Explore the Outdoors

Whatever the weather, the Lake District has plenty of things for you to do and see.

Here are some useful websites to help you get started.
Activity Details
Happy Hiker

The Happy Hiker website provides simple to follow directions for various walking routes, including GPS downloads and gives basic advice on a variety of walking issues.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Castlerigg Stone Circle is one of Britain's earliest stone circles and dates as far back as Neolithic period of 3000 BC. It stands on a natural plateau giving commanding views across the surrounding fells towards the mountains of Helvelyn and High Seat, and has 38 standing stones, some of which are 3 metres (10 feet) high.

The original purpose of the site is still a mystery. Historians believe that the circle may have been used for social gatherings, or for religious ceremonies and rituals or possibly as an astronomical observatory with the stones being aligned to the sun, moon and stars. 

There is limited parking at the site. Admission is free. 
Castlerigg Stone Circle is located 1.5 miles south east of Keswick. Grid Reference NY291236.

Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre

Whinlatter forest is England’s only true mountain forest. It is a red squirrel reserve and has CCTV of the nearby ospreys in Dodd Wood, a gift shop, and a restaurant. There are fourteen miles of road and footpaths suitable for walkers and cyclists, the Altura Mountain Bike Trail, Go Ape, and the 600metre long Wildplay trail which has nine separate play areas designed for children aged between six and thirteen.

There are some spectacular views across the fells and forests of the North lakes including down onto Bassenthwaite Lake. On the way from the Visitor Centre towards Lorton is a car park, from where you can also take a short walk to Spout Force waterfall.

The Whinlatter Pass links Braithwaite & Lorton. Grid Reference NY 208245. Braithwaite, Keswick. CA12 5TW. Tel 017687 78469

Ospreys at Dodd Wood

There are two viewpoints at Dodd Wood, the Lower and the Upper.

The Lower Viewpoint is open between 10am and 5pm, and we recommend you go there first as, if you are lucky, you can have spectacular views of the ospreys fishing over the lake.  From here, staff and volunteers will give you the information you need to get you safely to the Upper Viewpoint, which is open from 10.30am until 4.30pm.

The Upper Viewpoint is half a mile further into the forest, and can be accessed via the forest road from the Lower Viewpoint.  It is a steady climb and should take you about half an hour, but the walk is really worth the effort as it provides the best views of the nest, through the high-powered telescopes and binoculars provided.

Dodd Wood is located about 3 miles North of Keswick off the A591 where facilities include public toilets, Old Sawmill Tearoom and car parking spaces.

Dodd Wood, Bassenthwaite, Keswick. Grid Reference NY 235282

Keswick Launch on Derwentwater

Enjoy a relaxing trip around the lake on one of the Derwentwater boats or use them to begin one of the many walks from the staging points around the lake. Please check the seasonal timetables and there are no sailings in December and January. www.keswick-launch.co.uk

Keswick Launch Company, 29 Manor Park, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 5AB.  Grid Reference NY 264228. Telephone 017687 72263

The Lake District Wildlife Park

An award winning Wildlife Park set in breathtaking scenery just five minutes from Hermiston.

Meet Meili, their Red Panda, see a host of baby animals born this spring such as the herd of Micro Pigs with piglets this spring, baby Meerkats and a Zebra foal. They also have Bird of Prey Flying displays, excellent Keeper Talks, Reptile Encounters and a Rare Breed Farm Animal Collection, Play areas (indoors and out) picnic sites and a café. www.lakedistrictwildlifepark.com

The Lake District Wildlife Park, Coalbeck Farm, Bassenthwaite, Keswick, Cumbria, CA124RD. Grid Reference NY 208328. Telephone 017687 76239

Keswick Canoe & Bushcraft

Catering for families and complete beginners to the more experienced, everyone will enjoy canoeing on Derwentwater and taking in the stunning scenery. For the more adventurous you can try an expedition to Loch Tay or paddle the river Eden. Their bushcraft courses will teach you how to make a shelter, light a fire, to identify local plants and trees and their uses – and most importantly to use a Kelly kettle to make a brew! www.keswickcanoeandbushcraft.co.uk

Keswick Canoe & Bushcraft, The Lakeshore, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 5DJ. Telephone 017687 80145 or Mobile 07944 735 010

Rookin House Activity Centre

What better way to enjoy the beauty of the Lakeland countryside and its changing seasons than on horseback? Rookin House Activity Centre caters for both total beginners and experienced riders and has well-mannered horses and ponies to suit everyone, from steady to forward going depending on your experience and preference. A family run business, all treks are led by qualified, friendly escorts and approved riding hats are provided free of charge – boots too if you need them!

There are many more activities on offer at Rookin House from Archery and clay pigeon shooting, to paintball, off road driving and fishing.

Rookin House Farm, Troutbeck, Ullswater, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 0SS.  Grid Reference NY 026331
Telephone 017684 83561

Hemmingways Fishing

Offers unique guided fishing trips and tuition on the beautiful lakes and rivers of the North Lakes. 
Tel: 017687 79227 or Mobile: 07771 763067

Watendlath Trout Fishery

A seven-acre fly only fishery, stocked regularly with Brown, Blue and Rainbow Trout. Tickets are available from Tysons Cafe, Watendlath, 9.00am - 5.00pm, 7 days per week. The season is from the 1st April to 31st October.

Watendlath Trout Fishery, Watendlath, Keswick, CA125UY.
Telephone 017687 77362

Keswick Golf Club

With panoramic views of the surrounding Lakeland Fells, including Blencathra, Skiddaw and the Helvellyn Range, Keswick golf club welcomes day visitors and is only a ten minute drive from Hermiston Guesthouse.

Keswick Golf Club, Threlkeld Hall, Threlkeld, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 4SX.
Telephone 017687 79324

Cockermouth Golf Club

The 18 hole Cockermouth golf course at Embleton was designed by James Braid and provides spectacular views of Bassenthwaite Lake and Skiddaw. Again, non- members are made very welcome and it too is only ten minutes from our door.

Cockermouth Golf Club, Embleton, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 9SG.
Telephone 017687 76223 or 017687 76941

Hope Park

Hope Park is on the shores of Derwentwater in Keswick itself. It has a 9 hole Pitch and Putt golf course, a very popular 18 hole crazy golf course with its unique lakeland theme, an 18 hole putting green and a boules pit for the exponents of Petanque.

Perhaps not so much for the serious golfer, Hope Park is a lot of fun and there are games for all ages and abilities to enjoy.
Tel: 017687 73445