TRAVEL: Exploring Keswick – the perfect weekend getaway in the Lake District
Time moves at a different pace in the Lake District.
The hustle and bustle of city life is a distant memory when you’re admiring the endless views and losing yourself in the peaceful bliss of a serene walk in nature.
But the Lake District is much more than just a paradise for dog walkers and hikers alike.
Anyone searching for a weekend retreat in a perfectly constructed market town needs to look no further than Keswick.
Hidden just twenty minutes off the M6, it’s no surprise why thousands of families, couples and, of course, our four-legged friends flock there for a peaceful long weekend.
What to eat
If breathtaking scenery and greenery at every turn isn’t your idea of a relaxing weekend getaway then fear not.
There’s more to this charming market town than the environment that surrounds it.
My partner and I arrived, along with our small, fluffy companion, on Friday evening ready for long walks, fresh air but, most importantly at that time, a hearty meal.
We made the short walk from our bed and breakfast to the center of town and it quickly became clear that Keswick has become England’s worst kept secret.
The cobbled streets were filled with families and the bars, pubs and restaurants overflowing with business.
Keswick is one of the country’s most dog friendly towns across the land and almost every pub is as welcoming to pups as they are to people.
We settled on the Bank Tavern on our first night and spent the evening savouring our lamb and washing it down with some of the best ales the Lake District has to offer. This was to become a huge theme of the weekend.
The following evening we swapped our raincoats for sunglasses and basked in the glow of a wonderful summer night.
After relaxing in a secluded corner of The George Hotel and feasting on a Cow Pie (arguably worth the long trip itself) we decided on a quiet drink outside.
But any fears that Keswick would resting its eyes on a sleepy Saturday were quashed as the entertainment started inside The Lake Road Inn.
A larger than life singer forced the heaving crowd out of their seats and onto the dance floor for a night that was sure to continue into the early hours.
We left the smiling crowd to it and made our way home. Who says Keswick doesn’t know how to have fun?
Where to stay
Keswick is well stocked to house the throng of tourists that come to town every year but finding a bed and breakfast that caters for pets can sometimes be a tricky task.
Thankfully Appletrees Guest House throw open welcoming arms to those on four legs as well as those on two.
Every room is immaculately laid out and, even if you don’t venture further from your room all weekend, your guaranteed to get at least one incredible view from your window.
Catherine welcomed us with a smile and was a treasure trove of information about the town she now calls home.
There was no hiding her passion for the beauty that surrounds her guest house as we enquired about some of the best walks to go on or where to spend our evening.
So enthusiastic was Catherine about the sprawling scenery that surrounds her we began to feel that we should have invited her along on our adventures. She assured us once her shift was over that she wouldn’t be far behind.
Everything from the moment our heads to the pillow to venturing downstairs for breakfast was catered for and no stone was left unturned to ensure we fell in love with Keswick as much as she had done.
If the definition of going the extra mile for your guests means texting them to say they’ve left their toothbrush in the bathroom after checking out, then Catherine surely embodies this. Thankfully my teeth are still as squeaky clean as our room.
What to do
No report on Keswick would be complete without mentioning the wonderful, and largest, National Park that surrounds it.
Billed as the ideal English getaway, everyone and anyone visiting can find themselves a pocket of peacefulness to lose themselves in.
Keswick is ideally placed to allow its visitors to hop in the car, or even take a trek on foot and begin discovering its beauty.
We were truly spoilt for choice with options of where to begin our travels and talking to Catherine only added to our ruminations.
Her seemingly endless list of possible walking routes, stunning scenery and quaint cafes once again highlighted just how deep her affection was for the area.
'I always find that you get a different view of Friar's Crag every time you go there,' Catherine told us, so we felt this was as good a place as any to start.
We started on the first of our many, many steps for the weekend as we left the bustling Keswick community, past the impressive Theatre By The Lake and prepared to take in the exceptional view of Derwent Water.
Seeminly endless views of a glistening lake with a peaceful silence was going to be a theme of the weekend as we jumped in the car and made our way around the lakes of Buttermere, Crummock and Loweswater.
On our final day, we'd been given a recommendation to explore the beautiful village closest to Keswick, Portinscale.
After walking through the sleepy streets, we past the Derwentwater Marina, the Nichol End Marina until we reached the view of the weekend; following the path through the woods where we were treated to an unforgettable view of Derwentwater.
As we drove back to Sheffield, where we have the Peak District right on our doorstep, we knew this wouldn't be the last time we'd visit this natural wonder.
For more information and booking direct, visit www.visitkeswick.com