On Saturday April 13th a very special and fruitful festival will be taking place, the much loved and now very famous annual Damson Day, a celebration to herald the arrival of the damson blossom – and spring in Westmorland.
Damson Day is held at Low Farm, Crosthwaite from 10.30am until 4.00pm organised by the Westmorland Damson Association. The association was set up to preserve this historic fruit that has been grown in Westmorland (now collectively named Cumbria) since the 1700’s. Enjoy food and craft stalls and demos, a children’s fair & activities, archery, a dog show, music and dancing and full refreshments naturally. The annual damson day brings visitors from far and wide and the trend for cooking with this tart fruit by top chefs now has made these little nuggets even more sough after. For more information on Damson Day visit, https://www.damsonday.co.uk/
The Lyth Valley contains rolling countryside, forests and pastoral delights and every now and again you stumble of a delightful little village. The Valley isn’t just famous for Damson’s, it is also a must go destination for foodies with some excellent places to eat and drink. Between Crosthwaite, Brigsteer and nearby Cartmel Fell are some of the best dining pubs in the north of England and all regular award winners and full of local, seasonal produce.
Accommodation for festival day can be found just down the road from the festival at the aptly named Damson Dene Hotel. They regularly have damson dishes on their menu as well as the famous Damson Gin. Choose one of the newly refurbished rooms with views across the grounds and the Lyth Valley. Visit https://www.damsondene.co.uk/ to book.
The Lake District is the UK’s most popular National Park and attracts over 16 million people each year.
So what makes this National Park the most popular? Well first and foremost, the landscape. The perfect combination of fells and lakes, countryside and rivers each interweaving between each other.
The lakes are made up of England’s longest and arguably the most famous body of water, Lake Windermere which is a mere along with Buttermere and Thirlmere through to waters such as Coniston Water and Derwentwater and tarns such as Loughrigg and Grisedale. It may seen strange to some but Bassenthwaite Lake is the only actual, official lake in the Lake District.
The tarns are the real gems and many people are starting to discover them and appreciate their beauty. Tarns are small bodies of water on the fells. Sitting beside one, looking own onto on, only brings views of pure amazement. From Blea Tarn the Langdale Pike vista is in full view, head up the mighty Haystacks to Wainwright’s favourite Innominate Tarn to see the mighty Great Gable.
Fell walking is the most popular activity and in the last 10 years had grown to epic levels with visitors coming from all over the world to walk the lower fells around Ambleside through the fells found in and around Keswick and the Wasdale Valley, namely England’s highest, Scafell Pike.
The Lake District’s easy access from the M6 motorway also helps. For so much of Northern England and Scotland, it’s an easy trip even just for one night. With faster train services from London, a quick weekend break in The Lakes is more than achievable.
And then onto food. Always famous for its real ales, these artisan brews are now combined with some of the best food found in the North. High end dining in pubs, lovely independent restaurants, exciting cafes and even Michelin Star experiences.
And where to stay, the Lake District also offers something for everyone whether it’s a camping pitch, pod, holiday cottage, bed & breakfast or hotel. Find budget through to the ultimate in luxury. Where to head to find where to stay and eat when in the Lake District. Visit AllofTheLakeDistrict.co.uk for everything from Lake District hotels to activities and region guides.
In a recent poll by Freedom To Go, the camping, caravanning and short break website, the Lake District has been voted as the most desirable place to see and visit in the UK.
The poll asked parents of children under 16 to vote with the Lake District amounting 61% of the votes. Family travel within the Lake District has always been high but it is increasing yearly too yet still 20% of the people who voted for the Lake District haven’t been before. It is the idea they love of it, the open air, the chance to get the kids away from computers and tablets and have a proper, interactive family holiday.
Coming in at second in the poll was Stonehenge. Despite this being a must in terms of historical value, it is just one site yet the Lake District offers history over multiple locations and a place where a day visit up to a two week family holiday can be enjoyed, obviously we are in no way bias towards the Lake District at all…..!
For anyone who hasn’t visited the Lake District then a great starting point is Windermere. The town including Bowness on the edge of England’s longest natural lake has everything a family needs for a holiday, activities, great places to eat, drink and stay, attractions and the all important cruise on Windermere.
Family friendly accommodation can be found at the Newby Bridge Hotel where within walking distance are some of the best attractions for children of all ages as well. They offer family rooms (Standard and Superior), dining in their restaurant or bar with views of Lake Windermere and private leisure facilities including pool too.
