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 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. There’s even two dog friendly suites so both 2 and 4 legged guest can be well and truly spoilt!
Blackwell The Arts & Crafts House is the place to be this summer for a Swallow & Amazons extravaganza.
From June to September, Blackwell celebrates the magical children’s tale of Swallows and Amazons. Taking in the full school summer holidays, Blackwell is the place to be for fun, excitement and adventure. Arthur Ransome’s classic novel as brought to life in the 2016 film and since then this story has inspired so many to visit the location the novel was based around.
Blackwell The Arts & Crafts House is located just outside of Bowness on Windermere and is a magnificent building in itself. Summer of Swallows & Amazons at Blackwell includes an exhibition bringing to life Ransome’s classic novel where it’s all about the Lake District. Walk around and see excerpts and stills from the 2016 film alongside local archives from the Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry, the Harbour Pictures’ Collection.
If your’e lucky enough to have already begun the summer holidays then July 7th is a must date for the diary. The producer of the award winning film Nick Barton will be at Blackwell for a question and answer session as well as hearing more about how the film was inspired and created from the book.
Throughout the 3 months there will be activities for the whole family, young and old and it’s most definitely a day out whether it’s raining or not thanks to plenty to do inside if the its wet but also trails and outdoor crafts when its dry. Lookout for Wednesday’s when the resident storyteller is reading making this the way to fully get into the head of Arthur Ramsome and why the Lake District is so special.
Left it late to book a holiday or short break? There is still early summer availability at the Damson Dene Hotel which is just a 5 minute drive or very enjoyable bike ride to Blackwell. Tucked away between Bowness and Kendal it is the perfect place to stay when on a Swallows & Amazons adventure holiday. Newly refurbished family rooms are available overlooking the grounds which are vast and with a picturesque lake too. Visit https://www.damsonedene.co.uk to book.
Lake Windermere is well known as England’s largest Lake at over 11 miles long equating in over 26 miles to explore along its full circumference. There are numerous outstanding viewing points within easy reach either by car, or by short walk. Gummer’s Howe is probably the most famous being situated at the south end of Lake Windermere. You can drive most of the way, leaving only a 30 minute walk to marvel at the panoramic views over Lake Windermere and across to Morecambe Bay. To see the Lakes from a different perspective, Arnside Knott rewards those who take this gentle climb with stunning views of the Kent Estuary and Morecambe Bay; simply head for the viewpoint. For a more challenging, but still enjoyable walk for most, take the 2 hour round trip to Brantfell and Post Knott. Take the camera, as there are wonderful views of Windermere, the stunning Langdales and maybe even the Lake District Hotel you’ve chosen. Hope for a clear day and always check the weather forecasts before heading out. Suitable footwear is always important, even on these more leisurely walks, you just never know!
Around Lake Windermere you’ll find an array of villages and hamlets to enjoy with some real hidden gems crying out to be discovered. While the drive will be slow around the twisting back roads, you’ll discover Fell Foot Park [National Trust] where you can enjoy an ice cream and hire a boat; Aquarium of the Lakes and the Lakeside and Haverthwaite railway at Lakeside, both being attractions you can enjoy on a sunny or rainy day; head up towards Sawrey and visit ‘Hill Top’, a 17th century farmhouse where Beatrix Potter weaved her lyrical magic. At the north end of Lake Windermere, Ambleside is a Mecca for walking enthusiasts and you can take a lake cruise back up the lake.
If you’re exploring the hidden gems around Lake Windermere then why not stay somewhere other than Bowness or Ambleside? Newby Bridge at the Lakeside end of the lake offers a choice of places to stay, easy to travel to from the M6 yet with Lakeside Pier a few minutes walk away and views of the lake and surrounding fells. Newby Bridge Hotel has private, off road parking, great value room rates and serves tasty, local food. It also has private leisure facilities for guests, all included in the room rates. Deals can be found when booking direct throughout the year via https://www.newbybridgehotel.co.uk.
We’re all taking to 2 wheels and loving it. The amount of cyclists in Cumbria is growing and growing whether you’re a lycra road racer, an off road mountain biker or a leisure cyclists just set to get out into the outdoors a bit more.
Cycling is a great way to get around Cumbria and the Lake District and the amount of cycle friendly routes is increasing. It is an excellent activity for the whole family as well as a good way of getting exercise. Couple this with the ability to go further than walking in the terms of car free activities, no wonder it has captivated the nation.
But it isn’t always easy to plan out or decide on a route and that is why we should all give great thanks to published routes making our lives nice and easy. Take the GoSkyRide programme of guided cycle events that are now taking place throughout the county and year, the national press or the easy to follow routes detailed on the National Cycle Network website, Sustrans.org.uk.
This month in the travel section of The Times, they have compiled a list of 20 Beautiful Weekend Bike Rides, just the ticket for making the most of these 2 precious days off. Number 15 is Windermere to Grange over Sands with all routes taken from Sustrans.org.uk. This is the ultimate low carbon route as it begins at the train station at Windermere. Visitors and cyclists to travel to the Lake District by trin with their bikes and take this route to explore on the way as well as end up in Grange over Sands which is a lovely place to make a base and cycle around. The route utilises the Windermere Ferry setting off from Bowness, across the Lake to the western edge which is an extra excitement.
