UK Destinations 2019 - Lake District 

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Keswick, England (elevation 60 feet) is located on the shore of Derwent Water.  From the ferry launch near town, there's a loop with 7 stops around the lake, so walkers can hop off in one place and do some hiking and get back on somewhere else.  

The Hawe's End stop is immensely popular, where the trailhead to Catbells (451m or 1,445 ft.) starts, as well as the main scenic walk at Lake level, which is along the western & southern shore.  Both trails eventually merge at the SE corner of the lake, at one of the stops, as shown below.  

Keswick "is well-liked, the most cosmopolitan town in the Lake District", with good pubs, restaurants, and shops.  (from Fodor's)    

Keswick from Latrigg Catbells at left Derwent Water &  Skiddaw (see note) southern part of lake
  boating to trailheads walking at Catbells walking from Keswick to Catbells  
or using the ferry link to Keswick Launch map views from Keswick evening at Derwent Water  
  Castlerigg stone circle a short walk from Keswick Bassenthwaite Lake and Skiddaw

note - from this angle, Keswick lies at the foot of Skiddaw.  That's also true for our rental house, so if we did not get in sufficient exercise on a given day, we can always take a short uphill path to one of the main trails headed up to Skiddaw.  The last photo above shows this and a tiny arrow indicates where the rental house is, from a photo of the OS Explorer map.  You might have to zoom in to see the arrow.

Locals say the trail to Skiddaw is steep and do-able, but boring, essentially a wide gravel road in a barren landscape.  For our purposes, we only need to go some distance and elevation to get in a workout, and the higher we go, the better our sunset photos looking west across Derwent Water should be.           

Walks like Crummock Water, Buttermere, and Borrowdale are located only a short drive west of Keswick, like maybe an hour. 

walk at Crummock Water     walk at Buttermere
    Fleetwith Pike Buttermere  
River Derwent heading uphill River Derwent in Borrowdale rainy day in Borrowdale Pembrokeshire Lilly
  old pack horse bridge at Grange stepping stones at Rosthwaite sometimes strong light in Borrowdale  
Cumbria's native Herdwick sheep 'herdies', Locking calls them   map again for reference

Destinations further South     

Not far south of Keswick lie the towns of Grasmere, Rydal Mount, and Ambleside, all in good scenery, and all with their respective cultural highlights.

Grasmere and Rydal Mount are where the poet William Wordsworth and his family lived, and where he wrote his poems and essays.  Wordsworth loved the Lake District's landscapes and he wrote a guidebook to the area.  His guide sold well & made him well-off, but in his older years he had to live with the bitter irony whereby popular discovery of the Lake District lead to railroads being built - mainly to the southernmost part of the Lake District - and to tourists pouring in, like a tsunami.  This meant the end of the 'unspoiled wilderness' he had so admired.      

Walkers today can enjoy the same scenic walk that William & his family used to take, 300 years ago, from Rydal Mount, around Rydal Water, and right into Langdale, as far as you wish.    

Also close to Ambleside is Conniston Water, one of the least inhabited Lakes.  Tourists often take an original Steamer to the interesting home of philosopher John Ruskin. The home is said to be beautiful and the tour is well-rated, as is the lakeside cafe.  You can also drive or hike to get there.  

A short drive south from Ambleside takes us to Beatrix Potter's Hill Top home, near the village of Hawkshead.       

Close by, at Barngates, is the Drunken Duck Pub. At night it is a highly-rated, expensive dinner place, but during the day it's a great roadside pub with indoor & outdoor dining space for people, a lot of them, who want pub grub & good beers.

The Pub-Hotel happens to be at a very scenic spot and two National walking trains cross each other here; a unique kind of place.                                                                                              

Ambleside photos   nearby Stock Ghyll Beck winter scene
  Wordsworth's  beloved Rydal Mount home Wm. Wordsworth steam gondola on Conniston Water Brantwood, John Ruskin's house
John Ruskin Little Langdale   Cathedral Cave,  Langdale Beatrix Potter  
  Hill Top famous Pub at nearby Barngates typical summer look    
the Inn at night (Kinkade like) tasteful  rooms and a happy owner      

My Lake District travel perspective is that we can see everything worth seeing, in a relaxed pace & driving mode, in the area where we are staying, and, we'll get plenty of walks in too, during our week at Keswick.       

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