THE LAKE DISTRICT

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The Lake DistrictThe spectacular Lake District has inspired artists and writers for centuries. This lush and dramatic countryside was first popularized by William Wordsworth, who lived here for many years alongside the other ‘Lake Poets’, Coleridge and Southey.   

The fells (or mountains) and clear lakes of the valleys here form a unique landscape that is infinitely precious in itself, but which also acts as a habitat for many rare species of plants and animals such as the adorable red squirrel. The ancient rocks here were shaped over thousands of years by glaciation and, now, much of England’s highest land above sea level falls within the Lake District National Park. The park’s verdant woodlands, with many varieties of lichen, moss, and fern, are a reminder that this is the wettest part of England – so bring your umbrella and wet weather gear. Having attracted tourists for so many years, there is a well developed system of walking trails as well as 18th century ‘viewing stations’, from which the most picturesque and painterly views are to be had.   

Layout
The Lake District National Park stretches 53km from the Shap Fells in the east to Calder Bridge and the coast in the west and 64km from Caldbeck in the north to Penny Bridge in the south. The entire park covers 2292 square kilometers and is traditionally divided into the North Lakes, the Central Lakes, Conniston Water, and the West Lakes. A puzzling point for visitors to remember is that Bassenthwaite Lake is the only lake called ‘Lake’: others take the suffix ‘-mere’  or ‘-water’. Smaller bodies of water are called tarns. Creeks are called becks. The most popular way to get around is on foot or by bicycle and if you want to explore the national park this way, there are many marked trails at your disposal plus a variety of guided walks. Take a look here,  a website which offers a wealth of information and advice about walking and cycling in the Lake District. There are also good bus services which offer scenic journeys throughout the park. Visit here for details.

 


The Lake District

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Villages & man-made features (shown as numbers):  1. Castlerigg Stone Circle  2. Buttermere village  3. Honister Slate Mine & Via Ferrata  4. Seawaithe  5. Grasmere village & Dove Cottage  6. Rydal Mount  7. Galava Roman Fort  8. Wray Castle  9. Claife lookout  10. Windermere village  11. World of Beatice Potter  12. St Martin's Church  13. Bowness-on-Windermere village  14. Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway (red line)  15. Hawkshead  16. Beatrice Potter Museum  17. Coniston village  18. Brantwood  19. Wasdale  20. Ravenglas & Eskdale Railway  21. Roman Bath House  22. Muncaster Castle and Owl Centre

Lakes (letters):   A. Derwentwater  B. Loweswater  C. Buttermere  D. Valley of Borrowdale  E. Ullswater  F. Grassmere  G. Windermere  H. Esthwaite Water  I. Conister Water  J. Wast Water

 Mountains (blue bubbles, north to south):   # Skiddaw  # Blencathra  # Fleetwith Pike  # Haystacks  # Great Gable  # Scarfell Pike  # Old Man of Coniston

Natural features (green bubbles, north to south): #Aira Force Waterfall  #Wordsworth Bay [both at Ullswater]  #Lodore Falls  #Bowder Stone  #Watendlath  #Castle Crag overlooking the Jaws of Borrowdale ravine [in Borrowdale]  #Stock Ghyll Force waterfalls & forest [in Ambleside]  #Grizedale Forest

 


 

Derwentwater from Keswick

Charming Derwentwater [+44 17687 74649] has been called the ‘Queen of the Lakes’. Numerous islands dot the lake which is nearly 5 km long and around 1.6 km wide. Water sports are popular and a great way to explore the lake is by motor launch from Ashness Gate, Lodore, or High Brandlehow for example. There are also many paths around Derwent Water for walkers.

Keswick
K
eswick has been a bustling market town in the Lake District since 1276 when Edward I granted the settlement its charter. It is a popular base from which to explore the beautiful surrounding lake and mountain scenery and many outdoorsy types do just that.

KeswickSituated on the northeast corner of Derwentwater, the town has plenty of shops, many of which are clustered around the historic Moot Hall. Nearby Skiddaw and Blencathra, standing at 931m and 868m respectively, provide wonderful views…once you manage to climb up there.

Keswick Bus Station is at the corner of Elliot Park and Crow Park Road, to the northwest of the central Market Place.