So how about thinking of Lake Windermere for the next family holiday, half term, Easter, summer whether it’s made you realise how much you enjoyed it last time reading this or it has tempted you to try it out for the first time, you’d be mad not to explore this beautiful part of the UK.
As the Easter holidays start and the weather finally starts to warm up, the thought of what to do and where to go in the Summer holidays begins.
A combination of the tightening of airport security, the result being possible lengthy delays through to the uncertainty due to the ongoing Brexit negotiations and value of the plummeting value of the pound are factors for considering staying in the UK for your main summer holiday. Although holiday prices haven’t really increased, converting currency has made a large impact on the overall cost of going abroad. With it being easier now and more popular than ever to book a holiday to the last minute, it begs the question, could this be a bumper year for the UK staycation?
The level of service and quality of accommodation found in many European countries is second to none but UK accommodation is fast coming up to and exceeding it. Families shouldn’t discount as the accommodation for a holiday. Hotel stays with the family mean everyone gets to enjoy the break not just the kids. There’s no washing up, food is plentiful and with great choice for all and whilst a holiday abroad is tied to a full week or 2 weeks, staying in a hotel in the UK can be booked for just a part week if desired.
Cue the Lake District and the UK’s newest and largest World Heritage Site. Miles and miles of beauty, adventure, fantastic places to stay and delicious places to eat at. For families then there’s everything required to keep even the most energetic of child happy and entertained and whether they are toddlers or teens. The new wave of stylish hotels and luxury accommodation is proving a real hit, perfectly matching up to the new World Heritage Site status this National Park now holds.
New doesn’t stop there with the all new All of The Lake District website encompassing and providing everything a visitor needs for a fabulous Lake District holiday or short break. Visit https://www.allofthelakedistrict.co.uk and book your summer holiday today.
One of the largest and most visited food festivals in Cumbria is holding a special fabulously festive one this December the 9th and 10th.. The location, Cockermouth for the Taste Cumbria Christmas Food Festival.
The streets of the historic market town of Cockermouth in the Western Lake District will be filled full of local producers, suppliers and food providers. You’re sure not to go hungry and to get all the last minute gifts as well as tasty treats for the big day.
Cockermouth is such a delightful town, full of heritage and history being a pleasure to walk around and visit dozens of stalls during the weekend as well as the many independent foodie shops based in the town. On top of the food stalls there will be masterclasses and demonstrations from local chefs, of course mulled wine (no Christmas food festival is complete without that!) and even crafts and decorations for the Christmas home and table.
Most definitely also look out for the many local businesses offering special offers, samples and competitions, making the town the perfect place to do all your Christmas shopping and soak up the festive atmosphere Cumbrian style. Visit http://tastecumbria.com/taste-events/taste-cumbria-christmas-market/ for parking and visitor information.
And after all the shopping and tasting, why not down tools and head to Frederick’s for some light refreshments in the form of tea, coffee or how about a festive cocktail. Fredericks’s is a lounge bar and restaurant just off the main street and is the perfect place to take the weight off your feet. Look out for the festive cocktails and treats. Visit https://frederickscockermouth.co.uk/ for more details.
Come and experience the Lake District in all its glory whilst doing what this UNESCO World Heritage site is famous for, walking. Although there are many different ways to explore this National Park, walking connects visitors fully with nature whether it’s on England’s highest peak or beside one of the many bodies making up the Lake District.
And located in the true heart of the Lake District is Grasmere and Raise View Bed & Breakfast. New for 2018 they are inviting people to experience a 7 night accompanied walking holiday in the Lake District. From the base in Grasmere, a daily guided walking itinerary will be taking place and the 7 nights is full inclusive of accommodation at the luxury B&B Raise View, Jacky’s full Lakeland breakfast to set the days walking off on the right foot and packed lunches.
With dates to be confirmed and published, the months the breaks will be taking place are May, July and September 2018. Raise View can accommodation five couples in double or twin bedded rooms. Single centre walking breaks are becoming more and more popular. Each night be safe in knowledge you’ll be back in luxury surroundings, no worry about luggage arriving or having to pack and unpack.
To wet your appetite, from Grasmere and Raise View’s doorstep take on Helm Crag, Helvellyn and even the Langdale Pikes. With expert guidance from Raise View’s owner Keith who has a superb knowledge of the area, he also knows how weather can affect proceedings so walks will be tailored to suit the conditions at the time.
