We love our pubs and inns in the Lake District and Cumbria and so do the visitors to the county and national park. It really is no wonder with some of the best examples within the UK and such a choice too. From a good old local like The Golden Rule in Ambleside to gastro heaven at The Punchbowl at Crosthwaite, thousands flock to sample real ale with real food in real atmospheres.
But it’s the direct link and association with walking that makes Lake District pubs and inns so special. Be it the thought of a refreshing pint at the end of a summer walk or longing for warmth from a roaring fire and a tattie pot after a winter fell experience, it’s the pub that is the pinnacle of the day.
The Cuckoo Brow Inn at Far Sawrey is a prime example. Walks galore litter the area surrounding the inn and despite being a tourist hot spot in the summer, is still a popular place for a pint with locals. Onto winter and that most definitely should not put anyone off visiting. Great paths and bridleways provide walks even on the most inclement of days. Return to Cuckoo Brow and assume the position in front of one of the log fires.
Many walks can start from the pub and of course, these are always circular meaning Cuckoo Brow is there for refreshments at the end, the most important time! Local ales rule the roost and the menu packed full of locally sourced produce including daily specials has gained this inn a foodie following. Walkers are more importantly very welcome at this inn as mentioned in a Guardian Travel article once “You know what you want from a Lake District pub: roaring fires, good beer, hearty food and a blind eye turned to muddy dogs and boots.” The 14 bedrooms round off the package. Rooms start at just £80 B&B based on 2 sharing. Book direct as always for the best rates and for more information on the food and accommodation, visit http://www.cuckoobrow.co.uk.
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 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.
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