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Keswick or Windermere

Wodonga, Australia
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Keswick or Windermere

We will be in the Lakes District for 3 nights in late August. Looking for suggestions as to whether to base ourselves in Wyndermere or Keswick. We are considering B & B's to stay at.

Thank you



Hong Kong, China
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1. Re: Keswick or Windermere

Keswick is much larger than Windermere. Both are well placed for day trips etc.

If you want somewhere with numerous shops/restaurants/pubs etc choose Keswick (there's even a cinema). If you want somewhere a little quainter and quieter go for Windermere.

I personally would recommend Ambleside.

Destination Expert
for North Wales
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2. Re: Keswick or Windermere

Hi Paul,

It is not really that crucial as both are well established tourist towns.

I personally would opt for Keswick. I like the Western side of the Lakes as it is less visited and there are some really great places in close proximity to Keswick.

Of course you have Derentwater itself, and Borrowdale right on the doorstep of Keswick.


Look out for Ashness Bridge and Surprise view, Grange and Watendlath.

Three lovely Lakes

Loweswater , Buttermere, Crummock, can be reached from Keswick /Borrowdale via Honister pass.


You can use the A591 as a corridor to visit Grasmere, Ambleside and Windermere another day.

When you are leaving the area you could take the A66 from Keswick to the M6 Motorway and spend some time at Ullswater before joining the M6 at junction 40. This avoids the busier A591

On another thread I mentioned Wasdale and the Hardknott Pass. Another achievable day trip from Keswick

So my vote goes to Keswick

Plenty of B&Bs within walking distance of the town centre with plenty of cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Just check when booking that there will be parking for your car, there are clusters of B&B s in terraced rows and the only parking is on the street and it can get congested at times.

Edited: 2:15 am, March 18, 2013
Leeds, UK
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3. Re: Keswick or Windermere

Deffo Keswick, we stayed twice in Windermere and found it a bit too touristy.

Lake District...
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4. Re: Keswick or Windermere

The two places are totally different.

What many people refer to as "Windermere" is actually split into 2 slightly separated places "Bowness on Windermere" which is down by the lake and "Windermere which is up the hill by the station.

Bowness is very touristy.

Keswick is touristy in a different way ( is probably smaller and quieter ) and slanted towards mountain or outdoor activities. Easy to get away from the other tourists with 2 parks , cinema, theatre and plenty of easy strolls down by the lake. Everywhere in Keswick is within 5 mins walking time

However wherever you base yourselves most parts of the Lake District can be visited by car in 1/2 day chunks; its very compact.

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5. Re: Keswick or Windermere

I think Keswick IS the Lake District; a small market town surrounded by Mountains, set on the shores of Lake Derwentwater. Choice of food and shops in town, glorious views, walks and outdoor adventures to be had.

Accommodation is good quality - http://www.keswick.org will help you find where to stay and what to do. Hope you enjoy!

Destination Expert
for Lake District
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6. Re: Keswick or Windermere

Definitely Keswick. The scenery around Windermere is disappointingly flat. Keswick has a beautiful location nestled among the mountains.

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7. Re: Keswick or Windermere

Keswick no contest. But personally I would choose somewhere smaller, quieter and more rural - lot's of options, easier with a car but there are buses: Buttermere, Borrowdale, Great Langdale, Elterwater, Edale, Wastwater, etc or even stay on a farm that does B&B. guardian.co.uk/travel/series/a-holiday-guide…

Cork, Ireland
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8. Re: Keswick or Windermere

Another vote for Keswick! As Lindaicumbria says, Keswick is everything that is good about the Lake District, amazing scenery, quaint shops and a lovely small town feel, loads of lovely pubs and restaurants and lots of ‘rainy day’ activities. The scenery around Keswick is some of the best in the Lake District, as Nautius Maximus said, the scenery around Windemere and Bowness is not particularly great. Also there are lots of walks for all abilities around Keswick, so there are some days when you wouldn’t even need to get in the car.

I disagree with staying somewhere more rural, I think it’s fine in theory, but I personally like being close to a town. It’s so convenient for eating out, having a drink or stocking up on groceries. I think when it’s your first visit and you are only there for a few days, it is better to base yourself in a town.

We now chose to stay in self catering accommodation, but we have stayed in this B&B in the past;


It’s in a great location, seconds walk from the town, yet still quiet. The owners are lovely and they do a lovely breakfast.

Just bear in mind that the last bank holiday of the summer is on August 26th, so wherever you chose is likely to be very busy. I’d be looking to book accommodation sooner rather than later.

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9. Re: Keswick or Windermere

Neither. I'd choose one of the smaller villages. Seatoller, Glenridding or Coniston somewhere like that.

London, United...
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for Lake District
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10. Re: Keswick or Windermere

If you have a car then either will be fine. Windermere and its surroundings has more restos, shops, and tourist attractions. Keswick is favoured more by walkers.

A base in either will be fine, by car they're about 33-40 minutes apart.