Windermere, #theplacetobe for cycling in the Lake District

An increasing amount of cyclists of all ages and abilities visit Windermere and Bowness year on year. The area has seen a huge boost in cycle friendly routes and the updating of others to make them more user friendly ad safe.

Greater marketing has been done by Cumbria Tourism the GoLakes Travel programme and the local businesses in the area to encourage cycling. Cycling around this region is great for all, with fewer cars on the road, less congestion, less pollution and it’s a great way to stay fit and explore the Lake District too.

A huge bonus has been the launch of the bike boat service from Brockhole to Bark Barn enabling cyclists to cut out the busy A591 road to reach the western shore of Lake Windermere. Cyclists can them return to Bowness on the car ferry. This services operates weekends from 27 May to 16 July and daily from 22 July to 3 September. Explore the western shore by bike or ride a circular route from Brockhole and combine it with the bike buses to broaden the adventure even further. To book tickets and for the timetable visit

lake windermere hotels

A handy location for bike hire now is from Brockhole, the Lake District National Park Visitor Centre being when the bike boat departs from. Bikes for adults and children can be hired along with trailers and tag alongs and the all important helmets and puncture repair kits. With each hire is a ticket for the bike boat and this is an excellent route to do with children. It is also a nice, flat route for adults with trailers! Visit for more details.

In and around Lake Windermere are some excellent cyclist friendly and family friendly hotels. The Newby Bridge Hotel overlooking Lake Windermere where private leisure facilities include an indoor pool, ten person ‘Tylo’ steam room and spa pool are perfect for post ride relaxation and rejuvenation. The hotel has a ;large, off road car park great for loading and unloading bikes and the choice of either relaxed bar or restaurant to dine In. Cycle directly from the hotel on a network of paths or head off from Lakeside Pier down Lake Windermere.

Visit for more details and to book online (book direct for best prices but also a free £10 to spend during the stay on food and drink).

Walking Tops Favourite Pastimes for Couples List

Topping the top 25 pastimes for couples in Female First magazine was wonderful walking. Yes, walking is a pastime anyone can enjoy but between a couple, it is the perfect way to spend quality time, out in the open and away from the stresses and strains of life. Whether it’s a Sunday stroll in the park or a full on walking holiday, what better way for 2 people who love each other to spend time doing? And what better location to enjoy this pastime with your loved one than in the Lake District?

Female First’s reason for putting walking in the top spot is as follows: “A long country walk or walk in the park- Walking does two things for couples- it gets their endorphins going so they are in better mood and allows some uninterrupted time to talk about their feelings and worries bringing them closer together.”

walking kendal hotel

When it comes to precious holiday time together, and even though any form of holiday or getting away together is usually fun and relaxing, getting something more than just a sun tan makes a holiday even better. Walking holidays, based on the facts listed by Female First, are becoming increasingly more popular particularly in the UK. With staycations increasing and the popularity of walking in general, walking whilst on holiday is on the rise and what better way to see some of the best scenery the Lake District has to offer.

There’s no need to be tied down by booking an organised walking holiday or excursion. Simply arm yourselves with an OS map, buy a guide book or two and explore the Lake District just the two of you. Find a base for easy travel to walking start points such as Kendal. A stones throw from the motorway but just a short drive or train journey to Windermere and the heart of The Lakes.

The Riverside Hotel in Kendal has private parking, a central location with lots going on in the evenings too in Kendal. This winter enjoy a great offer – a 2 night break with dinner on the first evening and breakfast each morning at just £99 per person. Remember, there’s also unlimited use of our pool and leisure facilities too and free parking. This offer can only be booked direct via or by telephone 01539 734861.

The full list can be read here in case any more take your fancy!

Racing comes to Cartmel for first 2017 fixture

Since the gates closed at the last fixture of 2016 in August, the organisers, fans, local community and all the horse racing fraternity have been counting down the days and hours until this weekend.
Spring Bank Holiday, an extra day off work and the half term holidays, Cartmel Races is most definitely going to be the place to be. With racing, entertainment, food and fun on Saturday 27th, Bank Holiday Monday 29th and Wednesday 31st in one of Cumbria’s most stunning locations, Cartmel.


