Swallows and Amazons: Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

Keswick hosted the world premiere of the new film adaptation of Arthur Ransome's classic Swallows and Amazons story about four children from the south coast who spend a summer holiday in the 1930s in the Lake District and have a set of adventures while camping in an island in the middle of a lake.

Fans of the book will be glad to see some well-loved elements - the famous 'duffers won't drown' telegram from Mr Walker, the charcoal burners and the 'leading lights' - all make it into the film.

But while remaining true to the general feel of the novel, this is a spiced-up Swallows and Amazons. Rafe Spall, for example, plays a dashing Captain Flint, a writer but also (like Ransome) a spy, who has been taking photographs in Russian naval bases and is being hunted by two Russian secret service agents, one played with with both charm and a touch of menace by Andrew Scott (Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes).

It was a bit of a shock to see John, the eldest of the Walker children, heroically confronting the Russians with a gun he has found in Flint's houseboat.

But Ransome's novel focused massively on the basics of camping and sailing life and modern audiences probably need a bit more action and derring-do.

I also liked the way that screenwriter Andrea Gibb introduced fractious elements into the siblings' relationship, with John, the eldest, struggling to fulfil his own high expectations of himself and being particularly tetchy at times with Roger and Susan. Ransome's children were a bit too 'perfect' - the film versions are more flawed.

There was also a moment of genuine suspense after young Roger falls overboard at one stage.

Kelly Macdonald is convincing as Mrs Walker, explaining her decision to let her children go off and have adventures alone on an island because she doesn't want 'them to be afraid of the world'. And Kendal's Hannah Jayne Thorpe breathes life into Peggy, probably the least well-drawn character among the children in the book.

The Lake District, including Coniston and Derwentwater, looks ravishing - expect a boost in tourism after the film is released on August 19. Heptonstall, in West Yorkshire, and the jetties at Keswick were used as 'Rio' (Bowness). And watch out for what looks like Ribblehead Viaduct during the Walker family's train journey north.

Overall, this was an enjoyable, warm and big-hearted family film, which received a spontaneous round of applause from the audience at the end.