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Keswick Guest Houses

Updated on October 9, 2011

Bed and Breakfast Accommodation in Keswick

When looking for holiday accommodation in Keswick (in the UK's Lake District) visitors overwhelmingly opt for one of the local guest houses offering bed and breakfast accommodation in Keswick. Ever since Keswick became a magnet for travellers and tourists with a taste for the beauties of the English Lake District, the first choice for holiday accommodation has been the traditional guest house offering a warm bed for the weary traveller and a hearty breakfast the following morning. Keswick guest houses and bed and breakfast establishments far outnumber hotels in Keswick and in the Lake District generally. In one recent survey of visitors to Keswick, over 115,000 visitors chose to stay in guest houses offering bed and breakfast, compared with only 35,000 staying in local hotels. One of the reasons for this is that guest houses in Keswick tend to be small family-run businesses with a genuine local hospitality that cannot be found elsewhere.

According to some statistics (see the book "Keswick"by George Bott p153) Keswick has the highest number of bed and breakfast facilities per head of population in the country, and that number has been maintained in recent years while a number of hotels have closed down or been converted into shops. This is one area of the economy where the tendency to merge and achieve economies of scale has been resisted. As mentioned above, part of the explanation for this must be the level of service and dedication that predominates in these small family-run businesses.

A word of warning, though, to visitors and those wanting to do business with Keswick guest houses. Remember to address them as guest houses and not bed and breakfasts or BnBs. Keswickians are proud of their guest houses, and proud in particular that they can meet the standards set by the official ratings organisation for guest houses. To the uninitiated the distinction between a guest house and plain and simple bed and breakfast accommodation may seem trivial and technical, but it isn't seen in that light in Keswick. A guest house, you will soon discover, is in a completely different category from what might be referred to as a BnB. When the inspectors from Visit Britain come to call there are strict guidelines about what must be offered for an establishment to call itself a guest house and avoid the fate of being labelled a plain and simple bed and breakfast establishment.

Visitors, though, will be less interested in semantics than the resplendent scenery surrounding Keswick. The homely guest house with its warm beds, en-suite bathrooms and hearty breakfast will just be a base for inspiring jaunts into the justly famous Lake District. Such visits have the character almost of a pilgrimage. The Muslim has his Mecca, the Catholic has his Vatican and the skeptical modern individual with keen senses and an ear for poetry and the silence it requires has his Lake District. Only here, in the vastness beyond the narrow cobbled streets of the town can he find an intimation of immortality.

Similarly inspired visitors to Keswick follow in the footsteps of the great pioneers, one of whom was John Dalton (1709-1763). Born in Cockermouth, he was one of the first to describe in suitably poetic terms the sublime grandeur of the Lake District's "stupendous crags and impending woods". John Brown - a similarly Romantic contemporary of Dalton - considered it not an idle amusement but "a religious act" to pay an annual visit to Keswick. His "Letter describing the Vale and Lake of Keswick" (1767) testifies to the powerful impression made on him by the "craggy and broken steeps" of the fells, offset by the "verdant isles of Derwentwater". When Thomas Gray visited the Lake District two years later he chose Keswick as his base, and he was similarly enraptured by what he referred to as "the vale of Elysium in all its verdure".

In addition to the sublime scenery, Gray was impressed by the hospitality of the locals, in particular a farmer in Grange (a village at the south end of Lake Derwentwater, not far from Keswick). We are sure that you, too, will be warmed by the hospitality of your hosts in one of Keswick's guest houses with its traditional bed and breakfast, a selection of which are listed and promoted by a web design company in Keswick.

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