One of the towns in Cumbria that provides access to the fells is Keswick. The town was originally famous for the production of graphite pencils but has recently bid adieu to the industry that lasted three centuries. While serving as one of the launching pad for the lakes of Cumbria, the town is also renowned for hosting a Christian gathering, a film festival, a beer festival and a jazz festival. The Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith railway was in operation from 1864 to 1972. A new company bearing the initials of the erstwhile company has been attempting to reopen the line, initially between Keswick and Penrith. Keswick is 17 miles to the west of Penrith. The business has been structured as a public limited company and has raised funds from the public for the purpose. In the future, proposals of the company are to extend the line to Workington and Appleby.
Parts of the A66 are built on the rail line that ran from Workington to Keswick but which was wound down in 1966, earlier than the stoppage of the link to Penrith. CKP Plc expects the link to renew business interest in the region.Penrith is situated on the West Coast line which can act as a connecting point for travellers from the south. The extension of the line to Keswick is expected to be utilised by nearly half a million travellers to the lakes of Cumbria. Boutique Hotels Windermere and the hospitality industry are not the only expected beneficiaries from the reopening. The economy in Keswick is expected to benefit from the increased traffic and the creation of jobs. One of the biggest benefits is estimated to be made through savings of fuel as car travel stands to be reduced.
Traffic will be a corollary beneficiary of the line according to the planners. Many stone and metal bridges are in good condition which is a boost to the proposal. The population of Keswick is just under 5000 while that of Penrith is upwards of 15,000. The population of Cockermouth is between that of Keswick and Penrith. The rivers Crocker and Derwent join together at Cockermouth. The distance between Cockermouth and Penrith is 30 miles. From Cockermouth, travellers can access the lakes of Crummock Water, Loweswater and Bassenthwaite.
From Keswick, the A591 can be taken to connect to Kendal via Windermere. The drive from Keswick to Windermere is a very popular stretch. Derwentwaterlake is approachable by walk from Keswick. Another attraction in Keswick is the Castlerigg Stone Circle which is five thousand years old. Travellers can tour the local brewery by booking tickets online. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are not currently available for the rest of 2014. The available tour tickets are those for the remaining days of the week. Derwentwater has many activities for visitors from mountain bike trails and a tour of a slate mine. A boating service provides a 50-minute ride on the lake while tourists can get down in between and climb on board later.