In the evenings, Grasmere offers a great choice of places to eat ranging from quality pub food right through to the Michelin Star rated Forest Side. For a selection and ideas visit http://www.raiseview.uk/places-to-eat
Summer’s here and the Western Lake District is the place to be. Off the beaten track, away from the crowds but with an abundance of things to do, see and experience. Whether you’re in the streets of Whitehaven, Silloth or Cockermouth, let the plethora of local festivities and music festivals entertain. Don’t miss the Taste Cumbria Summer Food Festival in Whitehaven on July 22nd and 23rd, the Workington International Street Market July 21st to 23rd, the multi-award-winning Solfest music festival on August 25th to 27th or the Seaton Carnival.
What better time to hit the quiet beaches of Allonby, St Bees and Haverigg, to try the fascinating town and harbour walks in Egremont and Harrington – or to set out by foot or on bike along the famous Coast to Coast routes or Hadrian’s Cycleway Route 72 starting from Ravenglass? There are many places to stay in the Western Lake District. There are strolls, hikes and rides for all the family, from coastal walks at Flimby to pony rides on Silecroft beach, organised through the Murthwaite Green Trekking Centre. Golf at Workington and the Harrington driving range? Or what about a perfect, lazy day’s fishing on the Salterbeck reservoir, or from the pier at Whitehaven?
Of course when the sun is dancing on the Lakes, the urge to get out on the water is irresistible. So don’t resist. Take a leisurely cruise on Derwentwater with the Keswick Launch. Hire and take out dinghies, windsurfers and many other craft on there too. Also experience canoeing, kayaking, dragon boating and even raft building courtesy of Keswick Adventure Centre. Derwentwater is also a haven for open water swimming, one of the fastest growing activities to do in the Lake District.
Where to stay? Well the area is very lucky to have an excellent and diverse choice of the accommodation from self catering to B&B’s and hotels. Making a great base for exploring the weatern Lake District is Hunday Manor Hotel which has stunning views over the and out to the Cumbrian Coast, the Solway First and even the Isle of Man. It is located close to Workington, Whitehaven and Cockermouth with fast links to Keswick. This 4 star country house hotel has everything you need on site serving delicious food daily and with very well priced rooms. Visit http://www.hundaymanorhotel.co.uk/ for more details.
With Easter fast approaching the excitement is building for the first proper holiday of 2017 with spring in full swing.
Whether you have children or not, Easter is time many choose to have a holiday or a short break. The days are now gloriously long and the trees are starting to transform from twiggy sculptures to a luscious green. After a mild winter, the Lake District is looking vibrant and the famous daffodils are still out in an abundance.
Thankfully the Lake District is set and prepared and can provide the perfect solution to any last minute Easter holiday plans. There are indoor and outdoor adventures and attractions all fully open especially in the Windermere and Bowness area. Couple this with a choice of restaurants, bars and cafes, Windermere and Bowness are haunts for foodies too. In Windermere Village enjoy craft beers &ales at the Crafty Bar, head to The Pig for their famous black pudding scotch egg or Homeground Coffee for some seriously good food and coffee. Down to Bowness and you’ll find an array of world food restaurants including the excellent Thai, Mediterranean as well as inns for traditional and local dishes.
For culture then all the large houses and attractions are now fully open including Townend Historic House between Windermere ad Ambleside, Allan Bank and Dove Cottage in nearby Grasmere, Sizergh Castle towards Kendal and just south of Bowness, Blackwell – The Arts & Crafts House.
From cruises to walking and guided bike rides, there is absolutely no way any visitors will be short of things to do in the Windermere, Bowness and the Lake District this Easter. The easiest way to check dates, times and for a full list of whats on during the Easter is to consult the Go Lakes website here http://www.golakes.co.uk/things-to-do/whats-on.aspx
There’s still chance to book a last minute break this Easter. With everything on the doorstep then staying in the Windermere and Bowness area is a good choice. Chestnuts Guest House is a perfectly located B&B between both villages, has private parking, light, right and airy rooms and delicious breakfasts. Rooms start from just £90 per room per night including breakfast based on 2 sharing. Visit http://www.chestnuts-hotel.co.uk for more details.
Living and working in Cumbria and the Lake District? You can now look forward and take advantage of offers, discounts and exclusive deals with a MyCumbria Card.
This is a membership card with a difference as it entitles members to hundreds of offers from businesses throughout Cumbria for a whole year for just £20. Exclusively for residents of Cumbria and those who work within the county of Cumbria, the scheme has been set up and is operated by Cumbria Tourism.
One membership can entitles card holders as well as, in some cases, up to 3 other friends or family to huge savings with often one visit or deal equating to a saving of over £20 just in one use.
