Latest news from Brierholme Guest House in Keswick.

Local Heroes: Adam Campion, Run Director at Parkrun

Next up in our Local Heroes series is the wonderful Adam Campion who is Run Director at Parkrun!

Adam put Keswick on the Parkrun map in 2015 and it has come on in leaps and bounds ever since. Around the world, Parkrun has been putting on weekly, timed 5k runs which are completely free to enter.

We’ve caught up with Adam to see what his role with Parkrun involves, how he got started, how Parkrun has impacted his life and the lives of others, and much more. Keep reading for our full interview...

How did you first get involved with Parkrun?

I’ve been a long time listener to the Marathon Talk Running podcast, hosted by Martin Yelling and Tom Williams. Tom is Chief Operating Officer for Parkrun, and often talked about parkrun. I really wanted to have one in Keswick, but had never even been to a Parkrun. On a family visit to Portsmouth for Christmas 2013, we took part in Southsea Parkrun, and brought the idea to Keswick for April 2015.

What does your role as Run Director entail?

It’s a mix of things. We have various run directors, but as the overall Event Director, I put things out on social media, field the emails, gather volunteers every week, store and organise the gear, right up to the moment where I do the run brief before we set off on Saturday morning. Whilst I’m often the face of Keswick Parkrun, my family help a great deal, and there is an army of volunteers we can call on.

In what ways have you seen Parkrun impact the lives of the people who take part?

A large number of people who sign up to Parkrun in the first place describe themselves as non-runners, or occasional runners, so Parkrun has played a big part in helping people become more active locally. A big community has now grown up around it, and there are lots of success stories of people who have seen the great benefits to their well being from simply becoming more active. You only have to look at the list of people who have now completed 100 Parkruns. Some very young, some, less so!

What can runners expect from the Parkrun and the Junior Parkrun?

They can expect to be able to do their own thing. Some runners race themselves to their best possible time, running some great 5k times. Others challenge themselves in different ways, and for some, it’s the next step after a Couch to 5k programme. The main thing, though, is that’s there’s never any pressure to do more or less than you’re happy doing, and the inclusive nature of the whole event is widely appreciated.

How has being such a big part of Parkrun impacted your life?

People have often thanked us for giving up our Saturday mornings, but we haven’t given anything up! There’s an interesting idea around volunteering, the suggestion being that it costs you something, but it’s been a real labour of love, and I’ve enjoyed being part of it. I frequently get to run, and there’s a good social side to the event, based around the wonderful Cafe West in Fitz Park.

What advice would you give to someone who hasn't done Parkrun before but is thinking about starting?

You must know how I’m going to answer that! Register online, print a barcode and get on down there. Run, jog, walk or volunteer - just don’t feel like there’s some minimum standard that you must achieve before you can take part - there isn’t. 

If you want to find out more about all of the events that happen in Keswick, you can take a look here


Adam Campion

Adam Campion

Exciting times for Keswick Brewery

Keswick Brewery are busy preparing for building work to commence on two extensions. The first of the new buildings will provide space for the brewery to breathe and expand whilst the second will provide a larger bar, beer shop and increase the visitor tour experience.

The brewery was established in April 2006 on the site of what is believed to be a much older brewery, The Old Brewery Co which closed in 1897. The brewery was set up with quality and environmental issues at its heart. The brewery’s awards and the popularity of the beers show the hard work is worthwhile. These values continue and the brewery always strives to improve further.

The brewery has four regular cask beers, Keswick Gold, Keswick Bitter, Thirst Quencher and K.S.B. - Keswick Special Bitter. There are also eight beers in the bottled and can range. There are seasonal and special beers which add to the range so there is always something new or different.

In 2016 the brewery celebrated it’s 10th anniversary with ten new cask and bottled beers all with new recipes using new hops and malts. These beers have become the foundation of the K series with more new beers being created. K18 will be the next in this series, an amber 3% ale. The brewery plans to brew up to K20 by the end of the year.

The brewery has made many investments in the business, with new equipment helping to improve quality and production. The new buildings continues this giving the brewery chance to increase production and help provide a larger visitor experience. The Flying Fox Bar will be a larger bar with longer opening times (the bar is open just 3 - 5pm at present). There will be a new separate shop selling a large selection of beers, local produce and gifts. The brewery tour experience which is so popular will continue to grow with more new areas to see on the tour.

The build is expected to take around six months with this being done is such a way so that the current shop, bar and tours will continue during this time so there is chance to see the build as it progresses first hand. The brewery will be updating their Instagram regularly (Keswick Brewing Company) so the build progress can be followed as the buildings grow. Once the work is completed the brewery will be organising some exciting events to celebrate.

Get ready for the party.


New Look Brewery Plans

New Look Brewery Plans

Theatre by the Lake announces 2019 Season including special event with Ian McKellen

Theatre by the Lake today announced exciting plans for its 2019 Season including a world premiere production from the acclaimed Howard BrentonEducating Rita starring Stephen Tompkinsontwo regional premieres in the Studio, and a special fundraising event featuring Ian McKellen. The year includes nine home-grown TBTL productions, alongside a diverse programme of visiting work.

Chief Executive James Cobbold said: “2019 sees Theatre by the Lake celebrate its 20th birthday, and we feel that our programme for the year is a fitting celebration. We’re thrilled to be presenting another year of quality theatre, working with some incredibly talented creatives, as well as excited to welcome an eclectic range of visiting work and some very special events. There really is something for everyone, so we hope that both local audiences and visitors from further afield will join us for some wonderful lakeside entertainment.”

