Carlisle to Keswick
Leave the soft red sandstones of Carlisle and the Eden Valley and head to the Lake District
Carlisle to Keswick itinerary
Follow the route - Carlisle to Keswick
> Take the B5299 south from Carlisle to Caldbeck.
This stone-built village is set in undulating countryside with the Lake District hills to the south. In the churchyard is the grave of John Peel, who was buried here in 1854. The famous huntsman inspired his friend, John Woodcock Graves, to write the song ‘D’ye ken John Peel’. There is a plaque outside the house where Graves composed the song.
Places to stay near Caldbeck
> Continue on the B5299 before branching left on to unclassified roads through Uldale to Bassenthwaite.
Bassenthwaite is situated off the A591. ‘Thwaite’ is a Norse word for a clearing in the forest, and is found in many village names in the area. Bassenthwaite Church, 3 miles (5km) south, was founded in the 12th or 13th century and retains its Norman chancel arch and many Early English features. Nearby Lake Bassenthwaite is a large ice-cut lake, and towering above its western shore is Skiddaw, one of only three Lake District hills higher than 3,000 feet (915m).
Places to stay in Bassenthwaite
> Leave Bassenthwaite on unclassified roads towards the B5291 round the northern shores of the lake, then take the A66 south to Braithwaite. Continue on the B5292 and over Whinlatter Pass towards Low Lorton, turning left when reaching the B5289 to Buttermere.
The tiny village of Buttermere stands in the heart of spectacular landscape. A stiff climb to Whinlatter Pass, beyond the Forestry Commission’s Visitor Centre, takes you on to wild moorland. The surrounding hills, Red Pike and High Stile, tower over the flat green valley floor, with impressive waterfalls such as Scale Force. The B5289 takes you through Borrowdale, a valley which is reached by crossing 1,174-foot (358m) Honister Pass.
Places to stay near Buttermere
> Take the B5289 to Keswick.
The capital of the northern Lake District now caters for walkers, climbers and holiday-makers, but one of its oldest industries is the manufacture of coloured pencils, which originally used local graphite. The Cumberland Pencil Factory has a museum and among its exhibits is the world’s largest pencil.
On a hill to the east of Keswick is Castlerigg Stone Circle, a prehistoric monument in a setting of magical beauty. Cumbrian folklore claims that the famous great stones were once men who were turned into boulders by witches.