Anyone for tea?!

The Great British cuppa has undergone a 21st century revival in the last couple of years. It has still retained it’s traditional and comforting nature but now the choice of different teas is immense.

Let’s not take away from the good old black tea in a bag, it’s served practically the whole of the UK for years now but how nice is it to have some choice now as we do with coffee.

lake district inn b&b teas
Look out for these on the bat at the Cuckoo Brow Inn

And now even Lake District inns and pubs are offering different and varied tea blend choices. After a fell walk, whether it be the summer or winter, a refreshing cup of tea is just the ticket, thirst quenching and warming at the same time. The Cuckoo Brow Inn at Far Sawrey has always offered a range of coffees but now stocks a selection of artisan loose leaf teas including summer fruits, pepper mint, blue lady and spiced chai. Not only do they taste lovely, they look gorgeous too and can be found in  pride of place on the bar at the Inn. Book to stay at the Cuckoo Brow Lake District B&B and inn this winter from £77 B&B per room and pull up a chair next to the log fire with a warming brew.

 

Feel the history of Cartmel Priory through a guided tour

If you missed the Magna Carta 800th anniversary extravaganza at Cartmel Priory in September then there’s still chance to experience some of the ambience.

Each Wednesday there are guided tours of Cartmel Priory where visitors learn about the rich and exciting history of the priory. Visitors will be transported back in time with tales of witches, mermaids and monks.

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Church View Cottage with a view of the church, Cartmel Priory

In the year one of the most celebrated documents in history the Magna Carta truend 800, it seems more fitting than ever to learn about the history of this and how Cartmel Priory in Cumbria played an integral part in sealing this seminal document. Tours start at 11am and 2pm and cost between £1 and £3. For more information telephone 015395 36536.

Mid week accommodation breaks can be found via The Lakeland Cottage Company choice of cottages in Cartmel to hire within walking distance of The Priory and of course this very popular and enchanting village. 4 night mid week offers from £394.

Go to Grange for gift buying this Christmas

Despite the exceptional sunshine we’re experiencing in Cumbria and the Lake District this autumn where its felt more like summer than summer, winter is approaching bringing with it Christmas, eek!
The weeks are flying by and couple that with parties, events and other pre Christmas celebrations, there’s not an awful lot of weeks left to buy gifts. Cumbria though is very much prepared and perfectly on hand to help.

holker hall grange over sands
Last years Winter Market at Holker Hall

Grange over Sands is a lovely town in Cumbria where there are plenty of independent shops ideal for gift buying. Looking ahead to November and the wonderful Holker Hall will be holding their annual Winter Market on the weekend of the 7th and 8th.

The market will be packed with stalls full of Cumbrian and Lake District produce, food, crafts and gifts. They’ll be music and hot food to eat whilst walking around. It will definitely be the place to pick up some one off gifts to really impress family and friends as well as items for the Christmas table and dinner itself. Visit http://www.holker.co.uk for more information.

And Grange is also a pretty lovely place for a weekend away too making the all too often stressful task of buying Christmas presents an enjoyable event. Bay Villa luxury B&B in Grange over Sands on Main Street has rooms available for the weekend of the Holker Winter Market. The large rooms mean you won’t be tripping over the mounds of shopping bags, it’s just a short walk to a choice of restaurant and pubs for dining and the baths will sooth those tired, over spending feet! Breakfast is served in the room for complete relaxation. Rooms from £130, book via http://www.bayvilla.net.

Overseas visitors are loving the Lake District

The Lake District attracts visitors from all over the world but in recent years, overseas visitors has grown and continues to do so.

Some visitors will come specifically to see the Lake District which has a high concentration of lakes, fells and picturesque villages and towns, so different in terms of size to anywhere else in Europe of not the world and it of course is steeped in history which compliments the landscape perfectly. The Lake District is also one of the destinations when people are visiting the UK as a whole with on the way or back from a visit to Scotland.

For some years now, Japanese tourists have flocked to the Lake District, the history and inparticular Beatrix Potter being such a big reason for making the huge journey. But recently more and more different nationalities have been arriving and it is great to see and if the bid is successful for the Lake District to be made into a UNESCO World Heritage site, this is surely only going to increase.

langdale lake district
What a view to have on the doorstep when staying at the Langdale Hotel & Spa

The wider audience has been felt very much so by the Langdale Hotel & Spa in the Langdale Valley whos overseas visitor numbers are continually increasing. Having all the facilities on site has proved favourable whilst at the same time, quaint villages and scenery are on the doorstep. These are two points made in two separate articles from overseas visitors/journalists, on here from Sarah Nicholson of the Australian Daily Telegraph and another, Visit Britain promoting The Lake District on the German Yahoo blog here. The accommodation at the Langdale 4 star lake District hotel is modern yet true to the surroundings and the hotel or the self catering lodges lend themselves to both couples and families. Visit http://www.langdale.co.uk for more details and to check availability.

