Keswick North Lakes

Keswick North Lakes

Keswick North Lakes

Smaller and more compact than Windermere, Keswick gathers itself much more closely to Derwent Water, and it is set closer to the hills, with crags, fells and waterfalls almost at its edge. In the near distance the smooth, over-rounded Skiddaw and beyond it are the empty fells; south is Borrowdale, steep-sided, craggy, and the delight of climbers; as well as the gentler walks along Cat Bells and Latrigg; and Lodore Falls. Buttermere is among the most beautiful of all Lakeland's scenery and is ideal for climbing the peaks and for walkers as well. Ullswater, to the east of Keswick, is my favourite with its wooded shoreline by the winding lake, with at each new bend a fresh perspective.

Keswick itself has two parks; the Moot House, once a jail; the Market Hall is the Information Centre - it is from here that guided walks begin; Crosthwaite Church is where Southey is buried; and there is a Railway Museum, but the town has no railway any more.

Cumberland Pencil Museum houses 'the largest pencil in the world'. It is wher pencil-making began, and it was from the surrounding hills that they mined the plumbago that went in them. The Fitz Park Museum has two or three remarkable things in it, not the least of which is the large relief map of the Lake District. Most people head first for the musical stones which were collected by a local family. The best exhibit of all is an original copy of The Three Bears and almost hidden away are some other Southey manuscripts.

Keswick's lake, the Derwent Water, like the other northern lakes, has a speed limit but there are plenty of launches, motor boats, rowing boats, dinghies and sail boards for rent, hire or charter. Also in the area are numerous crags, lakes and fells. Other places you might think of including are: Lingholm Gardens; Whinlatter Forest Centre; Castlerigg Stone Circle, a strange ancient monument which some vandals, two centuries ago, painted white; Wythop Mill; and the seventeenth-century Mirehouse. At Cockermouth, some 12 miles from Keswick, is Wordsworth's birthplace, open from April to October. To the west of Keswick are roads which lead towards two of the more remote lakes, Ennerdale and Wast Water.

Sports

Grasmere Sports have a large reputation, and an equally large number of spectators, but there are many others. Among them are Carlisle Great Fair, Cumberland Show, and Egremont Crab Fair. Shows are held at Ennerdale, Hawkshead, Keswick, Penrith, Wasdale, and just about every village and even hamlet has some sort of event. Grasmere and Ambleside Sports are both held in August, and include Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, fell running and hound trailing. And at Egremont Crab Fair 'gurning' takes place - the winner is the one able to so contort his face as to make him 'the ugliest, the funniest'.


Next Step: Plymouth-2012



British Rail News 2015

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