Our Guide To Winter In Keswick
Get 2022 off to a great start and blow away the cobwebs with a winter break to Keswick, whether that be the luxury of a full week away, a cosy weekend break, or even just a day out. The average temperatures in Winter are around 5 degrees so you'll need to wrap up warm. If you do find you haven't quite come prepared for the weather you'll find we have plenty of shops where you can get fully kitted out. In this week's blog we share with you some of our ideas for things to do and places to go.
Watch Out for Wildlife
When there's fewer people around it can be a good time to spot wildlife. So far this year I've seen a heron on the River Greta in Fitz Park and a deer down by Derwentwater. Although the heron kindly posed for a picture the deer was much more shy and bounded away before I even had chance to get the camera out. In winters past I've seen red squirrels on a number of walks. If you'd like to find out more, have a read of one of our past blogs all about where and when you can spot wildlife in the Lake District .
Keswick's annual Film Festival returns from the 24th - 27th March 2022, having missed a year for the first time this century. It is usually part of the winter offering of Festivals in February but has been put back to March this year. The Festival will bring the best of independent and world cinema to the Alhambra with hopefully some special guests coming to town. The new- look Alhambra cinema will be able to show niche events in its new 28 seater second screen whilst both screens will be used at Rheged. The line up for the Film Festival programme is starting to be released now so keep an eye on their website for the latest news.
If you can't make the weekend of the Film Festival you can watch a wide range of films including the latest releases at the Keswick Alhambra in their beautifully restored auditorium or on their new smaller second screen.
Go Out Star Gazing
Winter is a magical time of year to escape the bright lights of the city and take in the Lake District's incredible dark skies. The Cumbria Dark Skies Festival returns between the 12th and 26th February 2022 with a wide range of events all across the county of Cumbria to celebrate the wonders of the night sky. You can find out more on the website, events range from night time canoeing to studying the moon plus talks and workshops. Close to Keswick, up in Whinlatter Forest, the festival programme includes forest walks to wrap up warm for, setting out just as night draws in, where you'll be able to spot some well known constellations and other features of the night sky.
Enjoy the Great Indoors
If you prefer to stay indoors and keep warm as much as possible during the winter months, we don’t really blame you and, luckily, Keswick has plenty for you to enjoy indoors too. We have a variety of indoor attractions which stay open throughout the winter months. Keswick Museum has a number of exhibitions including 'Landscape Zone' where you can find out how fire and ice shaped a landscape and 'Betty's Back', a showcase of the work of James and Betty Durden, a 1920s extravaganza, centred around the return of star painting ‘Betty’. Tickets at Keswick Museum and Wordsworth Grasmere are valid for one year so an extra bonus is, if you come this winter, you can visit the rest of the year for free.
Keswick is a great place to either bring your own bikes or hire them whilst you are here with both mountain and electric bikes to choose from. Have a look at our cycling page for more information. For off-road cycling trails Whinlatter Forest, just outside Keswick, is home to the longest purpose-built mountain bike trails in the Lake District. Trampers are also available at Whinlatter Forest from Lake District Mobility which you can hire for minimal cost to enjoy an amazing 2.5 miles waymarked trail with spectacular views in the forest. If you prefer cycle routes with more gentle gradients the Keswick Railway Trail is a smooth-surfaced 10km out and back off-road route suitable for all the family.
Go on a Winter Walk
Wrap up warm and head out on an invigorating winter walk - don't forget to reward yourself with a treat in one of our cafes at the end. There's fewer people around in the winter months so you can often enjoy the stunning scenery all to yourself. Have a look at our walking page for some ideas - we have some lovely low-level routes ideal for winter with fantastic views up to the often snow-capped fells. Try this route to Castlerigg Stone Circle which is spectacular in all seasons, but especially so if there happens to be a covering of snow. Make sure you are well equipped to set off on a walk with good footwear - the paths can get quite boggy in the winter. (and the summer!)
Indulge in some Retail Therapy
When the days are short it's lovely to have a couple of hours at the end of the day out browsing round the shops. Keswick’s town centre has a wide choice of shops from familiar chains to independent shops and galleries unique to Keswick. The Thursday market takes a break till mid February but the popular Saturday market is on all year round.
If you're here with the family for February half term or a weekend break and the children are not overly fond of shopping they may enjoy the Keswick Mouse Trail. The free trail starts from outside Keswick Cheese Deli in Packhorse Court where you can pick up a trail leaflet. See if you can find Gerald and all his little mouse friends playing hide and seek around the town.
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