Year on year the attendance rises and this in turn attracts high profile jockeys and horses. Even those not into horse racing can’t help but enjoy the event in a location and music and events that run during each race day and the fabulous local food and beverages on offer.

Nearby hotels, b&b’s and holiday cottages are now practically all fully booked. There is still a small life line for any last minute visitors though. The Lakeland Cottage Company who market several holiday cottages in and around Cartmel have three properties still available for breaks starting from either Friday 26th or Saturday 27th May, No.1 Rose Cottage and 2 Kiln House in Bouth near Newby Bridge (6 miles from Cartmel Racecourse) and Tom Crag Barn at Finsthwaite (7 miles from Cartmel Racecourse). All three are delightful properties offering luxury accommodation with the chance to explore this stunning area of South Lakeland including Lake Windermere and the lovely villages between Kendal and the Furness Peninsula. Let’s not forget the star of the show, the pretty village of Cartmel, the gastronomic heart of Cumbria with great food to enjoy and purchase in cafes, inns, bistros and restaurants.

cartmel cottages

Don’t miss out on the great weather forecast and the chance to attend the first fixture of 2017 at Cartmel Races. It’s set to be a big Spring Bank Holiday spectacular of horse racing, entertainment and fun. A great weekend of racing and visiting of the beautiful and unique Cartmel for all!

#Hibernot this half term in Cumbria and the Lake District, it’s still not too late!

There seems to be a fairly good forecast in the weather in Cumbria and the Lake District for today and the through the week. It is half term and dry weather is not always the order of the day, so early in the year and at this time in the winter so it means why waste it?

Understandably there are still a number of places to stay in the Lake District and Cumbria with availability this year, waiting to see what the weather is set to be like is not a bad thing in February. As everyone awakes from the aftermath of Christmas and a month of austerity in January, February and its longer days make for a welcome return to life, out of winter hibernation. At the end of the day, the hash tag #hibernot is featuring very highly on social media and rightly so. Make the most of the school holidays, beneficial of course to children but so too for parents.

rheged herdwick exhibition

View the Herdwick in all its glory at Rheged this half term

The Lake District and Cumbria is fully open and this week there is so much going both outside and indoors even if there’s a sudden change in the weather. A great round up of what’s on in especially over to the east of the county can be found on the News & Star website here. Activities getting creative with flower and plant paintings at the Penrith and Eden Museum, learn new skills and burn off energy at Penrith Leisure Centre and finally admire and learn about Cumbria’s famous, beautiful and native breed of sheep, the Herdwick with the much talked about exhibition at the Rheged Centre.

penrith leisure centre

Let off some half term steam at the Penrith Leisure Centre

Family friendly accommodation can be found at the Tebay Services Hotel who have still have a small amount of availability this week. Stay for just 1 day or make a short break out of it. Enjoy great, wholesome, local food in the evening and at breakfast time. Prices from £81 bed & breakfast based on 2 sharing a twin or double room with singles from £65. Alternatively call to enquire about the family rooms 01539 624351.

A guide to half term happiness from The Cuckoo Brow Inn

The Cuckoo Brow Inn at Far Sawrey is the answer to any last minute half term plans. Half term, less than 2 weeks away and if half term holidays during 2014 were anything to go by, Cumbria and the Lake District is set to fill up with families.

Being just a week, a short break is an ideal way to spend a few days whilst still being able to have time at home and a few days instead of a full week is naturally cheaper. As with many of the popular family spots, the availability at the Cuckoo Brow Inn is getting booked up but there are still double, superior and family rooms available for certain dates during the week.

