Tag: lake windermere

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.

Places to eat on Lake Windermere

Places to eat on Lake Windermere

Visit one of the fantastic places to eat on Lake Windermere

Why not hire our luxury motorboat, Tintin II, for the day and arrive in style at one of the fantastic places to eat on Lake Windermere?

In this post we take a quick tour of Lake Windermere’s finest eateries. The Lake District is packed with excellent places to eat, but each of the restaurants below have something in common – each of them has a private jetty. Which means there’s somewhere to park!

Wateredge Inn Ambleside

Wateredge Inn in Ambleside is located right on the edge of Lake Windermere and boasts some of the best views of the lake. The team pride themselves on using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible, which means the menu is regularly updated to reflect the season. From light snacks to hearty meals, there’s something for everyone at Wateredge Inn.

Ambleside YHA Lakeside Restaurant

The restaurants at YHA Ambleside serves a range of tasty meals including breakfast baps and hot breakfasts, a great way to start the day. They also offer an all-day café style menu with plenty of delicious options, including paninis and stone-baked pizzas.

Low Wood Bay Hotel

The award winning Low Wood Bay Hotel has several dining options. The modern Windermere Restaurant serves classic European dishes, while Blue Smoke on the Bay offers an all-new Lake District dining experience, where guests can enjoy a selection of international dishes prepared on a wood-fired grill. Or why not pop out for afternoon tea, served in the chic interior of the Langdale Lounge?

The Boathouse Bar and Restaurant at Windermere Marina Village

The Boathouse Bar and Restaurant in Bowness on Windermere offers guests the chance to unwind and enjoy fresh food and fine wine overlooking the boats on Windermere Marina. Whether you’re having a light lunch or a hearty meal, you can relax in the contemporary and informal setting of the Boathouse Bar and Restaurant.

Storrs Hall Hotel

The emphasis at Storrs Hall Hotel is on pure, tasty flavours, using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. Both the lake view restaurant and the Tower Bar offer a range of selections from classic grill to the full à la carte, while the classic English afternoon tea can be taken in the Georgian drawing room or outside on the terrace.

Beech Hill Hotel

Burlington’s Restaurant at the Beech Hill Hotel and Spa is named after the local slate. Under the expert stewardship of head chef Lukasz, the restaurant specialises in English and French cuisine offering a choice of two, three and five course dining options. Afternoon tea can also be taken from noon until 5.00pm.

Lakeside Hotel

There are two superb restaurants at Lakeside Hotel – the Lakeview Restaurant and John Ruskin’s Brasserie – as well as all-day conservatory and terrace dining. Wherever possible, head chef Richard Booth uses Cumbria’s freshest seasonal produce, allowing the flavours to speak for themselves. Afternoon tea is served daily in the conservatory from 1 – 4pm.

The Swan Hotel at Newby Bridge

The Swan Hotel at Newby Bridge offers guests several dining options. The inn itself is the beating heart of the hotel, where you can enjoy lunch, dinner or afternoon tea. For a more formal affair, the River Room Brasserie has a three-course menu lovingly crafted by the head chef. Or why not enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea on the terrace?

Getting there

Tintin II is available to hire self-skippered for those with the necessary experience, or with a skipper, and is the perfect way to get to one of the fantastic places to eat on Lake Windermere.

Simply get in touch and let us know where you want to go and we will do the rest. Prices start at £280.

Lake District Outdoor Adventure – A Glowing Review

Lake District Outdoor Adventure Activities

Lake District Outdoor Adventure Activities

One of our guests recently booked some Lake District outdoor adventure activities for the family through our tailormade programme and it’s fair to say he was pleased. We’ve included the review below:

“Property was great, well equipped and very comfortable. In a great location.

“Your organisation of the activities was excellent and efficient. The activity people were all extremely competent and friendly. The equipment was all very good and they assessed our level of competence very well and gave us good level of challenge. Prices were all reasonable – probably cheaper than I expected but better that way round!

“All in all, very successful and we would happily recommend. And indeed we have already recommended the property to a friend.”

These happy guests chose to go climbing, ghyll scrambling and canoeing, as well as having a go at archery. Just some of the options our tailormade Lake District adventure partners offer.