Summertime adventures courtesy of the Brimstone Hotel

Brimstone Hotel located within the private Langdale Estate started off pushing boundaries from the moment the plans were drawn up and has continued to do in the two years since its opening.

The hotel is ultra cosy in the winter thanks to in room wood burners but a haven of cool in the summer. The large, private balconies with every suite let light and air into the room whilst the in room climate controls keep the room at the perfect temperature come rain or shine.

luxury picnic brimstone hotel
The ultimate pic – a – nic basket organised for guests by the Brimstone Hotel Langdale

But it is now summer and finally warm and it is time to start thinking of summertime adventures in the Lake District. Yes, a must is a fell walk to take in the Lake District in its best vantage point, up high, but leisurely downtime is the key to a perfect summer break.

Brimstone Hotel can organise for guests to be delivered by the hotels Land Rover Defender to a secluded hideaway complete with ultimate, homemade picnic (including fizz!) for the ultimate in summertime Lake District loveliness. This is just one of the many extras the hosts at brimstone can organise for the guests staying.

Still available throughout the summer is the book 30 days in advance of more and receive 20% off the room rate. The Brimstone Lake District Boutique Hotel hosts can be contacted on 015394 38062 and availability checked through the website at brimstonehotel.co.uk.

You get lake access and a lake view at new Lake House holiday cottage in Coniston

New to the portfolio of holiday cottages in the Lake District at The Lakeland Cottage Company is Lake House. Set within the Lane Head Estate on the north east head of Coniston Water, Lake House has views of the lake whilst having a backdrop of the Coniston fells.

coniston cottages
Lake House fell and lake views

The property sleeps 6, has a comforting log burning stove and Wi-Fi but the huge extra to this holiday rental is the use of the private jetties accessed from the nearby the Tent Lodge Estate and private lake short access. Either hire a boat or bring your own up to a maximum of 26ft. Boats can be hired from the nearby Coniston Boating Centre too. The private stretch of lake shore can be enjoyed for free for swimming, picnicking and relaxing and a great place for children to play. An enclosed terrace garden is a safe place for smaller children staying at Lake House.

Lake House has the peace and tranquillity so many people long for out of their Lake District holiday yet just a short walk or cycle takes guests to Coniston Village itself with transport links, pubs, cafes, shops and for supplies. Walks are plentiful from the front door so there is no reason why upon arrival, the car is not required. Take advantage of the cycle network, buses and the Coniston Launch for travelling up and down Coniston Water.

coniston holiday cottage
Lake House exterior and living room

With the owners of the property living on the Lane Head Estate, quality and continuity is guaranteed and this is a very exciting new addition to the portfolio of luxury holiday cottages in Coniston for The Lakeland Cottage Company. Being a new to rental property, there is a large availability range at the moment but with the house being of such high quality and with the private lake access and location, Lake House is expected to book up quickly so prospective guests also need to be quick to book.

Full details on the use of the jetty can be found by clicking here along with the full details of the property and location. Alternatively, phone The Lakeland Cottage Company team on 015395 38180.

Leisurely luxury this Christmas and New Year at one B&B in Grange over Sands

The Christmas and New Year period is most definitely the time leisurely luxury is required whether home or away.

Everyone strives to push the boat out, do something a little bit special and create a difference from any other time of the year. It is also and most definitely a chance to treat whoever is special in life and this can mean not just through gifts but also by spending time together.

grange prom
Imagine walking along Grange’s prom on Christmas morning?

Although Christmas and New Year is very focused on bringing family and friends together, this may not be possible or what is wanted. It can also be that preparations for gathering and events during this time of the year are becoming hectic. It could be for these and various other reasons that the amount of couples choosing to have a short break away together over Christmas, in between or during New Year is on the up.

One town and region in Cumbria that is most definitely geared up for leisurely luxury is Grange over Sands. The relaxed, slow life of the town with its grand buildings, being on the doorstep of villages such as Cartmel and with views of the sea as well as the fells makes Grange an excellent location for Christmas and New Year. The town is superbly decorated for Christmas and all the local shops and businesses really get into the Christmas spirit.

bay villa grange
Leisurely luxury accommodation at Bay Villa B&

To complete the leisurely luxury experience in Grange over Sands this Christmas, the accommodation needs to live up to the festive period. Bay Villa are offering 3 night stays between December 24th and January 2nd, choosing 3 nights of choice to include a champagne breakfast and the option to order a luxury hamper to enjoy in the privacy of your own room. Bay Villa is a bed and breakfast located on Main Street so very convenient for access to anyone of the restaurants in Grange over Sands for evening meals. For more information on the offer and availability at Bay Villa, visit their website http://www.bayvilla.net/.

Enjoy Coniston at its very best by cruising and walking this Autumn

Throughout September and until 25 October, The National Trust are offering walkers the chance to cruise or perhaps cruisers the chance to walk.