Sights
Castlerigg Stone Circle, near KeswickOn top of a low hill near Keswick is the mysterious Castlerigg Stone Circle [+44 17687 74649], probably built in 3000B.C. 38 stones form a circle around a small rectangle of 10 stones. The site may have had ceremonial or religious significance.

Moot Hal [Market Square, +44 17687 72645] was built in 1813 and has had many purposes over the years – town hall, covered market, courthouse, museum, and even a prison. It is now and art gallery and, conveniently enough, the Tourist Information Centre. It is also known for its clock, which only has one hand.

The Cumberland Pencil Museum
[Southey Works, +44 17687 73626, Adults £3.50] tells the story of the famous Derwent pencil company. See old machinery and packaging as well as the longest coloured pencil in the world. Kids can have a go at practising their artistic skills in special workshops.

Hotels

        

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Oakthwaite Guesthouse [35 Helvellyn Street, +44 17687 72398, £29-31 per person] Beautifully but simply furnished, Oakthwaite Guesthouse is known for its friendly, welcoming atmosphere and its great breakfasts.

Burnside B&B [Penrith Road, +44 17687 72639, £29-33 per person] Beautiful British furnishings and fittings adorn the rooms in this B&B, creating a charming effect in each room. Try their delicious breakfasts, including homemade Belgian waffles.

The Cartwheel Guesthouse [5 Blencathra Street, +44 17687 73182, £30-34 per person] The design of the rooms is contemporary and stylish but the hospitality is traditional. Try the owner’s homemade cakes.

Allerdale House
[1 Eskin Street, +44 17687 73891, £38 per person] With friendly hosts, hearty breakfasts, and a convenient location, Allerdale House is good value. Most of the food served here is made from Fair Trade ingredients.

Lairbeck Hotel
[Vicarage Hill, Keswick, +44 17687 73373, £104-50] A beautiful Victorian country house on the outskirts of Keswick, Lairbeck Hotel combines convenience and peaceful seclusion.

Keswick Country House Hotel
[Station Road, +44 845 305 2111, £98-190] This hotel is well located and its restaurant is excellent. Within an elegant Victorian exterior, the rooms are comfortably and simply furnished.

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BorrowdaleDramatic and beautiful, the valley of Borrowdale is one of the highlights of the Lake District, with scenery encompassing the isolated and charming Watendlath, Brandlehow Woods, the first National Trust possession in the park, and a surprising amount of industrial heritage for an area of such natural attractiveness.

Layout
Borrowdale is the name of the valley that begins in the central Lake District at Honister Pass and leads up to Derwent Water. It is also a Civil Parish comprising of the towns of Grange, Rosthwaite, Seathwaite, Seatoller, Stonethwaite, and Watendlath.

The Borrowdale Rambler bus will get you from Keswick to Seatoller with stops at Grange, Rosthwaite, and the Lodore Hotel on the way. 

Sights
At Grange the Derwent passes through the Jaws of Borrowdale, a narrow gorge formed by mountain crags which also forces the walking paths and roads to converge tightly.

Lodore Falls, BorrowdaleThe inspiring Lodore Falls (Southey was inspired by it in any case) is fed by a beck from the valley of Watendlath. Its main drop is about 28 metres in height.

Ashness Bridge
, an old packhorse bridge near Watendlath, is the spot to get your picture-postcard photographs of the Lake District.

Bring your brolly to Seathwaite, the wettest inhabited place in England.

Shake hands beneath the Bowder Stone outside Grange. The 2000 tonne boulder of volcanic rock is perched precariously on a ledge but the National Trust maintains a late 18th century ladder for visitors to climb to the top of the stone.

Climb the exhilarating Via Ferrata at Honister Slate Mine [Honister Pass, +44 17687 77230,  , A number of different tickets available but the day pass packages are good value at £42 or £48 for adults] where mining is thought to have begun in Roman or possibly even prehistoric times. There are a few different tours that take in the cavernous tunnels of the underground mine.

        

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Royal Oak Hotel [Rosthwaite, +44 17687 77214 , £52-59 per person, includes dinner and B&B] This charming 18th century farmhouse has been going strong as a guesthouse for about one hundred years. Royal Oak provides traditional hospitality and is close to the Jaws of Borrowdale.

Ashness Farm [Borrowdale, +44 17687 77361 , £32-43 per person].  A 500 year old working farmhouse, Ashness Farm’s offerings are surprisingly modern. Spacious rooms and good, hearty breakfasts.


