Places to visit
Quite apart from all those walking and climbing opportunities there are many other ways of spending time in the Lake District. Here are just a few of them:
Oxley’s Spa and Bistro at Underscar is a short walk away along the terrace road. They offer full and half day “spa days”. They also have free wi-fi.
Keswick (2 miles)
Keswick is an all year round holiday destination with perhaps the longest holiday season in the country.
It has a wide range of shops, including an award winning Booth’s supermarket, (www.booths.co.uk/stores/cumbria/Keswick) several art galleries and craft shops, a book shop, and probably the greatest concentration of outdoor clothing shops in the country.
There are plenty of places to eat and drink including a sandwich maker and a number of cafes with free wi-fi. There are street markets on Thursdays and Saturdays with local food producers prominent.
The modern Theatre by the Lake (www.theatrebythelake.co.uk), is two theatres in one. It is one of the most successful professional provincial theatres in the country, with performances throughout the year and two performances a night in the main season, June to November. There are regular concerts with professional ensembles including the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra. There is also a cinema.
There is a mining museum, a pencil museum (www.pencilmuseum.co.uk), and a town museum. Public parks offer pitch and putt and putting and there is also a swimming pool.
Keswick has festivals: Film in February, Literary in March, Jazz in May, Mountain in May, Beer in June, Comedy in July and a Christian convention in late July.
On Derwentwater (3 miles) there are timetabled departures of passenger launches all year round providing attractive combinations with walking and lunching (www.keswick-launch.co.uk) . Rowing boats and boats in variety are available for hire. There are canoe and sailing courses.
In the Whinlatter Forest Park (7 miles) (www.visitlakelandforests.co.uk) there are walking and biking trails with bike hire. There is an imaginative fun area for children, and a strenuous “Go Ape” tree top trail for the adventurous. And a good cafe!
There are interesting houses and gardens to visit at Mirehouse (2 miles) (www.mirehouse.com), Hutton in the Forest (15 miles) (www.hutton-in-the-forest.co.uk), and at Dalemain (18 miles) (www.dalemain.com).
Close to Mirehouse (2 miles) there are forest trails and the osprey observation point.
There are mining experiences at Threlkeld (5 miles) (www.threlkeldminingmuseum.co.uk) and at the Honister Slate Mine (10 miles) in Borrowdale (www.honister.com).
An 18 hole golf course can be found at Threlkeld (5 miles)(www.keswickgolfclub.com)
There are several very special eating places and a number of art and craft galleries, including a sizeable one (with coffee!) at Thornthwaite (3 miles)
Guided walks usually starting from the Moot Hall in Keswick and opportunities for bike hire. For the adventurous there is organised ghyll scrambling, rock climbing and abseiling.
There is a children’s zoo at Trotters World Armathwaite Hall (8 miles) (www.trottersworld.co.uk)
William Wordsworth’s child-hood home in Cockermouth (NT) (14 miles) (www.wordsworthhouse.org.uk.), and home and museum, at Dove Cottage in Grasmere (15 miles)(www.wordsworth.org.uk).
Beatrix Potter’s home at Hill-Top in Sawrey (NT) (26 miles)(www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hill-top) and Beatrix Potter Experience (for children mostly) in Bowness (24 miles). (www.hop-skip-jump.com)
John Ruskin’s home and restored garden at Brantwood beside Coniston (30 miles) (www.brantwood.org.uk).
The Heaton Cooper Art Gallery and excellent artist materials shop in Grasmere (15 miles) (www.heatoncooper.co.uk). Grasmere also has a good bookshop (Sam Read’s).
The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway: a passenger carrying narrow gauge railway in the Western Lakes (41 miles) (www.ravenglass-railway.co.uk).
There are passenger carrying steamers on Ullswater (18 miles), (www.ullswater-steamers.co.uk) Windermere (20 miles) (www.windermere-lakecruises.co.uk) and Coniston (27 miles) (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gondola).
Zeffirellis independent 5 screen cinema with two excellent associated vegetarian restaurants (Italian and Mediterranean), offering combined ticket and meal deals, in Ambleside (18 miles) (www.zeffirellis.com).
The National Park Visitor Centre, Brockhole,Windermere (22 miles) (www.brockhole.co.uk).
And much more!
The Ghyll has a collection of information leaflets and walking books in the sitting room. In addition the Keswick information centre in the Moot Hall is particularly helpful.
The Moot Hall, Keswick
The Keswick Launch
Theatre by the Lake, Keswick
Background: The steam yacht Gondola, Coniston Water
Garden of John Ruskin, Brantwood, Coniston
Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
Coledale Fells from above The Ghyll
Above Rosthwaite, Borrowdale