accessible with ropes.

Find out more at https://www.ghyllscrambling.co.uk/stoneycroft