Keswick Museum

Top choice in Keswick

Keswick's quirky town museum explores the area's history, from ancient archaeology through to the arrival of industry in the Lakes. It's a diverse collection, taking in everything from neolithic axe heads mined in the Langdale valley to a huge collection of taxidermied butterflies. Its best-known exhibits are a 700-year-old mummified cat and the Musical Stones of Skiddaw, a weird instrument made from hornsfel rock that was once played for Queen Victoria.

Also look out for a lovely collection of metalwork from the Keswick School of Industrial Arts.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Keswick attractions

1. Derwent Pencil Museum

0.35 MILES

Reopened after being badly damaged in the 2015 floods, Keswick's oddest museum is devoted to the charms of the humble pencil – with exhibits including a…

2. Castlerigg Stone Circle


Set on a hilltop a mile east of town, this jaw-dropping stone circle consists of 48 stones that are between 3000 and 4000 years old, surrounded by a…

3. Lodore Falls


At the southern end of Derwentwater, this famous waterfall featured in a poem by Robert Southey, but it's only worth visiting after a good spell of rain…

4. Whinlatter Forest Park

3.18 MILES

Encompassing 4.6 sq miles of pine, larch and spruce, Whinlatter is England's only true mountain forest, rising sharply to 790m about 5 miles from Keswick…

5. Bowder Stone

4.44 MILES

A mile south from Grange, a turn-off leads up to the geological curiosity known as the Bowder Stone, a 1700-tonne lump of rock left behind by a retreating…

6. Watendlath Tarn

4.72 MILES

This National Trust–owned tarn is reached via a turn-off on the B5285 south of Keswick. On the way the road passes over one of the Lake District's most…

7. Lakes Distillery

6.68 MILES

The first craft distillery in the Lake District has made a big splash since opening in 2014. It's located on a 'model farm' built during the 1850s and was…

8. Honister Slate Mine

6.89 MILES

This old slate mine has been reinvented as a centre for all kinds of activities: you could venture underground into the bowels of the old 'Edge' and …