Welcome Summer at Country Fest in Cumbria this June

Country Fest returns again this year organised by the Westmorland County Agricultural Society and held on the County Show Ground at Crooklands near Kendal. The weekend, June 3rd and 4th of June 2017.

As with so many of the Cumbria country and outdoor shows, it has grown year on year with 2017 set to be the biggest and best yet. As a true event for all there will be something for the whole family giving everyone a taste of the countryside.

Exhibitors will be coming from all over the north but most will be from Cumbria and Lancashire showcasing just how much these two counties love the countryside and the high quality produce and activities available.

country fest cumbria

Food of course will be plentiful with lots of trade stands selling the delicious produce produced and supplied in the area. Take plenty of bags for buying food and go hungry as they’ll be lots of hot and cold food stands for meals and snacks during the day.

What you’ll be able to see and enjoy at the 2017 show: Live music from TwentyFourSeven, Honda UK’s Official Stunt Team Bolddog Lings are coming to Country Fest (you may have seen them on Britain’s Got Talent), a kite festival, a cookery theatre and workshop and a vintage revival to name just a handful of what’s on during the two day show.

As with any country focused show, animals will play a large part with poultry and rabbit shows, dog shows and sheepdog trials, a children’s discover farming experience and a young shepherd show.

Ticket prices: Adults £9.50; Children £3.00 (5 – 16 years); Family £22.00 (2 Adults & 3 Children). For more information on Country Fest visit http://www.westmorlandshow.co.uk/country-fest

Looking for somewhere to stay? There is MIlnthorpe close to the show ground also Levens or head to Kendal which has plenty of choice of places to stay including the Riverside Hotel in Kendal. Rooms from £135 B&B. Visit http://www.riversidekendal.co.uk to book.

Great North Swim 2017 Lake Windermere

It’s that time of the year again, the fantastic event weekend of the Great North Swim. The dates, June 9tt, 10th and 11th, the location, the stunning Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake.

As well as it being the UK’s biggest weekend of open water swimming, the event is also celebrating its 10th anniversary. Each year entries get fully subscribed earlier and earlier thanks to bigger coverage and the rise in popularity of open water swimming in this country.

The Great North Swim incorporates different distances and events for all ages and those for novices as well as experienced swimmers. This year distances will be half mile, one mile, 2 miles, 5k and the biggy, 10k.

great north swim windermere

There are also two other new and exciting events for 2017 starting with the Great North Swim250. This event is aimed at new, nervous and families to take the plunge into open water swimming and is 250 metres in the bay area of the lake. The event can be entered by anyone aged 8 years or over (children under 12 to be accompanied by one adult each). Places are limited to it is well worth applying online for places to avoid disappointment.

The second new event is for all those runners and swimmers out there, the Great North SwimRun. Sure to be popular with many people up and down the country and of course triathletes looking for something a bit different to their normal triathlon challenges. What makes this much more than simply a duathlon is it involves teams of two who will navigate their way around the course going seamlessly from land to water, really taking in the very best of the scenery in and around Lake Windermere. For more information on the full programme of events visit http://www.greatrun.org/great-swim/great-north-swim

It is always extremely busy in and around Lake Windermere on Great North Swim weekend with 10,000+ entrants and their supporters and spectators. There is still a couple of rooms available in hotels one of which is the Damson Dene Hotel between Kendal and Windermere. IT’s easy to access and it has a pool for last minute training or post swim warm down. Rooms are limited and booking up fast. Visit http://www.damsondene.co.uk for more details.

Lake Windermere Wonderland for February Half Term

Half term is creeping up upon us all but what an excuse and time to visit the Lake District and in particular Windermere.

Everyone has their fingers crossed for a good weather forecast so if you’re thinking of visiting and staying over or just taking a day trip in and around Windermere, Bowness and Lake Windermere then there is plenty to see and do and even if it’s a tad damp.

Brockhole and the Lake District Visitor Centre of course has some great activities planned for the whole family as usual including Winter Wildlife Survival Trail. Full of adventure, face painting, outdoor adventures and storytelling and Treetop Treks also on the same site. Brockhole is equally as good fun indoors or out so great whatever the weather.

lake windermere hotel

Beatrix Potter, another great love of children and families of all ages. Enjoy Easter “Tea with Peter Rabbit” at the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction on Saturday 18th February and Saturday 25th. Cakes and sandwiches supplied along with stories told by “Beatrix Potter” and the chance to explore the World of Beatrix Potter attraction.

And let’s not forget the activity for all ages, abilities and that can be enjoyed for hour or a full day, a Lake District walk. Tips on walking routes and points of interest are always available by the knowledgeable staff at the hotels and B&B’s in and around Lake Windermere. Gummers How is a definite where the short, sharp climb rewards walkers with a stunning view of England’s longest lake.