In terms of what’s on and what to do then Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s home and garden reopens after essential conservation work was carried out over the winter. Everything is sure to be fresh and a great time to visit this historic house and garden where so much of Beatrix’s inspiration was gathered.

far sawrey walks

Walk or cycle to the Windermere ferry

As Far Sawrey is located in less hilly part of the Lake District, it is the ideal place to introduce kids into the joys of fell walking. There are plenty of low level walks or ones taking in some gradient but achievable by children. Cycling is popular in the area too with special cycle routes that are almost all off the road so safer. In fact, a great day out is cycling to the Windermere ferry and taking a trip across the lake to Bowness.

The chefs at the inn surely be cooking up some foodie delights especially on the daily specials menu. Recently and very appropriate if staying or visiting the inn on Saturday 14, Valentines, is a adult chocolate pud. Tasty and hearty mains can be found on the normal and children’s menu as it’s still going to be a bit nippy out on the fells. The various wood burners and open fires will warm the family right through though.

Family rooms at The Cuckoo brow Inn from £113 per night.

Enjoy perfect poetry in perfect Grasmere

With a strong literary heritage, Grasmere is THE destination for poetry lovers bringing visitors to this Lake District village from across the globe.

The Wordsworth Trust is the catalyst behind Grasmere being the centre of poetry not just in Cumbria but some may say also the UK. It is not just the history of poetry, work and poets of yester year, new poetry is being written in Grasmere right now. Contemporary poetry is celebrated in events including readings and introductions to poetry from other countries, which take place every two weeks from May until September.

But encouraging new writers and poets to come forward or those who have already started to write but need a little inspiration and guidance from published poets can attend one of the many poet workshops held at Dove Cottage. The next weekend poetry workshop is taking place in December and costs £100.

dove cottage grasmere poets

Dove Cottage, the view of Grasmere and the Jerwood Centre

Monthly workshops are also run by The Wordsworth Trust’s poet in residence. These are informal and relaxed workshops that take place on the afternoon of the last Friday of each month at the Jerwood Centre and can be attended even when visiting Grasmere for walking or with a partner or friend.

In fact, what better way to take inspiration for poetry than from the Lake District landscape when walking up one of the fells or around the lakes and waters. It is after all why Grasmere has been and still is the home of poetry.

Oak Bank Hotel in Grasmere is a small, independently owned, peaceful and tranquil place to stay when visiting Grasmere and has a Good Food Guide, 2 AA Rosette restaurant. Prices start from around £140 per room including a 4 course dinner and breakfast based on 2 sharing.




Guided Bike Rides Discovering Ancient Landscapes around Ullswater this Summer

Starting today and running throughout August and September are “Cycling Through Ancient Landscapes” guided bike rides.

The route takes cyclists from the start at Pooley Bridge at the northern end of Ullswater to Lowther Castle and back. This area of the Lake District and over to Eden is steeped in history with prehistoric, Roman and early Christian sites that will be pointed out along the way. Those attending will also see the gaunt ruins of a Gothic castle and the gnarled trunk of Jack’s Yak. We won’t go into any more detail of each site which will only spoilt the surprise for those taking part but this really is an exciting, scenic and worthwhile way to spend a day.

cycling ullswater lake district

The ride is being conducted by Cumbria Tourist Guides who are members of The Institute of Tourist Guiding and know the Lake District inside out. The route has been chosen specifically to keep cyclists off main roads only choosing quiet back roads with some off road cycling over the Askam Fells. The views from up there are something to behold alone. For those into history, the area or simply just for the adventure, this guided bike ride is ideal.

This full day starting at 10.30am and finishing at 3pm costs a very affordable £15.00 per adult and just £25.00 should bike and helmet hire be required. Children must always be accompanied by an adult over 18 but children do attend free of charge.

Ullswater Lake District

Cycling Ullswater, Lake District

Ullswater whether staying at Pooley Bridge, at Glenridding or along other parts of the lake is an excellent holiday destination. Couples can enjoy a romantic break but there is so much going on around this region for children or outdoor lovers that everyone is catered for.