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      18.07.2010 12:20
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      A Great Place To Visit

      Keswick is set in a stunning area of natural beauty in the English Lake District. Keswick is situated in the north of this national park and is in the county of Cumbria. Keswick has a population of around five thousand but often seems a lot bigger due to the amount of tourists in the area. This is one of the most popular spots in the lakes and is a great base for outdoor activities and adventures. The town is famous with the mountaineering community and is surrounded by stunning mountain views. I have been visiting Keswick for many years and it's one of my favourite spots in the UK.

      When it comes to accommodation in Keswick you really are spoilt for choice. There are several small guest houses offering a high standard of service. There are also some bigger hotels that cater for all sorts of people. Another nice option when it comes to staying in the area is the campsites in the area, there are some great sites with stunning views of the mountains. Alternatively there is the option of hiring a cottage, there are many privately owned homes in the area that can be rented out.

      The town of Keswick has some really nice and interesting shops. There are everyday shops for practical things and then there are the shops aimed at visitors. My favourite shop is probably the chocolate and sweet shop that sits right in the centre of the town, there are some delicious goodies one offer here that will tempt most people. There are also some excellent out door shops in the area selling things from walking gear to sports equipment. Keswick also has some nice galleries and shops offering local arts and crafts that are very interesting to look around.

      Keswick also has some excellent options when it comes to eating out. There are some really nice pubs in the area that offer excellent food and drink and a very warm and friendly atmosphere. One thing not to be missed in the town is the famous fish and chip shop located in the town centre. This burned down a few years back but has since been rebuilt and is widely thought to be one of the best fish and chip shops in the country.

      There are some excellent places to visit in the area. There is a nice golf course that is set in stubbing scenery, or if you are not a golfer, you could try the pitch and putt course which is great fun. There are some nice parks that again offer stunning views. If you are feeling more adventurous there are some great walks in the mountains. Mount Skiddaw is known as 'Keswick's Mountain' and is a great climb with stunning views. The nearby Blencathra is thought to be one of Lakelands most spectacular mountains and is a wonderful walk, if you are an experienced walker, 'sharp edge' is not to missed!

      Overall Keswick really is a great place to visit, I have been so many times and I'm sure I will visit many more in the future. There is so much to do in the area and so much to enjoy. The beauty of the area really is amazing and Keswick is a great place to stay while you enjoy the Lake District. If you have never been to this town then I highly recommend getting yourself there and paying it a visit.

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        19.10.2009 14:30
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        Beautiful town, lots of history and very friendly

        Keswick is a town in Cumbria, near to Derwent Water and nearly entirely surrounded by hills. I stayed here for three days during the off-peak season, and so this review is written from a tourist's point of view.

        I stayed in a guest house in the town, which was near to the centre. Car parking for the large number of tourists that visit the small town can be quite difficult in busy periods in the residential areass near to the guest houses, but is more tolerable if you're shopping in the town and can park a little further out.

        The local population is swelled considerably in the peak months with tourists, who come to explore the Lake District, whether it be cycling, walking, caving, or just to visit the beautiful lakes themselves. The town is very tourist orientated, there are lots of restaurants and pubs in the town centre as well as a good number of outdoor clothing and accessories shops.

        The local population, who must by now be very used to tourists, seemed from my experience to be very friendly and welcoming. The town felt safe and even late on a Friday and Saturday night I was there, there was no real sight of trouble in the town centre.

        The tourist trade means that the restaurants and pubs can be quite busy, and I found that the quality was generally consistently good. Although there is a good choice of pubs, the Packhorse was one to be noted, as although they did run short on real ales during my visit, down to just one from their usual three, the pub was friendly and had a good ambience.

        There are food outlets and restaurants to suit most tastes, from cheap and cheerful fish and chip shops with seating areas, through to pub meals, cheap restaurants through to more expensive dining establishments. There is also, I'm happy to report, a Greggs in the town centre to provide some day-time snacks!