Outdoor Adventure in the Lake District

Our partners on this occasion were Path to Adventure, a fantastic company offering fun, safe activities, and Mark Scales, an experienced outdoor instructor. Their love and knowledge of the Lake District is obvious. They will be able to show you some fantastic places that you might otherwise never have found.

As they say on their website; “Whether you want to be guided to the top of a mountain, camp out by the side of a lake, canoe down a river or jump off a waterfall, you can be sure that when you book with us, you’ll have a safe and fun adventure.”

These are amazing adventures, tailored to suit you. From individual activities to a full day packed with paddle boarding, ghyll scrambling, Lake District mountains, rock climbing and any other outdoor activities you can think of, your stay at Matson Ground will be even more special. You may even be able to achieve things you never thought possible.

Whichever options you choose, be it abseiling, guided walks, canoeing or bushcraft, this is your chance to experience all that the Lake District has to offer. There’s a reason it’s been dubbed the adventure capital of the UK.

If you would like to book some activities during your stay at Matson Ground, just let us know and we’ll do the rest. This is what memories are made of. Your next stay in the Lake District will be one you’ll never forgot.

The Lakes of the Lake District

The lakes of the lake district

How much do you know about the lakes of the Lake District? For instance, do you know how many lakes there are in the Lake District? It’s a trick question of course, because the answer is one. Although the Lake District is home to many meres, tarns and waters, Bassenthwaite Lake is the only official lake in the Lake District.

There are actually sixteen bodies of water which give the Lake District its name, not to mention hundreds of beautiful, smaller tarns. With such breath-taking scenery, it’s no wonder it has become one of the UK’s most desirable holiday destinations.

Hopefully our quick whistlestop tour of the sixteen ‘major lakes’ in the Lake District National Park will give you a little insight into what each of them offers.

We’ll start close to home, just a few minutes from many of our Matson Ground cottages.

Windermere

At 10.5 miles long, Windermere is the Lake District’s largest lake and arguably the best-known of them all. It has become a favourite amongst watersports enthusiasts, and with the steamers and ferries making their regular trips up and down (and across) the lake, it’s a hub of activity. From windsurfing to sailing, rowing to sup-boarding, there’s something for everyone, whatever your level of expertise. And for those who prefer dry land, there are a number of walks in the surrounding hills, including Orrest Head, from where Alfred Wainwright first fell in the love with the Lake District.

Ullswater

If you’re staying in Cruck Barn, Elm How or Eagle Cottage, you’ll be very familiar with Ullswater, the Lake District’s second largest lake. At around 7.5 miles long, Ullswater is much quieter than Windermere. One way to explore the lake is on the famous steamers, which can be boarded at Glenridding’s jetty. For land lovers, the 20-mile Ullswater Way which circumnavigates the lake is another great way to explore the lake and its surroundings. If you’re more adventurous, England’s third highest peak, Helvellyn, is a popular climb for visitors to the area.

Derwentwater

Located near the popular tourist town of Keswick, Derwentwater is the third largest lake in the Lake District. With dramatic landscapes which change from one minute to the next, depending on the time of year and the weather, it has become a photographer’s dream. There are a number of walking trails around the lake, including the family-friendly hike up Catbells. And for those wishing to explore the lake itself, why not hire out one of the colourful rowing boats or hop on one of the Keswick Launches?

Bassenthwaite Lake

Not only is Bassenthwaite Lake the only ‘official lake’ in the Lake District, it is also the most northerly of the major lakes in the Lake District National Park. Furthermore, it’s the shallowest at just 70 feet deep. The lake is a popular destination for birdwatchers. Herons and cormorants are a common sight, while the summer months herald the return to its shores of the Ospreys. At the northern end of the lake, you can visit Dubwath Wetland Nature Reserve, home to curlews, reed buntings and meadow pipits, among others.

Coniston Water

This picturesque lake provided some of the inspiration for Arthur Ransome’s famous children’s book, ‘Swallows and Amazons’. It’s a popular destination for families, looking to recreate some of the stories from the book, or simply enjoying some fun on the water. Alternatively, enjoy the scenery aboard the beautifully restored Gondola, a Victorian steam-powered yacht which sails gracefully up and down the lake in the summer months.

