THE HEART OF THE LAKE DISTRICT NATIONAL PARK, A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE.
Endymion House is your gateway to outdoor sports and activities in the Lake District, from the traditional pursuits of fellwalking and sailing on the lakes to more modern adventures such as tree-top climbing and paragliding off Skiddaw!
The possibilities are endless. Here are a few of the owners’ personal recommendations.
Some of the Lake District’s most spectacular walking (of all levels) can be undertaken directly from the door of Endymion House. Skiddaw, Latrigg, Carlside and Great Dodd, all famous Wainwright walks, are accessible directly from the house. A few minutes drive will take you to Cat Bells, Grisedale Pike and countless others.
Some of Britain’s loveliest wild swimming spots are to be found a stone’s throw away at both Bassenthwaite Lake and nearby Derwentwater. Wild Swim has more details. We can recommend a quiet spot on Derwentwater, opposite the National Trust Great Wood car park. Or find your own and let us know in the Visitors’ Book!
One of Britain’s rarest birds of prey – there are only 240 pairs in the UK – can be found just up the road in Dodd Wood at the National Trust has a viewing point. They really are incredibly rare an amazing sight, if you are lucky enough to be here at the right time of year (April–August). You can even check if they are in residence at Osprey Watch. Dodd Wood always makes for an easy and lovely walk with a great café, The Old Saw Mill, at the end.
Ghyll scrambling is a fabulous activity for all ages, in most weathers, scrambling, sliding and swimming your way down the fell, through the streams and waterfalls of the mountain. Sounds dangerous but our 7 year old loved it! We have had great experiences with Steve at Chase Adventure. Also visit Keswick Extreme, Kong Adventure and Keswick Climbing Wall.
Our children have loved the treetop adventures and zip wires at Go Ape in Whinlatter. Be warned – you need a head for heights!
Derwentwater Marina offers pretty much every water-based activity: kayaking, canoeing, sailing, paddle boarding and windsurfing. It also offers sailing lessons for complete beginners, including children, and will provide all the kit.
You can buy tickets for a lake trip on The Keswick Launches around Derwentwater from the pier in Keswick. There are several landing points around the lake where you can hop on/off. You can also hire rowing boats from here.
The Derwent Pencil Museum is one of Britain’s best loved small museums, and is in the grounds of the old factory, built at the same time as Endymion House. Other museums worth a visit are the Keswick Museum and The World of Beatrix Potter.
Take a tour of the last working slate mine in England at the Honister Slate Mine. For the adventurous try the Via Ferrata (the original and slightly perilous miners’ track up to the top of the mountain.)
A bit further afield, but Windermere is the only lake in the Lake District on which you can waterski. It is run by Low Wood Bay Watersports, who welcome complete beginners. It is a 30 minute drive away.
Places to Eat
There are many wonderful places to eat near Endymion House, from family friendly cafes and pubs to Michelin-star restaurants serving modern Cumbrian food.
A mere 50 yards away is Lyzzick Hall Hotel, a lovely spot for lunch, dinner or just a morning coffee. Family-run for over 30 years, the owner is our neighbour.
In Keswick, there is an abundance of pubs, restaurants and cafes. Laura in the Lakes does an excellent breakfast; Treeby & Bolton, an art gallery and café, does nice lunch and cakes; for dinner try Fell Pack or Casa Bella.
For serious foodies the Cottage in the Wood is a 10 minute drive and has a Michelin star. It is a great venue showcasing modern Cumbrian food. Another Michelin-stared restaurant, Forest Side, can be found a 20minute drive away just outside Grasmere. And the Dog and Gun, in Skelton, nr Penrith, a pub serving amazing food, was awarded its first Michelin star in 2022. It is about a 25minute drive away.
For those who can't get enough of Art Deco style and Agatha Christie vibes, Bassenthwaite Lake Station is a fantastic place for afternoon tea. The owners have not only bought and restored the derelict station itself but also the railway engine and carriages built especially for the 2017 Kenneth Branagh 'Murder on the Orient Express' film. You can even hire out an entire carriage for your meal.
Keswick has a lively twice weekly market in the main square where you can buy delicious home-made cakes and pies, cheese, locally produced food and crafts.
Booths supermarket, Tithebarn Street, Keswick is family run and acknowledged to be one of the best supermarkets in the country. It has a particularly good beer, wine and spirits section, including many local drinks. It is open Monday to Saturday 7am to 10pm. On Sunday it is open 10am to 4pm.
Butchers: A great independent, Thomasons Butchers is in Station St, Keswick. Another great butcher with vast array of not just meat, but cakes, deli items, snacks, fruit and veg is Cranstons (cranstons.net) which is in Penrith, just off the M6. Well worth stopping to stock up.
Cheese: There is a good selection of local cheese at The Cheese Deli, Keswick (keswickcheesedeli.co.uk)
Ye Olde Friars: our kids love this old-fashioned and enormous sweet shop in Market Square, Keswick
Cashpoints: There are lots of cashpoints in Keswick, including inside Booths.
Petrol: The nearest petrol station is the SPAR High Hill Garage, High Hill
Taxis: As this is a rural area, it is advisable to pre-book your taxi. You can try Iains Taxis (dog friendly) on 017687 363 33. Or Derwent Taxis on 017687 755 85.
Chemist: Boots, 31 Main St, Keswick is open 7 days a week.
Hospital: in case of emergency, Keswick has a cottage hospital: Mary Hewetson Hospital, Crosthwaite Road, which has a walk-in minor injuries unit.