To stay in style with luxurious fixtures, fittings and extras isn’t just the domain of hotels now in the tourism accommodation sector in Cumbria. Bed and breakfasts are now stepping up to the luxury mark offering guests 5 star quality accommodation just on a smaller scale to hotels.
Yes, bed and breakfasts and guest houses aren’t for everyone with many people being put off by B&B’s of years ago where it felt like staying in someone’s spare room. How things have changed in recent years and although most do not have a bar or a restaurant, this gives guests the chance to explore the area. In Cumbria and especially in strong foodie areas such as Cartmel and Grange over Sands, there is a staggering amount of restaurants, cafes and gastro pubs.
In Grange over Sands, Bay Villa has taken this approach from the moment it opened its doors in April 2014. It’s hard to believe from the size and standard of the rooms, the location, the view and the breakfast that this bed and breakfast has just 3 rooms. But as with so much in the world, it’s all about quality not quantity. Having 3 rooms means individual attention can be given to all guests, the owners put in little extras such as sherry and chocolates into the rooms and breakfast is served in there too enabling the guests to fully relax. Prices start from a very reasonable £125 per room per night and can be booked online via http://www.bayvilla.net or by telephone on 015395 36793
It’s the magnificent Westmorland County Show taking place Thursday 14th September. Together with The Cumberland Show they are the 2 main agricultural shows in Cumbria.
This show is the 218th and there is a huge amount of events, classes, activities and produce to look around and enter. With the heritage firmly in agriculture, livestock is the main event from dairy and beef cattle, to light and heavy horses, sheep, pigs, goats, alpacas, poultry, terriers and hounds.
The second most popular and growing year on year is the Westmorland Food Hall & Food Theatre where there’s food to eat on the day and produce to take home. Then onto the Cumberland & Westmorland wrestling, a firm favourite in the region, crafts and shopping, music and on the back of being at other Cumbrian agricultural shows this year The Sheep Show (like a Miss Word show for sheep!). Highly entertaining and sure to draw a big crowd.
Not every person due to attend this large annual event next live close enough to drive or visit for the day. Being such a popular show, it attracts visitors from far and wide and rightly so, Cumbria is farming and agriculture personified.
It’s not too late to book accommodation with Kendal being the ideal choice. The Riverside Hotel in the centre of Kendal still has some availability. The hotel has a restaurant bar for post show refuelling and a handy car park for leaving the day during the day. Simply then pick up the special County Show bus from Kendal Bus Station in the morning which is operating a half hourly service with the last bus from the show field being 6.05pm. Riverside Hotel is dog friendly too as the show is always popular with dog owners or those wishing to enter their pooches into the various classes. Visit http://www.riversidekendal.co.uk/ for more details and to book.
It is sure to be a great day out and as always appeals to everyone whether you’re a foodie or a farmer, a hound or horse lover. Tickets can be purchased in advance and at a discounted rate too through their website http://westmorlandshow.co.uk/county-show/
The first power boat racing events of 2017 will be taking place on Lake Windermere on July 8th.
This will be the fourth year in succession powerboating has returned to Lake Windermere since the 10 knot per hour speed limit was introduced in 2005. It is one of the two chances to witness power boats in full stride in 2017, the other date being in September. Organised by Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club, it attracts power boat owners and racers throughout the UK.
And with the hopefully stunning weather, Windermere and Bowness will be buzzing with activity both on and off shore. Watch the racing from Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club, Ghyll Head, Bowness on Windermere from 12 noon until 5pm.
Windermere Village is getting quite a name for itself for food. In the last couple of years various cafes, restaurants and bars have opened each offering something different to the next but what they all have in common is taste and quality. Look to the Crafty Baa for craft beer fans, Homeground Coffee for breakfast and branch and Windermere Pig for quirky yet traditional British pub fayre.
Where to stay? Well Windermere again has a lot to offer whilst getting away from the hustle and bustle of Bowness and the lake. Windermere village just off the A591 road, has a train station with links to the West Coast Mainline and is just a 15 stroll down to the lake and Bowness. Applegarth Villa offers luxury accommodation perfect for post race relaxation. A hotel with rooms and suites with hot tubs, a restaurant and a bar. Visit http://www.lakesapplegarth.co.uk for more information.
August, a fantastic time to visit the Lake District with the school summer holidays in full swing and the long days meaning even more adventure can be had.
A location for families of all ages, couples and friends is Ullswater. Just 5 miles from junction 40 of the M6 and regarded by many as the most beautiful lake in the English Lake District. Dramatic fells combined with beauty and tranquillity are compelled further by the size of this body of water being the second largest in the Lake District. It is a multifunctional location being popular both with couples wanting to escape with luxury self catering retreats tucked away off road and behind trees, and families too with large self catering properties and well facilitated campsites at Glenridding and Pooley Bridge.
