Cultural Keswick

Visit a Museum and Explore Keswick's Colourful History

The origins of today’s tourism industry began in the late 18thC when the first visitors started to arrive encouraged by the area’s close connections with famous writers and artists who were themselves inspired by the great scenic beauty of the area. Mirehouse, just outside Keswick is a beautiful family run historic house with strong literary connections. Step back in time to the 1770s and experience William Wordsworth’s childhood home at Wordsworth House and Gardens in nearby Cockermouth.Discover the history of slate mining at Honister Slate Mine or visit the home of the first pencil at Derwent Pencil Museum where you can trace the history of pencil making through displays and carefully restored machinery. Exhibitions, events and displays at Keswick Museum and Art Gallery overlooking Fitz Park tell the story of Keswick's landscape, history and culture.

Visit our attractions page for further information.

Take in a Play or a Film

Expand your cultural horizons with a visit to the theatre where you will find an excellent choice of live entertainment or our local independent cinema offering the latest film releases plus much, much more..

Keswick's Theatre by the Lake is situated on the shores of Derwentwater in one of the most picturesque locations in the country. It opened in 1999, replacing the old Blue Box Touring Theatre and was made possible by an Arts Council Lottery Fund Grant. The resident professional company offers a summer season of plays, a Christmas show and Easter production. The theatre also hosts a wide range of visiting drama, music, dance, talks, comedy and film.

Keswick’s century old cinema, The Alhambra , screens current films every night of the week in magnificent digital quality, plus the best of the world’s theatre, ballet and opera relayed live by satellite.

For a complete what's on guide visit our events guide by clicking here.

A Tradition of Arts and Crafts

With rugged mountains, sparkling lakes and some of the most spectacular landscapes in the country it is no small wonder that for centuries artists, including Turner and Constable, have sought to capture the changing moods and vistas of the North Lakes area. Keswick was the home of the School of Industrial Arts for nearly a century, set up by Canon Rawnsley, a good friend of John Ruskin whose art and writings laid the foundation for the Arts and Crafts movement.

There are many artists and craftsmen living and working in the area today creating both contemporary and more traditional pieces including original oil paintings and watercolours and reproductions, sculpture, jewellery and ceramics. Numerous galleries in Keswick, Cockermouth and the surrounding villages showcase the work of both local and international artists.

For further details of individual galleries, see the Shopping section of this website.