From places for afternoon, a light lunch through to Sunday carvery’s and evening meals, you’ll lever go hungry in the Lake District and around the Windermere are with a huge choice of places to dine.
Being February and the chance of some wet and cold weather, the hotels around Lake Windermere are the ideal places to stay in. Everything under one roof, many with restaurants as well as bars and some having leisure facilities too. One such recommendation, the Newby Bridge Hotel at the southern end of Lake Windermere and still with views down the lake.

Calling all map, art and Lake District lovers

This is cartography at its most creative and beautiful. Whether you’re a cartographer yourself, a fell walker or runner, a Lake District lover or simply have an appreciation for wall art, these 3D Lake District relief maps could fit on any wall, modern apartment to country house.

Created by husband and wife team Chris and Ruth Scammell from their base in the north western Lake District, these maps combine accuracy but without the graphic information found on so many 3D relief maps. Have pleasure in spotting your favourite Lake District fells before opening up your Ordnance Survey map for confirmation and reminiscing about each summit.

lake district raised relief map
A Signature Bronze Lake District relief map by Map Sculpture

These 3D Lake District relief maps are available in Classic, a striking metalized coated high definition formed plastic or Signature, in a choice of woods, metals and stone including bronze or cedar wood. The Classic form is available off the shelf with the Signature being a bespoke service and the ultimate piece of craftsmanship where the client can also be involved in the design process.

Contact Map Sculpture via http://mapsculpture.co.uk/ and to view their full product range.

Ambleside – A Destination for all Seasons

Many people love to get away in January or February even if it’s just for a short break. It breaks up the end of the winter and is a little bit of a recharge after Christmas.

For people from southern Scotland, the North East, Manchester and Yorkshire, the Lake District is a ideal destination for a short break in the winter being roughly only a 2 hour drive, perfect. Cumbria, the Lake District is a varied region offering beauty as well as dramatic landscapes. For a short break then Ambleside and the South Lakes is hard to beat and just 20 miles from junction 36 of the M6.

Ambleside has the shops, some great places to eat and stay and once parked up, you really needn’t use the car again. There are walks of various lengths and for various abilities as well as a short walk takes people down to Lake Windermere and it’s just an absolute necessity to have a cruise down to Bowness or Lakeside. If the weather is really fierce then a cosy fireside pub location or Zeffirellis Cinema are alternatives.

ambleside holiday cottages
The ideal winter getaway – Ambleside
Being away from the busy summer months means not only are there some excellent offers available on accommodation but the likes of self catering providers open up for weekend for short breaks. Always an ideal choice when taking your 4 legged friend for a weekend away.

So many places to choose from to stay in Ambleside, right in the heart of the town or slightly out Either providing easy access to Grasmere, Windermere and the Langdale Valley for days out.

For a spot of luxury on a self catering break to Ambleside then head to The Lakeland Cottage Company with a choice of both dog friendly and pets not allowed cottages in Ambleside. Visit https://www.lakeland-cottage-company.co.uk/ for more details.

It’s all about food and cycling this autumn in and around Penrith.

The two go hand in hand really, you can’t cycle without food (AKA energy) and after a gruelling bike ride, food is the must have aid to recovery (and probably what’s get you through those last few miles!).

Autumn is such an exciting season for hearty food in the hearty Eden Valley and with the Tour of Britain event not just passing through the region but also playing host to what’s set to be one of the most exciting summit finishes in TOB history, cycling is also very much “in season” too.

What could be better than some super September seasonal lamb? Cumbria, internationally acclaimed for its high quality lamb and quintessentially linked. Along with the equally as famous Cumberland sausage, these two dishes are longed for and anticipated when visiting the county and almost always consumed by visitors at once. They are warm, welcoming and recovery inducing post ride meals that’s for sure.

tebay services
The Westmorland Family farm near Orton

Pioneers many say, immense supporters and producers themselves, Tebay Services and the Tebay Services Hotel offer their own reared Cumbrian lamb across all the Westmorland Family businesses. Starting out as farmers, the ethos of local, quality, yet good value meat following into all manner of other food products continues to be to be core values of the business at every site.

Throughout autumn and winter the Tebay Services Hotel has a special dinner, bed and breakfast offer which will be released very soon along with a new menu. For the meantime take advantage of the current offer of £108 for bed & breakfast (along with a 10% off voucher for use in the Tebay Services Farm Shops) and sample rump of lamb with salsa verde on the menu right now.

Walking and water breaks break back on at Cuckoo Brow Inn

The Cuckoo Brow Inn at Far Sawrey are offering special offer breaks throughout the Autumn and Winter that offer experiences of the two main pleasures of the Lake District, taking advantage of the stunning fells and lakes.

Despite more and more of visitors coming to the Lake District for food travel, adventure sports and events, it is still walking and enjoying the various lakes and bodies of water that is the prime reason why so many flock to this National Park.

