On of the most beautiful valleys in the Lake District, The Langstrath Valley is a must see place on your list! Just 20 minutes’ drive from Keswick in into the Borrowdale Valley this valley has so many little secrets you won’t be disappointed! The main attraction is Black Moss Pot, this body of water is super popular and even has a waterfall. If you’re feeling brave you can even jump into the deep pool as well! It’s a must do for adrenaline seekers! From amazing views to secret waterfalls, this valley really does tick the box for nearly everyone visiting the Lake District! For a more secluded and otherworldly experience, take a one-hour hike up Eskdale Fell to Burnmoor Tarn – an isolated spot where you’ll spot fish and mostly likely be the only swimmer in the tarn!
This valley is a spectacle of colour in the spring due to the incredible bluebells which grow there in their thousands! That alone is worth a visit, it is a gentle walk, just over a mile but it will take you a long time as you will be stopping to take hundreds of photos along the walk! As well as the Bluebells, Crummock Water is one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the UK with mountains sloping above either side of the shores. It is the perfect place for a wild swim or even a paddleboard! If you’re a fan of waterfalls the short walk up to Scales Force is most definitely worth your time with some incredible photo opportunities by the falls to be taken! Overall this incredible valley is the perfect place to come visit. Being right next to Buttermere you can easily spend a day down this end of the Lake District, having great food a Sykes Farm Tearooms and making unforgettable Lake District memories.
Probably the most unknown hidden gem on this list, Moss Force is a beautiful waterfall in the Lake District, based at the top of Newlands Pass this awesome little secret has one of the best views of the whole Lake District! If it has been raining the path up to it can be a bit slippery so do be careful, but the short steep walk is most definitely worth it!
St Bees Beach
By far the best beach in the whole of Cumbria, St Bees Beach is a must see if you have the time! On a hot summers day you can sometimes mistake yourself for thinking you’re in the Costa del Sol! With its lovely sandy beach and incredible sea views its perfect for a family day out! With a costal walk along the cliff tops and even some of the best bouldering in the UK right on the bay of the sea, it’s a must for everyone who is visiting the area!
If you are a fan of natural swimming pools, the Swineside Valley is the perfect place to go spend a day! A great little suntrap with loads of small pools for you to jump into, this hidden gem can fill your days with hours of fun! Some of the pools are nice still bodies of water perfect for youngsters, and some have naturally formed fast flowing slides and big jumps as well so it is perfect for everyone!
Now, I understand when coming to the Lake District you can be bombarded with endless choices of accommodation, which is great! However, we feel that certain business deserve to be recognized for the hard work in which they have done to make your stay here in the Lakes as sustainable as possible! These residential businesses which I’m going to be writing about today are located in the heart of the Lake District: an area of outstanding natural beauty and importance. While, as businesses, I’m sure they feel privileged to operate in such a stunning area, they are also only too aware of the impact businesses make on the environment. These residential businesses have made a conscious decision to operate responsibly and take the best care of the incredible surroundings. Whether it be from recycling to solar power, composting waste food to only using local business for maintenance and food. These businesses have gone above and beyond the requirements needed to meet your Eco friendly needs!
Based in the heart of the Newlands Valley, Newlands Adventure Centre is a multi award winning sustainable business & residential centre which has been operating since 1905. With prices starting at the very reasonable price of just £30 B&B per person and perfectly located at the feet of some incredibly famous walks like Catbells and Causey Pike, as well as being only a 10 – 15 minute walk from some of the best locally run pubs in the area, Newlands already screams out to be the perfect location, but things only get better! Since 2010, Newlands has been vastly improving their sustainability from small changes like adopting a recycling programme which reduced their landfill waste by half to much bigger changes like replacing their old boiler system with new energy efficient ones which has saved them thousands of pounds! Alongside all this Newlands has insulated the whole building to be more energy efficient and also created bird hides with feeders, bat boxes, red squirrel feeders, nesting boxes, and bug hotels to attracted to local wildlife to the area. This is something which makes Newlands stand out from the rest of the crowd, it is all very well and good saying your Eco Friendly because you have Solar Panels (which is great!), but it’s all the smaller Eco tasks which Newlands undertake which when added up, is a huge benefit to the environment. Small tasks from sending old mattress to animal rescue centers to be used as beds to working along side “Fix the Fells” to rebuild paths on the side of the UK’s most stunning mountain ranges. As well as all this, Newlands takes pride in only using local business when it comes to sourcing its food and also composts any waste food as well as recycling old cooking oil. I have truly only scratch the surface on Newlands Adventure Centre Eco policy and if you do not believe me click here to view their 5 page spread covering all their Sustainable Policies! On top of this, the Adventure Centre still have huge plans for the future, with the hopes of one day using Hydro Power to help run their centre as well as consistently adding new Eco policies to there future plans. It is easy to see why they have won over 10 National and Regional Sustainable Business awards. To finish, I simple cannot recommend Newlands Adventure Centre enough, from its reasonable price to its above and beyond approach to being as Eco Friendly as possible! To find more information about this awesome residential centre please click here!