Haweswater

Haweswater is a reservoir, controversially constructed in 1929 to supply water to towns and cities in the north-west of England. In order to achieve this, the villages of Mardale Green and Measand were flooded; nowadays, in times of drought, the foundations and ruins of these villages can be seen, a sight which brings in visitors, curious to get a glimpse of a bygone time.

Thirlmere

Thirlmere is another ma-made reservoir which was created in 1894 to supply water to Manchester. The residents of the villages of Wythburn and Amboth were relocated – only the church of Wythburn village survives. The reservoir is surrounded on all sides by enchanting forests, where the residents include red squirrels and red deer. The small car park adjacent to Wythburn Church is an excellent starting point for those planning to tackle Helvellyn.

Ennerdale Water

Despite being arguably one of the prettiest lakes in the Lake District, Ennerdale is possibly the least visited. And with no roads running its length, it is also one of the most peaceful. Only canoes and kayaks are allowed on Ennerdale (although you do need to have a permit). There are also some glorious walks which follow the shoreline, or for the most adventurous, why not tackle one of the surrounding fells?

Wastwater

Described by William Wordsworth as “stern and desolate”, Wastwater is England’s deepest lake at 260 feet. It is also home to one of Britain’s favourite views, the narrow valley with the peaks of Red Pike, Great Gable and Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain. In fact, the outline of the three peaks which stand at the eastern end of lake (Lingmell, Scafell Pike and Great Gable) was selected as the symbol for the Lake District National Park.

The lakes of the lake district

Crummock Water

This pretty lake lies at the foot of Grasmoor Peak and is home to the tallest waterfall in the Lake District, Scale Force. For those looking for adventure on the lake, rowing boats are available for hire along the shore. It is also popular with wild swimmers who love the sheltered shingle beach by the slate boathouse. Like Thirlmere, if you’re lucky you might spot a red squirrel in the woodlands o the lake shore.

Those are the ten largest lakes in the Lake District National Park. The remaining six lakes are: Esthwaite Water, Grasmere, Buttermere, Loweswater, Rydal Water and Brothers Water. Each of these wonderful lakes is worth a visit, each one offering a network of trails for those looking to explore.

We hope this has given you a little insight into the major lakes of the Lake District. If nothing else, at least you’ll know the answer to the popular quiz question: How many lakes are there in the Lake District?

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.

Birdwatching in the Lake District

Birdwatching in the Lake District National Park

This weekend marked the RSPB’s 42nd Big Garden Birdwatch, the perfect excuse to get out the binoculars and go birdwatching in the Lake District.

This is an annual event which actually began as an event for children. In 1979, the RSPB got together with Blue Peter and asked children to let them know which birds they had seen in their garden. Hundreds got involved, sending in their findings. Today, it is the UK’s largest garden wildlife citizen science project, last year attracting around half a million participants.

So, not only was this an excuse to go birdwatching in the Lake District, but It was also the ideal opportunity to help the UK’s bird population. All the data gathered will help the RSPB increase its understanding of the various challenges faced by wildlife.

Wrapped up warm, binoculars and cameras at the ready, we headed out on to the Matson Ground Estate.

Matson Ground Estate

With over 1000 acres of estate to explore, we began the day by stretching our legs, breathing in the fresh air and enjoying some of the fantastic views of Lake Windermere and the Lake District fells beyond. Pheasants, buzzards, a sparrowhawk and even a jay meant we had a good start to our morning of birdwatching.

Legs stretched, we decided to head to the office for our official RSPB hour (followed by a little admin following a flurry of weekend bookings – this is definitely turning in the year of the staycation).

While it’s no RSPB reserve, we have always had a number of bird feeders hanging up around the building, so we knew we would be guaranteed a steady stream of visitors.

Our Big Garden Birdwatch

We were not disappointed. While our personal highlight was the flock of about a dozen long-tailed tits, we also saw a nuthatch, a robin, blackbirds, coal tits, great tits, sparrows, chaffinches and dunnocks. We are certainly very lucky to have such an abundance of wildlife just outside the office window.

