Over the last few years Windermere and Bowness have steadily and quietly been making a name for themselves in terms of retail.
Once it was just the lakes, hills and accommodation in its varying forms but now along with Ambleside, those wishing to combine a bit of shopping with walking or purely just some retail therapy are all catered for.
The number of independent shops is far greater than many other small towns that have succumbed almost entirely to the large, mass nationwide retail chains. That’s not to say the large chains are no prevalent, they are but interspersed and let’s hope it stays that way but a combination of the two different sectors of retail makes for an ideal shopping environment for the consumer.
Christmas is an extra special time in this area of the Lake District with lights and decorations sparkling and festive food and drink oozing from the cafes and restaurants.
A great number of people will be breaking up from work for Christmas on Friday December 22nd and so too many will still have a few last minute Christmas gifts and supplies to buy. This weekend is the ideal time to combine purchasing those last few unique gifts with a night away. Start up at the top end of Windermere with Lakeland and Booths for all things kitchen, home and food. After those wander down to Forget Me Not Interiors for some individual home and gift ideas stopping in at Sweet Stuff for Christmas chocolates, sweets and stocking fillers. Have a quick coffee and make your way down to Bowness by car or foot and stop in at Pandora for some stunning jewellery before crossing the road to The Bath House Shop for handmade in Cumbria luxury scents and toiletries. Keeping with the Cumbrian theme and on Ash Street is Love the Lakes for Cumbrian made and inspired gifts, toiletries, ornaments, food and drink and The Northern Line for art prints and gifts.
The Applegarth Villa Hotel & Restaurant in Windermere has availability on the run up to Christmas and stay any 2 days between Sunday and Thursday and receive a free 2 course dinner for 2. The hotel is located on College Road in the centre of Windermere and has off road parking. Relax after a day at the shops in The Villa Bar. With spacious rooms and hot tub suites, they’ll definitely be space for all the last minute purchases! Visit http://www.lakesapplegarth.co.uk for more details.
You’ll go Cuckoo over these Lake District B&B offers
At the Cuckoo Brow Inn at Far Sawrey you’ll find some extremely tempting, New Year 2017, room rates.
Being regularly included in the most family friendly, dog friendly and walkers friendly lists in national publications such as The Telegraph and The Times, Cuckoo Brow has a lot to offer everyone an is perfectly located to do so.
Take advantage of the Winter offer available until February 16th 2017. The two night package for two people starts at just £150*. The break includes dinner, bed and breakfast on the first evening and bed and breakfast the next. The clean and fresh, spacious rooms come in a choice of superking, family and twin and for a small, extra charge, some rooms allow dogs. More benefits include free, off road parking, wi-fi and the use of the games room with arts board, pool table and games.
With roaring log fires and wood burners, the Cuckoo brow is an ideal haunt at this time of year. Head back to inn after a stroll up to Beatrix Potter’s home, Hill Top, after a potter on a bike on the country lanes or after a venture up onto the fells. The winter menu is full of seasonal and filling dishes to warm guests up with hearty real ales to match for local breweries such as the award winning Watermill Brewery at Ings, Cumbria Legendary Ales brewed at Hawkshead and the Hawkshead Brewery from nearby Staveley.
Whether it’s a family weekend away, a way of using up the remaining annual leave days or to spend some quality couple time in the peace and tranquillity of the Lake District after the festive madness, with fine food, accommodation and at these very attractive prices, the Cuckoo Brow Lake District Inn is ideal. To check the availability and to book, visit http://www.cuckoobrow.co.uk
*Offer available Sunday – Thursday from 1st November 2016 to 16th February 2017.
Sunday to Thursday. Excludes school holidays.
What a week it is set to be for the annual Coniston Power Boat Records Week, the 46th in its history. Running from Monday October 31st until Friday November 4th the weather is forecast as being fairly settled for this time of the year and couldn’t been better for records attempts.