Remote cottage on ButtermereThe small but picturesque Buttermere - literally the ‘lake near dairy pastures’ - draws in crowds of visitors each year.  Paths surrounding the lake make it the perfect place to explore on foot while nearby Crummock Water and Loweswater can bediscovered by boat.

Layout
The area of Buttermere stretches from Honister Pass to the village of Buttermere at the head of the lake. Crummock Water and Loweswater are to the immediate north. The Honister Rambler bus is a great way to get around Buttermere: visit here  for details.

Sights

Buttermere, Crummock Water, and Loweswater are maintained by the National Trust [+44 1946 816940] and offer a peaceful lake setting beside the slopes of the fells.

Fleetwith PikeAround Buttermere lake is a low level 7.2 km walking path that is perfect for families or those who want a gentle stroll for the day. More challenging paths can be found across the fells.

Rent a boat on Loweswater, a quieter spot than the neighbouring Buttermere and Crummock Water.

Haystacks
and Fleetwith Pike are two of the most famous fells surrounding Buttermere – Haystacks in particular, at 597m, was a favourite of Alfred Wainwright, author of the famous walking guidebooks.

        

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Bridge Hotel [Buttermere, +44 17687 70252, £90] Bridge Hotel is well located and has large nicely furnished rooms.  The food can be a bit hit and miss.

Wood House [Crummock Water, +44 17687 70208, £45-55 per person] On the shores of Crummock Water, the beautifully furnished Wood House is a friendly little place to get away from it all.

Kirkstile Inn [Loweswater, +44 1900 85219, £46.50 per person] Kirkstile Inn was receiving visitors in the 16th century. It is a friendly, traditional inn with low beams, a fireplace, and warm hospitality.



UllswaterThe Lake District’s second largest lake is also reputed to be its most beautiful. Romantic poet William Wordsworth took inspiration from the scenery here and some of his most famous poems are based on Ullswater’s sights. The lake also provides a wonderful venue for all kinds of watersports and its shores are great to explore on foot or by bike.

Layout
Ullswater roughly forms the shape of the letter ‘z’ as it twists around the mountains. Glenridding is at the southern end of the lake, while Pooley Bridge is at the northern edge. Travel between the lakeside villages and towns may be done by steamer (see below for the Ullswater Steamers). Bus 108 from Penrith to Patterdale also stops at Pooley Bridge and Gelnridding. You can find a timetable here.

SightsI wandered lonely as a cloud – Wordsworth’s famous poem was reportedly inspired by the daffodils on the shore of Ullswater. See a bed of daffodils in the same spot at Wordsworth Point near Glencoyne Bay.
Aira Force Waterfalls, Ullswater
Aira Force Waterfall
, the “wild stream of Aira” from Wordsworth’s ‘The Somnambulist’, is situated to the west of Ullswater near the village of Glenridding. The fall has a drop of about 20 metres and below is a man made woodland, featuring plants from around the world. [Visit here for more details]

Tour Ullswater in historic style on one of the Ullswater Steamers [The Pier House, Glenridding, +44 17684 82229, Round the lake day pass, Adults £12.30, check website for other fare types], which make stops at Glenridding, Howtown, and Pooley Bridge.

 

 

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Ullswater View [Gowbarrow Lodge, Watermillock, +44 17684 86286, £72-100].   With fresh modern rooms and wonderful views, Ullswater View is good value.  The breakfasts here are delicious.

 Howtown Hotel [Howtown, +44 17684 86514, £62 per person].   A beautiful family run hotel in an equally beautiful location. Howtown Hotel is very old fashioned so don’t expect wifi or a TV in the room but do expect good home cooking and to be summoned to dinner by a gong!

 


 


Grasmere and Rydal Water lakesAccording to Wordsworth, it was the “loveliest spot that man hath  ever found”: Grasmere is still lovely, if a little over run by tourists come summertime. A charming little village of slate stone cottages, quaint shops and pubs, Grasmere is nestled within the beautiful natural scenery at the centre of the Lake District.  Lakes Grasmere and Easedale Tarn are nearby, as is Helm Crag, a 398 metre high fell with a very unique shape: from one angle it is said to look like an ‘Old Lady Playing the Organ’ and from another, a ‘Lion and a Lamb’.