As with so much of the Lake District, walking is the pastime of choice and the Ullswater has it all. This August enjoy a choice of super guided walks organised by the Lake District National Park Authority ranging from 6km to 12km. A couple of excellent sounding routes include on August 22 “Unbelievably Ullswater” and then on August 29 “The Splendour of Ullswater”. Both walks are just £5 per adult and children go free. For more information click here.
When a more relaxing day is required then August 23 is the day for an “Ullswater Wildlife Cruise” on one of the Ullswater Steamers with commentary from a national park ranger. This is a stunning way to see the landscape but also learn about the vibrant wildlife in the area.
Dog, family and couple friendly luxury self catering cottages around Ullswater can be found here, https://www.lakedistrict-cottages.co.uk. Look out for the sleeps 6 Laburnam at Glenridding and the sleeps 8 Bank Barn at Watermillock.
Call us what you will but when we happened to stumble upon a list on BuzzFeed.com of the “28 Incredibly Beautiful Places In The U.K. To Visit” as compiled by a member of the BuzzFeed Staff, we weren’t shocked to see the Lake District appearing twice in the top 5.
At number one is Whiteless Pike near Crummock Water in the North Western Lake District and at number 5, the stunning Lake Windermere. The other locations in the top 28 are made up of exceptionally stunning places such as The Isle of Skye, Scottish Highlands, Monmouthshire in Wales, Cornwall and the Isle of Wight to name but a few.
As England’s largest natural lake, Lake Windermere along with its beauty is justifiably in the top 5. With three varied settlements of Lakeside & Newby Bridge, Bowness and Waterhead from south to north, Lake Windermere is an increasingly popular destination. But its beauty is also down to the miles of beautiful landscape surrounding it making up the whole of the Lake District.
View of Lake Windermere from Newby Bridge Hotel
Looking at a map of the Lake District and Windermere acts as the welcome host to this National Park. Being the most southern of all the bodies of water making up the Lake District, Windermere is the most visited and offering the most mount of activities for visitors to do both on and offer the Lake. A trip from Lakeside to Waterhead on one of the Windermere Lake Cruises boats is an absolute necessity. If lucky enough to own a boat then sailing on the Lake is surely an even bigger joy. As we approach summer, the lake comes alive with the lake users.
A top tip for accommodation – stay in the quieter area of Newby Bridge and the Newby Bridge Hotel overlooking Lake Windermere. More peaceful than Bowness but still with lake views, easy access to the pier at Lakeside and just 15 minutes from junction 36 of the M6.
It doesn’t matter what time of the year or what the weather throws at visitors, Ambleside is the place to be. This all in one destination in the heart of the Lake District is popular with families, couples on romantics breaks as well as walkers, climbers and cyclists (in fact any outdoor enthusiasts) but also lovers of the arts with museums, galleries and Zeffirellis Cinema.
For activities then of course walking comes in at number 1 with many route right from the centre of the village, no need for a car. There’s also the short walk to Waterhead Pier to take the ferry to Bowness or down to Lakeside at the southern end of Lake Windermere. There’s also the Armitt Museum, art galleries as well as pitch &putt at White Platts Recreation Ground by St Marys Church.
A short break or holiday in the Lake District isn’t complete with some good food and Ambleside has no shortage from proper pub favourites using the local produce available within the region to bistros, cafes and international offerings such as Italian and Thai origin food.
Between local and some larger retailers, Ambleside is the must go place for any outdoor or walking kit and supplies. The outdoor are always busy thanks to extensive and well priced stock combined with some of the best advice you’ll find from the staff who have the knowledge of the area, terrain and the gear visitors will need giving invaluable advice and tips.
Visitors are often spoilt for choice for somewhere to stay but for high quality yet affordable accommodation, right in the centre of the village and with free parking then The Gables Bed & Breakfast in Ambleside is hard to beat. Family and dog friendly, rates start from and guests receive VIP discounts at their restaurant Sheilas Cottage just a minute walk from the B&B.
April 4th 2016 is the date for the opening of the Stove, the exciting new restaurant & bar on the Langdale Estate. Purdey’s and Hobson’s Bar on the estate adjacent to the 4 star hotel have closed and the whole area redeveloped creating a space completely different to any other in the Lake District.
The early images released show an interior many have come to expect from the team at Langdale, an extremely strong essence of nature, the extensive use of natural materials, style and elegance with functionality.
