If, like us, you’re a big fan of the outdoors, then you’ll no doubt want to get out on one of the many walks around Keswick. And, if you’ve got children with you, what better way could there be of getting them some fresh air than a mini hike? They can explore woodland, scramble up mountains and even splash in the water!
Here’s our pick of the best walks in Keswick that are easy enough for little legs and offer lots of interest to keep kids of all ages entertained. And, don’t forget, if you’re after a guided walk, just get in touch and we’ll be able to help.
Please note, distances are approximate and will vary depending on the exact route taken. Please take all necessary precautions when walking in the Lake District.
Type: Easy mountain walk
Start/finish: Gutherscale car park
One of Keswick’s most iconic fells, the double hump of Catbells makes for a relatively easy mountain walk that includes a fun scramble that the kids will love. The views at the top are very rewarding, overlooking Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite Lake and the Newlands Valley. And the relatively flat return path is a good way to wind down. Park at or catch a bus to the northern foot of the fell. Or you can walk from Keswick itself if you want to add some more distance.
Distance: 1 mile – 5.5 miles, dependent on route
Type: Easy mountain walk
Start/finish: Keswick or Gale Road car park
You can walk up Latrigg very easily straight from Keswick, starting at Keswick Museum and Art Gallery and following the Cumbria Way almost to the top. Alternatively, for an even easier option, park at the top of Gale Road and half of the walk is behind you! It’s then just a gradual ascent along clear paths right to the top.
Distance: 9 miles
Type: Lake walk
This one is more suitable for older kids who are comfortable walking longer distances. For those who are, though, this circular walk around Derwentwater offers loads of excitement. There are trees to climb, streams to hop over, beaches, rocky outcrops, boardwalks, and even some interesting sculptures! It’s a long walk but easy to follow with good paths most of the way round. If you don’t fancy the whole thing, walk part of the route and then hop on a Keswick Launch back to town.
Distance: 0.8 miles
Type: Lakeside walk
One of Keswick’s most famous views, this walk to Friars Crag is mostly flat, on good paths, and follows the lakeshore most of the way. Simply start at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick and follow the path along the lake to your right. You’ll eventually reach Friars Crag, which juts out into the water and is perfectly placed for admiring the distant Borrowdale Valley. To get back, simply retrace your steps through the woodland.
Distance: 3.3 miles
Type: Easy mountain / woodland walk
Start/finish: Dodd Wood car park
If you have children who love to be amongst the trees, then Dodd Wood is a lovely mountain woodland. Forest trails disappear deep into the vegetation and open out at the peak with views of Skiddaw, Blencathra, Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake. Though steep in parts, the whole group will love the tranquillity of the forest. And there’s also a café at the start/finish where you can grab an ice cream or a piece of cake.
Distance: 3 miles one way
Type: Miles Without Stiles
Start/finish: Keswick Leisure Centre
This flat route is well paved and perfect for buggies, wheelchairs, and little legs. It’s technically a linear walk starting at the old Keswick train station and ending just outside the village of Threlkeld. However, buses stop close to each end, and there are options for making it into a more circular route. The walk follows the river and includes old bridges and tunnels that kids will love running around.
Distance: 3.2 miles one way
Type: Easy mountain walk
Starting in the centre of Keswick, the walk up Walla Crag passes alongside the river in pretty Springs Wood and onto the open fell. After a steeper initial climb, the ascent is relatively gradual and open for most of the way. The easiest way to stay on track is to keep the stone wall to your right, though you can also pass over this and onto Walla Crag proper if you prefer. This is only recommended in good weather with older children who can understand and recognise the need for care. The paths here are narrow and close to the edge, and the drop is steep. Please take extra care when taking this route.
The path ends by descending through woodland towards Barrow Bay, where you can catch a boat or bus back to Keswick.
Distance: 1.7 miles
Type: Woodland walk
If you have an hour to spare before dinner, then this is a great little walk with a surprising view. From Springs Road in Keswick, take the footpath signposted Castlehead and Lake Road, and follow it into the woods. Once you reach the wood, follow the path right and round until you start ascending. If you carry on going up – which includes a fun little scramble – you’ll be rewarded with a somewhat sudden yet spectacular view over Derwentwater and towards Borrowdale. When you’ve taken your fill, you can either complete a circular walk around Castlehead Wood, or continue through Cockshot Wood and towards the lake to reach Keswick again.