Things To Do in Keswick – Last week all nine of us, plus the two Newfoundland’s spent a lovely week in the Lake District, before we went, we were featured on Radio 4 World At One Show to discuss going on holiday in the UK with a large family, you can catch the first part here (from 42 mins).
But how many of the things mentioned did we actually achieve in the week? Having seven children of different ages, its important to ensure everyone gets to do things they enjoy.
We had booked a lovely last minute cottage in Bassenthwaite called Robin Hood Farmhouse, to enable us to explore a part of the Lake District we hadn’t really spent much time in, the nearest town being Keswick.
Our audio diary for Radio 4 was recorded every day, unfortunately due to the news agenda last week, we only aired on one day, you can find that towards the end of the programme here (44 mins), so if you are wondering what we got up to for the week and if there are any hidden gems in the Keswick area, read on….
Things To Do in Keswick For A Large Family
The weather was nice and sunny, so Asa, Kaide and Eowyn headed off early to go and check out Bassenthwaite lake, and to visit the local supermarket to stock up on supplies.
After a cooked breakfast, Asa and Eowyn went for a small walk around the local area, that was supposed to take about 30 minutes, however they arrived back home 90 minutes later!
Once they were back, we headed off to Castle Rigg Stone Circle, the sun was shining and it appeared that half of the Lake District had decided to also visit! Its a fairly narrow road, with no real car park, so there were cars dotted everywhere, and a couple of minibuses!
Both Belle and Bree enjoyed being fussed over by people visiting, and the children enjoyed posing near the rocks and watching the sheep in the adjacent field, the views around the stone circle are beautiful, and imagine you could get some amazing photos at the circle, if it wasn’t as busy!
Just up the road from the Stone Circle is Keswick Climbing Wall, that day they had Rookery Woods Adventure Fest on, which looked brilliant, so if you are in the area next year, check out their social media for the date!
Next we headed off into Keswick to the playpark, as requested by Tyrus and Viggo, it was quite busy, but they both thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and declared it was a GREAT park!
After dinner Asa, Kaide, Eowyn and Lochlan headed down to the local pub called The Sun Inn Bassenthwaite, for a quick drink before bedtime, the weather for the following day wasn’t looking too good!
We woke up to quite heavy rain, so we checked out Visit Lake District for indoor activities in the area, and decided on The Puzzling Place located in the middle of Keswick, but due to the dreadful weather we decided to book for an afternoon slot to ensure we could get in, and the great news was they accept dogs, which meant all nine of us could go, instead of a few staying at home to take care of Belle and Bree.
When we arrived in Keswick it was still pouring with rain, i’m glad that we had pre-booked as there were no walk-in spaces available only pre-booked.
The Puzzling Place was really good, we spent a good few hours in all the different rooms, Belle and Bree had a great time interacting with other dogs and generally being fussed over! Tyrus and Viggo loved all the different holograms, the sideways room and the anti-gravity room, with lots of fun pictures taken.
We spent a little while browsing the shops in Keswick, and everyone loved meeting two large, very wet newfies!
We stopped off at Lakes Fish and Chip Shop and grabbed something for dinner, although I was fighting a losing battle walking back to the car with the rain and a paper bag to hold it all in!!
After dinner Neva, Xene and I headed off to The Theatre By The Lake to watch 39 Steps, and it was brilliant! If you are in the area between now and 2nd September, definitely add it to your itinerary, such a funny clever performance and the fact the theatre is a round, you are right there in the action.
We also stayed behind for one of the Q&A sessions which was very interesting and a great addition to an already fantastic evening.
You can check out our theatre by the lake Keswick review HERE
In the morning, Asa, Kaide Eowyn, Neva and I went up Binsey, it is a hill on the northern edge. It is detached from the rest of the Lakeland hills, and provides ia good spot to look out at the Northern and North Western Fells of the Lake District.
As well as the coastal plain and, across the Solway Firth, Scotland. Snaefell on the Isle of Man is also visible on a clear day, and although it was a lovely warm, clear day, we couldn’t see the Isle of Man.
After lunch Asa, Xene and Lochlan went out for a walk around the local area, the dogs were then getting restless, so Asa and Neva jumped in the car with Belle and Bree and took them for a walk around Bassenthwaite Lake.
In the early evening Asa, Kaide, Eowyn Viggo and I set off on a lovely road to Carlisle, which was full of sheep crossing in front of us, we had booked tickets to watch Carlisle FC v Wigan Athletic, and as we were so close to Scotland we did a little further journey and crossed over the border, for about 2 minutes, before heading off to the football!
It was a good game, and the final score was 1-1, the Carlisle fans are very vocal and it’s a shame Radio 4 didn’t choose those recordings to play!!
You can read our review HERE
Neva, Xene, Tyrus Viggo and I, plus Belle and Bree took part on the Zog Trail, the boys had great fun taking photos and videos and using their green glasses to solve the clues.
After lunch Asa took Lochlan, Neva, Kaide and Eowyn to Nichol End Marine to go kayaking, it was the one thing Lochlan had requested to do on the holiday and it turned out lots of the others did too!
They went out for an hour in the kayaks, Lochlan went in one by himself, Asa took Eowyn and Kaide and Neva went together, they all agreed they had a great time, and are keen to go again, and even take me with them next time!
Before we went on holiday, we had discussed the various options for climbing a mountain in our location, and we decided on Skiddaw, at a height of 3,054 ft, we had originally planned to park at the car park at Under Skiddaw, unfortunately it was absolutely packed, so we parked at Dodd Wood and walked from there, which on refelection was the better choice as it had a toilet at the start (and finish!).
So Asa, Lochlan, Kaide, Eowyn and I set off to climb Skiddaw, on a slightly longer route than planned! It was a nice warm sunny day, although the higher you climbed, the windy it became, especially at the summit, which was extremely windy!!
After descending and getting back to the cottage, Asa took Xene, Neva and Viggo into Keswick shopping, although as the mountain climb took longer than expected, there wasn’t much open by the time they got there!
Later in the evening Asa and I headed off to Cockermouth to the supermarket to stock back up on supplies, its amazing how much food nine people go through!
An early morning start for Asa, Kaide, Lochlan, Eowyn and myself as we headed off to Newlands Adventure Centre to take part in Ghyll Scrambling, huge thanks to Nathan who was an epic instructor and made the experience unforgettable!
If you are not familiar with Ghyll Scrambling, its a mix of scrambling through pools, down waterslides and even jumping off waterfalls! You are provided with all the equipment necessary including wetsuits, extra clothing, buoyancy aid and a helmet.
It was a brilliant experience and one they’be all said they’d definitely like to do again!
After lunch Xene, Neva, kaide, Tyrus, Viggo, Asa and I headed off to Lake District Wildlife Park, it was just a few minutes drive from the cottage and next to Armathwaite Hall.
I love visiting zoos ands wildlife parks when we are away from home as they all have slightly different animals and talks, this one has some very cheeky tapirs, gorgeous red pandas, inquisitive lemurs and an amazingly fearless owl, that didn’t even seem to care there were lots of people sitting watching him fly!
And that’s how you fill a week of things to do in Keswick for a large family with two giant dogs!