One of the latest businesses to sign up to offer deals and discounts to MyCumbria members is the Applegarth Villa Hotel & Restaurant in Windermere. Sunday to Thursday MyCumbria card holders and up to 3 other party members can enjoy a free cocktail with afternoon tea or 10% off their food bill for evening meals in the restaurant. Serving freshly prepared, locally sourced food in changing, seasonal menus in the luxurious restaurant setting with views over the park and fells. For more information on the Applegarth Villa menu, restaurant, booking and opening times, visit http://www.lakesapplegarth.co.uk/villa-restaurant
The increase in the number of cyclists has increased tenfold in the last few years and even more so since the outstanding results for British cyclists in the Tour de France and the amazing team effort of the GB cycling team in the last three Olympics. All these accomplishments have greatly contributed to the following much uttered description “Cycling is the new golf”!
Cycling is obviously appealing for so many reasons with each person taking to a bike for different gains and enjoyment. It also happens to be an activity the whole family can do from small children to teenagers and parents and even grandparents, a 3 generational activity.
When driving and walking around in and around the Lake District, the amount of bikes being transported on cars is very evident, multiple bikes in most cases. It is now quicker, safer and easier to transport bikes with the latest bike racks on the market. What can often be the stumbling block when looking to take bikes away on holiday is storage at the accommodation venue. A bike can easily be worth upwards of £2000 and such a commodity really needs safe and secure storage and preferably, out of sight storage.
A self catering cottage or lodge can be a more suitable choice of holiday accommodation when requiring secure bike storage. They naturally are more likely to have a garage, shed and outhouse or perhaps a utility room or other form of storage facility that can accommodate bikes. On another practical note, having a washing machine after the inevitable rainy, muddy bike ride is a great plus!
The Langdale Estate has a number of self catering properties with private storage facilities, perfect for storing bikes and of course, its location is extremely suited for cyclists of all abilities including those who fancy tackling the biggie….Hardknott Pass! The Langdale Estate’s Active website, https://www.langdaleactive.co.uk/, also has a selection of handy, detailed road and mountain biking routes with all the info you need on sights to see on the way and terrain.
Stuck for something to buy the person who has everything? Left Christmas shopping a little late and need some assistance? South Lakes Hotels have the solution and the means.
The South Lakes Hotels group encompasses the Newby Bridge Hotel near Lake Windermere, the famous Damson Dene Hotel near Bowness and the Riverside Hotel in Kendal. Available to purchase via each of the hotel websites for either one of the three hotels.
The gift vouchers can be purchased for treats such as afternoon tea or the special 3 course Sunday Carvery and accommodation as well as handy monetary vouchers for any value. The vouchers can be used during the stay, as non-residents in the case of the afternoon tea voucher or they can be put towards the cost of the accommodation.
Simply and easy to purchase simply call the hotel of your choice, telephone numbers and web sites below, to discuss your requirements and purchase. The gift voucher can then be sent direct to the recipient or back to the purchaser.
The sun is currently shining down on the Lake District even now it’s winter, highlighting its beauty ten-fold, and what better way to make the most of it than to take a walk right through its heart.
This walk begins and ends at Cuckoo Brow Inn in the pretty area of Near and Far Sawrey, and gives a lovely taste of the area without the difficulty of climbing the highest fells and it takes around 3 hours with stunning views across Lake Windermere.
1) From Cuckoo Brow Inn, take a right hand turn and take the next right hand turn, Cuckoo Brow Lane. Follow this lane for just over 1km.
2) When you come to a fork in the road, take the right hand path and follow this up Cuckoo Brow Hill, passing Moss Eccles tarn and then Wise Een tarn, both on your left hand side. Continue along this path, through the “haunted” Claife Heights (if you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the “Claife Cryer”…).
3) At Hollin Bland Plantation (approximately 1km after Wise Een tarn), you will come to a crossroads. Take the right hand turn and follow this path for slightly more than 1km, until it runs out and you come to a T junction at Low Blind How. At this point take the right hand turn and follow the path, again to its end, for around 1.25kms.
4) You should again be at a T junction, and should again take the right hand path. This path should lead you all the way back to the road in Far Sawrey.
5) Take a right hand turn on this road, and a short walk along here will lead you back to Cuckoo Brow. At this point, we are sure that you will have worked up a serious appetite, and our bar will be ready and waiting to serve you our delicious Herdwick Hotpot, amongst other tasty country fare.
