What to do near The Derwentwater

Plenty To See And Do

This spectacular part of the Lake District needs little introduction. 

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Derwentwater is a special place, and it’s not hard to see why this beautiful area of the Lake District is a popular destination for visitors all year round.

Stunning beauty and dramatic scenery is all around. Nature lovers and birdwatchers are certainly in for a treat, with the chance to see many species of bird. Look out for glimpses of rare osprey over the lake as well as roaming wild deer and endangered red squirrels in the local woodland trails. 

The attractive town of Keswick is nearby, and boasts great pubs, outdoor stores, and a generous information and tourist centre that makes it easy to enjoy the many highlights of the local area.

Keswick hosts a variety of brilliant festivals throughout the year that are worth checking out. Make the most of the lake with a scenic boat ride across the water, or visit one of the islands owned by the National Trust. While you’re here, don’t miss the chance to take a scenic walk into the fells, with routes for all abilities. For something different, the intriguing Puzzling Place or the famous Pencil Museum are worth a look, too. 

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We Recommend

Theatre by the Lake – Right on the shores of Derwentwater, there is plenty of productions to choose from here, with a mixture of classic and modern plays.

The Lakes Distillery – This is the largest whisky distillery in England, and is located next to the impressive Bassenthwaite Lake. This interactive tour is truly a wonderful experience, revealing much about Cumbria’s whisky-making legacy and heritage.

Puzzling Place – This attraction based on optical illusion is fun for all the family, with a variety of pictures, sculptures and interactive exhibits, this is an eye-opening experience!

Hope Park & Café – Hope Park & Café is a real gem in Keswick, with pretty gardens, a stream and an enchanting woodland walk. The on-site café also serves delicious meals and snacks.

Muncaster Castle & Garden

Home to one of Europe’s largest collections of rhododendrons, along with the World Owl Centre, this sensational castle is said to be haunted and is one of the most popular attractions in Cumbria.

Visitors can enjoy this 18th century castle and its extensive surrounding gardens, complete with a maze and playground for youngsters. During your visit, be sure to find the café and gift shop.

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Derwent Island and House

A National Trust property, Derwent Island is home to the impressive white Derwent House, which stands amongst mature trees.

It’s an 18th century house of classical style, and it occupies an enviable position overlooking the lake. Derwent House is currently inhabited, and is only open to the public for five days each year. It’s therefore important to accurately schedule your visit if you want to access the property. Otherwise, simply walk the island and enjoy guided tours and treasure hunts as you learn the island’s history.

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Wordsworth House and Gardens

Romantic poet William Wordsworth found inspiration in the natural beauty of the Lake District, where he wrote about colourful daffodils and the beautiful native birds.

He also produced a Guide to the Lakes, where he was born and raised. At Wordsworth House, you can learn more about the life of William and his sister Dorothy as you talk to household staff. The house is an interactive museum where children are free to run, jump and play and where you can savour local foods prepared in the Georgian kitchen. Some of Wordsworth’s works are on display, and you can write with a quill pen and ink before walking through the gardens which are still carefully maintained.

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Acorn Bank Garden and Watermill

At Acorn Bank, you’ll find an interesting herb garden containing more than 250 plants used for culinary and medicinal purposes.

Insects, birds and small mammals thrive within the gardens, and there are orchards with native fruit trees. A walk along Crowdundle Beck will take you to the watermill, and you can stop at the tea room for a light bite to eat. A National Trust property, Acorn Bank also includes a shop stocked with souvenirs and with plants to take home.

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Beatrix Potter Gallery

This white 17th century house contains the works of Beatrix Potter, ranging from her original drawings to pieces of written text.

Accompanying, you’ll see artifacts and family photographs giving a detailed insight into Potter’s life as a farmer and conservationist, and her involvement in the Lake District. The house was once the office of William Heelis, who was Beatrix Potter’s husband, and is one of the oldest buildings in Hawkshead.

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Hutton in the Forest

An ancient house surrounded by stunning gardens, Hutton-in-the-Forest is owned by Lord Inglewood and is his family home.

It features beautiful architectural styling, well-kept grounds and elaborate antique furnishings, and plays host to an extensive calendar of events including open-air Shakespeare performances, food fairs and horse trials.

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