The small village of Applethwaite sits on a thirteenth century cultivation terrace on the southern slopes of Skiddaw, which it shares with the village of Millbeck. The road between the two runs along the terrace, and contains a view of Derwent Water considered to be the finest by the poet Robert Southey. The village has strong literary connections – in 1802 Sir George Beaumont, the founder of the National Gallery, gave William Wordsworth a plot of land in the village, to allow Wordsworth to live close to Coleridge, who at that time lived in Keswick. In the end Wordsworth wrote sonnet about the village, but didn’t build on the land, and the current house – The Ghyll – dates from 1867.
Just to the east of the village a minor side road branches off to the left, running past the Italianate buildings of Underscar Hotel, and up to the popular car park behind Latrigg. Latrigg itself is a great viewpoint over Keswick and Derwent Water, while the car park also lies on the main tourist path up Skiddaw.