        There is a market in the town, which was operating on the Saturday i visited, which is in the centre. This was a relatively bustling affair, with a range of both local, and some rather more generic, offerings. There are areas in the market place to sit, and there are easily accessible and generally well looked after toilets just off the market place.

        The weather that I experienced during my time in Keswick was very sunny, despite the time of year, and this certainly made the views of the hills and mountains near the town all the more special. Derwent Water is just outside of the town, and there are some lovely walks in the area, ranging from both easy to more challenging.

        Although I suspect that most tourists use Keswick just as a base to explore the Lake District from, there are a few museums in the town that are of interest, which include the Optical Illusion museum, the James Bond museum and the pencil museum. Although I didn't visit these, the reports back where that they were interesting and well worth a visit, especially if the weather isn't so good!

        In terms of place to stay in the town, this is predominantly a town where guest houses, bed and breakfasts and small hotels are the best place to stay. There are very few national chains of hotel either in the town or nearby, and the abundance of guest houses does seem to add to the character of the town.

        If you do want to book accommodation in the town, it is best to do so as soon as you can, especially if you wanted to book in the peak season. Lots of the bed and breakfasts are booked well in advance, so you may struggle trying to book at short notice. There is also a three week Christian conference in the town in the summer each year, which adds further pressure to the town's range of accommodation.

        Getting to the town is relatively easy by car, and the routes in an out of the town seemed to be well marked. I didn't use the bus services, but they seemed to be quite frequent, and gave passengers access to the walking centres of the Lake District as well as local towns. Unfortunately there is no train access, as the station closed during the railway cut-backs around forty years ago.

        Overall, this is a very friendly town and I enjoyed my three day stay. The locals seemed welcoming to tourists, the town is geared up for tourists and there is a good choice of places for visitors and locals in the town to go. I will definitely consider returning to continue my exploration of the Lake District!

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          07.06.2009 22:32
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          A must see place which will make you proud to live in England

          Ahhh - keswick, the perfect place to realise just how truly beautiful our country is - in spite of the English weather!

          Placed between the awesome Skiddaw Mountains and Derwentwater Lake, the town is situated in an idylic location in the Lake Distric National Park.

          The name Keswick is said to mean 'Cheese Farm,' due to it being used as a base for a cheese market hundreds of years ago. In fact, Keswick's origins as a market town date back to 1276, with the market still continuing today - 700 years later!

          I have personally found some real bargins at this market - last month I bought a good fleece for £5. You wouldn't find a bargin like that in your average shop! There are also meat and cheese stalls, second hand book stalls, tools for sale and art and photography stalls to name a few.

          The Market Place is the real heart of Keswick, which is surrounded by shops and hotels. In the centre of the Market place you will find the Moot Hall, an ancient foundation which currently hosts the Tourist Information Centre. If you go around the back of this building, up the stairs, you will find a toilet and further up the stairs, fabulous photographs of the Lake District for sale - well worth a look.

          Close to the market, just a short 7 min walk away, you will find Hope Park, which offers facilities in a open garden setting. This includes crazy golf, and mini golf, which is perfect for families. Sometimes huge trampolines are available in summer for children and adults alike to enjoy. All of these facilities must be paid for, but the cost is usually reasonable - for instance £3.00 each for mini golf. There is also an outdoor cafe at Hope Park which sells snacks and refreshments. Hope Park is an important part of Keswick's beautiful appearance which has won it several national and European awards and has helped to attract a huge amount of visitors.

          Keswick is only a small town, and yet it has a large range of shops to suit everyone. I love looking in all of the quaint art shops and antique shops. And there are a vast range of outdoor camping and clothing shops - because there are so many outdoor shops, you can get some great deals because they are all in competition with each other. It pays to shop around.

          There are also interesting museums in Keswick, numerous art and craft galleries and a cinema to visit. I recommend a trip to the famous 'pencil museum' - the history of all things lead - you can even purchase art materials at the end and have a go yourself.

          Another must see is the Theatre by the Lake, which is ideally situated close to Derwentwater. Why not go and see a play on the evening, whilst enjoying the coffee shop or a drink at the bar inside the Theatre? For tickets and more information on what's on at the Theatre call -017687 74411.

          Just one min from the theatre is Derwentwater Lake - a beautiful spot whereby you can hire a rowing boat or pay to go accross the lake on a larger motorised boat. Well worth doing.

          Of course, if you are a fit and active person - go for a walk. I like to go hill walking - last time it was Cats Bells, a very scenic walk overlooking the lakes, the time before that it was Skiddaw - which was a bit more challenging. I recommend you buy a map and plan your route properly before going, taking all of the relevant walking equipment needed.

          There are a HUGE amount of bed and breakfasts and hotels available in keswick, as well as campsites. Most are of a realy good standard. Why not check out www.tripadvisor.co.uk for more information and traveller reviews on these?

          For more information on Keswick and what to do and where to stay, I recommend that you look at the following website:

          www.keswickplus.co.uk or alternatively, contact the Keswick Tourist Information Centre Tel: 017687 72645.

          My opinion on Keswick is that regardless of your age - young or old, there is plenty to see and do in Keswick and I advise anyone to visit it.

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            19.01.2009 20:28
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            HEAVEN ON EARTH

            In the heart of Cumbria, lies a jewel in a crown, the northern lakes are a sight to behold, we often visit Keswick and as there is such a wide choice of lovely cottages available to rent we have spent many happy days there.
            Keswick, has a charm all of its own, our days of hiking are over, but for fell and hill walkers, its a paradise waiting right on the doorstep.
            Marvel at the beauty of this picture postcard scenery, the dramatic backdrop of the hills and mountains and the lakes , oh so pretty. I heard an elderly lady remark "that if there was a heaven on earth this must surely be it", she was looking towards Friars Cragg.
            Keswick makes a great base for exploring the countryside, and there is plenty to see and do, have a look in the famous pencil factory, or the Cars of the Stars, further afield is Rheghead a shopping experience with a difference it also features an IMAX cinema.
            We.re going again in May, and I so looking forward to it

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              15.12.2008 19:06
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              My favourite Lakeland town

              ****Historic times****

              Please allow me to take you back for a moment to Saturday 2nd July 2005, a time of truly historic and significant global happenings at we reached the defining point of the Make Poverty History campaign. On that day, the inspirational Live 8 concerts bringing together people all across the world united in a common message of hope that real progress could finally be made in addressing the chronic injustice of third world debt....

              Meanwhile, my good lady wife and I were visiting the Cumberland Pencil Museum in Keswick.

              ****Pencilled in for weeks****

              In our humble defence, we'd booked our trip to the Lake District some months in advance, and the vibrantly picturesque town of Keswick has long been a regular fixture of our annual Lake District short breaks.

              In my wife's defence, after I had stumbled upon the existence of such a wonderfully specific museum whilst listening to BBC Radio 5's breakfast show, I had insisted that next time we were in the Lakes we just had to check it out. And as she was heavily pregnant at the time the prospect of a nice quiet potter around followed by a bit of Lakeside fresh air was appealing enough!

              Keswick is situated in the heart of the Northern Lakes, and it's very easy to find. Travelling locally from Windermere, Ambleside and Grasmere follow the A591, or from further afield, leave the M6 at Junction 40 and follow the A66 to the centre.

              Whenever we visit, we always follow the signs through the town centre to the car parking nearest to DerwentWater, where there's a delightful Parkland area called Hope Park, offering beautiful views across the Lake, regular boat trips, and its very own Theatre on the Lake.

              A short stroll into town later we were at the place loving christened by its owners as the "home of pencil perfection since 1832"

              So we paid the refreshingly modest entrance fee (current prices are £3 and adult , £1.50 a child) and made our way in. Firstly you walk through a replica of the original mine where graphite was first discovered right here in Keswick some 350 years ago. Word of warning, if you are over 6ft, be prepared to crouch a little, word of warning if you are pregnant - don't let your husband come up with crackpot suggestions for days out...

              ****I'm dreaming of a lead Christmas****

              But for me once inside it just got better and better. There's actually loads of displays covering the history of pencil making and the manufacturing process (its still a working factory on the same site), and opportunities for kids to take part in quizzes and do some drawing with the Fine Art Pencils now being produced.

              For my lady wife, the chance to have a sit down in the Video Theatre was too good to miss. Even better, they were showing the ever enchanting Snowman by Raymond Briggs, because yes you guessed it, all of it was drawn using Lakeland pencils - wowsa!

              So soothing was the experience, as we cuddled up and watched, she actually fell fast asleep- aww bless!!

              Finally, the grand finale, the piece de resistance, the pinnacle of pencil perfection...they've only got the world's largest pencil on display - Guinness Book of Record verified and all - can it get better than that?

              ****Scribble it in your diary****

              So naturally I realise that by now you are just bursting to get over there and see the wonders for yourself, well rest assured that it is open 7 days a week from 9.30am to 4pm , 362 days a year, a true all weathers attraction.
              .
              Opening Times:- 9.30am - 4pm Last admission 7 days a week
              Closed 25th and 26th December and 1st January
              Special rates for groups and coach parties
              The Museum has a FREE car park, and is an all weather activity
              .
              ****You want more excitement?****

              Well I must admit, it's hard for me to imagine anyone wanting to squeeze any more factual based delights into a day after experiencing the ultimate in high octane excitement, but if you still have lead in your pencil, you could do a lot worse than check out the "Cars of the Stars" museum, conveniently located just up the road.

              First opened in May 1989 and officially opened by the mighty Gerry Anderson of Thunderbirds fame in 1990, the museum boasts a stellar collection of famous cars that have all featured in films and television programs. Not only can you see the likes of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Bond's original Aston Martin, KITT from Knight Rider and Del Boy's mighty 3 wheeler, there's rides for the kiddies, and all sorts of memorabilia on sale in the shops.

              Whilst it's easy to walk round with good disabled access, perhaps understandably the cars are well protected, so make sure you keep an eye on your kids in case they are tempted to hop on board!

              Current advertised admission prices are £5.00 for adult, £3.00 for kids 3-15, opening times are seasonal - half terms in February, then from Easter to December, weekends only in December.

              ****Time to relax****

              That's more than enough adrenaline for one day I'm sure you'll agree, and what better place to unwind than back at the Lake, and particularly at one well renowned beauty spot - Friars Crag.

              To get there, you simply walk down from the Theatre Car Park, straight along quite a decent path suitable for wheelchairs, past the nice Mr Men and Ladies from the National Trust, follow it all along the shoreline, and after a quarter a mile or so, you are rewarded with a corner of the Lake that is I promise you is truly breathtaking.

              Apparently Friars Crag is so named because it was understood to be the original embarkment point for monks making a pilgrimage to St Herbert's Island just over the water. Naturally the bonus ball is (when its free of course) there's a lovely big bench to sit and enjoy the rest. Depending on how high the Lake is, there are also a few rocks along the shore line which provide a perfect spot to sit and contemplate the sheer wonder of nature all around you.

              ****All aboard for Cream Tea perfection****

              Now for the more energetic among you, you'll be pleased to know you can actually walk all around the Lake, through more gorgeous parkland. However, on this day of days, despite her delicate condition, there was no way my good lady was going to miss out on her favourite Lakeland treat.

              Fortunately, the Lake was in a millpond kind of state, and close at hand there's a regular boat service that runs across the Lake to a place called Nickel End. There you will find an inconspicuous looking little hut, which just happens to sell some of the largest and tastiest scones you'll ever meet. These things are the size of Saucers I kid you not and I most heartily recommend the cherry variety.

              The perfect end to a glorious Lakeland summers day.

              ****My final thoughts****

              So, next time you are planning a visit to the Lake District, I strongly suggest you put a day trip to the splendid town of Keswick high on your list. The combination of unique attractions and spellbinding scenery makes it a very special kind of place, to enjoy even on the most momentous of globally significant occasions!!

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                14.07.2008 15:21
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                A great base for the Northern Lakes, you must pay a visit

                I have to start by saying I love Keswick and always end up there when I visit the Lakes which at this time of the year is at least once a fortnight.

                We do a lot of Fell walking and camping in the Lakes and Keswick is one of the best base you could have for the northern fells. I know a lot of people talk about Ambleside but I personally find Keswick preferrable.

                As you would expect there are loads of shops that cater for the outdoor enthusiast but they are very expensive. I find it best to browse, try on and then remember what i liked, come home and buy from the Internet where it will be so much cheaper.

                If you feel like a refreshment stop I can only echo the words of Pinkmuppet and tell you to try the "Dog and Gun", you must try their Goulash and wash it down with a pint of Theakston's "Old peculiar", Heaven indeed!

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                  14.07.2008 00:24

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                  great if you want to experience a true lakeland town

                  Keswick is situated in Cumbria in the heart of the Lake District, well the North part just off the A66 so is easy to get to.

                  Keswick grew as an old mining town but is now completely centred around outdoor pursuits, in fact everywhere you look are shopd selling every item of outdoor equipment you would ever wish to have.

                  Its setting in the lakes is beautiful, nestling at the edge of Derwentwater and overlooked by the stunning mountains of Skiddaw (3rd highest in the lakes), Blencathra and Catbells which is always popular.

                  Keswick has every facility you could wish for and is where the true lakeland walker bases himself (avoiding the touristy hotspot of Ambleside) there are great places to eat and drink (Dog and Gun pub is highly recommended) loads of lovely walks, if you go to the tourist information building in the Moot Hall they have loads of ideas

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                  14.04.2008 22:47
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                  a great place to spend your time

                  I first visited this village in 1991 when I was touring the UK and climbing some of the many fells in the beautiful lakes.
                  Due to circumstances my friends and I were running low on finances and therefore had to find work quickly. I found work as a bar tender/waiter in a large hotel on the Borrowdale road which meant I could earn a wage whilst still exploring the beautiful lake district.

                  Anyway, back to Keswick.
                  At the time of working there, due to the stupid split shift system hotels use and the endless sleepless nights, the only places I got to view in Keswick were the eight till late shop near the roundabout and the village pubs...(well, what do you expect?)


                  So when I moved on in my career I decided to revisit Keswick as a tourist and I was not disappointed at what the village had to offer.

                  GETTING THERE...

                  Keswick is situated next to Derwentwater, which is a popular tourist destination, the village being overlooked by Skiddaw.

                  BY ROAD...

                  Along the A66 from Penrith (junction 40 of the M6) or the A591 from Windermere.
                  Nearest railway station is Penrith, with a 40 minute couch journey to Keswick. Other railway station is in Windermere.

                  There is a good sizes bus/coach station near the centre with excellent coach connections from many cities.

                  BRIEF...

                  It is a market village with many attractions for everyone, offering a pedestrian zone for the safety of all. The main business in Keswick these days is tourism and Keswick has a lot to offer with many hotels, restaurants and café for the thousands of people who visit every year.


                  In the centre of the village is the Moot Hall, with an information desk inside.
                  With the village being completely surrounded by many breathtaking mountains, such as Skiddaw, Scafell and Helvellyn, there are numerous walks for everyone.

                  There are many pubs in the area which offer fine ales and most serve some nice meals.
                  Such as the Dog & Gun on the Lake road, Oddfellows Arms and Ye Old Golden Lion which are both on the Main street. There are several more but these are the ones I have recently visited and they are friendly.


                  WHAT TO DO THERE....

                  You can visit the many sites in and around the centre, such as 'Cars of the stars Motor Museum', 'Cumberland Pencil Museum' and the 'Museum and Art gallery'.
                  Then there is Castlerigg stone circle, a miniature version of Stonehenge, which is a short drive out of the village.

                  On the lake side, which host another good size pay and display car park, there is the Theatre by the Lake.

                  With parks for the children there is something for everyone.

                  And if you fancy a boat trip around Derwentwater then the cruiser runs regularly during the season.
                  And with Honister slate mine being a few miles down the B5289 through Borrowdale there is more to see and do.

                  Apart from the hotels and guest houses there are many caravan/camp sites in and around Keswick. Such as Castlerigg Hall Caravan And Camping Park over looking Derwentwater.
                  The prices at each caravan/campsite vary from site to sites, but all sites have excellent facilities including toilets, showers and washer/dryers. (Very 21st century camping).

                  IN CONCLUSION....

                  Keswick is a place for everyone as it has the ability to please all, from relaxing around the many parks or even the lakeside to hiking up the many fells with your house strapped to your back.
                  At the end of the day you can soon relax in one of the local pubs for a great evening with the very friendly locals.


                  In my opinion, Keswick is worth the visit but plan for the day as there is a lot to see and take in....

                  Oh, and on my last visit there I was amazed by the busker playing just outside the tunnel leading under the road towards the lakeside, he sounded brilliant, almost professional....just thought I'd mention it, see if he's still playing to the crowd?

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                    10.09.2001 02:05
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                    I have visited the Lakes only thrice. The first time, in nineteen oat-cake, it rained. The second time, in nineteen black-bun, it rained. This time, on 19 June 2001, it positively piddled. Serves you right, you may say. Go to Skye, as usual. Aspen is, of course, attracted to dreich weather. But whatever, on the way home from a rare trip to the deep south, I decided to deviate to Keswick, and do an overnight stop. In fact, I decided on more than an overnight stop – I decided to have a day off. In the rain. So although I ended up based in Keswick, this opinion stretches a wee bit beyond this town. Forgive me for that. There follows three separate bits. And that is the extent of my aspirations to be a sub-editor. PRE-AMBLE(side) – (Harh! first bad joke) My probably un-noticed absence for a short period in June was not unconnected with the overgrown garden problems of a friend on the south side of London. Which is why Aspen, ever up for a challenge, did a 1200 mile round trip with an industrial-strength strimmer. Maybe it was the way it was put – bring strimmer, have free holiday – which brought out the Aberdonian in me. We are, after all, reputedly almost as tight as the zip on a Yorkshireman’s wallet. Enough information. Suffice it to say that, en route home, I decided to dawdle for a day in the Lake District, to re-kindle some old memories, and create a few new ones. I struck off the M6 to Kendal, lights and wipers at full throttle. I wandered, wetly, around Windermere; sought desperately and unsuccessfully for an alliteration around Bowness, or as some would have it, Bo’ness (although I think that’s somewhere else entirely); ambled awhile in Ambleside; and eventually arrived in Keswick. But not directly. GENERAL SERIOUS BIT I ditched
                    the map, and took to the side roads. If you come from the city, or even a town, and do your periodic holiday thing in Cumbria, you probably wouldn’t notice. But I live and work in a rural community, and I noticed. I mean, with all the important Election stuff at the time, it wasn’t making headlines any more. I couldn’t believe the countryside was so green. Why is it green? Because it isn’t grazed. And all the pasture is knee-high. And as you move up over the cattle-grids, to the hill ground and common grazing, it’s still knee-high, and still green. It is not grazed, because there is nothing left to graze it. We have all seen it on the television. Some of us have experienced the preventative measures close up. But it only strikes home when you see it at first hand. No cattle in the pastures. No sheep on the hillsides. It is eerie, and it is disturbing. And I urge you, if you care at all, do not forget that we still have a crisis. The election may be past and forgotten, and other events in the world deflect the media’s attention. But we still have a crisis. SPECIFIC LESS-SERIOUS WHERE-NOT-TO-STAY BIT So I checked in to The Twa Dogs, Penrith Road, Keswick. £45 per night for B&B, unless they’re desperately empty. I got it for £35. I was the only guest. Given that the room was well-appointed, clean, en-suite, with telly and coffee and even biccies, warm and comfortable – I bear no grudges. It was better than a Travelodge, and for twenty quid less (if you allow for the breakfast). I parked myself at the bar, as you do, and surveyed the empty premises. My enquiry elicited the promise that it would liven up later, ‘cos there was a Dominoes match on. I could hardly contain myself, so I politely sought a pint of Jennings coloured wa
                    ter. Yes, I know. What sort of pillock would end up staying in a Jennings pub? I didn’t notice until it was too late, okay? But when I ordered the rack of lamb, with all the trimmings, I have to say it was excellent (at £7.95). I can’t comment on the rest of the menu, because I am only capable of eating one meal at a time, but I can say it was sufficiently diverse to have me swithering for many a mouth-watering minute. I can only assume the cook/chef was passing through. I left discreetly when the local worthies dribbled in for the Dominoes match, and tried the other pubs in Keswick. When I say tried, I mean as far as the door. I will say that Keswick boasts many tempting eateries, and I wish I had had time to try at least some of them. But when you have already eaten, and you just fancy a quiet pint, you are treated like a leper. How dare I ask for a beer, if I am not going to sit down and eat (again)? On which basis, let me recommend the Queens Head, which will serve you a good meal, if that is what you seek, but will also welcome you to sit at the bar, and ply you with beer (that’s beer, as opposed to Jennings), without making you feel like an alien if you don’t ask for a menu. And so I returned to the Twa Dogs, to see how the Dominoes match was progressing. A dispute had occurred between two geriatric Cumbrian farmers, resulting in fisticuffs. Dear, dear. I thought that only happened in Scottish pubs. I was almost right, as a third geriatric participant intervened, displaying a broad Glaswegian accent. But at least on this occasion, he was the ref. The saving grace was the barmaid (I can use the term –maid because I know she wouldn’t mind), who chatted up the drunken geriatric domino-yobs with her gold-studded tongue so far in her cheek she looked like Billy Bunter’s hamster. Actually, there are so many tales to
                    tell I could go on forever, but the overwhelmingly pungent pooch which had free run of the guest accommodation, and whose odours hang around me still, 300 miles and a couple of months later, verges on the anecdotal. So let’s not go there. Let’s just try to be useful. If, like me, you are a people-watcher, and like your entertainment slightly off-the-wall, book a night at The Twa Dogs in Keswick. If you are normal and/or a boring (old) fart, book a Travelodge.

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                      14.06.2001 06:50

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                      Drive from the south lakes to Keswick and straight away you can see why it is so popular here. The spectacular views remind me of the prettiest places in the Alps but have a character all of their own. The Derwentwater valley itself is a superb sight and should be savoured from every viewpoint. And there are many great viewpoints around. Surprise View, Ashness Bridge, The Bowderstone the list keep going on. The only downside is just how popular it is with tourists. A few less people would be nice but when you have a place this good it is bound to be popular. Whatever you do dont get stuck on the tourist trail. Find your own high points by exploring the area from all sides. Despite the numbers of people there are still many places you can go and not see other people. Remeber though that the Mountains can be a dangerous place and the weather can change in an instant. But then of course the dangerous sports are another reason to go there now. Please let foot and mouth disappear soon so that everywhere opens again soon.

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