If you want to talk about sustainable places to stay in the Lake District then “The Quiet Site” based in Ullswater has to be somewhere you must check out! With countless amount of awards and consistently being rated one of the top places to stay in the UK, it is no wonder they are so popular! But why? Well, what I love about this place is the amount of effort they have put in to be one of the most sustainable home grown businesses in the UK! Firstly, on site they have Britain’s first Zero Waste Shop. They sell lots of essential items which you will need for your stay as well as some more unique items, but, what is awesome is that the items are locally sourced and with no plastic packaging! The shop have thought of every Eco detail from Milk and Orange juice being sold in reusable glass to their lovely range of cheeses come in their own wax skins. They also have a growing range of soaps, shampoo bars, bamboo toothbrushes etc. What a fantastic idea! But there is so much more, The Quiet Site are also offering a very unique style of accommodation, Hobbit Holes! These are large underground living spaces with an amazing views over the Ullswater valley. Firstly, being underground they are superbly insulated making them extremely energy efficient, being virtually invisible they do not leave a mark on the incredible surroundings. The Quiet Site also pride itself by only using local sourced business for a majority of its needs whether it be maintenance or food and drink in their onsite bar. We have merely scratch the surface of the amount of work this incredible site has done to improve its Eco footprint , it the last year alone they have installed a new electric powered site utility vehicle, which is charged from their very own solar PV panels, not forgetting to mention the fact that they use the sun to pre-heat all their water before it is enters the biomass boiler. It is easy to see why this business has won more Sustainability Awards than anyone else here in Cumbria! The Quiet Site have so many different options of accommodation for you to choose from so, If you wish to check more out about this place please click here!
Based in the heart of Keswick, Sunnyside Guest House is a locally run Green Tourism Silver Winner and consistently maintains its high standards of Eco ethos. The Guest House was built in 1886, meaning that they have had to vastly change how the building operates to keep it as Eco as possible. Firstly, The building has had much better insulation installed in the loft spaces making the building a lot more energy efficient. Most windows have been replaced with energy efficient glass meaning none of that heat will be escaping! One major thing to note about all this work is Sunnyside’s use of local business to do all the renovations needed to make them a Green Tourism Silver award winner! Being local as possible is something which this Guest House thrives off, whilst looking at there website you can see how much pride they take in the area but also, how much they want to boost the local economy! A majority of their items from food to bathroom accessories are locally sourced and also delivered cutting down their own greenhouse gases emissions. The Guest House also try to buy Fairtrade when possible and also have a onsite Car Park for guest only, this is great! Why? Because firstly, parking in Keswick can be the worst part of your trip, it is truly awful with very little options for long term parking, but also, it means you can leave the car behind and use other more eco friendly modes of transport to explore across the Lake District! Click here to read my last blog all about this! Overall, it is very obvious to see why Sunnyside Guest House is Keswick most popular Guest Houses. With excellent locally sourced Breakfast’s to it’s prime location and not forgetting to mention their reasonable rates, I simple cannot recommend them enough! To find out more information on this Guest House, please click here!
How to have a Sustainable Weekend in the Lake District
Everyday, we are reminded about the state of our beautiful Planet. Whether it be the Ice Caps melting in the North and South Pole, Bush and Forest Fires burning across Australia and USA to even whole towns been flooded and homes destroyed in the Lake District. The only way we can help prevent these terrible events from happening is by all of us doing our bit to save this incredible Planet. What I want to achieve in this first part of a four part series of blog posts is to open your eyes to just how easy it is to be Eco friendly when it comes to transportation whilst your visiting Keswick and the surrounding area. I want to show you that even though you are on holiday, you can still pursue the same Eco values you have at home.
With 19 million visitors every year, the carbon footprint of the visitors travelling to the Lake District is staggering. The majority of tourists reach the area by car, a mode of transport which is damaging the planet in a variety of ways. However, this definitely isn’t the only way to reach and travel around the Lake District.