Every year the entries rise and competition hots up with more and more national and world records being broken. The 2016 records week is set not to disappoint with the amount of interest already being shown. Spectators needn’t have been to an event like this in the past to enjoy the action on Coniston Water, arguably the most stunning body of water in the Lake District National Park. For full event details visit http://www.conistonpowerboatrecords.co.uk/
The Lakeland Cottage Company guests staying in the self catering cottages in Coniston this week have been in for a treat and have been lining the lake to watch. Coupled with being amongst the best examples of an autumnal landscape in the whole of the National Park thanks to the tree lined water. The warm start to autumn and no storms or strong winds has meant the leaves are still attached tightly to the trees. The colours of reds, oranges and terracotta’s is sure to prompt photography heaven.
Remaining Coniston cottages for power boats records week include Park Gate Cottage, Campbell and Garden House all sleep 4 reduced to £512 – £542 for a 7 night break starting Friday 28th October. Visit https://www.lakeland-cottage-company.co.uk to view all the cottages and to book.
An Autumn Cumbria hotel offer not to be overlooked
Autumn in Cumbria and the Lake District is a not to be missed, time to visit to witness the magnificent colour change of the landscape. It’s starting to cool down but there is still plenty of daylight time. The vista is turning from green to the fabulous Autumnal colours of burnt oranges, red and yellows and even the fells are joining in with bracken quickly turning to a burnt amber before the eyes.
For a night’s getaway or a weekend break, September and early October are excellent times, just before winter really kicks in and the clocks go back. And if all these reasons weren’t enough to visit this county alone, hotels are offering some Autumn madness deals with the Tebay Services Hotel in Cumbria being no exception.
Book a room 7 days or more in advance from just £87 per room bed and breakfast based on two people sharing. This 3 star hotel offers clean, modern rooms and the breakfast using produce from the Westmorland Family farm makes this deal even more tempting and fantastic value. The bar and restaurant within the hotel means for a one night break, business or pleasure, everything is under one roof. What more, Children under 16 can stay for just £15 B&B per night when sharing a room with 2 adults with advance purchase rates available on family rooms too.
In the area there is a whole host of things going on during September and October. The Visit Eden website lists comprehensively what is going on in the Eden Valley and the east of Cumbria. There is everything from a Cumbrian artist art fairs and the Ullswater Steamers. Rheged, just off junction 40 of the M6 has 365 day a year entertainment, exhibitions and screenings. Enjoy being on the doorstep of the Lake District, the Eden Valley and the Pennies at the same time.
Best available rate rooms can only be booked direst and guests receive a £10 voucher for spending n Tebay Services all via http://www.tebayserviceshotel.com or call direct on 015396 24351.
Plenty to do on two wheels in the Lake District this September
Cycling in late summer and in the Lake District, it doesn’t get much better than that as a form of transport, activity and way to explore the area.
And the GoSkyRide programme of cycling events is the ideal, easy and fun way to enjoy being on two wheels. These guided bikes rides, events and ride socials detail what to expect and guidance on what type of bike to use and the level of difficulty. They also take all the hassle out of deciding on a route as it is all sorted for you.
This September and October the cycling fun doesn’t stop with some super routes especially in the area to the west of Lake Windermere where the roads are quieter, there is a large amount of bridleways and designated cycle routes as well as woodland tracks. Also look out for rides around nearby Grasmere and Kendal. The GoSkyRide programme does finish at the end of October for the season so make the most of the last of the longer days and these excellent, and often free, organised cycling events.
A leisurely start time of around 11am meaning those staying in B&B’s can enjoy breakfast before setting off on mainly off road routes often requiring a mountain bike or a hybrid with off road tyres, check each ride and events profile and recommended bikes. Booking can be done online via http://www.goskyride.com which also gives all the route, gear and other information required including f the ride is suitable for children and level of difficulty.
Cyclist friendly accommodation suitable for easy access to many of the remaining GoSkyRide events can be found at the Cuckoo Brow Inn and Lake District B&B at Far Sawrey. Just a hop across on the Windermere ferry or accessed from the southern end of Lake Windermere. Peaceful and with quiet roads, just 2.5 miles from Hawkshead and Ambleside.
Three years of fabulous reviews at Brimstone Hotel at Langdale
Despite having been open for just over three years, Brimstone Hotel at Langdale is still receiving a bucket loads of reviews. The reviews are in print and online and range from individual bloggers to the local and national press including The Telegraph, The Times & Sunday Times and The Telegraph.
