We recently visited the Lake District and camped on a campsite in Braithwaite meaning the nearest town at our disposal was Keswick located under 2 miles from our campsite. Keswick is in Cumbria and is easily found from both the M6 and A1 motorways.
Keswick is a small market town and it is believed the market started as a cheese market and this is where the town derives its name from. The market is still held on a Thursday and a Saturday. The Thursday market seemed more of a craft market, with the Saturday Market being a general market although quite a few home made and crafty bits still for sale.
Keswick has a population of approximately 5,000 people all of whom we spoke to were friendly and happy to help your average tourst. This population is known to reach numbers over double this during peak tourist so be prepared for business during these periods.
Our first experiance of Keswick was around 5.00am whilst looking for a toilet after our long journey. The only person in sight was someone litter picking an already spotless market square. We got our directions to the loo and headed off to the Theatre by the Lake (only 24hr toilets in Keswick) and after exploring our suroundings here ended up sitting watching the sun come up over Derwentwater.
It was being around Keswick this time in the morning that made you realise how old the place actually is and leaves you wondering how much history does this town hold?
Upon going back to Keswick once everybody had awoken we were greeted with a vibrant, busy town centre with several buskers adding to the atmosphere. We wandered for a while and took in the sites and watched a street act which start randomly throughout the day.
The Moot Hall stands in the centre of Keswick in the market square. The original part of the Buiding was originally a prison but is now the Tourist Information Centre a great informative place with a map of all walks in the area and a small gift-shop. Above the Tourist Information is an Art Gallery quite often with free displays open to all.
There is a large superstore in Keswick selling everything you could need with pretty much all shops in the area catering for the camper/walker. There is a good selection of take away food outlets, restaurants and pubs in the town caterng for all however we never managed to find the time to eat or use the pubs in Keswick so cannot comment in much detail.
Given the size of Kewsick there are a mass of tourist attractions and things to do and see. The Cars of the Stars museum was ok but not great, Boating on Derwentwater, the Keswick Art Gallery is well worth a look and The James Bond Museum also.
Parking in Keswick is mostly Pay and Display with some charges being a little on the high side if you chose the wrong Car Park. Parking can be found at 50p for an hour but rises steeply after this to around £6-£10 for between 8 and 10 hours.
Overall we were very surprised with what we found here. A very historic feeling, yet lively place with lots going on all of the time during the summer. We easily managed to spend a couple of days here and still didn’t see all we wanted to in and around Keswick.