The Lake District plays host to 2 Train Stations, Oxenholme Lake District and Penrith North Lakes. There are over 50 trains a day calling into these 2 stations making very easy for you to get to the Lake District from all over the UK! Alongside this, trains run all across the South Lakes from Windermere to Kendal and also up the West Coast of Cumbria from Barrow to Carlisle showing of our more dramatic coastal views! Aside from walking or biking, taking the train is the most environmentally friendly way of traveling. In fact, compared to cars and airplanes, trains emit between 66 and 75 percent less carbon. Plus the train will take you through some of the beautiful South Lakes Countryside! If you want to arrive in the Lake District in Eco Style then Train Travel is the ECO-VIP way to travel!
In our opinion the best company for Electric Bike hire is E-Venture Bikes. E-Venture Bikes are the Lake District’s No.1 destination for E-Bike rental. If the idea of cycling up some of the Lake District steepest hills and passes to get the rewarding views is your idea of an awful day, or your idea of the perfect day is ditching the car and getting on two wheels to explore the local area then E-Venture Bikes has to be your first stop on your arrival! With an array of different Electric and Non Electric Bikes for you to choose from, E-Venture Bikes will have something for everyone! Perfectly located in the Centre of Keswick, next to Booths Supermarket. I have to say, the rise in Electric Bike use in the Lake District is staggering! This is great news! The less cars on the roads means less Greenhouse Gases being emitted out and destroying the beautiful and natural surroundings the Lake District offers! Please check out E-Venture Bikes:
Yes, I know, they still realise Greenhouse Gases, however a majority of Buses across the Lake District can host a up to 40 -50 people on the bus at the same time meaning less cars on the road! Stagecoach operates an extensive network of bus routes throughout the area, going from Kendal to Carlisle, as well as going through some of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes like the Borrowdale Valley or even Honister Pass! Its open top buses are especially popular with tourists (In the summer of course!) and day tickets start from as little as £8.50. All the bus timetables for Cumbria can be found here.
From Derwent Water to Ullswater, Coniston Water to Windermere, all these vast bodies of water boast the use of transportation across them! Whether it be Launch or Steam Boat each Lake has it own originally way of sailing across them! Now, I know what your thinking, Steam Boats ain’t exactly good for the environment, and you would be correct, however, sustainability is not all about greenhouse gas emissions! All of the traditional Steam Boat companies are locally ran companies! Meaning you are supporting the local economy, which is great for the area but also, Sustainable! Many of the Steam Boat companies, Like Ullswater Steamers for example, invest a lot of that money back into making everything else surrounding the business as ecological as possible! They are so Ecological that they have even won National Sustainability Awards for the Eco Friendliness! There is no better way to see are beautiful area than by Boat!
5 Best Coffee Shops in the Local Area
Whether you’re planning a hike up Skiddaw or just a morning drive up towards Castlerigg Stone Circle, you need to start your day right, and there is no better way in doing so than with a great mug of coffee. Whether it be a latte or espresso, we here at Keswick Climbing Wall know that there is no better wakeup call than your morning coffee! It is a quick, clean and healthy way to wake yourself up and it is full of Antioxidants which will help release all that energy you need for your days adventure slowly throughout your day! Also, Keswick is blessed to have a wide variety of locally run coffee shops and cafes across the area, so do yourself a favour and get that coffee local! Help support the local economy and also, there is nothing better than knowing your Barista by name and drinking ecofriendly locally produced coffee like several of the cafes around Keswick boast! If you really want to feel local then this is the correct way to start your day!
Hungry Heifer Cafe – Keswick Climbing Wall
T hat’s right, we don’t just do climbing here! Keswick Climbing Wall can boast its own cafe, “The Hungry Heifer”. Catchy name right! This is because the building use to be part of a working Hill Farm but now has been transformed into an Indoor Climbing Wall! Come inside and check out the quirky decor as well as getting to watch the climbers scale some of our toughest walls, maybe even get inspired to try it yourself! Of course, you are going to want the know the insiders scoop on what to order from the cafe, our very own Chef Paul makes one of the best homemade tomato soups there is! This is a must! The soup goes perfectly with the wide selection of freshly made Paninis and Sandwiches which we also offer! If soup ain’t your thing then our homemade Mac and Cheese is a cheese lover’s heaven! All these meals are packed full of energy, meaning you will be able to face whatever challenge is facing you next! However, if you have more of a sweet tooth, our wide range of cakes goes perfectly with our delicious freshly made coffees and teas! Plus if the sun is shining over the Lake District, then the Hungry Heifer can boast one of the best outdoor cafe seating views in the whole of Cumbria! Not a bad place to sit down and enjoy an English Lakes Ice Cream or 2 which we also have a wide choice of! We are Dog friendly cafe and have started to sell “Doggie Ice – Cream” which our resident dog Jessie can confirm is delicious! The Hungry Heifer is a cafe which has something for everyone and is somewhere you won’t forget!
