Tag: lake district national park

Electric Bike Hire in the Lake District – Review

electric bike hire in the lake district

Our electric bike hire in the Lake District is proving very popular, but it’s always nice to get a glowing review. One guest was so impressed that she got in touch and very kindly sent us her feedback.

“Overall, I would highly recommend them. They open up opportunities to explore the local area that some people would not ordinarily get to explore due to fitness levels. I am a runner and a cyclist but I really enjoyed the extra help the electric bike gave on a day when I was tired after completing a Lakeland Trails race. Irrespective of fitness levels they are fun and very easy to use. I would recommend that guests hire one to explore the beauty of the lakes. A great day out and an adventure not to be missed.”

Explore the area on an electric bike

Currently, the bikes are available for hire by guests in our Windermere cottages, and as our guests says, a great way to explore the surrounding area. There are a number of quiet roads in the area, perfect for a day exploring without the car. We would highly recommend crossing Lake Windermere on the car ferry and exploring the western shore – it’s perfect for bikes and when the hills get a little bit too much, the electric motor will kick in to give you a much needed boost.

Our electric bikes are available to hire from one day right up to six days (if you really want to ditch the car). Prices start at £50 / bike. All bikes are supplied with locks, visi-vests, helmets and full familiarisation is given prior to hire.

Electric Bike Hire Prices

Prices for our electric bike hire in the Lake District are as follows:

One day hire – £50 / bike

Weekend hire – £70 / bike

Three-day hire – £105 / bike

Six-day hire – £210 / bike

For more information, please call 015394 45756 or 07944 378070.

Picnic Spots in the Lake District

Lake District Picnic Spots - Fell Foot Park

July is National Picnic Month, so what better reason to share our favourite picnic spots in the Lake District? Picnics are one of the UK’s favourite traditions and the Lake District provides some fantastic places to throw down the rug, tuck into some fabulous food and soak up the amazing scenery. Below are a few of our favourites.

Brant Fell – a Lake District picnic spot on your doorstep

If you don’t fancy venturing too far from your Matson Ground cottage in Windermere, Brant Fell is perfect. Lying at the heart of the estate, you can be at the summit in no time at all, enjoying stunning views of Lake Windermere and the Lakeland fells.

Orrest Head

Staying close to home, Orrest Head is short walk up from the centre of Windermere. But the climb is worth the effort. So pack up a picnic and head for the summit where you are rewarded with amazing views of England’s largest lake with the Langdale Pikes, Scafell Pike, Coniston Old Man and Morecambe Bay as a backdrop. This is the spot where Alfred Wainwright first fell in love with the Lake District and once you’re there, it’s easy to see why.

Fell Foot Park

Fell Foot Park, at the southern end of Lake Windermere, is less than half an hour in the car from our Windermere cottages and a fantastic spot to enjoy a picnic. No need for a long hike, or even a picnic rug. Facilities at Fell Foot Park include picnic benches, toilets and a café (just in case you didn’t pack enough food). There’s an adventure playground for the children and boats for hire if you fancy splashing about on the lake. Parking in the pay and display car park is free for National Trust members.

Glencoyne Bay, Ullswater

Guests staying in one of our Ullswater cottages are also spoilt for choice when it comes to picnic spots in the Lake District. Just a mile from Glenridding is Glencoyne Bay, made famous by William and Dorothy Wordsworth as it was the inspiration for one of the most famous poems in English literature – “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”. Obviously summer is not the time to admire daffodils, but the pebble beach is the perfect picnic spot, with views across the lake to Place Fell and down to Barton Fell.

Aira Force

Another must visit for our Ullswater guests is Aira Force. These spectacular falls, tucked away amongst ancient woodland, provide the perfect backdrop for a picnic. Arguably the most beautiful waterfalls in the Lake District, there’s plenty of space to enjoy a picnic, although the area directly by the waterfall gets very busy. However, you’ll easily find a more sheltered spot in extensive woodlands.

Buttermere – what a fantastic spot for a Lake District picnic

Finally, if you want to make a day of it, then a trip to Buttermere will not disappoint. The four-and-a-half-mile circular walk is easily accessible and will take about three hours to complete. However, factor in a little more time as the lake shore is dotted with little beaches you can make your own, so you can while away the time enjoying some al fresco dining. If you’re after some beautiful scenery and a bit of tranquility, Buttermere is the answer.

There are so many fantastic picnic spots in the Lake District, but we hope that we have given you a little inspiration. And it goes without saying, please always take you rubbish home with you, don’t light barbecues on the ground, and please, please don’t build bonfires.

Bon appétit!

The World of Beatrix Potter

The World of Beatrix Potter

If you have a young family then a trip to the World of Beatrix Potter is an absolute must. What’s more, it’s literally just down the road from our Windermere cottages.

