Keswick Adventures Blog
Top Activities in the Lake District
Heading to the Lake District soon? Or maybe you’re planning a future trip? You’ll have no shortage of things to do while you’re here! Whether you’re staying in a bustling town like Keswick or out in more remote regions like Ennerdale, there’s plenty to get you out of your holiday accommodation and into the beautiful national park. Take a look at our choice of some of the top activities in the Lake District.
Of course, this had to be number one on our list! Even if you take just a short wander along a lakeshore, you have to do at least some walking while you’re in the Lake District! There are imposing mountain hikes like Helvellyn and Scafell Pike to take on, or you can head up and down some of the more diminutive fells such as Catbells.
We can offer bespoke guided walks to suit your group so you can explore the best of the Lake District with an experienced and knowledgeable guide. Please get in touch to find out more.
Don’t miss an opportunity to sail on a lake, slide down a river, or dip your toe in a tarn! There is a huge number of water sports available throughout the Lakes that will get your adrenaline pumping and help you fall even deeper in love with the national park! Try ghyll scrambling in the Newlands Valley, kayaking on Derwentwater, or sailing on Windermere.
Check out our exciting water sports activities.
Arts and Culture
Theatres, independent cinemas, art galleries, museums… the Lake District is bursting at the seems with cultural gems. Keswick has plenty of small art galleries to explore, as well as a quirky pencil museum. Overlooking Coniston Water is Brantwood, a historic house that was once owned by writer and philosopher John Ruskin. The Theatre by the Lake sits on the shores of Derwentwater and has a varied range of productions taking place throughout the year.
There’s plenty on offer for mountain bikers and road cyclists alike. For a real challenge, take on one of the high passes like Honister, or experience the rough forest mountain bike trails at Whinlatter. Families can take a ride through Grizedale Forest or along the stunning Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Bike hire is available at numerous locations throughout the county, so you don’t have to necessarily bring your own. If you head to Staveley, you’ll even find England’s largest bike shop!
The Lake District has so many small independent businesses and quirky shops that shopaholics will be in heaven! Cockermouth has lots of independents as well as a good range of fascinating antiques stores and a fantastic butchers. Kendal is a characterful gem where popular chain stores sit alongside local businesses. Or head to Pooley Bridge and Chestnut House, where you’ll find a huge selection of artisan gins and local produce.
See the Animals
Red squirrels, ospreys, red deer, otters and arctic char are just some of the creatures you can find out in the wilds of the Lake District if you know where to look and are patient. There are also more common but equally fun animals to spot: ducks, pheasants, Herdwick sheep, and so on. Wild ponies roam the hills around Loweswater, Haweswater and Cold Fell. Or you can see an altogether more exotic selection of animals at the Lake District Wildlife Park, South Lakes Safari Park and Lakeland Wildlife Oasis. Think zebra, giraffes, creepy crawlies, and monkeys!
Stone Circles and Fascinating History
There’s no shortage of fascinating historical gems around Cumbria. Castlerigg Stone Circle above Keswick is one of the most famous, and there are numerous castles, historic homes and interesting buildings to explore. Lacy’s Caves near Penrith are a quirky attraction: a series of man-made caves built into the sandstone cliffs by the eccentric Colonel Lacy. Or head to Honister Slate Mine or Eskdale Mill for an insight to the area’s industrial heritage.
If you want to explore the water but don’t fancy getting wet, then a cruise could be just right. Derwentwater, Coniston Water, Ullswater and Windermere all have passenger boats that allow you either to loop the lake or hop on and off at various points around the shore. At Ullswater you can experience a heritage ‘Steamer’, and the famous Gondola on Coniston is a unique rebuilt Victorian steam-powered yacht.
Festivals and Events
Come to the Lake District at the right time of year and you can be treated to any number of fun and exciting events. Sports fans will enjoy the Great North Swim on Windermere or Keswick Mountain Festival. For the music-lovers, book your holiday alongside Kendal Calling or Solfest, or get your cultural fix at Words by the Water and the Keswick Film Festival. There are plenty of others to choose from, too, from country shows and regattas to soap box car racing and Dickensian festivals.
Climbing and Bouldering
The Lake District is the home of British climbing and, with an abundance of rocky crags and sheer cliff faces, it still draws thousands of avid climbers every year. If you’re an experienced climber, you’ll no doubt want to attempt Pillar in Ennerdale, or one of the many options in Borrowdale. If you’re more into bouldering, head to St Bees on the coast or the Bowder Stone. Complete newbies can get lessons at one of the indoor climbing walls in Keswick, Carlisle, Kendal or Ambleside.
Sample the Food and Drink
Pop on your stretchy pants and get ready to taste the amazing culinary offerings of the Lake District! There are famous favourites like Cumberland Sausage, Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding and Grasmere Gingerbread® to sample, as well as a host of produce made locally. Jams, chutneys, fruits, pies, meats, gins, ales… You name it, we’ve got it! There are also plenty of restaurants to visit, from cosy pubs serving hearty meals, to classy Michelin-starred restaurants if you really want to indulge.
We hope you have an amazing time whatever you get up to in the Lake District. If you’d like to release your adventurous side with an outdoor adventure activity in the North Lakes, take a look at what we offer.