Some very different sets of guests have stayed and reviewed Brimstone over the three years. From interior design bloggers and publications praising the materials and design to wedding bloggers making wow remarks regarding the suites being the ultimate in romantic hotel accommodation. There was only one frustrated review by Lancashire Life Magazine. The reviewer wrote “There is no one more irritable than a hotel critic with nothing to criticise”. They were hoping for a cold breakfast being as it was served in the room, it was piping hot and the final straw was on departure when a brown paper bag was left outside the room full of journey home provisions!
Spring and autumn are particularly exciting times in the foodie calendar. Spring, the dawn of all things new where everything is green to match the landscape and autumn with its comforting colours but new seasonal deliciousness like game.
And game in the Lake District and Cumbria is some of the best in the UK and the ultimate seasonal ingredient, varied to suit so many tastes from the least to the most adventurous. It is tasty, adapts to a wealth of different cuisines and flavours and to top it all off, is a very healthy form of protein. Whether it’s pheasant, venison or rabbit, these wild meats are THE ingredient to have on any menu.
For guests visiting the Lake District in the early autumn, it enables them to enjoy not just local produce but the most seasonal available, a double bonus. Applegarth Villa Hotel & Restaurant in Windermere feature game on their early autumn menu every year with 2016 being no exception. Enjoy main courses of Guinea Fowl & Pheasant with a Cognac & Thyme Jus and Venison Steak with a Black Cherry & Local Real Ale Reduction. Both dishes will delight game lovers as well as game newbies.
Just when you think a Tanzania safari holiday couldn’t get any more special along comes the chance to stay in accommodation that matches the uniqueness of this special part of the world.
The accommodation in question is a converted Land Rover, but converted to beyond what most would imagine creating a suite on two floors, welcome to the new way to safari, the Bush Rover. The Bush Rover has a tent packed into the roof of it, simply drive to the chosen area within the fully facilitated campsites and experience the best view in the house.
The Bush Rover suites are the latest and exciting addition to the safari tours and accommodation offered by A Tent With A View. David Guthrie founder of A Tent With A View and The Bush Rover Comapny describes them as “The amazing Bush Rover Suites may well be the greatest innovation in safari living since the camel.” Not only are they unique but they also provide spectacular vantage points in locations where other accommodation cannot be found whilst being in complete comfort.
The Bush Rover can be experienced in many of the TWAV Tanzania safari tours in stunning locations such as the Serengeti, Saadani National Park and Selous Game Reserve within their Simply Saadani Camp, Sable Mountain Lodge and Bab’s Camp. For more information on the various including the background to their 20 years providing the highest quality of Tanzania safari tours, visit http://www.bushrovertanzania.com
September – officially the month of the delicious damson
The Lyth Valley turns a shade of purple in September with the famous damson trees weighted down with this old English native fruit.
The Lyth Valley or Westmorland damson, a variety in itself, is highly aromatic with September being the best month to pick and enjoy this fruit. Damson orchards can be found at Low Farm in the Valley and if you’re lucky walking around Crosthwaite, Winster and Underbarrow you may come across the odd tree.
This very versatile fruit can be used in sweet and savoury dishes and condiments. Damson jam the perfect Autumn afternoon tea accompaniment, damson chutney with a British cheeseboard and the famous damson gin, delicious with sparkling water as an aperitif or as it is as a post dinner liquor. Farm shops, independent food stores and Booths supermarkets in the area all sell a great selection of damson goodies.
September is also a fantastic time to enjoy a weekend break and the aptly named Damson Dene Hotel in the Lyth Valley has to be the hotel of choice surely. Full of peace and tranquillity, the Lyth Valley is the perfect base for exploring the historic market town of Kendal and just a short drive from Bowness and the Central Lakes. is A new menu has just been launched full of the new season’s produce from locally shot pheasant to haunch of Lyth Venison. On bookings from September 19 until November 20 take advantage of the special Autumn 2 night break with prices starting from just £94 person including dinner on one evening, a complimentary glass of house wine, a full Cumbrian breakfast each morning. Visit http://www.damsondene.co.uk/ for more details.
With two of the leading hotels in the Lake District, the Langdale and Brimstone Hotels, it’s often forgotten the estate is also home to the largest number of 5 star self catering properties too, around 100 units.
