A short distance from Keswick via the A66 is Braithwaite. With both bed and breakfast and self catering accommodation this is an excellent centre for exploring the Lake District. Braithwaite has a village shop and a pub. It is served by the X4/X5 - Workington/Cockermouth/Keswick/Penrith bus. Click here for bus timetables.
Many walks start from Braithwaite up into the surrounding fells and mountains such as Grisedale Pike, Barrow, Outerside and the Coledale Round or into the beautiful Newlands Valley. Braithwaite makes an ideal base for a walking holiday.
Just up the hill from Braithwaite is Whinlatter Forest, England's only true mountain forest. It is owned and managed by the Forestry Commission.The Forest Park and the Visitor Centre provide lots of opportunity for walking and mountain biking. You can hire a bike there from Cyclewise or take your own. It offers a number of graded walks through the forest on marked trails and a series of children's outdoor play areas . For those over the age of ten there's a treetop adventure called Go Ape, a high level journey along bridges, tarzan swings and zip slides up to 40 feet in the trees. It is famous as the nesting place of the magnificent ospreys which feed on fish from the lake.
Above Braithwaite are the remains of Force Crag Mine - the last mineral mine to be worked in the Lake District has been lovingly restored and cared for by volunteers. There are regular guided tours with the National Trust which allow you to explore the above-ground processing mill.
Click here to search for accommodation in Braithwaite.