Grange itself has some lovely routes, again these can be found on the Sustrans website and ideal for cyclists with little luggage, Bay Villa B&B in Grange over Sands. A luxury bed & breakfast with bike storage and breakfasts that will set you up for a day of cycling.
The countdown to Christmas is beginning and here, there and everywhere festive chitter chatter is being heard. But there is lots going on prior to Christmas and especially in Windermere.
Guy Fawkes is sure to the flavour this weekend with various firework displays being held Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Here’s hoping for some clear nights so the spectacular pyrotechnics can be watched at their best. A couple of the hotels have displays close to the Lake which is a stunning backdrop.
The Windermere and Bowness Winter Lights will be switched on Saturday 30 November with a full day of Seeking Santa Cruise from Bowness Pier and Stars Parade through Windermere village. It should be an excellent day for the whole family.
As with every month, Blackwell the arts and crafts house., is always worth a visit with exhibitions and at the beginning of December a Christmas Fair with arts and crafts to purchase. A full programme of the events at Blackwell can be found on their website http://www.blackwell.org.uk/
It is worth checking the local paper and tourist information centre if you';re visiting during November as there may be some other events such as local Christmas fares etc at schools or village halls.
But even if there’s nothing that takes your fancy in terms of events in Windermere, taking a short break through November and December is an excellent way to tick off some of that Christmas shopping or simply to relax before the frantic festive season really kicks in. With plenty of fantastic independent shops as well as the large Lakeland and Booths stores, Windermere makes the ideal Christmas shopping destination.
It’s been a busy month in the press for Brimstone at Langdale. It seems journalists can’t get enough of this true one off of a hotel and who can blame them.
The summarize, this hotel only opened in July 2013 but has been receiving praise after praise from guests and journalists alike.
The hotel is made up of 16 stunning suites each with their own parking space. There is no reception, you deal with your host who is at hand to sort anything and everything out for you. The Reading Room supplies guests with 24 hour free snacks and beverages in the surroundings of a plush lounge with Wi-Fi. Then of course there are the onsite facilities synonymous with the Langdale Estate of the luxury spa, restaurants and bar (in room spa treatments are also available). But what really should be missed out is the location, the Langdale Valley and one of the visually pleasing landscapes in the United Kingdom.
It is fantastic to see such high profile publications writing such positive and informative articles on the Lake District and especially of businesses and activities which are new in the region. It is so important UK holiday destinations are supported in the UK and article such as these show that areas like the Lake District are pushing boundaries and are at the forefront of accommodation and attractions.
Next week sees the start of the 3 special Cuckoo Brow packages. Whether you’re a walker, angler or cruiser, the 2 or 3 night special activity deals are a great way to spend a weekend.
With the weather still favourable and with the school holidays coming to an end, September is an excellent time for a short break in the Lake District and especially somewhere such as Cuckoo Brow. Their menu reflects the changes in the seasons and utilises as much local produce as possible in fact they are one of the largest supporters of local produce in the area reflected in their 20 mile menu. All but a handful of ingredients from the menu have been sourced within 20 miles of the Inn. And what a larder it is in the Lake District from game to cheese, fish and speciality breads. The new season menu is being worked on at present and will include some excellent autumnal, Lake District dishes.
The 3 packages are excellent value for money and are inclusive of the cost of the activity as well as dinner and a bottle of wine on the first evening. A choice of 2 or 3 night packages provides flexible duration options.
Some more great offers in the South Lakes area, this time at the Langdale Hotel.
This 4 star hotel on the Langdale Estate in the Langdale Valley is offering a special mid week rate this weekend only on their Signature Rooms. Stay on a bed and breakfast basis for £155 per room per night.
The Langdale Estate is truly unique having everything on one site, including a choice of two restaurants and two bars and the renowned spa and leisure facility. Other extras include the chance to hire an electric car, events going on within the estate and of course, the stunning Langdale Valley surrounded by some of the tallest fells in the Lake District.
Hiring an electric car means a trip over Hardknott Pass to the Eskdale Valley can be enjoyed. Go over England’s steepest road in a peaceful and relaxing mode of transport! but that’s not all, The Guardian published a fantastic article last week “Ten new things to do on holiday in the Lake District” http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2013/aug/23/new-thingsholiday-lake-district and The Langdale Hotel is perfectly located to take advantage of quite a few of them.
Availability can be checked on the Langdale Hotel website http://www.langdale.co.uk
Applegarth Vailla Hotel & Restaurant awarded TripAdvisor 2013 Certificate of Excellence.
For the second year running, Applegarth Villa Hotel & Restaurant have been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. This 2013 certificate has only been awarded to the top 10% of businesses listed on TripAdvisor recognising those performing the best.
“To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travellers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.”
The team at Applegarth Villa are extremely pleased to have received the award and even more so that their level of service has for yet another year, scored highly both in terms of TripAdvisor ratings and most importantly with guests.
A combination of personal service offered by this private, family owned and run hotel and the quality of the rooms and decor throughout this stunning example of an arts & crafts property has proved a winning one. Applegarth Villa Hotel & Restaurant is situated in the heart of Windermere yet on a quiet road with off street parking and has everything under one roof thanks to The Villa Restaurant and Bar.