Layout
The village of Grasmere is situated to the north of Grasmere lake. Dove Cottage may be found in the south eastern side of the village, closer to the lake. From Broadgate or Church Stile take bus 599 towards Bowness-on-Windemere to get to Dove Cottage.

Sights
William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy moved into Dove Cottage [Grasmere, +44 15394 35544, Adults £7.50] in 1799. Once a pub, the house became the home of the famous Romantic poet when he wrote many of his most famous works. Afterwards, Thomas de Quincey, who would later write 'The Confessions of an English Opium Eater', resided in the house. Today, Dove Cottage is home to the Wordsworth Museum and Art Gallery.

St. Oswald’s Church was apparently first built in the 7th century AD by Oswald, King of Northumbria but it is most famous for its churchyard which holds the graves of Wordsworth, his wife Mary, and his sister Dorothy. In July, the Rushbearing festival takes place at the church. The floors are covered with rushes, no longer as a practical floor covering but simply as a nod to tradition.

Grasmere Gingerbread Shop [Church Cottage, Grasmere, +44 15394 35428] is still producing delicious gingerbread to the hardworking Sarah Nelson’s recipe after over 150 years. The cottage was originally the village school and Wordsworth, his wife, and sister all taught there.

Rydal Mount
F
rom 1813 to 1850 Romantic poet William Wordsworth and his family lived at Rydal Mount [Rydal Mount, Ambleside, +44 15394 33002, Adults £6], a charming white house dating back to the 16th century. Much of the house has been restored to appear as it would have when the Wordsworth family lived here but there are also original Tudor features to be admired. The house contains portraits, family possessions, and first editions of the poet’s works, as well as changing exhibitions. Outside is a beautiful garden, designed by the poet himself. These grounds hold Wordsworth’s ‘Writing Hut’ and also overlook Windemere and Grasmere.

Layout
Rydal Mount is located between Grasmere and Windemere. From Windemere railway station you can take bus number 599, which stops at Rydal Mount and another Wordsworth site, Dove Cottage.

        

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Banerigg Guesthouse [Lake Road, +44 15394 35204, £36 per person] In an excellent location overlooking the lake, Banerigg is fantastic value for money with very friendly and welcoming hosts and big breakfasts to set you up for a day’s walking.

Chestnut Villa
[Keswick Road, +44 15394 35218, £70-75] A comfortable B&B, popular with walkers, Chestnut Villa has a convenient location on the edges of the village and has excellent views.

The Harwood Hotel [Red Lion Square, +44 15394 35248, £85-165] Chic and cosy, the Harwood Hotel is well located in the centre of Grasmere. The 200 year old house has been refurbished well to offer modern comforts as well as a little historic charm to boot.

Raise View House [White Bridge, +44 15394 35215, £55 per person] This secluded B&B has really beautiful rooms and common areas. It also offers good hearty food and simply breathtaking views. 

Stonegarth Guesthouse [Lake View Drive, +44 15394 35458, £56 per person] This is a surprising little find: there are elegant and spacious rooms, a small indoor swimming pool, an excellent selection of wine, and some seriously good food. 

Oak Bank Hotel [Broadgate, +44 15394 35217, £50-79 per person] Situated in a quiet location that is nevertheless still close to village amenities, Oak Bank Hotel  offers brilliant food and charmingly furnished rooms.

Lancrigg Vegetarian Country House [Easedale, +44 15394 35317, £55-110 per person based on one night stay] The individually themed rooms here (don’t worry, it’s not over the top) are nice but they are not the main attraction: that honour is reserved for the food – vegetarian, organic, and delicious.

The Wordsworth Hotel and Spa
[+44 15394 35592, £60-175] The Wordsworth is a beautiful hotel with excellent customer service and a well respected two rosette restaurant. With comfortable and attractive rooms, this hotel is a good choice for those who want some extra comforts.

Rothay Garden Hotel
[Broadgate, +44 15394 35334, £92.50-127.50 per person] This luxurious hotel is nestled among 2 acres of charming gardens. The rooms are luxurious and well-designed while the food is as delicious and elegantly presented as you would expect from a two-rosette restaurant.

 


AmblesideOne of the most popular bases for exploring the Lake District,   Ambleside (pop. 2,600) is well situated near the charming lake Windemere. A market town since 1650, Ambleside’s main trade is now in outdoor sports equipment and the town has an overabundance of such stores that cater to the annual (actually, practically year-long) influx of hikers, climbers, and city dwellers in search of a little solitary contemplation and relaxation amongst the fells.

