Standing on the shores of Derwent Water, the market town of KESWICK makes a good base for exploring the northern Lake District, particularly delightful Borrowdale to the south of town or the heights of Skiddaw (3053ft) and Blencathra (2847ft), which loom over Keswick to the north. Granted its market charter by Edward I in 1276 – market day is Saturday – Keswick was an important wool and leather centre until around 1500, when these trades were supplanted by the discovery of local graphite. Keswick went on to become an important pencil-making town; the entertaining Cumberland Pencil Museum, across the river tells the whole story.

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