16 November 2022
Walking in Keswick is an absolute delight. The Lake District market town is a lovely holiday destination, located close to striking Skiddaw and the glimmering waters of Derwentwater.
You’re absolutely spoiled for walking choices, with everything from hikes up one of England’s tallest mountains, to historic strolls along the old railway line.
Many of the best walks near Keswick are easy to reach by foot, car, or public transport, and you’ll find routes that suit dog walkers, families, and experienced mountaineers alike. So, get out your maps at your holiday cottage and prepare for some of these amazing walks around Keswick.
Latrigg summit walk
Best for families
Distance: 1.5 - 3.5 miles
The walk up to Latrigg’s summit will dazzle visitors with its panoramic views of Keswick and Skiddaw. It's a nice pick for families with growing children that won’t mind a mild challenge. At 1.5 miles in length and with a moderate incline of 120 metres, the summit walk is bound to appeal to wayfarers young and old.
Parking can be limited so arrive early at Applethwaite Lane car park to avoid missing out. However, you can also enjoy a circular walk from Keswick directly via a longer 3.5-mile trail. Take the grandparents and the kids along for a lovely hilltop walk: they’re sure to have a great day out!
Threlkeld to Keswick Railway Path walk
Best for accessibility
Distance: 6 miles
This accessible walk along Keswick’s old railway line is fully paved, with bus stops close to either end if you don’t fancy doing the whole there-and-back-again! It’s a Miles Without Stiles route, so ideal for wheelchairs and prams.
Start at either Keswick or Threlkeld and simply follow the easy path under old railway tunnels, over winding rivers, and through tranquil woodland.
The Catbells loop
Best for a mild challenge
Distance: 3.5 miles
This trail to Catbells is a popular choice if you’re visiting Keswick; it’s one of the most climbed fells in the Lake District! From the summit, you can see across Derwentwater, and the views are unforgettable.
The path takes in a plateau at Skelgill Bank, and views of Little Town, which was once home to Beatrix Potter’s beloved character, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle the hedgehog! A few rocky sections along the trail require a modicum of scrambling, yet the sights are legendary.
Whilst there is parking at the start of the route, this fills up very quickly and we recommend taking the bus instead: there’s a stop right at your starting point. You can also catch a boat from Keswick to Hawse End Jetty, close to the route.
Revelin Moss Trail at Whinlatter Forest
Best for young children
Distance: 1 mile
Whinlatter Forest is the only mountain forest in England and its majestic beauty has to be seen to be believed! Home to a myriad of waymarked woodland paths, the Revelin Moss Trail is an easy walk along a gravel pathway that is suitable for most prams if you are holidaying with infants.
Stroll below the boughs of the conifer trees that line the way and look out for the awesome sight of Grisedale Pike on the horizon. It’s a wonderful choice for those wishing to enjoy a simple walk with an amazing scenic backdrop. There is a visitor centre with parking, a café and a gift shop at Whinlatter Forest for convenience.
Rosthwaite circular walk
Best for following in Alfred Wainwright’s footsteps
Distance: 4.5 miles
Starting at the National Trust car park in Rosthwaite in Borrowdale, you can find this rewarding 4.5-mile walk. The trail takes you up High Doat, then intersects with the Allerdale Ramble long-distance path across Tongue Gill to Castle Crag, which was one of the travel writer Alfred Wainwright’s best-loved fells.
From the top of Castle Crag, there are exceptional vistas of Derwentwater, Keswick and Skiddaw. The return route leads down Castle Crag to meet up with the Cumbria Way and the banks of the River Derwent before reaching Rosthwaite once more.
Best for a long family stroll
Distance: 10 miles
Stay on the level along the water’s edge of Derwentwater: this walk is a 10-mile challenge but is relatively flat and well-marked all along its course. Pass through ancient woodlands and see secluded inlets and wildlife.
The scenery is picture-perfect and punctuated with viewpoints from which to take some magnificent photographs. There are also sculptures and a Chinese-style bridge to spot, as well as a number of places to stop for a picnic or to grab a light lunch.
Keswick to Castlerigg Stone Circle
Best for catching a sunrise or sunset
Distance: 2.5 miles (one way)
Perfect for a gentle walk with a bit of mystique, see if you can catch a sunrise or sunset from the ancient Castlerigg Stone Circle!
Set out from Keswick town to Springs Farm at the end of Springs Road, where you’ll begin a gentle climb through tranquil woodland. Bear right at the signpost for the stone circle and keep an eye out for some lovely views of Derwentwater.
Continue until you cross a road and keep Castlerigg Farm Campsite on your left. You’ll have open fields surrounding you as well as a gorgeous view of Skiddaw, Blencathra and the Helvellyn Range. Keep pottering along the footpath until you need to cross one busy road, after which it’s easy-going either along the farm lane directly opposite, or on the footpath a few metres to your right.
Noble Knotts, Whinlatter
Best for spotting wildlife
Distance: 1.5 miles
This pleasant meandering walk winds through majestic fir trees of Whinlatter Forest. The gravel paths are easy to follow and you’ll most likely be accompanied by beautiful birdsong throughout. Look out for shy red squirrels and deer, both of which are often seen here.
From Noble Knott car park on Whinlatter Pass, take a moment to admire the spectacular view over Bassenthwaite Lake before following the path behind the information board. There are several routes you can take over rippling streams and under green canopies. Follow the wooden signposts to keep you on track and circle back round to your parking spot where you can enjoy a snack on the nearby picnic benches.
Skiddaw circular from Keswick
Best for a full-day challenge
Distance: 14 miles
This circular route up Skiddaw takes you from the centre of Keswick. It’s a challenging hike that is only suitable for more experienced walkers who have the stamina for it.
From Derwent Pencil Museum, you start east along the Cumbria Way, circling the outskirts of the town towards Applethwaite and Millbeck. Ascend up Carl Side and onto Skiddaw, where, at the peak, you can congratulate yourself for having summited England’s fourth-highest mountain! Enjoy the views towards the Yorkshire Dales, Northern Ireland and the Forest of Bowland.
On the way back down, retrace your path to Carl Side Tarn before veering right onto Ullock Pike and through the fields towards Bassenthwaite Lake. You’ll pass through Dodd Wood before joining the River Derwent, which will take you back to Keswick.
Stay at one of our self-catering holiday cottages in Keswick
We have a wide collection of holiday cottages for you to choose from around Keswick and Derwentwater. From small cottages to large family homes, all our properties are full of features that make holidaying a joy. Browse our inspirational holiday properties for a Lake District getaway.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.