Images of Stove, the brand new restaurant & bar at the Langdale Hotel & Estate
This for everyone space will be the main dining establishment on the estate along with Wainwright’s Inn, a welcoming relaxing location whether dining post hike, with the family, as a couple, for a celebratory meal or just for a drink. Stove will be open all day with the chefs preparing delicious and healthy breakfast’s right through to high quality evening dining with a chance to experience the chef’s table and the quiet oasis of The Wine Room. The restaurant revolves around the open kitchen as well as the interactive bar with a variety of seating options. The exterior full of tables is set to equally be the place to be to dine and drink whatever the season.
For more information visit http://www.langdale.co.uk.
After the success of the first yoga retreat to be held at Brimstone Hotel at Langdale in, the Lake District in February of this year, The Well Connected have organised another exciting retreat break.
Yoga teacher Annie Clark, a very much in-demand teacher within the industry and amongst yoga lovers will be leading a 3 day Yoga & Fitness retreat in the stunning setting of the Langdale Valley and the luxury Brimstone Hotel.
Annie writes the very popular wellness blog, Mind Body Bowl and specialises in exclusive small group events and retreats concentrating on nourishment from within as much as yoga, overall wellness inside and out.
The dates – Tuesday April 12 until Friday April 15. Along with accommodation at the luxurious Brimstone Hotel on the Langdale Estate, included in the retreat cost are all meals created and divised In conjunction with Annie by the Langdale Estate chefs. Healthy snacks and treats as well as Pureearth cold-pressed juiuices. All yoga classes, goodie bags and the extras available to guests of Brimstone including hire of Berghaus walking kit to make the most of a retreat being held there.
For more information vsit http://www.brimstonehotel.co.uk and http://www.thewellconnected.co.uk
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Here is our handy guide to spending Valentine’s weekend in one of the most romantic locations in the UK, Windermere.
Wordsworth and the many other poets that made up the romantic movement undeniably knew their stuff when it came to telling the world in their prose about the Lake District. That was over 200 years ago and the Lake District, and especially Windermere, is still synonymous with romance now. Thousands of couples each year choose the Lake District to propose, for the big day itself, subsequent anniversaries and romantic weekend breaks.
Back to Valentine’s, February 14th and it’s a Sunday in 2016. Windermere is gearing up for this very special weekend. Take a cruise down the lake, a leisurely stroll, a romantic fell walk, browse the luxury gift shops, enjoy a romantic afternoon tea or a drink by a real log fire in one of the country pubs. It’s not hard to understand why romantic couples find Windermere wonderful.
Lindeth Fell Country House overlooking romantic Windermere
But where to stay is the most crucial decision. Windermere is very lucky to have the widest choice of accommodation in any of the Lake District regions. Some may choose bustling Bowness but we think Valentine’s is the time for quiet, undisturbed opulence. Our tip for where to stay is the 5 star Lindeth Fell Country House. Just a mile from Bowness, a 15 minute walk, this haven and unspoilt hideaway is romance personified. Choose from 12 double rooms in a country house set in its own 7 acre landscaped garden estate with private tarn and the elevated position means Lake Windermere and the surrounding fells are in full view. They have created a special Valentine’s weekend package too, full of fizz, flowers and fabulous food with price starting from £435 per couple. Read more about spending Valentine’s at Lindeth Fell luxury bed and breakfast in Windermere here, http://www.lindethfell.co.uk/packages/valentines
Its hard to believe there are only 8 more Wednesdays until Christmas Day! We’re sure we’re not the only ones wondering where 2015 has gone but if you haven’t done so already, then it’s about time to start thinking about Christmas.
Let’s make a list:
Here’s a suggestion that will probably make sure most if not all of the above are crossed off the list and more, a pre Christmas break in Windermere. Between Windermere and nearby Bowness not only will they supply most of the above but at the same time a chance to spend a couple of days away.
Just some of the shops you’ll find for Christmas shopping in Bowness and Windermere
Where to shop:
Starting in Windermere and there’s Lakeland Limited for any gifts required for home r cooking lovers. Next door and sort out all those special foodie treats for Christmas for the main event or for gifts at Booths supermarket. Pick up some party shoes at Gini Ricci before heading down to Bowness for shops including Love the Lakes for Lake District made and themed goodies, Pandora the jewellery store and The Bath House for luxury bathing, skincare and fragrance products made on the Cumbria/Yorkshire border in Sedbergh.
Where to stay:
Applegarth Villa Hotel in Windermere is just a 2 minute walk from Lakeland and Booths (and the train station), Bowness is just a 15 minute walk away. Rooms start from £130 but look out for the special midweek hot deals for discounts up to £75 including breakfast on their Luxury Rooms. There’s also a lovely restaurant within the hotel too.