Java Coffee Shop – Keswick
A personal favorite for several of our team, Java Coffee Shop is known for being one of the best and most popular Coffee Shops here in Keswick! Well known for its fantastic local sourced Coffee and extremely friendly staff, Java Coffee will have you smiling from your entry to exit! With its excellent comfy seating to it prime location on Keswick High Street, you will find it hard not to visit this Coffee Shop on your travels! One major eye catcher of the Cafe has to be the Chocolate Fountain they have running for you all the see! Java is known for making the best Hot Chocolate is Keswick and take pride in making sure every Hot Chocolate or Drink they make is to the highest standard! A personal favorite of mine would have to be the Chili Hot Chocolate with Carrot Cake! If your ideal reward after a hard day on the fells in fruits and marshmallows covered in chocolate, then Java have your back as that is one of their specialties! From Cakes to Sandwiches, Coffee to Milkshakes, Glynn, Adele, Jaclyn and rest of the Java’s team will give provided you with a warm welcome, cozy interior, great service and high quality food and drinks will keep you coming back for more! Have a look for yourself, click the link below!
Hayloft Cafe – Castlerigg and St Johns in the Vale
O pened in 2015 the Hayloft Cafe is based on Castlerigg Farm Campsite and is a locally ran Cafe! The Hayloft prides itself in trying to be as local sourced as possible and being great value for money! From all of their Food being fresh and homemade to their Coffee being locally roasted. The coffee beans are roasted only 10 minutes away from the Cafe in Threlkeld by “Carvetti Coffee” our local roasters in the area! A locals favorite at the Hayloft is their famous “Fellwalker” breakfast! A classic spin on your Full English and the perfect way to start your day on the Cumbrian Mountains! However with a wide variety on the menu as well as catering for dietary requirements and having a separate Vegan menu, there is something for everyone at the Hayloft! The Cafe also have a alcohol license and with a gin bar of over 40 locally sourced and unique gins, as well as a range of local and icon craft ales, the Hayloft have something for everyone whether it be before or after your exhausting day exploring the Lake District! Service with a smile in essential in any cafe and the Hayloft prides itself in having some of the friendliest staff in the area! Feel free to ask them advice about the Lakes as all the staff usually live and have grown up in the Keswick and surrounding area! So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to The Hayloft Cafe as soon as possible! Check them out below!
Little Chamonix – Keswick
T he warm welcome provided by Little Chamonix alone is enough to make it realise you picked the right cafe for your morning Coffee! The laid back and friendly atmosphere is perfect for that early morning vibe. The cafe is a cozy chalet-inspired cafe and is perfect for morning wakeup call coffee with a freshly baked scone, leisurely afternoon lunch or an end of the day, much-needed hot chocolate! The cafe pride themselves in home-baking, interesting, delicious food and skillfully made hot drinks. Personally, my favorite from the cafe is there tasty cappuccino with the famous homemade Victoria Sponge! It is incredible! Being perfectly located at the top of Lake Road in central Keswick, this is a cafe which really is a local’s cafe and when you go will feel like a home away from home! Check them out below!
The Chalet Tearooms – Portinscale
Chalet is situated in the Lakeside village of Portinscale nestled on the shores of Derwentwater. It is a local run cafe providing great Coffees, Breakfast and Lunch too ramblers and there dogs, cyclist stopping off for a well earned break or people who just want a tasty lunch, snack, pizza or a hotpot of mussels! There’s something for everyone at the Chalet tearooms. The Cafe opens up for Breakfast and offers a wide range of food from your classic hearty cumbrian breakfast to pair with that freshly made coffee, to even a unique “Austrian” styled breakfast! With a variety of cakes as well to choose from as well as outdoor seating, this is the perfect place to stop before you tackle some of the Lake District most famous walks! Find out more by clicking the link below!
Top 3 Dog Friendly Pubs in Keswick
Here at Keswick Climbing Wall, we know that taking “Man’s Best Friend” with you on your trip to the Keswick, the recently crowned number 1 Dog friendly town in the UK, is almost essential!
However, you want to be able to share every memory of your adventures with your four legged friends, including the ones at the end of the day sitting in the Pub having that well earned classic pub grub or drink!
So, here is, in our opinion, Keswick and surrounding areas best Dog friendly pubs!