Following a packed February and March of music, dance, children’s shows and touring drama, the Spring Season at the theatre kicks off with the world premiere production of Creditors by August Strindberg (22 March - 20 April) in a new adaptation by Howard Brenton and co-produced with London’s Jermyn Street Theatre. Brenton’s adaptation of Miss Julie was a huge hit in 2017, and will be reprised at the theatre for five special performances (1 - 4 April), before going on regional tour across Cumbria and beyond.

In the Main House, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray will star Jonathan Wrather in the lead role (best known for his role as Pierce Harris in Emmerdale), followed by TBTL’s co-production of Willy Russell’s classic play Educating Rita featuring Stephen Tompkinson (Brassed Off, Wild at Heart, DCI Banks) as Frank, produced with David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers. The Picture of Dorian Gray plays from 8 - 13 April, with Educating Rita playing from 18 - 27 April.

The Summer Season of home-produced work runs in rep with a resident company of eleven actors from 23 May to 2 November.

The three Main House productions are:

  • The Ladykillers by Graham Linehan – One of the best-loved British pictures of all time is transformed from macabre comedy into madcap mayhem by the co-creator of Father Ted, Black Books and The IT Crowd.
  • The Rise and Fall of Little Voice by Jim Cartwright – The comic tragedy about finding your voice in a noisy world, made famous by the 1998 film Little Voice starring Jane Horrocks.
  • Dear Uncle adapted by Alan Ayckbourn – Ayckbourn’s adaption of Chekhov’s masterpiece of unrequited love, Uncle Vanya, set in the Lake District.

The Studio productions are:

  • The Children by Lucy Kirkwood – The regional premiere of this award-winning play, first seen at the Royal Court in 2016, in which two retired scientists attempt to continue a semblance of normality in the aftermath of a nuclear catastrophe.
  • My Mother Said I Never Should by Charlotte Keatley – Keatley’s classic drama in which secrets, lies, loves and momentous decisions reverberate through four generations of women from the same family.
  • Guards at the Taj by Rajiv Joseph – TBTL’s second regional premiere was an award-winning hit in America and had its European premiere at the Bush Theatre in 2017. As dawn rises on the day construction is completed on the Taj Mahal, two hapless guards must resist the urge to look at the most beautiful monument ever created.

Theatre by the Lake’s Christmas production for 2019/2020 will be an adaptation of A Christmas Carol; join Ebeneezer Scrooge, and a whole host of familiar characters, in discovering the true meaning of Christmas in this much-loved family classic. From 22 November 2019 to 11 January 2020.

A highlight of the year and much-anticipated event is Ian McKellen’s appearance at the theatre on 20 August in Ian McKellen on Stage. A special fundraiser for TBTL, the date is part of a UK tour in celebration of McKellen’s 80th birthday. As he himself puts it: “Growing up in Lancashire, I was grateful to those companies who toured beyond London and I’ve always enjoyed repaying that debt by touring up and down the country myself. I used to see the touring Century Theatre, which ended up by the lake in Keswick. So my debut here is in gratitude for those long-ago productions and for the other times when I have seen the company at work in Keswick. The Lake District is my favourite part of the country, which is another reason I wanted to bring you my new show.”

The evening will include anecdotes, performances as some of his best known characters, and an invitation for an audience member to join him on stage. Demand for the event is anticipated to be high. This special event will not go on sale until January; sign up to receive Theatre by the Lake emails or follow the theatre on social media to be kept informed of the on-sale date and to be the first to book.

Other visiting work highlights include Heart of Darkness (26 - 30 March), an explosive retelling of Joseph Conrad’s novel from associate company and acclaimed digital theatre makers, imitating the dog, and La Tragédie de Carmen, a reimagining of Bizet’s masterpiece, from Pop-Up Opera (8 February). TBTL is also delighted to welcome back associate company Prism Arts with their show Four Treasures (14 and 15 February), and the wonderful Phoenix Dance Theatre, who delighted audiences earlier this year with their show Windrush and are returning with The Rite of Spring (8 May). TBTL audiences can also look forward to a visit from anthropologist, author and broadcaster Professor Alice Roberts, who will be sharing insights, anecdotes and behind-the-scenes stories at a talk on 20 February.

The theatre is also proud to present a wide range of shows and events for families, from Metta Theatre’s hip-hop musical In the Willows (2 - 6 April and starring Olivier Award-winning actor Clive Rowe who many will recognise from BBC Children’s drama The Story of Tracy Beaker), to the much loved Sourpuss (21 and 22 February) which is one event in a jam-packed programme for families over the February half term. For film buffs, Keswick Film Festival returns once more (28 February - 3 March), and the theatre will once again be a venue for 2019’s Keswick Jazz and Blues Festival (9 - 12 May).

Priority booking for Friends of Theatre by the Lake is open from 14 November, in person, online or over the phone. To find out about becoming a Friend call the Box Office on 017687 74411, or visit

General booking opens on 21 November from 9.30am, in person, online or over the phone.

Please note that the full Words by the Water programme will be announced in early January, with Friends Priority booking opening on 17 January, and Public booking opening on 24 January.

To find out more please visit or call the Box Office on 017687 74411. The full season brochure can be viewed here with the diary of events here.


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