Best Things to Do in Keswick | North Lakes

Best Things to Do in Keswick | North Lakes

Best Things to Do in Keswick: Keswick is a very popular town for the hiker, climber and tourist and is situated in the North Lakes.

Located next to Derwentwater and under the shadow of the 3054 feet of Skiddaw this compact town is the ideal base to explore the northern Lakes.

History of Keswick

In the 16th century Keswick was the mining and smelting centre of the Lake District.

20 mines of that time produced graphite, copper, lead, iron and some silver and gold, the last mine closed in the early 19th century.

However, the history of man's habitation of the area goes much further back in time than that of Medieval Britain.

There is a 4000 year old stone circle at nearby Castlerigg, surely the most dramatic in Britain, thus dating man's settlement of the area back to the Bronze Age.

There is also a Roman road running close to the town, and the possibility of a yet to be discovered Roman fort.

The forty or more Scandinavian place-names within a six miles radius of Keswick, suggests it was an area of importance during Anglian occupation and the mighty kingdom of Rheged.

Finally, the town had strong links with Furness Abbey, one of the most influential Cistercian Abbeys in the north of England.

Therefore the area has a long and varied history so a visit to the Keswick Museum will be well worth it.

What is There to See in Keswick?

The buildings that make up Keswick town centre are mainly Victorian.

This is due to the arrival of the railway in 1865, a development that revitalised the town's tourist trade.

However, not all the buildings are so recent, the Moot Hall dates from 1813, but is built on the site of a 16th century original.

Best Things to Do in Keswick

Some of the town's pubs go back to the coaching days of the 18th century when the tourist would arrive by stagecoach to see for themselves the spectacular scenery described by Wordsworth and his contemporaries.

In the 1870's a proposed railway link between Windermere and Keswick was opposed by the likes of John Ruskin, Tennyson and Browning, who actively campaigned against the development of the railway throughout the region.

Keswick continues the Lake District's many literary and artistic connections, in 1800 Samuel Taylor Coleridge came to live in the town, he later invited his brother-in-law Robert Southey and family for a short stay.

Southey, who became Poet Laureate in 1813, lived in Keswick for forty years until his death in 1843.

He is buried at the nearby St Crosthwaite Church.

Percy Bysshe Shelley lived in the area for a brief time (three months), and in 1797 J.M.W. Turner included Keswick in his tour of the Lakes, closely followed by John Constable in 1806.

Getting to Keswick

To get to Keswick leave the M6 at Junction 40 and take the A66 westbound.

The nearest railway station to Keswick is at Penrith.

Have you been to Keswick before?

Let us know about you trip in the comments section below.

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