Keswick

This north Lake­land town might be the busiest out­door hub in the UK, but quiet ridge walks can still be found. Jeremy Ashcroft sug­gests three crack­ers.

Trail (UK) - - Lake District -

Keswick has ev­ery­thing you could want from a base for ad­ven­ture. It’s the ar­che­typal out­door cap­i­tal and is pop­u­lar all year round. You might think the bus­tle would make tran­quil­ity im­pos­si­ble, but there are still lots of peace­ful ad­ven­tures to be had, and not just in ob­scure cor­ners. All the ad­ja­cent moun­tains and many lower fells have great op­tions to be ex­plored. Take Skid­daw for ex­am­ple: crowds swarm up and down the main Jenkin Hill bri­dle­way, yet less than a kilo­me­tre away, the deep cut path up Slades Gill re­ceives only light foot­fall. Link­ing it with Long­side Edge with its nar­row but walk­a­ble crest matches any ridge on the main­land. The nearby north­ern arm of Helvel­lyn’s main ridge pro­vides an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence with one big climb fol­lowed by an easy ridge. If this isn’t enough, the fells be­tween Bor­row­dale and Thirlmere give a day’s ridge walk mixed with a boat ride and a tea room visit.

TRANS­PORT

Pen­rith is the near­est rail­way

sta­tion with a di­rect bus link to Keswick. Once in Keswick the 555 can be used to get to the start of Dodds walk. For the Arm­both Fell walk, the wa­ter­bus on Der­went Wa­ter is used for the first stage. 0871 200 2233, www.trav­e­line. info, www.cum­bria.gov.uk, www.keswick-launch.co.uk

PUBS/GRUB

Keswick is crammed with places to eat. Try cow pie at The Ge­orge, goulash at the Dog and Gun, cof­fee at the Square Orange and cream tea at Lit­tle Cha­monix. But the best thing to do is ex­plore and dis­cover your own favourite.

AC­COM­MO­DA­TION

Keswick has all forms of ac­com­mo­da­tion from camp­ing through to ho­tels, there is also a cen­trally sit­u­ated YHA 0345 371 9746 www.yha.org.uk

PRACTICALITIES

For the main shop there’s a Booths su­per­mar­ket and a Co-op; for med­i­cal sup­plies a Boots. Also a Post Of­fice, a high con­cen­tra­tion of out­door gear shops, newsagents, ATMs and two petrol sta­tions.

TOURIST INFO

Keswick TIC, Moot Hall 0845 901 0845, www.lakedis­trict.gov.uk, www.go­lakes.co.uk

Golden cre­pus­cu­lar rays il­lu­mi­nate Cum­bria's rugged land­scape.

It's steady as you go, along Long­side Edge.

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