Indoor activities

Click on the attraction name to see its website.

The Puzzling Place: fun games and illusions opposite the Oxfam shop in Keswick.

Kong Adventure Climbing and Play, Keswick: indoor climbing walls, bouldering, ice wall, and cave system play area

Keswick Indoor Climbing Wall: very near the Castlerigg Stone Circle, on the edge of Keswick. Suitable for all abilities.

Keswick Leisure Pool: between Fitz Park and the start of the disused railway path. It is not a full length pool and so it is not suitable for proper 'lengths swimming'. It has slides and a wave machine, aimed at young families.

Keswick Museum: on Station Road, next to Fitz Park and the swimming pool. Changing exhibitions throughout the year and an excellent programme of family activities, events and talks. Your ticket allows unlimited admission for 12 months from the date of purchase.

Pencil Museum in Keswick: a very popular interactive museum, with lots of free demonstrations and workshops. Situated next to the old pencil factory, by Greta Bridge.

Theatre by the Lake: opposite Crow Park, by the northern shore of Derwent Water. We are lucky to have such a high standard of theatre, music, dance, and spoken word at the Theatre by the Lake. It is also worth popping into the theatre building to see their changing exhibitions (usually local art). The theatre has a cafe and bar too.

Alhambra Cinema: a cosy independent cinema on St John's Street in Keswick. The cinema shows a variety of independent films, documentaries, blockbusters, and live theatre (plays, dance and opera) screenings. On Sundays at 5pm, from September to March, the Keswick Film Club (open to all) shows interesting films from around the world, with the opportunity to rate the film afterwards.

Mirehouse Historic House and Gardens: on the A591 between Keswick and Bassenthwaite. Open March - end of October. Art, literature, gardening, wild-life, music, history, family life in the Lake District, having fun...everyone will find something of interest at Mirehouse, with so much to explore in the fascinating house and extensive grounds.

Honister Slate Mine: from the southern end of the Borrowdale Valley you can take the steep Honister Pass to the museum at its summit. The museum offers mine tours and a range of adventurous activities, as well as a cafe. The new activity, Climb inside the Mine, is excellent for rainy days!

Wordsworth House and Garden: the former childhood home of the poet William Wordsworth, this is a National Trust property in the centre of Cockermouth. The house and garden (which backs onto the River Cocker) feel lived-in, without the ropes and notices of stuffy museums. You can write with a quill in the office, taste the biscuits that are made to Georgian recipes in the kitchen, and write your own stories and poetry. One room is dedicated to modern resources and information - here you can browse through lots of reference books, use the computer, and look at local community projects.

Dove Cottage and Wordsworth Museum: on the southern edge of Grasmere, Dove Cottage is the former home of William Wordsworth. The cottage and its enchanting hamlet and gardens are now carefully conserved by the Wordsworth Trust, and the museum is a fascinating cornucopia of social history, art, literature, and hands-on activities. A guided tour of Dove Cottage is really worthwhile, and the expert guides are brilliant at keeping everyone entertained and engaged. There is also a great range of events at Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum - look at their excellent website for full details.

Allan Bank in Grasmere: another former home of William Wordsworth, this National Trust property is an interesting experiment in curation, conservation, and community involvement. Feel free to touch things, play the piano, write on the walls, contribute your ideas, read the books, help yourself to tea and coffee, and sit by the open fires. The views from this peaceful spot are both calming and stimulating.

Rydal Mount and Gardens: oh, and another former home of William Wordsworth! Located near Ambleside, Rydal Mount is a really peaceful place to explore, relax, and contemplate the landscape.

Armitt Museum and Library: on the northern edge of Ambleside, the Armitt has a fascinating permanent exhibition about Beatrix Potter and her mycology studies (great illustrations of fungi!).

Hill Top: now owned by the National Trust, this is the former home and farm of Beatrix Potter. Amongst other things, Beatrix Potter was a farmer, landowner, mycologist, and the author of the much-loved Peter Rabbit stories. Hill Top is located near Hawkshead.

Rheged, near Penrith: go underground at Rheged! Beneath the grass roof you will find changing exhibitions, local information, three cafes, a giant 3D cinema screen, and several play areas.

In Cockermouth and Penrith there are also leisure centres with 25m swimming pools, and a wider range of shops. Both towns are approximately 30 minutes away by car or bus.

Derwentwater Independent Hostel
Barrow House
CA12 5UR
Telephone: 017687 77246

Thank you to Geoff Williams, Rebecca Laff, Fiona McCarthy, John and Sam Snyder, and KTA for generously providing inspiring photographs.
Thank you to Lisa Bamford at Stoats and Weasels for designing our website, and to Sam Snyder for building it.
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