Whether it’s walking and enjoying the freedom of the open fells or cruising on Lake Windermere in complete relaxation with not a care in the world, both activities are indicative to this region and make up the perfect recipe for a short break.

cuckoo brow inn lake district
Cuckoo Brow In is located in the heart of Beatrix Potter country on the western side of Lake Windermere. Guests can take advantage of the Windermere Ferry for exploring Bowness and the eastern side of the lake either by boat, foot or by bike. The special offer packages are aimed at either Walkers or Cruisers with a choice of 2 or 3 night breaks. Walkers get set up for a day on the fells with a hearty packed lunch and cruisers are provided with tickets for a cruise on Lake Windermere. The package includes full inclusive dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation at the inn and on the first night a special treat of a bottle of wine. The prices are £145 person for 2 night and £210 per person for 3.

So make the most of the quieter autumn and winter months, recharge the batteries after a busy summer and visit the Lake District and enjoy the fresh air. For more information and to book, visit http://www.cuckoobrow.co.uk

An activity packed September in Ambleside

With the children almost about to start the new term and back at school it’s time for those who have been delaying their break or holiday until they have gone back to come out of the woodwork. September is often a busy time in the Lake District with the days still offering plenty of light and warmth still being produced by the sun, busy yes but far quieter than hugely busy July and August months.

And in particular the weekend of September 12th and 13th where there’s a couple of great yet very different activities to enjoy in Ambleside. Firstly over the full weekend is something for the green fingered amongst you, an Apple packed weekend at Hayes Garden World. Apple aficionado John from Stairway Trees will be passing on his expert knowledge of this very British fruit just in time for the UK apple season when they will be appearing on shelves and in gardens. He’ll be giving insights in to new as well as heritage varieties and showing examples of trees and an apple tasting session.

whats on ambleside

A very different activity is next but still as enjoyable and very current in terms of popularity, cycling. Sunday September 13 sees a GoSkyRide local ride starting from Ambleside and taking the new Grasmere Trail to Grasmere Village learning about the World Heritage Site bid whilst cycling along. The trail is a super way to enjoy road free cycling and at 10 miles is suitable for many and classed as one of GoSkyRide’s “Steady” routes. Booka place quickly and easily through the GoSkyRide website here.

Not booked anywhere to stay yet? Rothay Garth B&B in Ambleside has rooms available that weekend and is just 1 minute from the start of the bike ride at Ambleside C of E Primary School Vicarage Road LA22 9DH and just a 5-10 minute walk to Hayes Garden World for the apple extravaganza. Rooms start from £84 including breakfast and there’s private, off road parking.

Time waits for no guest at Brimstone this late summer

The summer is drawing to a close and for some it’s the chance to grab a quieter break away as the children and teachers head back to school for the start of the new school year.

But if plans were to try out the award winning Brimstone Hotel at Langdale either for the first time or as returning guests, then take note, You Snooze, You Lose! Rooms for the remainder of August and during September are now extremely limited. Another reason to gets your skates on when looking for a September break is to take advantage of the booking 30 days or more in advance offer which entitles early birds into a fabulous 20% off room rates.

lake district boutiqe hotel
One of the Fireside Suites at Brimstone

If you’re still umming and ahhing then here’s a little reminder of the extras you can enjoy at Brimstone, not found in any other hotel in the Lake District. Firstly access to The Reading Room, complimentary homemade cakes, snacks, tea, coffee, soft drinks, beer and wine and The Bootroom by Berghaus, full of walking gear to use during the stay in case you’ve forgotten to bring some, not brought any at all or the weather has taken an unexpected turn for the better/worse. Everything from rucksacks to boots and waterproofs.

So don’t miss out on a chance to enjoy the last of the summer in the Lake District and in luxury.

Booking info
Brimstone suites can only be booked direct via http://brimstonehotel.co.uk or by telephoning the hotel on 015394 38062.


We’re looking forward to a super South Lakes Bank Holiday weekender

It’s looking set for a bumper, fun packed and fabulous Bank Holiday to round of the summer in the South Lakes this weekend. Whether you’re into the arts, food, cruising, strolling or adventure then the South Lakes has it all and in abundance for four days.

Starting with cruises on Lake Windermere and this can be either a letting someone else do the work for you and a cruise up and down the lake via Windermere Lake Cruises or by hiring a rowing boat from the various providers from Bowness.

windermere lake district walking
Windermere walking views

The Holker Producers Market at Holker Hall on Sunday is where foodies can stock up and enjoy along the way, Cumbrian and Lake District produce including chutney’s meats, breads and cakes.

To feel like you’re working a bit of that food off then pop up and have walk around Grasmere Sports after. What a setting and the chance to witness some of the counties finest fell runners in action and traditional Lakeland sports competitors along with again, great food, crafts and entertainment.

And if you just want to get out and do your own thing then nothing beats walking and the Ash Landing and Claife Heights walk as detailed via The Guardian here, http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2012/mar/28/top-10-walks-lake-district.

A central base is always handy and the Applegarth Villa Hotel & Restaurant in Windermere, complete with parking, fits the bill when visiting any of the events above. A few last minute rooms are available starting from £180 per room on a luxury bed & breakfast basis. Visit http://www.lakesapplegarth.co.uk/ for more details or call 015394 43206.


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