Information & Places to Visit Local to Skiddaw Croft
Portinscale is a quiet, picturesque village on the northwest shores of Derwentwater, within the Lake District National Park in Cumbria. It has the convenience of being close to the amenities in Keswick whilst also being in a lovely village setting.
Portinscale has a cafe & tea rooms (The Chalet) and a local pub (The Farmers Arms).There are 2 marinas (Derwentwater Marina and Nichol End Marine) within a 5-10 minute walk from Skiddaw Croft B&B. They offer a number of different water sporting activities, including sailing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, boat hire and tuition. Nichol End Marine has a landing jetty where you can join the Keswick Launch for a leisurely trip around Derwentwater or to travel across to Keswick at Theatre by the Lake.
Keswick town centre is an easy, level 15-20 minute walk along a purpose built pathway, called the The Howrah's.
The name Portinscale means 'harlots hut'. In 1901 the remains of a pre-historic tool makers hut were found by workmen digging out an old fish pond so people have obviously been enjoying living here for a long time!
You can walk from Skiddaw Croft B&B to the top of Cat Bells. The route takes you through Nichol End Marine and past the Lingholm Estate. The start of the Cat Bells climb is 30-40 minutes walk from our B&B so you can leave your car behind.
Alternatively you could walk from our B&B around Derwentwater going down the west side of the Lake to Grange and back round the east side to Keswick.
Attractions Easily Accessible by Bus from Skiddaw Croft
Whinlatter Forest: The forest has stunning views, fantastic walks, exhilarating mountain biking, rare wildlife, adventure play with GoApe and a programme of events throughout the year.
Buttermere: Buttermere means lake by the dairy pastures. Buttermere valley is a picture postcard of fantastic lakes (Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater). The beautiful lakes are ideal locations for hill walking or a gentle stroll around the shores of the lake.
Honister Mine: England's last working slate mine located at the head of the Honister Pass. It offers you the choice of 3 underground tours. It also has the Via Ferrata, giving you an adrenalin-fueled way to ascend to the top of Fleetwith Pike, following the old miners' route to work.
Seatoller: Seatoller is a tiny hamlet located at the head of the stunning Borrowdale Valley making it ideal for walking or simply relaxing whilst taking in the views of the towering Fells. There are a number of walks suitable for all abilities, from riverside strolls and woodland walks to fell scrambling.
Rosthwaite and Grange: Borrowdale is one of the Lake District's quietest and most beautiful areas. These villages are ideal starting and finishing points for many walks, including the dramatic Castle Crag and beautiful Watendlath Valley. The villages offer refreshments in their tea rooms and pubs.
Keswick has been a market town for the last 700 years. There is a market held in the centre of town by the Moot Hall every Thursday and Saturday. It also has one of the oldest cinemas (The Alhambra), a modern theatre (Theatre by the Lake), Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, Fitz Park and a swimming pool.
Keswick hosts many events every year, including:
- Keswick Film Festival (February)
- Literature Festival (March)
- Keswick Half Marathon (May)
- Keswick Jazz festival (May)
- Keswick Mountain Festival (June)
- Keswick Beer Festival (June)
- The Lakesman Triathlon (June)
- Christian Festival (July-August)
- Derwentwater Regatta (July)
- Keswick Agricultural Show (August)
- Derwentwater Trail Race (September)
- Derwentwater 10 (November)
- Keswick Victorian Fayre (December)
Many walks can be started from Keswick, including Latrigg and Skiddaw. If you would like a gentle stroll to take in some wonderful sites you can't do much better than walking by Theatre by the Lake and the Keswick Launch to Friars Cragg. The views look out across Derwentwater to Cat Bells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Grange and Castle Crag, High Seat and Borrowdale Fells. Early morning will give you some fantastic light for some memorable photos of your visit.
Castlerigg Stone Circle
Castlerigg Stone Circle dates back to around 3,000 BC, consist of 38 volcanic stones and is one of the earliest in Britain. The stones are set in a dramatic setting with amazing views of the surrounding Fells. Sunrise and sunset provide some stunning light for keen photographers. The great thing about Castlerigg Stone Circle is how easy it is to get to from Keswick. They are about a 10 minute drive from Skiddaw Croft B&B or if you are feeling energetic you can walk to them in an hour.
Keswick has many good places to eat, some needing pre-booking when the town is busy. There are many pubs with excellent food and beers, an Italian, a Tapas Bar serving good Mexican food and our favourite Pizza restaurant (Woodstone Pizza and Flame Grill). Many restaurants cater for different diets, including gluten free.
Other places to visit, or things to do, are The Pencil Museum, The Puzzling Place, Ghost Walk, The Railway Path to Threlkeld, Honister Slate Mine, King Kong Climbing Wall and tours around Derwentwater on the Keswick Launch.