Keswick Adventures Blog
What to Do in Keswick in Winter
If you’re in Keswick, chances are you love being in the great outdoors. But sometimes it’s just a bit too cold, wet or wintery and you’d like nothing better than to enjoy some indoor activities.
Fortunately, Keswick being the hub that it is, there are plenty of activities that you can do in winter, and they’re all right here on your doorstep. Here’s our pick of some of the best things to do in Keswick during winter.
1. The Puzzling Place World of Illusion
Great fun for all ages, The Puzzling Place makes the impossible possible with mind-bending illusions and unbelievable fun. Make your way through the exhibits where you’ll shrink to tiny proportions, grow into a giant, and defy gravity!
Winter opening times: Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 5pm. Open weekends only through January.
2. Derwent Pencil Museum
One of Keswick’s more quirky offerings, Derwent Pencil Museum is a fascinating little place that tells all about the graphite mining industry that is so important to Keswick’s history and growth as a town. As well as this, you can admire the world’s biggest pencil, get creative with the kids with some arty activities, and lean about the humble pencil’s big role in World War II.
Winter opening times: Wednesday to Sunday, 9.30am to 5pm. Last entry: 4pm.
Baby, it’s cold outside, but the Lake District can be truly spectacular during winter, especially during crisp, clear days, and when there's snow on the tops. Walks around Derwentwater lake, up to Castlerigg Stone Circle, or onto the huge hulk of Skiddaw – one of England’s highest mountains – can be wonderful at this time of year. Just make sure you’re suitably prepared for winter conditions. So wrap up snug, get those boots on, and get your blood flowing with an energetic hike!
4. Whinlatter Forest and Dodd Wood
If you want to be outside but sheltered, then Whinlatter Forest or Dodd Wood are great options. These two mountainside woodlands sit on either side of Bassenthwaite Lake, just outside Keswick, and have lovely sheltered walks on offer. They also both have wonderful tearooms where you can warm up and refuel.
Please note that Whinlatter Pass is a steep road and can be hazardous in winter conditions.
Winter opening times: All times, though may be closed to the public during and after stormy weather.
Whinlatter’s Siskin Cafe is open 10am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, and to 5pm on weekends. Weekends only in January.
The Old Sawmill Tearoom at Dodd is open Friday - Monday, 10am to 4pm until the 24th of December. Re-opening during February half term.
5. Lake Cruises
The tranquil waters of Derwentwater are a real pleasure on cool winter days, and the Keswick Launch runs cruises across selected dates during winter. There’s no better or easier way to enjoy the Lake District scenery than from the middle of the lake, where the water spreads out ahead of you, and the mountains tower above you. The boats have inside seating, too, so you can remain nice and sheltered!
Winter opening times: Daily until the 11th of November, and weekends until the 27th of November. Reopens for daily cruises from the 11th of February. Please check the Keswick Launch website for dates and cruise times.
6. Honister Slate Mine
Head into Borrowdale from Keswick and you’ll soon come to Honister Pass (which is steep, so may not be safe to drive in winter – please check conditions and take care). Perched at the top is wonderful Honister Slate Mine. Though its outdoor adventures are closed during the winter, you can still enjoy undercover activities such as their fascinating mine tours or even a Climb the Mine experience!
Winter opening times: Selected dates throughout. Please check the website.
7. Keswick Museum & Art Gallery
If you’ve got an interest in local history, then head on over to Keswick Museum & Art Gallery. With around 20,000 objects, the museum celebrates the natural, social and industrial history of Keswick and the surrounding area. There are regular exhibitions and interactive areas for kids to get hands on.
Winter opening hours: daily, 10am to 4pm. Last entry: 3.30pm.
8. Art Galleries
Keswick has lots of lovely little art galleries dotted around the town with everything from watercolours of the landscape, to sculptures of the wildlife, to delicate jewellery. Potter around the centre of town – much of which is pedestrianised – and admire the area’s talent!
9. Alhambra Art Deco Cinema
The Alhambra Cinema in Keswick is a real jewel. Family run, it’s been in operation for over 100 years! It has recently gone through a big refurbishment to highlight the unique original features that make this place so special. They show a varied programme of Blockbuster films, independents, world cinema, documentaries, and more, and even have their own film festival every March.
Winter opening hours: As per their film schedule. Please check the website for listings.
11. Spa Day
Go on, treat yourself! There are a few spas just a short drive away from Keswick, including the Lodore Falls, The Spa at Underscar, and Armathwaite Hall. These luxury locations offer a range of treatments, swimming pools, saunas and more, so you can completely de-stress. For a quicker treatment, head to Hailo Beauty in Keswick, which offers facials and other beauty treatments.
Winter opening times: throughout winter, please check individual websites for specific times.