For fourteen dates during these 2 months, Coniston can be enjoyed in all its glory both on land and on water. Native tree species line almost the entire circumference of Coniston Water making this location one of the most stunning in the Lake District at this time of year. The colours are changing perfectly now and will continue to produce the most vibrant of yellows, oranges and flashes of red for the next few weeks.

steam yacht gondala
The steam yacht gondala on Coniston

The cruise down Coniston Water will take place on the steam yacht gondola, the rebuilt Victoria vessel that is a must to go on when visiting this area. Stepping onto the gondola is like stepping back in time and is an excellent way to view the scenery surrounding the lake, hopefully catch a sigh of Coniston Old Man and view Brantwood, the once home of John Ruskin.

coniston water
Coniston Water in the Autumn

At 11am visitors board the gondola from Coniston pier and steam right down to the southern tip of the lake. There’s a few choice then from there. Either disembark at the Lake Bank stop and take the lake shore route back to Coniston pier and the village. This is a low level, leisurely walk. If a bit of height is preferred then the route back over Beacon Fell is more challenging but gives great views. A further option can be to keep on the gondola, disembark at Parkamoor on the eastern side of the lake which offers a mixture of woodland and fell routes back to Coniston. This route goes past Brantwood so the day can be combined with a visit here and handily, the gondola tickets can be used from the Brantwood jetty. To book walkers’ cruise tickets, contact the booking office on 015394 32733.

Coniston is definitely an excellent choice for a short break or holiday at this time of year and with the fair weather continuing, it has never been a better year. Self catering short breaks and holidays in various locations around Coniston can be found at The Lakeland Cottage Company with weekend breaks starting at £334. To check availability and cottages, click here.

What a Summer it’s been in the Lake District

Although the summer may not be quite over yet, with September within touching distance, it is time to start reflecting on an amazing summer in the Lake District.

And it hasn’t just been the fabulous reviews seen on websites from guests and visitors to the region that show what a successful summer it has been. Journalists from the major dailies have been flocking to Cumbrian and the Lake District this year writing articles and blog posts along the way. They have ranged from adventure breaks and reviews to food, more leisurely activities, family, couple and group travel.

Elterwater, langdale Pikes
Experience this view in the Langdale Valley…..

What has been very encouraging to see is these travel writers have visited the length the breadth of the county taking in the varied activities and events as well as highlighting the differences in landscape in England’s largest county by land mass. This was highlighted beautifully by Lisa Johnson in her August 2 article “The other Lake District: a guide to the quiet and beautiful western Lakes”. Despite being voted Britain’s Favourite View and with the growing number of people taking to the fells, the Wasdale Valley which houses the famous view and England’s deepest body of water, Wastwater, remains unspoilt.

wastwater lake district
….and this over in the Western Lake District when staying in Langdale

The gateway and a truly stunning route to the Western Lake District can be started from the Langdale Valley. Staying in this valley opens up the whole of the Lake District for exploration. Close enough to Ambleside and Coniston, easily accessible to Lake Windermere either by cycle or car but as importantly, accessible over the Wrynose and Hardknott Passes to the very tranquil Western Lake District.

Langdale is unique in its location and even more so with its picturesque fells surrounding the valley of 360 degrees. But peacefulness doesn’t mean a lack of facilities in this area. The Langdale Estate along with The National Trusts Sticklebarn brings a choice of places to eat and drink and the Langdale Estates wealth of choice in terms of places to stay which include 2 Lake District hotels and a variety of self catering lodges and properties.

Sicklebarn events and opening times can be found here and information and availability of all the facilities on The Langdale Estate can be found on their website, http://www.langdale.co.uk

Peace and tranquillity to be had around Haweswater

If walking means a complete getaway from it all then the area of and surrounding Haweswater Reservoir is ideal.

This is not to say this area is without any passes by for Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk follows the northern shores of this body of water. What can be said is this far eastern area of the Lake District National Park is more of a place for solitude than many others.

It is great to see so many visitors walking, wandering and cycling around the Lake District National Park and Cumbrian now but when, for whatever reason, peacefulness is required then there are still plenty of areas to visit in this, the largest in land mass of the counties and one of the lowest in terms of population.

haweswater
Haweswater, Lake District

As with another body of water used to supply drinking water to the North West, Ennerdale Water, a full circular walk can be done around Haweswater. A great walk for those who do not like gradients although being approximately 9 miles in circumference, a walk for those who like a pocket a few miles.

For Wainwright fell baggers then Haweswater is a starting point of place to pass through to go up many of his 214 fells including those of High Street and the Ullswater fells so too the Kentmere Horseshoe to the south. But what always astonishes people when they visit Haweswater either by the reservoir or venturing up the fells are the views. So those can be seen towards Ullswater, down to the Kentmere Valley and Staveley and across to the Howgills.

Naturally being out of the way, accommodation and places to eat and drink are scarce but the Tebay Services Hotel is only 15 miles away and a handy for the motorway. They have a bar and restaurant and rooms and the Tebay Services farm shop is great for walking supplies.

So despite this national park being a busy one (well it is actually and officially the busiest one England) and growing in popularity year on year, there are still plenty of quite places to relax and unwind.