Visit Keswick and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Keswick, Cumberland. Keswick, the northern centre of the Lakes, lies in a beautiful position below the towering bulks of Skiddaw and Saddleback. It has a remote and almost magical quality.
Its beauty has made the town a mecca for poets, artists and visitors from all over the world. The town is attractive in itself, with intriguing narrow streets and buildings of old grey stone; a natural convergence of roads makes it an excellent centre for tours to other parts of Lakeland. Every type of accommodation can be found, from luxury hotels to guest-houses and private homes, but in the busy season the tourist who has no reservation may have difficulty in finding a room. At such times driving cars is a problem and the town is best seen on foot. A short walk takes one down the pleasant road below The Heads to the edge of Derwentwater, where the landing stages cater for cruises, motor boats and rowing boats on this, the “queen of the English lakes”.
Coleridge came to live at Greta Hall, behind the school, in 1800, pursuing his friendship with William and Dorothy Wordsworth who were already settled at Grasmere village. Southey followed Coleridge in 1803. Charles Lamb came to Keswick for holidays, and Shelley resided there for a time after his marriage. Southey lived at Greta Hall for many years after Coleridge left Keswick in 1804. The Royal Oak Hotel was patronized by Scott, Tennyson, R. L. Stevenson and Wordsworth, and visited by the Southeys and Coleridge.
The School of Industrial Arts was founded in 1883 by Canon H. D. Rawnsley, the friend and disciple of Ruskin, and Vicar of Crosthwaite, who was also one of the founders of the National Trust. John Ruskin once had a branch of his hand-made linen industry at Keswick, as he had at Elterwater.
Crosthwaite church, on the north-west side, is dedicated to St Kentigern. In this saint's time Cumberland was in the Kingdom of Strathclyde. ruled by the pagan Morken, from whom Kentigem fled to erect his cross in this “thwaite”. The church is said to have been founded in the 12th century. Its present form, which makes it the oldest structure in the valley, is a rebuilding, probably of 1553. It has a rare set of old consecration crosses and a l4th-century font and 15th-century effigies. In 1844 the church was restored by Gilbert Scott. It has a memorial effigy to Southey.
The tiny moot hall with its one-handed clock dates from 1813.
There are numerous well-known walks to be taken. One is to Friar's Crag on the lakeside, the scene of much photographed views across the water, described by Ruskin as one of the earliest memories of his life. It is National Trust property, bought as a memorial to Canon Rawnsley, and also has a stone memorial to Ruskin. Inland beyond the lakeside road is Castle Head, 20 acres of National Trust woodland, where a point over 500 ft high gives a panorama of peaks identified on the indicator.
Castlerigg Stone Circle is an Ancient Monument (National Trust), 2 miles East of Keswick. It is also called the Caries and the Druids' Circle, and is about 100 ft in diameter, formed of 38 megalithic stones. Inside this oval ring there is an oblong space of 10 more stones. From this prehistoric site there are excellent views.
Nearby towns: Ambleside, Bassenthwaite, Borrowdale, Caldbeck, Cockermouth, Duddon Valley, Egremont, Eskdale, Langdale, Penrith, Ullswater, Wigton
Nearby villages: Bothel, Bridekirk, Buttermere, Coniston, Dockray, Ellonby, Gilcrux, Glenridding, Grasmere, Hesket Newmarket, Ireby, Lorton, Loweswater, Mosedale, Mungrisdale, Newlands, Patterdale, Plumbland, Rosthwaite, Tallentire, Threlkeld, Troutbeck, Uldale, Wythburn
Have you decided to visit Keswick or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Keswick bed and breakfast (a Keswick B&B or Keswick b and b)
- a Keswick guesthouse
- a Keswick hotel (or motel)
- a Keswick self-catering establishment, or
- other Keswick accommodation