Out 'n' About in the Lake District
Things to do and see near Bassenthwaite and Keswick
No one would dispute that the area is a veritable paradise for walkers and climbers, but it also must be said there are a great many fascinating places to visit by car.
Fortunately for us, the vast majority of visitors don't venture further north than Keswick. The Dash is perhaps only a 15 minute drive north of Keswick and yet the area and roads are perfectly quiet and still.
Keswick is a small lakeland town, with a wonderful setting between Derwentwater, Blencathra, Skiddaw and Bassenthwaite Lake (seen in this picture). Always a favourite stopping point for Lakeland climbers and fell walkers, Keswick offers everything you might need from regular shops such as bakers, butchers, and a supermarket, and perhaps the largest selection of outdoor pursuit shops anywhere. Tourist Information Centre here.
Similarly, Cockermouth is about 15 minutes from The Dash and lies to the north of Keswick. It is about the same size as Keswick, but sees a lot fewer visitors. Consequently, it is much more of a traditional town with many more small and interesting shops. Cockermouth is the birthplace of Dorothy and William Wordsworth. The house where they were born, a beautiful Georgian residence, is owned by the National Trust and is open to visitors. Tourist Information Centre here.
Caldbeck is a very picturesque and traditional north Cumbrian village. It is probably the most visited in the immediate area but by Lakeland standards it is still extremely peaceful and quiet.
Caldbeck began as a hospice for travellers built by monks from the priory at Carlisle. Then in 1112 the first part of St Kentigern's Church was built. It is built on the site of an original Church from the sixth Century. On the riverbank behind the Church is St Mungo's well, a spring made holy by Kentigern. The churchyard is the resting place of Mary Harrison, (the Beauty of Buttermere), and John Peel the famous huntsman who died in 1854, aged 78.
The Solway Coast, Hadrian's Wall and Carlisle
Impressive and forbidding, Carlisle Castle is a formidable fortress.
The Solway Coast, Hadrian's Wall and Carlisle can all be reached in about half an hour. The beautiful stretch of coastline is renowned for breathtaking sunsets and wonderful bird-watching. It is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Hadrian's Wall and Carlisle boast a rich history of Roman Camps and Border Rievers. Carlisle city centre offers shopping to rival any small city, as well as a magnificent Cathedral, a very impressive Castle and a fascinating museum chronicling the history of the area (Tullie House Museum).