C2C - Route 71
Route Section: Start Point > Keswick
From Start: 48km (30m) | From Finish: 179km (112m)
Penrith 38km (24m)
Alston 72km (45m)
Braithwaite > Keswick
- The route to Keswick via Portinscale is well signposted. You come into the town up the main street, following the traffic to the left and up to the lights at the Penrith Road. If not stopping in this delightful town, then go left down Station Street, turn right onto Brundholme Road, round in a loop and pick up the track heading east.
Keswick > Threlkeld
Monster flooding washed away the delightful traffic free route that followed the old railway line. It is a major reconstruction programme and we will report back when there is further news.
Take the Penrith Rd out of Keswick, keeping the river Derwent on your left. Go past the Twa Dogs pub and then at Woodside B&B carry on along the Penrith Road and at the Laurel Bank guest house hang a right onto Eleventrees, and up towards Castlerigg Stone Circle.
If you want to go the more direct and less charming way along the A66 it is at Laurel that you should stick with the Penrith Rd (rather than going right up Eleventrees to Castlerigg) as it will lead you onto the A66. IF YOU OPT FOR THE A66 TAKE CARE.
If taking the Castlerigg option, follow the blue signs and they will take you to Threlkeld. It's hilly to start with, but delightful.
About the town
Sandwiched between Derwentwater, Blencathra and Skiddaw at the entrance to the mighty Borrowdale val ey, this market town is blessed with one of Britain’s most idyllic settings. It is ideal for cycling, walking, boating or just sightseeing, and is a favourite venue with cycle back-up teams; it is the most popular and best-equipped stop-off point on the route.
Keswick (‘Cese-Wic’ – the Cheese Town, literaly) became prosperous in the 17th century, during the reign of Elizabeth I, thanks to copper, lead, silver and iron mining.
There was so much work that engineers had to be imported from Germany. Despite a rocky start – at one stage, local xenophobia drove them to inhabit Derwent Island – they soon managed to integrate; evidence of this can be found in the phone book today, with its many Germanic surnames.
To the point
The town's Cumberland Pencil Company was established after the discovery of graphite in Borrowdale in the 16th century. However, the town was granted its charter some 300 years before that by Edward I in 1276. Visitors started to flock in during the 18th century and Victorian times. Many of them were literary pilgrims, attracted by the association with such Romantic poets as Southey, Coleridge and Wordsworth. John Ruskin, the aesthete and champion of the Pre-Raphaelites, had close associations Centre (Hire/Servicing) with the town. The population of the place has grown little in the past century. In 1902 there were 4,500 people; now there are just 500 more, but many of them - as you will note if you choose to stop over - are B&B owners. The place also has many good pubs and solid restaurants.
Keswick Moutain Bike, Unit 1, Daleston Court, Southey Hill, Keswick 01768 775202
Keswick Riding & Cycle Hire Centre, hire & minor spares/repairs.
Places of Interest
The Cumberland Pencil Museum, West of the town centre. 017687 73626
Cars of the Stars, this is a pre-Carbon Footprint establishment. Famous cars including a James Bondmobile, the Batmobile and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. 017687 73757
The Keswick Launch Company, tours on the lake, on the shore of Derwentwater. 017687 72263.
George Fisher, big stock of outdoor gear, books and maps. Borrowdale Rd. 017687 72178
Cotswold Outdoor Ltd, as above. 017687 81939
The Moot Hall, Tourist Information Centre. 017687 72645
Theatre by the Lake, Lakeside. Open all year round. Restaurant. Beautiful setting. 017687 74411
Alhambra Cinema, St.Johns St. 017687 72195
Keswick Museum & Art Gallery, interesting and eclectic collection 017687 72263
Where to Eat and Drink
Saddleback Cafe, 135 Main St, Keswick, CA12 5NJ. 017687 73907. Great new resource next to Keswick Mountain Bike shop. High praise for the breakfast deal consisting of a "door stop " sandwich with a choice of sausage, bacon and egg (or a bit of all three) and either tea or coffee for £4.75. Good value and nicely cooked and presented. Selection of hot and cold drinks and cakes. Cycling themes in the cafe but open for all. Friendly staff. Outdoor seating area. Andy & Sarah West. Click here.
Cafe 26, 26 Lake Road. Good wines, tasty Italian/Spanish style lunches. Tapas Thurs, Fri & Sat nights. 4 guest rooms. 017687 80863
Strada Italian Bistro, 31 Lake Road. International cuisine with tapas, pizzas and other family favourites: 017687 73088
Salsa Mexican Bistro, 1 New Street. Spicy and popular medium priced establishment owned by the Nellist brothers: 017687 75222
Swinside Inn, Newlands, Keswick 017687 78253 Luca's Ristorante, High Hill, Greta Bridge. Family run Italian with elaborate decorations and prices to match: 017687 74621
The Bank Tavern, 47 Main St. Solid, handsome pub with good, traditional English cooking. Medium price. Outside eating area: 017687 72663
George Hotel, 3 St John St. Medium priced fare: 017687 75751
Where To Sleep
Run by: Carol Hallgarth
Great value town centre B&B just a couple of minutes from the pubs and restaurants. Carol runs a cycle-friendly, doily-free house that makes up for in comfort what it lacks in chintz. Safe lock-up, drying facilities and all that you need for a comfortable stop-off after a day in the saddle.
Pk lunch: £5.50.
B&B: £38 for single with shared bathroom. £41pp for en-suite twin & doubles
Rooms: 2S, 3T/D, 1D.
Run by: Hazel Hutton
Comfortable accommodation in a large 19th century farmhouse at the foot of Walla Crag. Also has a farmhouse shop and tea room. This is a working dairy farm offering quality accommodation in an idyllic location. It is a 10 minute walk into town. This has been home to the Hutton family since 1924 and remains an entirely family operated business to this day. There is a pretty courtyard with ample parking. To the rear is a large orchard with apple, pear and plum trees, where free-range hens lay your breakfast eggs. And now there's a satellite TV, too. There are also 3 cottages sleeping 6, 2 and 2. Satellite TV available throughout.
Tea room and farmhouse shop opening at Easter.
AA 3-star for B&B. Safe lock up. Cleaning facilities.
AA 4-star accommodation for self-catering cottages;
Nearest pub: 1 mile to town centre.
Rooms: 2D, 1T.
Run by: Libby Scott
Friendly purpose built hostel that is happy to provide outdoor activities for those wanting it, but more than happy to provide beds for those wishing to crash out after a hard day's cycling. This is budget bunk bed accommodation and there is secure bike storage and a drying room. It is a 5 minute walk into town. Group bookings welcome by arrangement. There are 65 beds so large groups welcome. You can book the whole place (see below for prices).
Pub 200m: on route.
Eve meal: £10 for 2-course, all locally sourced.
Pk lunch: £6 (baguette and calorific munchies).
Bed: £19 during week. £22 weekends (with £5 supplement for 1-nighters Fri & Sat). For use of whole centre (weekdays): £850. Whole centre (weekends): £950.
Rooms: 8 containing 65 bunk beds.