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.

New Designated Tripadvisor page for Applegarth Villa Restaurant

Despite some travellers, diners and most definitely some business owners loathing Tripadvisor, it has to be accepted that a huge amount of people are suing the resource. It not only acts as a review site but also a travel portal and guide.

It has always been predominantly used for accommodation reviews but restaurant pages and reviews now feature highly. Speaking to a number of people about Tripadvisor and even if they don’t use it to search for and gather information about accommodation, they are now using it to find restaurants to book when visiting their chosen location.

app_villa Applegarth Villa Hotel in Windermere are one such business who have decided to create a second Tripadvisor page, separate from their ranked 5 in Windermere hotel page purely focused on the restaurant. The restaurant and bar at the hotel has seen major renovation this year and a really push has been taking place to drive non-residents to dine as well as giving prospective guests more information and insight into the food and ambiance there. Food is becoming a big factor in the choice of where to stay for so many people now. A stunning room and food needs equally as stunning food to complete the whole experience.

More details on the restaurant at Applegarth Villa can be found here http://www.applegarthvilla.co.uk/

Electrifying Cycling Experiences in the Lake District

Did you know there are 69 electric bike charging points in Cumbria? Predominantly in the Lake District National Park, these charging points are located at extremely convenient locations such as campsites and b&b’s to hotels, inns and cafes.

To further entice travelling by electric bike, those arriving in the Lake District by train with First Trans Pennine Express will receive 20% the cost to hire an electric bike for use when staying there. Electric bikes on the Electric Bike Network can be found at locations including Brockhole Visitor Centre, Coniston Boating Centre and Muncaster Cycles over in the Western Lake District in Ravenglass.

electric bikes lake district
Electric bike hire, charging, and enjoying in the Lake District

A location ideal for cycling in the other side of Lake Windermere heading towards Far Sawrey. This small village can be easily accessed with as little cycling on roads as possible too as the Windermere to Hawkshead ferry drops off perfectly. The new bike boat service is another way to get over Lake Windermere which departs from Brockhole, and of course one of the electric bike hiring locations.

Far Sawrey is quiet with the opportunity to cycle on bridleways, through forests and roads with far less traffic on than the areas of Windermere and Ambleside. Nearby Claife Heights offers something for the more adventurous of electric bike cyclists. One 9 mile route around has everything from road cycling to hilly forest tracks.

The Cuckoo Brow Inn not only has an electric bike charging point, featuring within the Electric Bike Network, but also enables cyclists to refuel themselves too. Food is served every day from noon until 9.30pm along with a range of beverages and they also offer b&b accommodation, welcoming cyclists.

With the ability to enjoy cycling at a pace that suits each individual, electric bikes are really taking off and the Lake District is the perfect location to enjoy it.

July is an Artistic Month in Grange over Sands

The annual Grange and District Art Society summer exhibition will be taking place at The Victoria Hall on Main Street in Grange over Sands in 2 weeks time.

Starting on Saturday July 19th (with a preview on Friday the 18th) until Sunday July 27th all the pictures shown will be exhibited by members of the art society. Now in its 67th year, the Grange and District Art Society have around 50 members and made up of both amateur and professional artists living in and around the Grange area. Its history and location makes this a highly regarded art society in Cumbria.

grangeanddistrictartsociety
Grange & District Art Society Summer Exhibition

The artists work in various media including oil, acrylic, watercolour, pastel and pencil so too mixed media and in a range of subjects from still life to landscapes, wildlife to flora. The interesting mix of member’s styles always creates an exciting exhibition.

Original, framed and unframed artwork will be available to purchase as well as greetings cards and the entry price is just £1, daily opening of 10am – 5pm. Further information can be found on the society’s website here http://grangeanddistrictartsociety.co.uk/

bay villa old library
The Old Library at Bay Villa, Grange over Sands

Just down the road from The Victoria Hall is a brand new bed and breakfast yet located within an historic building. Bay Villa was designed by Francis Webster, arguably Cumbria’s most famous architect in 1820. Back then, it was the grandest house in Grange over Sands. For art lovers visiting the area, Bay Villa is like walking into an art installation. This is especially true in the Bay Villa’s old library which has been converted into a bedroom with floor to ceiling wood paneling and windows and original plaster ceiling. Rooms at Bay Villa start at £110 per room per night bed and breakfast and there is still some availability during the art exhibition week. Visit their website for more details http://www.bayvilla.net/

By Jenny Andrew

New 2 together railcard means you’ll be right on track to Windermere

An exciting addition to National Rails choice of railcards has just been introduced, the new Two Together Railcard.