Layout
Ambleside is situated at the northern edge of Lake Windemere but the centre of the town itself is not directly on the shore. The town centre is slightly further north along Lake Road and closer to Rydal Beck. 

Sights
Most of the attractions in this area are to be found in exploring the fells, in the play of light on Windemere, or in the pint at the pub after a long day’s walk. There are a variety of walks to suit every level of interest and fitness: a good source of detailed information (delivered with a healthy dose of local ambivalence about the tourism industry) is here.

One of the most popular routes is the Fairfield Horseshoe which starts and ends at Ambleside and loops out to take in Nab Scar, Heron Pike, Great Rigg, Fairfield, Hart Crag, Dove Crag, and High Pike.

A short walk through the daffodil carpeted Stock Ghyll Woods beyond Ambleside’s Salutation Hotel brings you to Stock Ghyll Force, a picturesque 21 metre high waterfall.

Roman Fort ruins, AmblesideOn the northern bank of Windemere is Galava Roman Fort [About 182 metres west of Waterhead car park, free entry],  a first and second century AD construction that was built to guard the road from Brougham to Ravenglass.


   

    

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Amboseli Lodge [Rothay Road, Ambleside, +44 15394 31110, £28-44 per person] has a good location, convenient for town and exploring Windemere. Rooms are bright and spacious.

Kingswood Bee & Bee [Old Lake Road, Ambleside, +44 15394 34081, £29-40] Kingswood has something of a ‘bee’ theme going on but it is subtle: (or not).  Rooms are well furnished and the breakfasts are delicious. Try the homemade honey and marmalade.

Kent House [Lake Road, Ambleside, +44 15394 33279, £29-55 per person] A quaint little guesthouse in a nice location, Kent House offers a warm welcome.

Glenside B&B [Old Lake Road, Ambleside, +44 15394 32635, £60-70] Glenside’s lovingly furnished rooms have bundles of character. Don’t miss the tremendous breakfasts here.

Melrose Guesthouse [Church Street, Ambleside, +44 15394 32500, £30-45 per person] The Melrose offers simple, clean, good comfort and a friendly atmosphere with staff ready to help you get the best out of Ambleside.

Red Bank [Wansfell Road, Ambleside, +44 15394 34637, £42 per person] A small B&B with only three guestrooms, all luxuriously furnished, Red Bank is perfect for those who want somewhere quiet to get away from it all. 

Riverside Hotel B&B [Under Loughrigg, Ambleside, +44 15394 32395,, £46-54 per person] A lovely Victorian era country house, Riverside overlooks the River Rothay. The guestrooms and common areas are equally elegant.

New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel
[Great Langdale, nr. Ambleside, +44 15394 37213,, £49-62 per person] The rooms here are by and large simply furnished but this is the perfect hotel for walkers due to its location.

The Waterhead Hotel
[+44 15394 32566,,£55-149 per person] Modern, spacious rooms on the shores of Lake Windemere. The Waterhead’s beds are particularly comfortable – you might not want to get up and set off on that hike!

Randy Pike [Ambleside, +44 15394 36088,  £180-200] For something special, try Randy Pike. The two guestrooms are breathtakingly lux but the comforts don’t end there: the hosts really go out of their way to make their guests feel pampered.    



Windermere lakeWindermere is the largest natural lake in England and it is also considered one of the most, if not the most, beautiful. The area was first inundated with tourists during the early Victorian era when the Kendal and Windermere Railway was established 1847, a development which was strongly censured by the Lake District’s most famous proponent William Wordsworth.

A ribbon lake, Windermere was formed by glaciation thousands of years ago. It is surrounded by low hills and there are 18 islands in the lake, providing a varied topography that is still much loved by holiday-makers from England and all over the world.   

The name ‘Windermere’, which comes from both Norse and Old English, may translate as ‘Vinandr’s Lake’ and is used to refer to both the lake itself and the town of Windermere. The latter is actually about 1km from the edges of the lake and is a more recent settlement. Bowness-On-Windermere is the older town but nowadays the two have virtually grown into one.   

Windermere
The town of Windermere presides over the middle of the lake by the same name, albeit about 1km from the eastern shore. The train station is at the northern end of the town off High Street and Church Street. Buses stop at the train station and other main roads. A good service to remember is the 597, the Windermere Circular or the town service, which runs between the Windermere Train Station and Helm Road in Bowness-On-Windermere.

