Activities and Adventures
Keswick is often considered the ‘adventure capital’ of the Lake District, and its true that there is a whole host of activities to enjoy. We list some of these opportunities below.
Keswick Climbing Wall offers, in addition to its superb indoor climbing and bouldering walls, a wide range of outdoor adventure activities as well as indoor climbing for groups, families and individuals. Activities include Ghyll scrambling, rock climbing, kayaking, high ropes, canoeing, and mountain walking. (They operate what used to be the separate Newlands Adventure Centre.) It has a fantastic outdoor ‘adventure’ space onsite for younger children, known as Rookery Woods, and a cafe. Located just at the top of the Vale, near Castlerigg Stone Circle. We’ve written a short history of the area including the Stone Circle.
Keswick Adventures offer ghyll scrambling, canyoning, rock climbing, abseiling, canoeing, raft building, mountain biking, and they also have a mobile climbing wall. Their office is in Keswick but once you’ve booked an activity the meet-point may vary depending on what kit and minibuses are needed to transport you to the day’s location – sometimes it is at the top of the Vale, other times in Keswick.
Kong Adventure Centre has a fantastic indoor facility in the heart of Keswick, offering climbing, cafe, soft play, and a brilliant escape room challenge. They also organise a range of outdoor adventures including climbing and scrambling.
If you fancy hiring a road bike or even an e-bike, there are two shops in Keswick, Whinlatter Bikes and e-Venture Bikes. Whinlatter Forest has its own mountain biking hire shop, Cyclewise. These guys also run excellent courses – whether you are beginner, already developing your skills or keen to learn to jump, their instructors can help you make progress and increase your confidence.
Whinlatter Forestry Park, England’s only true Mountain Forest, is home to stunning views, fantastic walks, exhilarating mountain biking, rare wildlife and adventure play. It is located ‘above’ Braithwaite, 12 miles from Fornside, and is well worth a visit. Whinlatter has unrivalled views across Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwentwater and Keswick and as you walk or cycle its trails you’ll enjoy surprise sculptures, vistas and poetry. It is also home to the longest purpose-built mountain bike trails in the Lake District and a brilliant cafe.
Go Ape Whinlatter is the classic tree top adventure based in the heart of Whinlatter Forest Park.
Enjoy a lake cruise on one of the Keswick Launches and experience the beauty of Derwentwater, with breath-taking views of the surrounding fells. Enjoy special views of Skiddaw, England’s fourth highest mountain, Catbells, and the ‘Jaws of Borrowdale’. Either stay on for the 50 minute round boat trip, or disembark at one of the eight jetties en-route and take a Lakeland walk via well-marked paths to famous landmarks such as Ashness Bridge, Lodore Falls, Grange in Borrowdale, Brandelhow and Lingholm, holiday home of Beatrix Potter. Alternatively, be your own captain by hiring a rowing or motor boat! Park at Lakeside car park next to Theatre by the Lake.
Keswick Canoe and Bushcraft provide a range of canoeing and bushcraft activities to suit all ages, abilities and requirements – families, couples, individuals and groups are all welcome. Their courses have been recommended by ‘The Sunday Times’, ‘The Telegraph’ and ‘The Rough Guide to the Lake District’. Think shelters, flint and steel, firelighting and toasted marshmallows, as well as developing an understanding of the natural environment.
At Rookin House Equestrian and Activity Centre, you can try your hand at archery, scare yourself silly on an argo cat, attempt and assault course and many more activities, as well as pony trekking for all comers.
Try stand up Paddleboarding with Stand Up Paddle Boarding‘s introductory lessons, paddle board hire, group sessions, safaris and much more. Keswick for Derwentwater, other lakes also available.
Derwentwater Marina is a watersports centre offering boat hire, sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding (SUP) and more. In Portinscale, the far side of Keswick.
Nicol End Marine also offers boat hire and tuition for sailing, canoeing, kayaking, and windsurfing. They have a cafe and are also based in Portinscale.
Explore lovely Ullswater by kayak with Leigh of Tall Bloke Adventures, a qualified Kayak Guide who’ll show you the best views, give you kayaking tips, and maybe share a yarn or two.
Honister Slate Mine offers a range of intriguing things to do; tour England’s last working slate mine for a fascinating historical underground experience, or for the adrenaline seeker have an adventure! Worth a visit just for the views from this spectacular pass. They have Via Ferrata, an Infinity Bridge, Canyoning and ‘climb the mine’ on offer. Borrowdale, 15 miles.