British Sausage Week or as many will recognise more on social media #BritishSausageWeek will be creating waves on the British foodie scene during the week November 2 until the 8. Sausages are a British institution, unbelievably tasty and versatile and in recent years have helped pig farmers from the brink of extinction. Just think how many different varieties there are available now, the fact the quality is now so high they are found on high end restaurant menus and how people far and wide are rating British bangers as the best.
The humble sausage can be de-skinned and used instead of mince in a pasta sauce, made into meatballs for a super tasty and quick supper or as the ultimate stuffing for roast meat (and Christmas is just around the corner so make a note!).
Cumberland sausage 2 ways at Tebay Services an the Tebay Services Hotel
Breakfast, the Full Cumbrian or Full Lakeland as it is referred to in this county, is a delight and what so many visitors discuss, talk about and review. It is not “Full” without a quality Cumberland or pork sausage let’s face it.
It’s hard to write about the upcoming British Sausage Week without talking about the mighty Cumberland sausage or local sausage pioneers and champions, Tebay Services and its Hotel. The services where the Cumberland sausage bap is one of their biggest sellers, to the farm shops where you’ll be spilt for choice of what flavour to buy to take home to the hotel where the mighty sausage features in various dishes and of course, the breakfast.
Special winter rate rooms are available in the Tebay Services Hotel on the M6 Motorway (starting from just £84, 2 sharing including breakfast) and all guests receive a 10% off voucher for use in the farm shop so that’s an even bigger reason to stock up on quality, Cumbrian farmed and produced sausages. Check availability and book here http://www.westmorlandhotel.com/ or call 01539 624351.
Boutique hotels in the Lake District are not just for summer, they’re for the whole year. With this, the largest and busiest of all the National Parks, the Lake District is a year round place to visit no matter what the season and now, thanks to luxury boutique hotels, can be enjoyed whatever the weather throws at you.
It’s now time to eradicate those thoughts of not being able to visit this northern destination in the winter and realise it has just as much going on, charm, beauty and intrigue as any other time in the year. In fact, it’s probably even better as you can have it more to yourselves. Out of school holiday times and as once called the off season means that little bit more tranquillity, less traffic, hustle and bustle.
Although the fells must be respected and there are various times during the year where venturing up too far is not at all advised, they are a resource, activity and adventure source open all year round. Brimstone on the Langdale Estate has it all sewn up for winter whether it’s when within the suites or in the Lake District outdoors.
Starting externally and Brimstone offer guests the chance to access the Berghaus Bootroom full of technological kit perfect for Lake District outdoor adventures for use whilst staying. They even have a little added bonus in a pimped up Land Rover Defender. Brimstone Hosts can deliver gusts to their walking start destination (handy they say if you’ve had an extra hour in bed!).
Back to Brimstone and light the woodburning stove in the suite, feel rejuvenated and thoroughly warmed in one of the luxury baths then head to The Reading Room for complimentary refreshments. If the weather is really too much, or the woodburner too enticing to leave, room service is the answer. Full meals and delicious wine and beer choices can be delivered to the suite.
So Brimstone really have got it wrapped up in every way for a wonderful winter break in the Lakes. Check availability here http://www.brimstonehotel.co.uk and for more information. Also not the book 30 days of more in advance for a saving of 20% on room rates.
This really is a must watch in fact we’d go as far to say a Lake District blockbuster. Sponsored by The Lakeland Cottage Company, filmed and created by Ooze Photography, this 8.5 minute Lake District time lapse video film is simply stunning.
The video explores the most famous locations within the Lake District National Park such as Windermere, Ullswater and Coniston interspersed with rural, village and town locations just outside of the park such as Kendal, Cartmel and the Lyth Valley. See scenes of the two very different sides to the Lake District National Park and Cumbria, cattle and sheep grazing and mountain bikes soaring through the air in the adventure capital.
Using equipment for capturing shots on the ground, Ooze have cleverly combined these with the latest drone cameras giving a completely different perspective, insight and view of the Lake District. Having only just been completed, the film has been able to capture this very special time and experience of the year that is autumn in the Lake District. This year in particular has been show stopping thanks to fabulous weather and with the help events such as the lunar eclipse at the end of September. If you weren’t awake in the early hours to watch it, most of the county woke up to the after effects of a red sunrise to rival any.
The Lakeland Cottage Company have holiday cottages for hire in many of the locations featured and more information on these can be found at https://www.lakeland-cottage-company.co.uk/