The World of Beatrix Potter is a vibrant family attraction in the heart of Bowness-on-Windermere, a chance for visitors to explore the enchanting world created by Beatrix Potter. All twenty-three of her books are brought fabulously to life in a series of walk-through displays, where the sights, sounds and smells are recreated in stunning 3D.

The exhibition features the favourite characters from the book. Jemima Puddle-Duck can be found in a small, wooded glade, Jeremy Fisher making his way across the pond on a lily pad, and of course, Peter Rabbit and his siblings.

The Peter Rabbit Garden

Outside, the Peter Rabbit Garden is waiting to be explored. This is a small but perfectly formed show garden which brings to life Beatrix Potter’s illustrations. It captures all sorts of details from the stories, including the watering can in which Peter Rabbit hides from Mr McGregor, his blue jacket turned into a scarecrow and even the cos lettuces that Benjamin Bunny nibbled on.

Summer Events at the World of Beatrix Potter

This summer, events include the Peter Rabbit Summer Tea Party and a Celebration Afternoon Tea to mark the 30th Anniversary of the exhibition. These will be held on a number of dates throughout the summer in the Laundrama, just across the road from the attraction. For more information about these special events, click here.

A visit to the World of Beatrix Potter is a great adventure for the whole family. It goes without saying that younger children will absolutely love it, but we’re pretty sure adults will be fascinated too.

At the end of the visit make sure you visit the world-famous gift shop so you can take home a memento of your stay in the Lake District. And why not pay a visit to the family friendly café? It’s open every day from 10am for delicious treats, freshly baked by the talented café team.

Our Guide to Lake District Markets

Lake District markets

In an area renowned for its mountains and lakes, Lake District markets aren’t always the first thing that spring to mind. But the truth is we are well and truly spoiled when it comes to local markets. In fact, we think they’re the best in the country, but we are slightly biased.

From fresh vegetables to farm reared meats, homemade chutneys to artisanal breads, our markets are stocked with fantastic local produce from across the Lake District and Cumbria. If it hasn’t been grown or reared locally, it’s been baked or cooked locally.

This is a great opportunity for you to meet our wonderful producers. Talk to them and you’ll soon understand just how passionate they are about what they do. And you’ll get to sample some of the culinary delights the Lake District has to offer.

Cumberland Sausage, Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding, Herdwick Lamb, Grasmere Gingerbread and, of course, Kendal Mint Cake – to name but a few. All of these can be found in the array of farmers markets taking place across the Lake District National Park and wider county area.

There are also a number of craft markets which are not to be missed, the perfect place to find a keepsake from your Lake District break.

Below are a few of our favourite markets, all just a relatively short drive from Windermere.

Farmers Markets and Local Producers

Kendal Farmers Market is held between 9.00am and 3.00pm on the final Friday of every month in Market Place in the town centre. There is also a general market every Wednesday and Saturday in Market Place.

Milnthorpe Farmers Market takes place on the second Friday of each month in the village’s market square. There is a general market on the other Fridays.

Hawkshead Arts and Crafts Fair is located in the Market Hall and operates most weeks throughout the year. Lakeland Arts and Crafts is a collective of local artisan makers and craft workers offering a range of handcrafted items. Click here for the full list of 2021 dates.

Kirkby Lonsdale’s Thursday market attracts visitors and locals alike. There is a good range of stalls which offer everything from local produce to souvenirs, plants and jewellery.

Keswick may be a little further afield – about 40 minutes in the car – but a visit to the vibrant market is a great day out. It stands on Thursdays from February to December (and Saturdays all year round) in Market Square and has previously been voted ‘Best outdoor Market in the UK’. Keswick Farmers Market runs on the second Thursday of every month.

Orton and Sedbergh Markets

Other farmers markets worthy of mention are Orton and Sedbergh. Orton Farmers Market takes place on the second Saturday of every month, where over twenty-five local farmers, growers, producers and artisans come together to offer a variety of high-quality local produce and crafts.

Sedbergh Market is held on most Wednesdays throughout the year in Joss Lane car park just off Main Street. You can also visit the Artisan Markets which will run on 3 July, 31 July, 28 August and 18 September this year.

Please note that the information we’ve provided is as accurate as possible, but due to coronavirus restrictions please be aware that some markets may have been operating in a limited capacity.

 

 

Locally Sourced Lake District Food

Locally sourced Lake District food

All our guests can now enjoy some wonderful locally sourced Lake District food delivered to their cottage, courtesy of local business, ‘A Days Walk’.

We’ve worked with ‘A Days Walk’ to put together some fantastic local produce hampers. If you want to make sure you’ve got the essentials waiting for you when you arrive at your Matson Ground cottage, simply get in touch with us to place an order.

