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, http://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.
Orton near Penrith in the east of Cumbria is a location not everyone visiting the area will have heard of. Tucked away to the east of M6 between junctions 38 and 39, it is a definite recommendation for walking and really get away from it all.
Orton and its surrounding areas are extremely fertile in term of wildlife and flora with nearby Great Asby Scar, a National Nature Reserve, is a must visit for all. The limestone pavements are quite unbelievable and this area represents the best example remaining in Britain today. It is also a completely different landscape to that on the other side of the motorway over to the Lake District yet still as stunning.
From Orton, leisurely mid length and longer walks can all be started. Walk around Orton Scar on a 5 mile route or take in Great Asby Scar as well which lengthens the route to either 9.5 or 12 miles. The 9.5 mile route takes around 4 – 5 hours but there are so many walks to choose from in the area, all of which have details and information that can be found on VisitEden.co.uk website here, http://www.visiteden.co.uk/outdoor-adventures/walking-in-eden.
But being a quiet part of Cumbria means the area is popular with cyclists taking in the scenery along the infrequently used back roads. Head further south towards the Howgills or north towards Crosby Ravensworth and Appleby in Westmorland where cyclists will eat up the miles and the only traffic jams will be from sheep!
Cyclist and walker friendly accommodation close by can be found at the Tebay Services Hotel just 2 minutes from the M6 and 5 minutes from Orton. Having had Team Sky stay during the Cumbria stage of the Tour of Britain last year, they know what to expect.
**Please remember when venturing on any of these scars and fells, take an OS map, compass, whistle and torch especially in the winter months and have appropriate footwear and clothing.**
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.
On Ullswater and its surrounding area there are plenty of things going on heading towards Christmas.
Starting on the lake and Ullswater Steamers are running Festive afternoon tea and cruise events taking place daily between November 1st and December 23rd. This special package will run Monday to Friday until the 19th of December. Afternoon tea will be served at the Inn on the Lake Hotel at Glenridding between 12pm and 5pm and choose to cruise before or after tea or even on a different day for £23.50 per person. Full details can be found on the Ullswater Steamers website here.
Head east towards Penrith and to the Rheged Centre just off the M6 motorway. The Rheged Centre has activities and film screenings for adults as well as children over the next month with many having a distinctly festive feel about them. For kids “Write a Letter to Santa” from Sunday November 27th until Wednesday December 21st daily and a Festive Helter Skelter. A giant 9 metre high vintage indoor Helter Skelter within the centre, perfect for enjoyment and activity whatever the weather.
For adults there is The Great Print Exhibition 2016 which runs until February. 350 artworks by more than 60 British artists and many Cumbrian based of which some will be running workshops and demonstrations.
Ullswater is one of the most accessible bodies of water in the Lake District being just 4 miles from Junction 40 of the M6 brings visitors to the pretty village of Pooley Bridge at the northern tip of the lake. Down the lake and Aire Force is a must visit before heading to the southern end for Patterdale and Glenridding with links over Kirkstone Pass to Ambleside and Windermere.
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.
Moving onto the weekend after and Sunday August 14th sees the annual Dales & Lakes Historic Vehicle Day at Yewtree Playing Fields overlooking Morecame Bay Grange over Sands. A one day festival celebrating, showing and admiring cars and bikes from the 1920’s right through to the 1990’s.
There are 8 classes that can be entered with the main categories of Cars and Light Commercials, Convertibles, Motorcycles & Bicycles. Over 250 vehicles will be attending and entering so a real spectacle and enjoyment for all visitors, those who bring their classic vehicle or those who are just there to view.
Along with the huge array of some of the finest classic cars and bikes from enthusiasts across the North of England, there will also be autojumbles and trade stands along with local food & drinks stalls and a licensed bar. Being a festival for the whole family entertainment will also feature. Commencing at 10.30am and finishing at 4.30pm, the event is a full day out and full of entertainment for just £5 per adult, free for children under 16. More info can be found on their brand new website here, https://classicsoversands.org/.
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 http://www.bayvilla.net
Looking for something to do on the first Wednesday in August then #theplacetobe is Cartmel Agricultural Show.
Cumbria does agricultural show extremely well. Throughout spring, the summer months and into autumn every region in the county has a traditional show full of things to do for the whole family but all with the origins in farming and livestock. These classes, including shepherds dogs, are always the core attractions of the shows. Some have been in existence for nearly 150 years so keeping them alive and going is so important to the community, future generations and all the organisers involved.
But with so many of the Cumbrian shows, the location is another attraction. Take Wasdale Show for example at Wasdale Head with a backdrop of Great Gable, Kirk Fell and Lingmell, or perhaps the Loweswater Show in the stunning Lorton Valley in between Cockermouth and Keswick. Cartmel Agricultrual Show also fits in to the stunning location category. Held on Cartmel Park next to the racecourse on Wednesday August 3rd from 8.00am, it is just a few minutes walk from the village centre.
The show this year has cattle, sheep, horses (naturally!), poultry and dogs as well as trade stands, craft marquees and the traditional horticulture exhibitors. This year there’s also some excellent display teams including falconry, the Vale of Lune Hours and Lune Valley Dog Agility. Being a show in Cartmel, it wouldn’t be complete without some delicious food and there is scheduled to be more food trade stands and a larger food hall than ever. Food will be available to purchase and take home as well as hot food stands for devouring on the day along with local ales. Entrance to the show is just £10 for adults with under 4’s free and parking is free too.
