Portinscale is the village closest to Keswick, just a mile away and is adjacent to the shores of Derwentwater. Portinscale has a good selection of accommodation including some lovely guest houses and self catering properties making it an excellent base for your holiday.
Watersports enthusiasts are well catered for with hire of canoes, kayaks, rowing boats, dinghys and windsurfers aswell as tuition at Derwentwater Marina.
Portinscale is an ideal base for a walking holiday.On the doorstep are the starting points for the very popular walks up Catbells, Causey Pike and the Coledale Horseshoe aswell as the Newlands Round. A short walk from Portinscale takes you to the landing stage at Nichol End from where you can join the Keswick launch. You can enjoy a leisurely cruise around the lake or plan a walk combined with a boat trip.There are also lovely walks in the Newlands Valley.
Access by car to Portinscale is via the A66, only a few minutes drive. A very pleasant way to reach the town centre on foot is via the suspension bridge over the river Greta and along the Howrah's footpath. This level walk takes about 15 minutes.
Portinscale is served by the regular X4/X5 - Workington/Cockermouth/Keswick/Penrith bus. The bus stops on the A66 rather than going into the village. Portinscale is also on the 77/77A Honister Rambler bus route to Buttermere, a spectacular scenic tour, which gives access to many beautiful walks. For bus timetables click here.
Facilities in the village include The Chalet Tearooms and Restaurant serving high quality food for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. The Lingholm Kitchen and Walled Garden, a 10 minute stroll from Keswick has a fantastic cafe with a stunning 100ft long glass wall looking down on the octagonal walled garden that sits on the same spot as the old Lingholm kitchen gardens that Beatrix Potter credited as her original inspiration for Mr McGregor's garden in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The area around Portinscale is well known for its links with Beatrix Potter. Between 1885 and 1907 the Potter family took their summer holidays at Lingholm and Fawe Park on the Western shores of Derwentwater where Beatrix spent many hours making sketches of the woods, gardens and landscape which were to feature in several of her books. At Lingholm, just beyond Portinscale, the abundance of red squirrels (still there but in lesser numbers) is said to have inspired ''The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin''. Other local landmarks can be seen in her illustrations, for example ''Owl Island'' is St Herbert's Island in Derwentwater.
The main road from Keswick to Cockermouth used to take you through the village of Portinscale via a two arched stone bridge known as the Long Bridge. There were plans to replace it in 1911 but these plans were opposed and it was not until it was damaged by floods in 1954 that it was replaced initially by a temporary metal structure. When the road was built to bypass the village in the 1960's a new road bridge was built further downstream and the current suspension bridge was built for pedestrians only allowing people to access Portinscale across the fields known as the Howrahs.