This new railcard options means the person who purchases the card, along with the person they travel with the most, receive a 1/3 off journeys with the cost of the card being £30 a year. In one lengthy journey alone the card will pay for itself but those who commute with a friend or colleague, well it equates to quite some savings during the year.

two-together-landing-page-bannerI used to travel by train regularly some years ago. Despite some horrendous delays, the thought of doing some of the journeys I did in a car was a far worse prospect. Train travel is, in the whole, far more relaxing that driving and when it’s just solo travel, can work out cheaper than fuel in some cases. For the environment, thaen it is again very beneficial. But it is when travelling with someone else by train that it becomes a far dearer exercise than driving.

This new Two Together railcard is surely going to aid the amount of people travelling by train to Windermere. Windermere has excellent transport links in various forms to so much of South Cumbria especially in these summer months. Just picture this, a relaxed journey from the moment the train is embarked. Eat and drink when you wish, chat amongst yourselves or read a book or newspaper. The holiday or short break starts far sooner.

d701-1683Booking accommodation in Windermere is then ideal. Bowness is just a short walk aay where the Windermere Cruises depart from taking visitors up to Lakeside and right down to Waterhead for Ambleside. Cycles can be hired from Windermere Station along with electric cars and excellent bus services to locations such as Grasmere, Keswick and Langdale. Just a 2 minute walk from Windermere Train Station is the Applegarth Villa Hotel where along with the luxury bedrooms they have a restaurant and bar, everything under one roof. Staying in a location such as this means a car will not be missed in the slightest.

Lets not forget legs though and Windermere has plenty of walks that can be done from the centre, Orrest Head is an absolute must but you can walk right over the tops to Ambleside too.

Fabulous foodie news coming out of Langdale

Food plays a large part within the Langdale Estate. With not just hundreds of residents made up of those staying in the hotel, self catering and timeshare properties but also each food venue is open to non residents too.

For those who haven’t been before or need an update, the Langdale Estate has Wainwrights Inn (a traditional Lake District pub), Hobsons Bar (a relaxed and informal bar serving food all day), The Terrace Restaurant (great for the whole family, has a Josper Oven) and Purdey’s (Langdale’s fine dining 2 AA rosette restaurant).

wainwrights inn lake district
Wainwrights Inn at Langdale for real food and real ales

High quality produce and service is on offer throughout the four venues with an emphasis on local food to the Lake District and Cumbria. Wainwrights Inn is no exception and the newly launched menu has all the pub favourites diners could wish for and an excellent way to refuel after a long day on the fells or perhaps a pit stop on route. With summer beckoning, fresher flavours have been introduced such as poached salmon & lime mayonnaise freshly made artisan baguettes but the Wainwright favourites are still firmly on the menu such as their famous lamb shoulder and smoked Cumberland sausage hot dog.

lake district afternoon tea
Afternoon tea at Hobson’s – Langdale

Over to the main estate and Hobson’s Bar is relaxation personified with the Kurt Schwitters inspired interior. Keeping up with the seasons, the potato of the moment is the Jersey Royal on offer in the side dish choices but it’s the afternoons where things have begun to hot up. New for 2014 is the Hobson’s Afternoon Tea menu. For a stylish afternoon full of deliciousness then this new menu is surely hard to beat. The setting the Hobson’s interior and the refined afternoon tea menu create a special atmosphere and one worthy of a celebration but easily just because… The option to enjoy a glass of Champagne is the frosting on top of the carrot cake. Booking is essential and afternoon tea is served from 2pm – 5pm daily. For all the dining details at Langdale visit http://www.langdale.co.uk

(P.S top tip, gift vouchers available for afternoon, great idea for a special pressie).