With rugged mountains, sparkling lakes and some of the most spectacular landscapes in the country it is no small wonder that for centuries artists, including Turner and Constable, have sought to capture the changing moods and vistas of the North Lakes area. Keswick was the home of the School of Industrial Arts for nearly a century, set up by Canon Rawnsley, a good friend of John Ruskin whose art and writings laid the foundation for the Arts and Crafts movement.
The Keswick Museum & Art Gallery has recently re-opened, having undergone a major facelift. Now run by a charity, KMAG, the current website is keswickmuseum.org.uk
The well known Cumberland Pencil Museum is popular with vistors of all ages and frequently hosts special art related events.
The Honister Slate Mine is a must see for those interested in industrial history, the mine tours are very popular. This is also the site of the Lake District's only Via Ferrata and a subterranean climbing facility within the mine!
The Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum is situated three miles east of Keswick off the A66. Located in an old quarry, here you can explore undergound and see a range of heavy machinery. The museum has regular steam days during the year.
There are many artists and craftsmen living and working in the area today creating both contemporary and more traditional pieces including original oil paintings and watercolours and reproductions, sculpture, jewellery and ceramics. Numerous galleries in Keswick, Cockermouth and the surrounding villages showcase the work of both local and international artists. Two of our popular galleries are Thornthwaite Galleries and Viridian Gallery, where various artist's works are showcased regularly throughout the year.