Adventurous Days Out in Keswick
Keswick is known as the adventure capital of the Lake District for a reason: there are so many activities available for people of all ages and abilities, including cycling, climbing, archery, canoeing, and watersports.
Although Keswick is a great base for getting out and exploring nature, there are also loads of indoor activities that you can get involved in. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite adventurous days out that you can try while visiting Keswick.
Newlands Adventure Centre is just a short drive from Keswick and is the perfect base for adrenaline junkies who want to get involved in a number of outdoor activities. Some of the activities you can try at Newlands include fell walking, kayaking, canoeing, archery, ghyll scrambling, and high rope courses, as well as much more.
Keswick Climbing Wall has an indoor climbing wall for rainy days, suitable for climbers of all abilities, and offers lessons for anyone who wants to give climbing a try for the first time. With both indoor and outdoor archery there's something to choose from whatever the weather. Outdoor sessions cover everything from ghyll scrambling to kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing and high ropes. if you've got a head for heights there's a 170m zipwire with a bird's eye view of the fells as you zip through the air. Have a go at abseiling from the top of the 14m tower either via the traditional backwards method or for the brave, a forwards abseil leaning out over the drop facing the ground. Younger kids will love the Rookery Woods Adventure Play designed for little adventurers aged eight and under with zip-wire, archery, climbing, slides, maze, low ropes, orienteering and more.
Kong Adventure Centre is the perfect destination for anyone who loves to climb, offering an indoor climbing wall and an indoor caving experience. New climbers can take part in private lessons, coaching sessions, or refresher sessions. Your little ones can enjoy kids’ climbing hour or monkey around in the Hard Play area, complete with a rope bridge and fire-breathing dragon! Kong’s Adventure Centre also offer outdoor activities, including outdoor climbing, ghyll scrambling, water based activities, and much more.
Rookin House Equestrian and Activity Centre
A short drive from Keswick Rookin House offers an unrivalled variety of outdoor activities with Blencathra providing a fantastic mountain backdrop. There's a varied and challeninging assault course. Enjoy the Lakeland countryside from the back of a horse or try the argo cat , an amphibious all terrain vehice. Pick and mix to have an adventurous day filled with different activities. Choose from all these and more besides - paint-balling, archery both indoors and out, bush-craft, human bowling, go-carts, command tasks, fishing, quad bikes, clay pigeon shooting, off road vehicles....
Whinlatter Forest is just a 10 minute drive from Keswick and is England’s only mountain forest. Whinlatter offers a huge range of things to do, while enjoying stunning views of Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwentwater, and Keswick.
There are nine walking trails and three purpose-built cycling and mountain biking trails that you can use to explore the forest, with bike hire available if you forgot to bring your own! Kids can enjoy the Whinlatter WildPlay trail, which has nine different play areas including giant swings, a climbing wall, water features, and a secret path.
Whinlatter is also home to Go Ape, a fantastic treetop adventure where you can swing through the trees to enjoy stunning views of Grisedale Pike and the Coledale Fells. With the highest platform standing at a staggering 14 metres, and the longest zipline at 89 metres, this adventure certainly isn’t for the faint hearted!
If you’d rather stay down on the ground, you can still enjoy the Go Ape Forest Segway, where you’ll go off road on all-terrain Segways to explore Whinlatter forest from a thrilling new perspective.
Whinlatter is also a great place to sit back and relax, with a café, picnic, and BBQ areas, to enjoy the beautiful scenery and see if you can spot some of the rare wildlife that calls Whinlatter home.
Platty Plus is a family-run watersports centre based on the shores of Derwentwater, offering a range of water based activities including kayaking, canoeing, and raft building, in a safe and fun environment. Why not try something different and have a go at paddleboarding, or see if you can fit the whole family in a dragon boat!
Derwent Water Marina is based on the shores of Derwentwater in Portinscale and provides courses in sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding aswell as group canoeing, raft building and ghyll scrambling sessions.
Just a short drive from Keswick, the Lake District Wildlife Park is a fun day out for all the family, with over 100 species of exotic animals, including lemurs, emus, zebras, and Northern Eurasian lynx, to name just a few! You can get up close to the animals with an Animal Encounter experience, from holding hawks to feeding the lemurs. You can also adopt an animal, and learn more about the conservation work which is carried out by the Lake District Wildlife Park, including the Forest Guardian Scheme and Armathwaite Hall Estate.
Located at the head of Honister Pass in the centre of the Lake District, just under half an hour’s drive from Keswick, Honister Slate Mine offers a range of indoor and outdoor adventures for a range of ages and abilities. Honister is also the last working slate mine in England, with slate products available to buy including house signs, homeware, and dining.
There are a number of adventures you can take part in at Honister Slate Mine, including guided underground mine tours where you can learn more about the history and workings of the mine, as well as two “via ferrata” climbing routes, and an adrenaline-pumping Climb the Mine experience deep in the heart of the mountain.
If you or a member of your party doesn’t want to take part in the more adventurous activities, the Sky Hi Café serves homemade food and hot drinks and is the perfect place to relax and take in the stunning views of the Honister Pass.
We hope that you’ve been inspired to get out and about and try some of these fun activities whilst visiting Keswick. There also numerous climbing, cycling and walking routes around Keswick, which you can find details for on our website. Have a look aswell at our adventure pages for more inspiration.
There are climbing routes for everyone from beginners to experienced climbers. Walking is a great way to get around Keswick (especially if you’ve brought your dog on holiday with you!) and our range of walking routes vary from easy, family-friendly routes, to some high-energy treks.
Before taking part in any outdoor activities, especially if you’re heading out for a walk on the fells, we recommend reading our safety on the fells page for some useful tips about how to stay safe while exploring the beautiful Lake District landscape.
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