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Keswick Outdoor Activities

Derwentwater & the surrounding Northern Fells, Keswick

Derwentwater & the surrounding Northern Fells, Keswick

Walking and outdoor activities around Keswick and the Northern Fells attract huge numbers of visitors to the area annually. The mountains and lakes around the town are amongst the Lake District’s most spectacular including the mighty mountains of Blencathra, Skiddaw, Scafell and Helvellyn. Watersports are popular on Derwentwater, and nearby Bassenthwaite Lake just north of Keswick is a mecca for birdwatchers coming to see the nesting migratory ospreys.

Outdoor activity centres in Keswick town centre and around Derwentwater offer courses and equipment hire for everything from canoeing and kayaking to mountain biking, climbing and windsurfing. Book yourself on one of the many guided walks widely available in the town centre and enjoy a superb choice of cycling and mountain bike trails in the area including top mounting biking at Whinlatter Forest Park.

The mountains and lakes around Keswick are an outdoor playground featuring everything from challenging hillwalking and climbing around Skiddaw and Blencathra to boating and watersports on Derwentwater. Take on the challenge of the Keswick Climbing Wall and new King Kong Climbing Centre. Wisit the town during the annual May Keswick Mountain Festival which offers lots of activities and things to do plus sporting events centred around the Adventure Base alongside Derwentwater.

Base yourself in the heart of the wild Northern Fells - stay in a Keswick B&B

Base yourself in the heart of the wild Northern Fells – stay in a Keswick B&B

Walking around Keswick

The spectacular mountains of the Northern Fells around Keswick feature great gouged flanks, crags and scree. Blencathra, Celtic for ‘Hill of the Chair’ is the mighty mountain of the North Fells near Keswick, also known as Saddleback because of its distinctive shape. Blencathra and Skiddaw hillwalking is popular with experienced walkers and climbers whilst more leisurely Keswick walks include the famous Cat Bells walk (widely available as a guided walk from the town centre) which offers panoramic views of the Northern Fells and was a favourite walk of Beatrix Potter.

The Castle Crag walk around Keswick is also popular particularly during the summer season and visitors can hook in to the beautiful Derwentwater Trail which takes in panoramic views of the lake and nearby peaks of Blencathra and Skiddaw. The Derwentwater Trail can also be broken down into smaller chunks and fun junior mini trails also feature. Pick up maps and guides for walks at The Moot Hall.

Watersports on Derwentwater

Activities and water sports on Derwent Water near Keswick include everything from windsurfing, canoeing, sailing and kayaking to team building and corporate group adventure courses. A truly breathtaking lake in the Northern Fells with a spectacular mountainous backdrop, Derwent Water has a bustling marina where you’ll find a range of water sports on offer. Outdoor activity centres also offer kayaking and canoeing on Derwentwater.

Mountain Biking & Cycling around Keswick

Mountain biking and cycling around Keswick is another incredibly popular outdoor activity in the surrounding Northern Fells. National Cycle Routes criss-cross the Keswick and Northern Fells area and a selection of Keswick cycling trails are direct from the town including the Keswick Cycle Path which takes in the ancient monument of Castlerigg Stone Circle. All the family will love the cycling trails of Whinlatter Forest Park, one of the best mountain biking locations in the Lake District. Whinlatter Forest Park is also home to top outdoor activity centre Go Ape. Hire bikes for a day, 2 days or a full week from Keswick Bikes.


Fishing and angling in the Keswick area is well catered for at the two nearby lakes of Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake. Both Lakes are hotspots for brown trout, perch, pike and roach. Pick up fishing permits for some of Keswick’s top fishing rivers and lakes at the central tourist information centre. You’ll also find great fishing on the River Greta and Derwent, nearby Watendlath Tarn trout fishery, Buttermere and Crummock Water.

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