Luxury holiday cottages in Cartmel can be hired via The Lakeland Cottage Company, more details here https://www.lakeland-cottage-company.co.uk/. Whether it’s for the show, the Cartmel races or just for a weekend break in the delightful Cumbrian village, short breaks and full week holidays are available.
It’s early summer and already there are reports within the tourism industry of an increase in bookings and demand. The word “staycation” has definitely been the buzz word in the last few weeks since the referendum vote. Uncertainty regarding travel, the tumbling pound and extra checks at airport, ferry terminals and train stations have altered the summer holiday choices for many Britain’s. So it’s no surprise Telegraph Travel have produced a comprehensive guide this July to British hotels for summer.
It’s now Britain’s turn to shine with couples, friends and families enjoying a summer holiday here. Yes the sun isn’t guaranteed but areas such as the Lake District and Cumbria offer so much more than a beach holiday does. There are mountains, lakes, activities, adventure, culture, a diverse choice of places to eat and now some of the best food you’ll experience in the whole of the North West. Let’s not forget the miles of coastline with sandy beaches too for making sand castles, eating ice cream and long leisurely walks, it really has the best of all worlds.
But all in all, each of the hotels and most definitely Brimstone are beautiful hotels to visit at any time of the year come rain, cold or shine. The Brimstone suites have log burners to keep you warm when it’s cold, wellies to borrow when raining, hiking gear for all weather and the ever changing Lake District scenarios as well as intelligent air conditioning to keep you cool in the summer.
The Langdale 4 star Hotel & Spa have launched a new competition #HolidayMyWay. Show the Langdael team how you holiday in the Lake District by posting a picture via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hash tag #HolidayMyWay and be in with a chance of winning cocktails at the super tasty new Stove Restaurant at the hotel.
After the success and so many stunning images posted by people earlier this year in the #LangdaleAdventure competition I association with Berghaus, it seemed another great way to showcase and celebrate and shout about the Lake District and especially during this week, July 25 – 31 for National Parks Week.
Stove the new restaurant and bar on the Langdale Estate is a multi-functional space with difference rooms, interior design and features. Throughout though it serves delicious, locally sourced and seasonal food and the cocktails are a delight. Combine your winning cocktails with dinner sampling some of the finest seafood or perhaps the signature lamb shoulder, a sharing dish for 2 and one of the most popular items on the menu.
Bowness on Windermere is where the majority of people stay when visiting the area surrounding Lake Windermere. It is the largest settlement and has the biggest choice of facilities of any location on the edge of England’s largest natural lake.
But big and busy doesn’t float everyone’s boat (arghhh, sorry!!!), cross over the lake to the western shore and discover a whole new world. The western shore is the gateway to the places such as Hawkshead, Coniston and Near & Far Sawrey – the home of Beatrix Potter and accessibility couldn’t be easier. The Windermere Ferry operates 365 days a year from Ferry Nab at Bowness directly across the lake to Ferry House and accommodates pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and motor vehicles.
The western shore not only has Hill Top, the home and gardens of Beatrix Potter but also woodland and fell walks, a distinctive slower pace of life with quieter roads and some excellent, off road cycle routes perfect for the whole family. This year the facilities have increased further with the renovation and conversion of part of the Claife Heights viewing station into “The Cafe in the Courtyard”. Only homemade and local produce is served and a great stop off before heading out further west operated by The Lakes Catering Company in conjunction with The National Trust.
Overnight accommodation and evening meals can be found at the Cuckoo Brow Lake District Inn and B&B at Far Sawrey. The inn has an electric bike charging point, welcomes walkers and families and has a large car park. It makes a great base for exploring any one of the areas mentioned above and enables as car free a holiday as possible. Rooms from £77 per room B&B based on 2 sharing or family rooms from £140 B&B based on 2 adults and 2 children.
Waterhead at Ambleside, Windermere and Bowness are always busy places with plenty going on all year round. These key locations around England’s longest natural lake have really contributed to the area of the Lake District being a 365 day a year destination.
Developments such as new jetty’s and extra services are making this an even more enticing place for a weekend away or a holiday. The latest news from the lake includes a new fleet of eco friendly boats as well as a fantastic bike boat service. All this on top of the Windermere Lake Cruises regular sailings from Lakeside to Bowness and onto Waterhead for Ambleside and of course the iconic and very handy Windermere Ferry.
Onto hotels and places to stay and the area continues to grow and especially within the luxury market. The area has the highest concentration of luxury and boutique hotels in the whole of the National Park, some may say in the whole of the North West. Luxurious hotel are perfectly matched with luxurious, local food, what better. The standard of food in the Windermere area is ever growing and ever more exciting.
Windermere is less than 20 minutes from the Junction 36 of the M6 for visitors from both the north and south and very accessible too from the east via the A66. For rail passengers then Windermere Train station links directly to the West Coast Mainline, just 10 minutes away. Both of these travelling methods mean A Lake District experience can be had even for just one night.
#theplacetobe for landscapes, luxury and lovely food, Windermere has to be THE destination of choice.
Accommodation Tip: The brand new hot tub suites at Applegarth Villa Hotel in Windermere. Large suites each with private hot tubs, stupendous bathrooms, gadgets, mood lighting, private balconies and terraces and views.