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 Keswick

Destinations > UK > Cumbria > Keswick guide

Keswick is a delightful lake side town set in the shadow of the beautiful mountains of the Lake District. No trip to Cumbria would be complete without a stroll around this town, or take a break in one of the quaint cafes, or sample some of the local food in one of the many good pubs. With a short amble through the town and park you can be on the edge of the beautiful lake of Derwentwater. Here you can enjoy the wildlife both on the shore or hire a rowboat and sample the scenery from the middle of the lake. If you are feeling a little bit more energetic why not take a walk up the near buy mountains on one of the many footpaths which offer spectacular views, there range from quite difficult to climb to less strenuous ones such as 'cat bells'.

This area is rich in history from pre historic monuments to the Romans, in Keswick you can experience them both. Castlerigg Stone Circle is just outside Keswick and is perfect example of these sacred monuments. Set in the middle of beautiful scenery and surrounded by the mountains. You can take a short drive to it or you can walk through the beautiful countryside.

Today Keswick has become one of the most popular destinations in the Lake District and this is reflected in the summer months when the whole area can become very busy. However Keswick holds its charm all year round whatever the weather, and is definitely worth a visit.

 
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 Arts

Theater by the Lake
This Theater has various performances and is open all year. For admission coasts, performances and times, telephone.
Location: Lakeside, Keswick
Telephone: 01768 77 44 11

Mirehouse Historic House and Gardens
This delightful 17th Century house has a wide-range of literary and artistic connections. There are stunning grounds, which lead to Bassenthwaite Lake.
Location: Underskiddaw, Keswick
Telephone: 01768 77 22 87

Keswick Museum and Art Gallery
Here you can see a collection of manuscripts from the Romantic Poets including Robert Southey. See some extraordinary musical stones, and visit the geology and natural history displays.
Location: Fitz Park, Station Road, Keswick
Telephone: 01768 77 32 63

Thornthwaite Galleries
A splendid selection of watercolours and oil paintings by local artists, plus woodcarvings, sculptures, pottery and ceramics, all housed in a 200 year old building.
Location: Thornthwaite, Keswick
Telephone: 01768 77 82 48

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 Attractions

Castlerigg Stone Circle
This amassing 33 set stone circle is possibly one of the earliest Neolithic stone circles in Britain. This stone circle is set in magnificent views of the surrounding Lakeland.
Location: Castlerigg, Keswick. (The circle is sign posted from main road).

Derwent Bay Bears
This is an interesting visitors center with a craft shop, were you can see daily demonstrations of chainsaw carving.
Location: Derwent Bay, Portinscale, Keswick
Telephone: 01768 77 47 88

Honister Slate Mine
For centuries this slate mine has produced the famous green roofing slate. The mine is set in the heart of the Lakeland, with beautiful views.
Location: Honister Pass, Borrowdale, Keswick
Telephone: 01768 77 72 30

The Teapottery
A working pottery, were you can learn about the craft and production process while you watch the skilled makers at work.
Location: Central Car Park, Keswick
Telephone: 01768 77 39 83

Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum
View a unique collection of mining and quarrying artifacts, minerals, and explore the mining of historical years.
Location: Threlkeld Quarry, Threlkeld, Keswick
Telephone: 01768 77 97 47

Cars of the Stars Motor Museum
Features include the Batmobile, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The James Bond collection, Herbie, plus many more famous cars and motorcycles. All of which were featured on television or film.
Location: Standish Street, Keswick
Telephone: 01768 77 37 57

Cumberland Pencil Museum
Learn the story of the pencil, from the discovery of Graphite to the present day.
Location: Southey Works
Telephone: 01768 77 36 26

Lonscale Sheepdogs and Farm Visits
Location: Lonscale Farm, Threlkeld, Keswick
Telephone: 01768 77 96 03

Trotters World of Animals
Location: Coalbeck Farm, Bassenthwaite, Keswick
Telephone: 01768 77 62 39

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 History

Cumbria has a rich history from pre-history, Roman, to the present day.

Cumbria has many remains of its pre history, Stone Circles being a great example. Few places are as atmospheric as a Stone Circle. The best known is Castlerigg on the outskirts of Keswick; also Long Meg and her Daughters in the Eden Valley, which is less visited, both are in good condition. The others are rarely visited and few people realise just how many there are. There are also numerous sites where evidence such as cave paintings of much earlier habitation have been found.

After Claudius' (Roman Emperor AD 41-54) invasion in AD 43 it took 30 years to conquer the south and west of England, and Wales. For all but two short periods their rule extended only as far north as Hadrians Wall, along a line from the River Tyne to the Solway Firth. The evidence of their occupation is clear in Cumbria, from its Roman roads to Hadrian's wall itself.

Wars did not stop with the Romans, strife between England and Scotland, whether the official wars of the kings or of private individuals and families, was for 700 years and more the chief influence on the history of Cumbria. The 'official' wars between England and Scotland began with the defeat of the Norse King Dunmail in 945 by the Saxon King Edmund. From then until 1070 the Kings of Scotland ruled Cumbria. In 1070 Gospatric, an Anglo-Saxon Earl of Northumberland recaptured it again, and in 1072 passed it to his son Dolfin. In 1092 William II of England(called Rufus because of his red hair) drove Dolfin out of the kingdom.Rufus was the second son of William the Conqueror.

Today Cumbria is a peace full place, yet evidence of its turbulent past can be discovered and explored.

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