Things to do & Local Events

Our location and surrounding countryside makes a perfect base for visitors wishing to ‘escape from it all’


The area offers a wide selection of hikes of all levels, direct from the hotel doorstep, so you can leave your car behind. Do take a look at our walking breaks special offer to have an experienced, qualified guide help enjoy the most of what the fells have to offer. For rock climbing enthusiasts, there is a good choice of climbing sites nearby.  Just mention when booking if you would like to book a session with a local Mountain Instructor, Mandy Glanvill of “Women Rock” to show you the ropes.


There are a number of courses close by, including Keswick, Cockermouth, Penrith and Workington. Further afield, the UK’s no 30 course, Silloth-on-Solway and no 80 course, Seascale Golf Club, are within a 40 mile radius of the hotel. Our guests can enjoy a round of golf at Keswick Golf Club, with our compliments, or an exclusive discounted green fee at Cockermouth Golf Club.

Outdoor Pursuits

Many of our guests simply enjoy taking boat across the lake and discounted tickets for the Keswick launch are available from reception.  Derwent Water is often considered the birthplace of the National Trust, as well as the area’s numerous links to Beatrix Potter and her famous tales.

For the more adventurous, a wide range of watersport activities can be arranged on the shores of Derwent Water, including Sailing, Rowing, Kayaking and other bush craft activities, including running the rapids of rivers.

Away from the water, guests come to Borrowdale to cycle, mountain bike, climb, do a spot of fishing at Watendlath Trout fishery or “Go Ape” in Whinlatter Forest, the adrenaline fuelled tree-top adventure, alongside its selection of forest trails and a children’s adventure area.

The hotel is happy to help arrange bike hire, climbing courses, sailing lessons and a host of other activities on request.


Keswick is the home to Theatre By the Lake, Cumbria’s only year-round professional producing theatre, where discounted theatre tickets can be purchased at reception.

The re-vamped Keswick Museum, the Keswick Mining Museum and the Alhambra Cinema, which celebrated its centenary in January 2014, and the Pencil Museum in Keswick are popular attractions. “Wad” is the local name for a mineral also known as “Black Cawke” or “Plumbago”. Today we call it graphite and high quality deposits are rare; so rare that there are only two locations in the world where it is in a volcanic series…in southern Spain and right here in the Borrowdale Valley. For more information on the valley, do take a look at the local Borrowdale Story website.

A number of events are held during the year to celebrate this area’s cultural heritage and history. Our regular email newsletter provides some highlights.


Whether or not you wish to duplicate the 2013 Tour of Britain feat over Honistor Pass, the area is popular with cyclists and the hotel is happy to help arrange bike hire or suggest routes.


For keen bird watchers, more than 50 of our feathered friends have been spotted at or near the Borrowdale Gates Hotel garden, alongside red squirrels outside the window and deer roaming nearby.


From our doorstep, there are so many places to explore in any weather.

Classic car enthusiasts are drawn here to some of the most scenic driving routes in the country.  The quiet open roads of the North West Lakes and Cumbrian West Coast are a big attraction, with secluded parking available at the hotel.  Special deals on classic car hire can be arranged through a local firm.

The Lake District’s first ever wetland nature reserve is at Bassenthwaite Lake (10 miles), famous as the nesting place of the magnificent Ospreys each year.

Also, why not pop into the Lakes distillery, close to Bassenthwaite, for a distillery tour of some award winning brands of whiskey, gin and vodka.

Before taking on Shepherd’s Crag, why not try out the Keswick climbing wall first?   Or just up the road, Honister Slate Mine offers a Via Ferrata route as well as mine tour to watch slate splitting that has changed little in 300 years.

Links to the great poets and adventure playground can be found at Mirehouse Historic House & Gardens (9miles).  Or visit the birthplace of William Wordsworth in Cockermouth and look round his family home at Dove Cottage in Grasmere, next to the Wordsworth Museum (18 miles).

For Beatrix Potter fans, the neighbouring Newlands Valley is home to Mrs. Tiggy Winkle and the area in general has close links to Beatrix Potter’s life.

Or find out how real ales are created at Jennings Brewery (16 miles) as well as the Microbrewery of Keswick Brewing Company (5 miles).

Local Events

More information can be found on but in the meantime, here are some dates for the diary for the rest of 2016 and 2017:

The 18th Keswick Film Festival
16 – 19 February 2017

Words by the Water Literature Festival
3 – 12 March 2017

Exciting Events over Easter Weekend
14 – 17 April 2017

Buttermere 10 Trail Run
2 April 2017 

Keswick Half Marathon
30 April 2017

The 26th Keswick Jazz and Blues Festival
11 – 14 May 2017
Over 100 jazz events in various venues around town over 4 days, including a jazz parade.

Bassenthwaite Festival

3 – 3 June 2017

Keswick Beer Festival
2 – 3 June 2017

Keswick Mountain Festival
8 – 11 June 2017
A wide array of outdoor pursuits, sporting events, legendary speakers and live music, without the camping if you stay at the Borrowdale Gates Hotel.

The Lakesman Triathlon

18 June 2017

Keswick Scruffs
25 June 2017
A family friendly dog show plus entertainment in Keswick.

Keswick  Festival
23 – 25 June 2017

Woolfest Cockermouth
23 – 24 June 2017

Derwent Water Regatta
8 – 9 July 2017
A weekend of mayhem and madness to watch as well as try out a range of water activities, with a fair on Crow Park.

Derwent Epic Swim

9 July 2017

Local Agricultural Shows 2017
Cockermouth 29 July, Keswick 28 August, Loweswater 3 Sept, Borrowdale 17 Sept, Buttermere 21 Oct (tbc)
A great day out for the family with sheep shows, dog trials, local crafts and stalls.

Bassenthwaite Regatta
5 – 17 August 2017

Derwent Water Trail Race
2 September 2017

Buttermere Triathlon
9 September 2017 

Vintage Sports Car Club Lakeland Trials

11 November 2017
Over 100 vintage cars from the 1920′s and 1930′s converge on Honister Slate Mine.

Keswick Christmas Lights Switch On

18 November 2017 

Keswick Live Advent
1 – 24 December 2017

The Keswick Victorian Fayre
3 December 2017 
Traditional Christmas Market and host of street entertainment

Call us

017687 77204
0845 833 2524 (local dialing rate)


Borrowdale Gates Hotel
CA12 5UQ

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