The properties on the estate range from 1 and 2 bedroom apartments to Scandinavian lodges and traditional Lakeland slate properties and cottages sleeping up to 8 people all set within the private, 35 acre site. Each property type provides something different and with the picturesque setting, locations are very diverse with each property interspersed with waterways, tarns and woodland. And the surrounding fells most definitely cannot be forgotten. The Langdales fells are some of the most famous and most photographed in the Lake District and these can be walked right from the Estate, no need for a car.
On the Langdale Estate enjoy everything under one roof with leisure and spa facilities as well as the brand new Stove Restaurant & Bar with both indoor and outdoor seating and Wainwright’s Inn, a traditional Lakeland pub.
Many of the short breaks and full week holidays remaining in August are discounted with some properties such as Chapel Stile Apartment No.3 reduced from £1150 to just £600. This is a 7 night holiday starting on Sunday August 21 and the apartment sleeps 4, a deal not to be missed.
Summer is finally here! The school holidays are within touching distance and children are looking forward to 6 weeks off and parents to the annual summer expedition.
For those who have selected the Lake District and especially in and around Lake Windermere, you’re in for some real treats with most definitely plenty to see and do. Just under 11 miles of fun, activities, scenery and things to do for visitors of all ages.
Until September enjoy the Beatrix Potter musical “Where is Peter Rabbit?” at The Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness. Celebrating Potter’s 150th anniversary, this is the first musical adaptation of her work.
During July enjoy summer evening buffet cruises at Windermere Lake Cruises, canoeing taster session for those wishing to enjoy another form of transport on the lake and until September enjoy the Beatrix Potter musical “Where is Peter Rabbit?” at The Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness. Celebrating Potter’s 150th anniversary, this is the first musical adaptation of her work with three shows daily.
As well as these special events remember there’s also the museums and attractions in the area including Brockhole between Windermere and Ambleside and at the southern head of the lake, the Lakeland Motor Museum, Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway and the Lakes Aquarium.
The family friendly (and dog friendly too) Newby Bridge Hotel has some late deal availability during August and September but it is being booked up fast. Located at Newby Bridge, close to the attractions above and with Lakeside Pier within walking distance for ferries travel up and down the lake. http://www.newbybridgehotel.co.uk for the latest availability or call 015395 31222
It’s Show Time this Bank Holiday in the Lake District
It doesn’t matter where you’re lucky enough to be spending August Bank holiday in Cumbria and the Lake District because they’ll be at least one show not far away.
Starting on Saturday August 27th and the annual Patterdale Dog Day will be taking place. A community event centred around farming but that attracts dog and country pursuit lovers as well as general visitors each year to this stunning setting of the King Georges playing field surrounded by the Ullswater fells.
Moving south and also on Saturday is Cartmel Races. With a meet each August Bank Holiday Saturday and Monday the growing appeal of these horse racing fixtures in the special village of Cartmel is astonishing. Again, you do not need to be into horse racing to enjoy either day with Monday being a more relaxed affair.
Onto Sunday 28th August and not just a large community event but also a prominent one on the sporting calendar is Grasmere Sports. Having been held for over 160 years, Grasmere Sports is a celebration of Lakeland sports, country pursuits, animals and livestock, produce and crafts with fell races, Cumberland wrestling and hound trails being some of the most highly anticipated items. Book tickets online before Friday 26th to take advantage of lower prices.
The fun continues on Bank Holiday Monday 29th over to the far east of Cumbria in Dent on the Cumbrian/Yorkshire Dales border. Dent Gala is held on the school playing field and as with all of these events during the Bank Holiday weekend, the setting and views surrounding the site is stunning. The gala is fun from start to finish with great food and stalls provided during the day, competitions and entertainment.
Fun and entertainment is guaranteed the length and breadth of Cumbria and the Lake District this Bank Holiday. The only thing we can’t guarantee is the weather but really, that is not going to stop us all having a fantastic time.
Where to stay?
The Lakeland Cottage Company have a selection of luxury holidays cottages from larger properties to retreats for two in Ullswater for Patterdale Show, Cartmel for the races, the central lakes for Grasmere show and Sedbergh for Dent Gala. Visit https://www.lakeland-cottage-company.co.uk/