Sights
There is no better ‘sight’ than the wonderful natural scenery around Windermere: view the lake as they did in the 18th century from one of the ‘viewing stations’, specially designed and located buildings that offered views of the landscape at its most ‘picturesque’. Claife Station [+44 15394 47997, owned by the National Trust] looks out east across the lake from its ruined eyes. 

Hire a rowing boat and explore the 18 islands that dot the lake but do remember that Belle Isle, the largest lake, is privately owned (i.e. don’t try landing your boat there). Many of the islands have ‘holme’ in their name – this was the Norse word for ‘island’. Silver Holme was the inspiration for Cormorant Island in Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, a popular children’s book set in the Lake District.

Although the Steam Boats Museum [Rayrigg Road, Windermere, +44 15394 45565] is formally closed for renovation work at present, it is still possible to arrange a guided tour of the site. The project aims to conserve the beautiful Victorian steam boats that once ferried passengers across the lake. 

Overlooking Windermere is the unusual Wray Castle, which is not a true castle at all. Built in 1840 for a retired surgeon from Liverpool, the castle is an example of the Gothic Revival style. The castle itself is usually not open to the public (although occasionally visitors are allowed in) but the grounds are interesting and there are wonderful views of the lake. There is a mulberry tree that was planted by William Wordsworth. See Wray Castle before it’s turned into a hotel – scheduled to begin in early 2011.  

Take a trip on the nostalgic Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway [Haverthwaite Station, near Ulverston, +44 15395 31594, Adults £5.90] between Lakeside Pier and Haverthwaite station. The journey takes just under 20 minutes as the steam train passes through some lovely Lake District scenery.

Bowness-On-WIndermere
B
owness-On-Windermere is a genteel ‘honeypot’ town on the eastern shore of Windermere lake. The town is dotted with Victorian and Edwardian buildings, elegant reminders of the long popularity of Windermere among holiday-makers.

Layout
Situated on the eastern shore of Windermere, Bowness-On-Windermere nowadays joins seamlessly with the town of Windermere directly to the north of it. The nearest train station is in the north of Windermere town.  From Helm Road in Bowness-On-Windermere, you can catch the 597 bus to Windermere Train Station.

Sights

The World of Beatrix Potter [Bowness-on-Windermere, +44 844 504 1233, Adults £6.75] is ideal for younger fans of Potter’s tales. The attraction brings to life many of the characters and stories such as Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-duck.

Windermere Lake Cruises
[Main office: Winander House, Glebe Road, Bowness-On-Windermere, +44 15394 43360, variety of different fare packages] take passengers between Bowness, Ambleside, Lakeside, and other landing points.

St. Martin’s Church [Longlands Road, Bowness-On-Windermere, free entry] was built on an already ancient religious site. The first incarnation burned down in 1484 and was then rebuilt soon after. Elements of this 15th century church remain today but the present St Martin’s largely dates to a restoration carried out in 1870. Don’t miss the stained glass ‘stars and stripes’ – the coat of arms of John Washington, an ancestor of George Washington.

 

   

    

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The Firthgarth [Ambleside Road, Windermere, +44 15394 46974, £28-45 per person] Luxe digs with all the mod-cons at a fraction of the price: The Firthgarth is a real find. Don’t miss their delicious breakfasts.

Kirkwood Guest House [Princes Road, Windermere, +44 15394 43907, £32-38 per person] Kirkwood is a simple guesthouse that provides traditional Lake District hospitality. Comfortable rooms and a friendly welcome.

Mylne Bridge Guest House [Lake Road, Brookside, Windermere, +44 15394 43314,  £32-45 per person] A cosy traditional guest house that offers great value for money and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

Rosemount [Lake Road, Windermere, +44 15394 43739, £35-42.50]The Rosemount serves a great breakfast. Rooms are clean, bright, and airy.

Ivthwaite Lodge [Princes Road, Windermere, +44 15394 88914, £35-55 per person] The rooms at the Ivythwaite Lodge have a quiet elegance. Excellently priced and well located.

1 Park Road [1 Park Road, Windermere, +44 15394 42107,  £42-52 per person] Good quality modern furnishings mark out 1 Park Road as an ideal home from home. Friendly staff go the extra mile to ensure guests have an enjoyable stay.

Glenville House [Lake Road, Windermere, +44 15394 43371, £90-100] Freshly decorated and spacious rooms have all the mod-cons and breakfast here is a delight.

Cedar Manor Hotel and Restaurant [Ambleside Road, Windermere, +44 15394 43192, £ 110-180] Some of the rooms have spectacular views of Windermere and the Langdale Pikes but the entire hotel itself is well furnished and attractive. Mouthwatering food. 

Applegarth Villa [College Road, Windermere, +44 15394 43206, £50-98 per person] For something more modern, try the sumptuous, bold designs of Applegarth Villa. Rooms on the top floor have some lovely views. Perfect location for exploring the pubs and cafes of Windermere.

Merewood Country House Hotel [Ecclerigg, Windermere, +44 15394 46484,  £70 per person] This beautiful early 19th century house was built for the first Earl of Lonsdale. It is decorated largely in period style and is a popular venue for weddings.

Linthwaite House Hotel [Crook Road, Windermere, +44 15394 88600, £156-260] Linthwaite house specializes in beautiful views, with spacious gardens leading up to a tarn. An elegant way to explore the Lake District with plenty of nice common areas to relax in.

Windermere Suites
[New Road, Windermere, +44 15394 44739, £90-140 per person] Perfect for romantic getaways, each individually designed room at the Windermere Suites is a treat for the eyes. A variety of special personal touches can be arranged such as champagne and strawberries, chocolates, flowers etc.

   

    

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Number 80 Bed Then Breakfast [80 Craig Walk, Bowness-On-Windermere, +44 15394 43584, £40 per person] has modern, individually designed rooms with bold accent colours. Delicious breakfasts.

Lingwood Lodge [Birket Hill, Bowness-On-Windermere, +44 15394 44680, £78-88] is bright and spacious rooms with simple décor. It offers informal and friendly Lakeland hospitality.

Burn How Hotel [Back Belsfield Road, Bowness-On-Windermere, +44 15394 46226, £85-185].   Simple, spacious rooms and friendly service. The Burn How is well located.

Gilpin Lodge [Crook Road, Bowness-On-Windermere, +44 15394 88818,  £190-410].   Spoil yourself at this stunning hotel.  It is pricey but beautiful with excellent views and prodigious breakfasts.

 


"One morning...by Esthwaite's Lake,
...Life was sweet, I knew not why"
William Wordsworth

Esthwaite Water does not have the same profile as its larger and more famous lakes, thus it less visited providing a good getaway location. It has a reputation for great fishing, particularly for trout. Visit here  for more information

Hawkshead
H
awkshead is a very popular and pretty little village. Its attractive scenery and quaint historical architecture have given rise to its status as one of the ‘honeypot’ villages of the area.

Layout

Hawkshead is located north of Esthwaite Water. There is a bus stop just off Main Street by the Old School House.

Sights

Admire the village of Hawkshead itself with its pretty buildings and its many pubs.

The Old Grammar School [+44 15394 35647] was founded in 1585 by the then Archbishop of York. Its most famous pupil was William Wordsworth.

Finally, don’t miss the Beatrix Potter Gallery [Main Street, Hawkshead, +44 15394 36355,  Adults £4.40], housed in the former offices of her husband, the solictor William Heelis. The gallery holds a changing exhibition of original watercolours and paintings by Potter. 

Sawry
Visit the former home of Beatrix Potter, author of children’s books such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The house holds many of her possessions and a lovely cottage garden surrounds it. This 17th century house featured in many of the illustrations in her books and a number of her characters were born here [Near Sawrey, Hawkshead, +44 15394 36269, Adults £6.50].

Grizedale Forest
Grizedale Forest
,
south of Esthwaite Water and sandwiched between Coniston Water and Windermere, is a superb place for families as there is something for everyone. Covering 2447 hectares, there are walking and cycling trails catering to a range of levels, an adventure course, and interesting sculptures dotted throughout the forest. From Carron Crag at 371m, there are great views of Coniston Water, Windemere, and the forest valley. Grizedale Forest is run by the Forestry Commission [Grizedale Forest Park, Hawkshead, +44 1229 860010]

   

    

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Queen’s Head [Main Street, +44 15394 36271, £60-80].  Comfortable and clean, the Queen’s Head has been provided accommodation since the 17th century. The individually furnished rooms are well done.

Walker Ground Manor [Vicarage Lane, +44 15394 36219, £38-49 per person].  Walker ground Manor is situated in a quiet and peaceful location. Rooms are spacious with big comfy beds.

Buckle Yeat Guest House [Near Sawrey, Hawkshead, +44 15394 36446, £80-90] Buckle Yeat has an interesting claim to fame: it was illustrated in two of Beatrix Potter’s children’s books. However, it is also a great little B&B with very hearty breakfasts.

The Red Lion Inn [Main Street, +44 15394 36213, ,£80-90] The Red Lion is the oldest pub in Hawkshead and dates back to the 15th century. Rooms are simply furnished and retain many period features like wooden beams.

Sun Inn [Main Street, +44 845 643 5674, £83-110] The Sun Inn’s beautiful individually furnished rooms are a stylish nod to the past. Run by three sisters, this is an ideal spot for a family holiday.

Beechmount Country House [Near Sawrey, Hawkshead, +44 15394 36356,  £100-110] Beechmount Country House is beautiful inside and out: lovely period furniture adorns the rooms and common areas, while the surrounding gardens and the views from the rooms are lovely too.  

 


Coniston Water reflectionsThe third largest lake in the Lake District, Coniston Water is a ribbon lake that was formed through glaciation. It was famously the site of Donald Campbell’s fatal attempt at setting the world speed record. He is now buried in the cemetery at St Andrew’s Church.

Coniston
C
oniston is a sleepy and picturesque village in the Lake District. It grew significantly with the area’s copper and slate mines and came to be a popular tourist spot during the Victorian period. For many years, Coniston was the adopted home of John Ruskin, a vitally important intellectual and cultural figure of the Victorian Era. Today Coniston is often visited by walkers and climbers, who are particularly attracted by the charmingly named fell, the Old Man of Coniston.

Layout

Coniston is situated on the north-western shore of Coniston Water. The following buses pass through Coniston:  No. 505 (the Coniston Rambler), which runs from Ambleside to Hawkshead and to Coniston; no. 512 from Coniston to Spark Bridge and Ulverston; no. 525 (the Cross Lakes Shuttle) from Bowness, to Ferry House, Hawkshead, Grizedale, and Coniston; and the X12 from Coniston to Ulverston.

Sights
Take a ride on the Steam Yacht Gondola [From Coniston Pier, Lake Road, +44 15394 41288, Adults 45 minute round trip £8.50] on Coniston Water. The gondola was first launched in 1859 and it carried passengers in stylish luxury around the lake. Since rebuilt, it stops off at Brantwood and Monk Coniston.

The Ruskin Museum
[+44 15394 41164, Adults £5.25] was founded in 1901 by Ruskin’s secretary W.G. Collingwood, who was also an antiquarian and artist. The museum commemorates John Ruskin but it is also dedicated to local history.

John Ruskin, a famous critic, artist, and poet of the Victorian era, loved the Lake District. In 1871 he bought Brantwood [Coniston Water, +44 15394 41396, Adults house and garden £6.30], a house on Coniston Water. He renovated it and filled his home with Pre-Raphaelite paintings, medieval manuscripts, and watercolours by Turner.

The Old Man of Coniston stands high above the village of Coniston. At 803 metres high, the fell is popular with walkers and hikers for the wonderful view of the area that it provides. There are a few different paths to the top but the most frequented is that from Coniston village, which passes Church Beck and the old mines.

   

    

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Bluebird Lodge [Waterhead, Coniston, +44 15394 41442, £25-35 per person] Bluebird Lodge is 15 minutes walk from the centre of Coniston. The rooms are bright and freshly furnished and overall, this B&B is good value.

Browside B&B [Little Arrow, Coniston, +44 15394 41162 , £35 per person] Browside sits below the Old Man of Coniston and it is certainly a hidden gem. Its 3 individually designed rooms are charming and offer good views.

The Old Rectory [Torver, Coniston, +44 15394 41353, £36-45 per person] The Old Rectory is a charming old Victorian house which is furnished in keeping with its period character.

Yewdale Hotel
[Yewdale Road, +44 15394 41280,,£47.50 per person] Well located in the centre of village life, Yewdale Hotel offers comfortably furnished rooms and a varied menu for breakfast and dinner.