We can include classic artisan muesli, brimming with almonds, cranberries, pumpkin seeds and raisins; organic apple juice, made in the heart of the north Cumbria countryside; some delicious Cumbrian butter made from free range cream, direct from Winter Tarn Farm near Appleby; and some succulent Cumbrian country-cured back bacon.

The perfect start to any stay in the beautiful Lake District National Park.

An example hamper includes:

One large white farmhouse cob from Grange Bakery
Six eggs from Geldard Free Range Eggs
Artman Classic Muesli from Lakeland Mues
Organic Apple Juice from Eva’s Organics
Butter from Winter Tarn Dairy
Two pints of whole milk from South Lakes Organics
Tea and coffee from Rinaldo’s
Olives from Silver Green in Penrith
Bacon (900g) from Woodalls

We will also add biscuits and crisps.

If you want to upgrade your hamper, we’ve can also include some top-quality cooked ham, cured and full of flavour from Taste of the Lakes in Maryport; a luxury, creamy Eden Valley Brie from the Appleby Creamery; and the finest Cartmel Valley Game Smoked Salmon, smoked in their own Cumbrian smokehouse, bringing a flavour of the fells to this delicate fish.

For details on costs and alternative options, please do get in touch.

A Day’s Walk

Every item A Day’s Walk supplies comes from a local farmer, grower, producer or business within a day’s walk of the heart of the Lake District.

Using the Lake District as its larder, it stocks some of the finest food and drink in the country. And the fact that it is locally sourced, means it’s fresh. What’s more, it’s clocked up next to no food miles, is often produced in small batches and is seasonal.

Why not take a look at A Day’s Walk website and let us know if there’s anything else that catches your eye? We can add it to your order and make sure it’s waiting for you on your arrival.

Snowdrops on the Matson Ground Estate

Snowdrops on the Matson Ground Estate

Every year, as the cold, dark days of Winter begin to take their toll, we are buoyed by the arrival of snowdrops on the Matson Ground Estate. The sight of their tender, green shoots is a sign that Spring is finally on its way. No wonder the snowdrop has been labelled the ‘Flower of Hope’.

While we look forward to seeing their pearly, white heads, how much do we actually know about this pretty little flower which brightens up the Matson Ground Estate every February? Well, very little actually. So, we thought we’d look into it in a little more detail.

German Folklore

One of our favourite tales is one from ancient German folklore. Legend has it that when everything on earth was brand new, Snow needed a colour, so it asked the flowers. One by one they turned their backs on Snow, believing it to be cold and unpleasant.

The tiny snowdrops took pity on Snow and offered their colour, which Snow gratefully accepted. In return, Snow rewarded the snowdrop by letting it bloom first and making it impervious to the ice and bitter temperatures. Ever since, Snow and snowdrops have lived side by side as friends.

Actual Snowdrop Facts

  • The scientific name for the snowdrop is Galanthus Nivalis, which literally translates as ‘milk flower of the snow’.
  • Other names for the snowdrop are: Fair Maids of February, Candlemas Bells, White Ladies, Little Sister of the Snows, Snow Piercers and Dingle-dangle
  • Snowdrops were named after earrings and not drops of snow. In the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, women wore dangly, white drop-shaped earring known as ‘eardrops’.
  • Snowdrops produce Galantamine, which has been found to be effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Snowdrops contain a natural anti-freeze which means that even if they collapse in freezing weather, they can recover once the temperature rises. In fact, they were harvested during the First World War to make anti-freeze for tanks.
  • Snowdrop enthusiasts are called Galanthophiles and they have been known to pay an awful lot of money for these sweet, little flowers. In fact, in 2015, a single Galanthus Plicatus (Golden Fleece) sold for a whopping £1390 on eBay. Nowadays, you can pick one up for about £200.
  • When temperatures reach 10°C, the outer petals open up, revealing the nectar inside, perfect for bumble bees who come out of hibernation when the temperature rises above 10°C!
  • There are over 2,500 varieties of snowdrop. They vary in height from 7cm to 30cm and are divided into approximately 20 species
  • Collecting snowdrop bulbs in the wild is illegal in many countries, so please don’t go digging any up.
  • On a sunny day, snowdrops are highly scented and give off a honey smell.

Finally, we’ll leave you with this. Hans Christian Anderson wrote a short story called ‘The Snowdrop’, which follows the fate of a snowdrop from a bulb striving towards the light to picked flower placed in a book of poetry. You can read it here.

We’ll certainly be enjoying the snowdrops on the Matson Ground Estate while they last and we hope that you have some pretty pockets of this fabulous little flower wherever you are. Spring is on its way.