Terrain: rough in parts (walking boots required)
Duration: approx 3 hours
Why not stay at the Cuckoo Brow Lake District Inn too. They offer a choice of 14 rooms to stay in on a bed & breakfast basis. You can’t help but soak up the history of Beatrix Potter. Hill Top is Beatrix Potter’s 17th century farmhouse where she lived and that gave her so much inspiration for her books and is just a 5 minute walk from the inn. Now owned by the National Trust, Hill Top is a real gem of a place to visit for people of all ages including the Hill Top garden which will satisfy any keen green fingered visitor.
Start getting in the festive mood with a weekend break in Kendal, the gateway to the Lake District and watch the big switch on of the Christmas lights in the town.
Taking place on Sunday 27th November 2016, Kendal will be transformed into a winter wonderland for the whole family.
Starting at 1.30pm events will be happening at Abbot Hall and throughout the town centre including the famous reindeer parade and a certain Mr Santa. Christmas live entertainment will be ringing out during the afternoon, stay well fed with the festive food on offer and grab some local Cumbrian gifts from the special market stalls.
The lights are due to the switched on at 4.45pm by a local hero just as dusk arrives meaning Christmas has well and truly begun.
It’s a lovely time of the year to visit Kendal and the southern Lake District with some great bargain breaks to take advantage of too. The Riverside Hotel has an extremely warming offer to take advantage of. Located just a 2 minute walk from Kendal’s centre, the 2 night winter break starts from just £84 per person and includes 2 nights accommodation, a 3 course meal on your first evening, a full Cumbrian breakfast each morning and a £10 credit to be used in either our Restaurant or Bar on your second evening as well as use of the leisure facilities. For more information visit http://www.riversidekendal.co.uk/rates/special-offers-and-breaks.
Some family holiday destinations are 100% geared up for one particular age group but should a family have the joyfulness of a toddler as well as a tiresome teenager, family holidays can get that little more interesting.
This is where the destination plays a huge factor. Where is perfect for small children isn’t always a suitable place for the big ones. The beach for instance where a small child can while away hours and hours paddling in the sea and building sandcastle. For a teenager, this a is place where sand gets stuck in trainers (they refuse to take them off at all costs), you can’t skateboard and there’s nowhere to charge a smart phone, ipad or games console, OMG! On the other hand, a city may suit a teenager. Places to hang around at and in, cinemas, shops and plug sockets, they’ll be happy as. Any parent will know, this type of holiday would equal one screaming, irritable and bored toddler.
So what to do to suit them all and we’d better not forget the parents hey! A destination such as Windermere is by far one of the best suited to a multi generation family holiday. It is young and vibrant enough to engage a teenager and you may even be able to prise them off Facebook for a while to try out some water sports such as sailing or canoeing. For the youngster, there are boat trips, the World of Beatrix Potter to go round which houses plenty of activities for children and numerous playgrounds. Oh yes, the parents! Well there’s endless walks and hikes, where the children can join in on too, boat rides and in the evening there is a plethora of restaurants to dine in and some fantastic pubs where local ale can be sampled and often much needed on a family holiday!
All in all, a super destination for the whole family which will reignite the joy that is supposed to be experienced on holiday for the whole family.
Family friendly accommodation:
Parents can enjoy their holiday just as much as the kids at Damson Dene Hotel. No cooking, no washing up! Damson Dene is located close to Bowness on Windermere, has a bar and restaurant, large grounds for playing in and leisure facilities. The hotel has a great family friendly annexe as well as family friendly rooms in the main hotel. Visit http://www.damsondene.co.uk/family-friendly-hotel for more information.
What a start to August it is Grange over Sands with the first two weekends being held in or around the South Cumbrian town.
Onto the Sunday 7 August and it is the now famous CancerCare Cross Bay Challenge. Choose to run the half marathon, walk the 7 miles or for the second year running, the Fatbike challenge – the equivalent of a cycle monster truck! The marathon route is the quickest way to travel from Lancashire to Cumbria at low tide. Taking in some of the same spectacular scenery, this event has been voted 4th best trail race in the UK by Runners World magazine. Silverdale is the starting point for the walk with Hest Bank being the start for the run and cycle and Cark Airfield, Grange-Over-Sands being the finish line for all events. To ability to set yourself a challenge, feel a sense of achievement on completion, enjoying truly stunning scenery whilst at the same time raising money for the local charity CancerCare, dedicated to the support of people with cancer, their families and their carers, and those bereaved by cancer, is quite something to have accomplished. Clock here for full event information.
For relaxing, post walk or run accommodation that appeals equally to vintage lovers is the boutique B&B Bay Villa Bed and Breakfast on Main Street, Grange over Sands with views over Morecambe Bay. Large rooms, super service and breakfasts of the most delicious. To check availability visit https://www.bayvilla.net