White Horse – Scales
The White Horse Inn is your classic British Country Pub with high quality pub food, roaring open fires, local ales and of course a warm cumbrian welcome. Located just outside the picturesque village of Threlkeld and a 5 min ute drive from Keswick Climbing Wall it really is incredibly located! Being at the foot of the Blencathra and Sharp Edge, it is the perfect stop for some Food or Drinks before or after your day exploring the mountains! On of the paths up or down Blencathra even finish in their beer garden, how convenient! You would be barking mad not to visit this pub!
To check out more about this Pub, check out their website:
The George Hotel – Keswick
The George was found in 1665, making it one of the oldest Pubs/Hotels in Keswick, but that certainly does not mean the Food, Building or Local residents sitting inside the pub itself are outdated! The Pub has a fantastic Menu which is excellent value for money, with home cooked local food with a modern twist! However the Cumbrian crowd favorite is the famous homemade “Cow Pie”. You will have to order it yourself to find out just how good this Pie is! Situated in the centre of Keswick it is perfectly located for those staying in the centre of town! If you want to know more information come to Keswick Climbing Wall and ask are very own Instructor Jack, who knows a thing or two about this great pub!
To find out all the craic about this Pub, check out their website:
The Coledale Inn – Braithwaite
A personal favorite of mine, The Coledale Inn is a cracking pub, serving up delicious food and excellent drinks throughout the year! Situated just above the charming Village of Braithwaite on top of a small hilltop well away from passing traffic. It is ideally situated for escaping the hustle and bustle of a busy summers day in Kes wick, with paths to the mountains directly outside the pub gardens. It is also only 10 minutes drive away from our sister centre, Newlands Adventure Centre, as well as only being 15 mins drive away from the Climbing Wall! Everything about this pub is very typically Cumbrian, from its local sourced food, to its choice of locally brewed beers and of course you cannot forget about the charming Lake District welcome from the staff! This pub will keep your four legged friends tale wagging all night!
Please check out there website for more information:
Our Top 3 Campsites in the Local Area
Rain, Wind or Shine, Keswick is still an incredible place to pitch your tent or park up your Caravan! We want to make sure however, that you are doing this in the right place! We want you to be waking up and having your morning cuppa in front of the best view possible, so we hope that you find this blog on our top 3 campsites in the local area useful!
Burns Farm Caravan and Campsite Park
Burns Farm is traditional, family run Campsite and Caravan Park, located on a quiet working farm, and situated 3 miles outside of Keswick and 15 minute’s walk from Keswick Climbing Wall in the beautiful valley of St Johns-in-the-Vale. The site is situated on a hill top which not only gives 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains and peaks of Blencathera, Skiddaw, Latrigg and Helvellyn, to name a few. It also means that the campsite don’t flood and the sun isn’t restricted by the mountains giving all day sun all year round! The campsite offers amazing facilities and they are also a dog friendly! With Off Peak Season pitch prices start from just £20, we cannot recommend this campsite enough!
For more information and details about this awesome campsite please visit their website:
Castlerigg Hall Caravan and Campsite Park
Castlerigg Hall is a national award winning locally run Caravan, Camping and Glamping Park based in the heart of the Lake District with the highest quality facilities and staff. A perfect place to stay whilst you go off and explore all the Lakes, Mountains and Adventures which the Lake District has to offer! Being only a 20 minute walk from Keswick Climbing Wall, and the walk going via the 4000 year old Castlerigg Stone Circle, this campsite is an incredible well located one, with some of the best views in the whole of Cumbria being from your very own pitch! This is a campsite you simply cannot miss out on!
For more information about Castlerigg Hall please visit their website:
Castlerigg Farm Caravan and Campsite
Being only 10 minute’s drive from Keswick Climbing Wall, Castlerigg Farm Camping and Caravan Site is in a particularly beautiful part of the Lake District, away from the noise of towns and traffic, and an ideal location for walking and relaxing. With exceptional panoramic views of the surrounding fells, the site looks down towards Derwent Water and in the distance Bassenthwaite Lake. Keswick town is approximately a 25 minute walk down through the woods or a 5 minute drive by car we are a family site, catering for families and couples so are not suitable for noisy groups of any sort. For the consideration of all campers we have a rule of silence after 10.30 pm so everyone should get a good night’s sleep. Alongside all this, Castlerigg Farm Campsite is home to “The Hayloft Café”, a brilliant locally run Café/Restaurant which serves up deliciously made, locally sourced meals! The Hayloft is something not to miss if you stay at this campsite!
For more info please check out their website: