Campsites in Keswick, Cumbria

40 bookable campsites within 15 miles of Keswick Sorted by distance

Why visit Keswick?

Lakeside vistas

Start your Keswick adventure by familiarising yourself with the landscape around the town’s very own lake, Derwentwater. At Friars Crag, a lone wooden bench is strategically positioned to give you a spectacular view of the lake with the Cumbrian Mountains and the Jaws of Borrowdale in the distance. As you continue south along the shore, you’ll come upon the centuries-old stone Ashness Bridge and patches of dense woodlands inhabited by red squirrels. It’s also worth taking the occasional detour to hilltop observation points like the appropriately named Surprise View. 

Watersports galore

Stay on the lake for a whole raft of active pursuits, from swimming in a sheltered cove and diving off the various launch jetties to assorted watersports. At Derwent Water Marina, you can hire a canoe, rowing boat or paddleboard to explore the lake and its four islands, which include Rampsholme, known for its abundance of wild garlic. If you’d rather take it easy, sail around Derwentwater on a cruise boat, hopping at any of the jetties to continue your exploration on foot if you like. Finally, there’s coarse fishing for trout, perch and pike on the lake, as well as fly-fishing on the River Derwent – just be sure to get your permits sorted before casting your line.  

Fell walks

Follow in the footsteps of local hero and renowned walker Alfred Wainwright and go hiking in the fells, starting with Latrigg, a fairly gentle hill just outside Keswick. Be warned: when you get to the top, you might well get a taste for ‘peak bagging’ and soon be looking forward to conquering another summit. If you’re here as a family, opt for other accessible peaks like Walla Crag and Bleaberry Fell (both east of Derwentwater); if you want to challenge yourself, have a go at Bowfell, with its boulders and glacial lakes, or take on Scafell Pike, the tallest mountain in England, with several routes of varying difficulty.

Literary pilgrimages 

The spectacular landscape of the Lake District has long inspired poets and writers. In the early 1800s, several Romantic poets spent time here, but the one most closely associated with the area is William Wordsworth. You can visit his childhood home (a Georgian townhouse with period furnishings) in Cockermouth, head to Dove Cottage in Grasmere, where he composed many of his famed verses, or stroll around the five-acre garden at Rydal Mount, where Wordsworth lived until his death. Another author linked to the Lake District is Beatrix Potter, whose Hill Top farmhouse is a five-minute drive from Windermere.  

Essential things to do in Keswick 

  • Get the lowdown on the humble pencil and the mineral graphite, which was mined at nearby Seathwaite, at Keswick’s Derwent Pencil Museum 

  • Climb the metal stairs to the top of the massive Bowder Stone, which is balanced firmly (but inexplicably) in a forested setting

  • Catch a performance at the Theatre by the Lake; if you can, get there early to sip a drink on the waterfront terrace

  • Shop for artisanal cheeses and local crafts at Keswick’s twice-weekly market

  • Walk or cycle along the 10-kilometre Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Trail, which includes bridges on the River Greta and the refurbished Bobbin Mill tunnel

  • Check out Castlerigg Stone Circle, built in the Neolithic era and one of the earliest examples of this type of structure

  • Embrace extreme sports at Honister, a working slate mine that also has adventures such as a via ferrata climbing route, canyoning and ziplines 

Unexplored Keswick

Dark skies

The area south of Derwentwater is renowned for its extremely low levels of light pollution and excellent stargazing possibilities. Places like the Borrowdale Valley and Wast Water lake, in the shadow of Scafell Pike, are prime dark-sky spots, so wrap up warm and grab your front-row seat for constellations like Orion and the Plough, as well as the Milky Way. Our guide to dark sky camping has lots of useful advice on finding the best stargazing.

Chasing waterfalls

In addition to the scenic bodies of water after which it is named, the Lake District is also dotted with waterfalls. Close to the southern tip of Derwentwater, Lodore Falls (immortalised by Romantic poet Robert Southey in 1820) tumbles down through moss-covered boulder stones, while Galleny Force (also known as Fairy Glen) feeds natural pools that are popular for summer dips. For something more dramatic, make your way to Aira Force, in lush wooded surrounds, or to Scale Force, a narrow waterfall with a huge drop set into a rocky gorge.

Wildlife spotting

Birdwatchers should make a beeline for Bassenthwaite Lake, where they might catch sight of an osprey grabbing fish right out of the water in the summer months, plus curlews, reed buntings and geese in the wetlands of Dubwath Silver Meadows, a lakeside reserve. Sitting quietly in one of the Celtic-style hides, you might also spy a roe deer or a red squirrel.  

Here’s how

Chances are you’ll want to be well rested before bagging a peak or embarking on any of the outdoor activities around Keswick. It’s important, therefore, to find the right campsite where you can have a good night’s sleep. If the plan is to hike the Lake District fells with your dog by your side, you can consult this list of dog-friendly campsites; if you’re travelling with your significant other, check out these adults-only sites

By choosing the amenities and facilities that are important to you in our tick-box filters, you can book the right Keswick accommodation for you – whether that's a campsite with fishing on its grounds or with a playground for the kids.

Some of our popular camping options in Keswick include:

Keswick campsites with electricity

Keswick campsites with a bar or club house

Glamping near Keswick

After exploring the area around Keswick and Derwentwater, why not extend your Lake District holiday and book a site near Ullswater or Windermere? Or maybe you’d prefer to move west, towards Morecambe and the Lancashire coast

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