We visited the beautiful Lake District in Cumbria and were pleased to stop at the town of Keswick. We had read 'The Moon Field' by Judith Allnatt and wanted to visit the places she had mentioned in the book. Also, we had chosen the book and the place to be the focus of the first book box so we needed to find some fantastic gifts for all of our customers. We were not disappointed by the place or by the array of items to choose to include in the box. (Not subscribed yet? Click here.)
The pretty market town of Keswick is the most popular area to visit in all of the North Lake District and it isn't hard to see why many thousands of people go there every year.
It has many attractions including cafes, restaurants, museums, a theatre, and a wide variety of shops all situated in close proximity to each other along the cobbled streets. Understandably, Keswick is often heaving with tourists and holidaymakers. Market days are Thursday and Saturday so expect more visitors on those days, too.
There are many varieties of accommodation types to choose from: hotels, self-catering, bed and breakfasts to name a few. But, advice is, to book early to avoid missing out.
Pixabay image: 3855198 CC0 Public domain image.
Of course, perhaps why Keswick is the most well-known is because of the stunning scenery surrounding the town. The majestic Skiddaw mountain range lies to the north of Keswick and is one of the highest peaks in England. The summit is easily reached even for those who are not true fell walkers and affords spectacular views.
Something more easily reached, (it's a ten minutes stroll from the town centre), and therefore easier for those of us unable to walk up a mountain, is Derwentwater - a body of water 3 miles long and a mile wide. Note, it's kind of a faux pas to call it Derwentwater Lake. Bassenthwaite Lake just north of Keswick (equally beautiful and also worth visiting) is the only body of water in the Lakes that can be described thus, all other bodies of water as classfied as 'waters' or 'meres', with smaller ones called 'tarns'. So Derwentwater is called just that. Actually, when you visit it, you'll probably just call it, 'wow'. Not convinced? See the photos.
Back in the town, let's explore the area where George Farrell lived (The Moon Field).
Moot Hall is a Grade II listed building that now houses the local tourist information centre and shop with an art gallery upstairs. The building is a prominent feature of Keswick market square and is a centre of interest for all passers-by especially with the unusual and distinctive one-handed clock on the tower. (Oops, how did we miss that photo opportunity? See the tower in the photo - yeah, imagine a none-handed clock on the other side - sorry!)
In The Moon Field, the main character of George works locally in the post office and Judith Allnatt describes him as cycling past the hall on his deliveries.
It was market day when we visited, a Thursday, hence all the red and white market stalls that you can see in the photos.
As well as common market stall goods, there was confectionery and other foods, hand-crafted items, and artwork on display, making the experience even more delightful. Keswick is brimming with artisan products.
It's also a place for fell walkers and so there are many shops catering to their needs.
As well as seeing the main town mentioned in a novel, part of the fun is visiting the places that the characters live: the houses that they made their homes and the places they visited. Scroll through.
As we were visiting the places from the book, our next stop was Castlerigg, where George walked with his father. Castlerigg is a stone circle raised about 3000 BC. You can see the mountains of Helvellyn and High Seat in the background. A lovely end to the day.
It was lovely being in Keswick, despite the cold (and, yes, Cumbria is mostly chilly at this time of year). The scenery is absolutely superb and the people are very friendly. Keswick was a fantastic place to visit and enhanced our reading of The Moon Field. What a stunning setting for a book!