Keswick is an English market town and civil parish formerly part of Cumberland and since 1974 in the Borough of Allerdale in Cumbria. The town, in the Lake District National Park, just north of Derwentwater, and 4 miles (6.4 km) from Bassenthwaite, had a population of 4,821 at the time of the 2011 census.
There is considerable evidence of prehistoric occupation of the Keswick area, but the first recorded mention of the town dates from the 13th century, when Edward I of England granted a charter for Keswick's market, which has maintained a continuous 700-year existence. In Tudor times the town was an important mining area, and from the 18th century onwards it has increasingly been known as a holiday centre; tourism has been its principal industry for more than 150 years. Its features include the Moot Hall; a modern theatre, the Theatre by the Lake; one of Britain's oldest surviving cinemas, the Alhambra; and the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery in the town's largest open space, Fitz Park. Among the town's annual events is the Keswick Convention, an Evangelical gathering attracting visitors from many countries.
Where Is Keswick
Keswick is in the northern Lake District, which itself is in the north-west corner of England. The town is just off the A66 which runs from Newcastle on the East coast to Workington on the West coast. There are good transport links with the rest of the country via the M6 motorway running from London and the West Coast Main Line railway. Approximate distances by road to major cities in England are:
London – 300 miles / 500 km, 5 hours via M40, M6 & A66
Edinburgh – 135 miles / 220 km, 2 hours 40 minutes via A702, M6 & A66
Glasgow – 130 miles / 210 km, 2 hours 10 minutes via M74, M6 & A66
Bristol – 270 miles / 440 km, 4 hours 30 minutes via M5, M6 & A66
Birmingham – 190 miles / 310 km, 3 hours 10 minutes via M6 & A66
Manchester – 115 miles / 185 km, 2 hours via M6 & A66
Leeds – 120 miles / 195 km, 2 hours 20 minutes via A1(M) & A66
Newcastle – 90 miles / 145 km, 1 hour 50 minutes via A69, M6 & A66
Liverpool – 120 miles / 195 km, 2 hours 10 minutes via M58, M6 & A66
Cardiff – 290 miles / 470 km, 5 hours via M50, M5, M6 & A66
The nearest main line railway station is Penrith (18 miles / 28 km) and is served by the West Coast mainline currently operated by Virgin Trains. There is an excellent bus service from Penrith Railway Station to Keswick. The X4 / X5 (timetable here) runs between Penrith and Workington, calling at Penrith Railway Station, Threlkeld, Keswick, Bassenthwaite and Embleton.
The nearest airports are Manchester (123 miles / 198 km), Newcastle (88 miles / 142 km) and Glasgow (138 miles / 222 km).
When To Visit
The short answer is – at any time of the year. Keswick is a year-round destination with events and attractions throughout the year. Although the summer season is the busiest, the Lake district offers stunning scenery in autumn, winter and spring.
Autumn in the Lakes offers fantastic colours across the fells and amongst the wooded valleys. Winter adds a touch of the magical to the Lakes especially after a hard frost or with a dusting of snow on the high fells. Spring, of course, is the time of renewal and the (infamous) daffodils of the Lake District are a great marker of the transition from a dormant to a reinvigorated Lakeland.
With that said, the casual visitor to the Lakes can experience the weather of all four seasons in one day. A summer hailstorm can quickly and briefly return the fells to winter. In whatever season you choose to visit the Lakes, you will always find something new to see or see something in a new light.
As mentioned above, the weather is in the Lake District is changeable and subject to wide variations between north and south, east and west. It is important to dress, and set your expectations, according to the weather forecast. There are several reliable source of weather forecast listed below.
MWIS – the Mountain Weather Information Service provides a full day forecast and a two-day outlook. The forecast can be downloaded or viewed on a smartphone. The forecast is updated daily around 4.00 pm.
Lake District Weather Line – is an internet and telephone weather service available throughout the year. The forecast is updated daily. For a recorded weather forecast call 0844 846 2444 (calls are charged at 7p per minute).
Fell Top Assessor – is a seasonal, December to March, forecast of actual conditions underfoot. A Fell Top Assessor climbs Helvellyn each and every day through the winter season and reports on the conditions found on the route and at the summit. This gives an idea of what to expect and prepare for. The assessment can be viewed online at www.lakedistrictweatherline.co.uk or can be heard at the end of the telephone weather report.
1981 - 2010 Climate data for Keswick from the Met Office .
Banks & Currency Exchange
The four main UK banks (Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds & NatWest) all have branches in Keswick and all are situated on the main square in the centre of the town. There is a general Post Office on Bank Street, just off the bottom of the Market Square. There is also a Currency Exchange bureau at the bottom of Market Square.
Internet Access & Photo Prints
Internet access is provided for free in many of the pubs and cafes around Keswick. The Tourist Information Centre also provides free WiFi. If you require a terminal connection, then visit U-Compute at 4b Bank Street at the bottom of the main square.
You can print off your digital photographs at Boots Chemists (CA12 5BL) in the main square or at U-Compute (CA12 5JY) on Bank Street.
If you are specifically looking for a holiday cottage in Keswick. then please view the list of cottages below which is sorted according to occupancy with the largest first.
Bessy Boot, Helvellyn Street - sleeps 8 in 4 bedrooms
Quintok, Lonscale View - sleeps 6 in 3 bedrooms
Horseshoe Crags - Upper Apartment, Fieldside Close - sleeps 6 in 4 bedrooms
Horseshoe Crags - Lower Apartment, Fieldside Close - sleeps 6 in 3 bedrooms
Meadow Cottage, Park Holme - sleeps 5 in 3 bedrooms
Glendera, Lydias Cottages - sleeps 4 in 3 bedrooms
Little Chestnut Hill, Chestnut Hill - sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms
Rivendell, Briar Rigg - sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms
Jasmine Cottage, Poplar Street - sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms
High Spy, Lake Road - sleeps 2 in 1 bedroom