For more information about the comings and goings of birds in UK gardens, the RSPB website is a fantastic place to start.

In the meantime, we’ll keep the feeders full and we’ll carry on enjoying the antics of some of the UK’s favourite birds.

For details on the best places for Cumbria birding, or any other information you’d like about the Lake District National Park, please contact us.

Birdwatching in the Lake District National Park

 

 

Our favourite places to eat near Windermere

Places to eat near Windermere

Recently, we were discussing our favourite places to eat near Windermere, and it turns out the list is a long one. From small cafés to Michelin Star restaurants, we’ve all got our favourites. Some are great for a light lunch, others perfect for a celebration evening out.

Of course, once upon a time, a trip to the Lake District was all about adventure and the breath-taking scenery. And while that’s still very much the case today, with seven Michelin Star restaurants, you’re just as likely to visit for the fantastic food, as you are to scale a summit.

Given the current situation, it’s more important than ever to support our local businesses. So, we thought we’d share five of our favourites with you, covering everything from a special occasion to a catch-up brunch, and everything in between. What’s even better about this list, is that they are all within five miles of our Windermere cottages.

HRiSHi

First on our list is the Michelin starred, four AA rosette HRiSHi, where Head Chef, Hrishikesh Desai, uses locally sourced ingredients to create modern British cuisine with a twist.

Diners can choose from a variety of modern British menus, including plant-based options, with a delicate hint of Indian influence in some of the dishes.

Whether you opt for a traditional three course meal, a stunning seven-course tasting menu, or a decadent take on afternoon tea, you will be captivated by the wonderful array of flavours.

Gilpin Spice

Next door to HRiSHi is the two AA rosette Gilpin Spice, a more informal dining experience boasting an open kitchen serving tapas-style pan-Asian sharing dishes.

The menu at Gilpin Spice is inspired by Cumbria’s rich history as a centre of the spice trade, with influences picked up along the spice trail including the Philippines, the Indian sub-continent, Malaysia and Japan.

Gilpin Spice is well worth a visit – wonderful, creative dishes and fantastic service.

The Brown Horse Inn, Winster

Nestled in the beautiful Winster Valley, the Brown Horse Inn is cosy and welcoming in all seasons. This 1850’s coaching inn has been beautifully decorated, retaining the original features, giving it a warm, traditional feel.

On warm, summer days, you can sit outside and soak up the wonderful views. When the nights draw in, enjoy comfort dishes with a touch of elegance, including slow-cooked meats, Stornoway black pudding or Thai green curry.

The owners try to keep the menu as local and as close to nature as possible. And you will definitely receive a warm welcome.

The Angel Inn, Bowness

In the centre of Bowness is the Angel Inn, a firm favourite with families, serving fantastic locally sourced beers, a superb range of wines and freshly prepared food.

The Angel Inn was ‘born’ in 2005 and has been run by the same family since it opened. Their ethos is to provide a warm and friendly atmosphere and welcome for all ages, whether you’re sitting down to eat or just popping in for a quick drink.

Homeground

Our final choice is Homeground in Windermere. Established in 2015, Homeground is a boutique coffee house which was winner of Cumbria Food and Drink Awards ‘Best Café’ in 2016 and 2018.

Open during the day for walk-ins only, this is the place to go for a skinny flat white, a slice of cake and warm, friendly service. It does a great brunch too. It’s our go to for important meetings!

Of course, we’ve barely touched the surface when it comes to great places to eat near Windermere, let alone the rest of the Lake District. I’m sure we’ll get on to them at some stage. But rest assured, if you are visiting, give one of the above a go. You won’t be disappointed.

Attractions and Activities near Windermere

Attractions and activities near Windermere

In October, Cumbria Tourism launched its #AttractionsActivitiesMonth, and while October may have been and gone, we thought we would share some of our favourite attractions and activities near Windermere. Now, more than ever, it’s so important to support our local businesses.

To include all the amazing attractions on offer to visitors to the Lake District would be a very long read, so we’ve focused on just five, but all within easy reach of our Windermere cottages.

What’s more, there’s something for all ages, something for the more adventurous among us, and something for those who prefer it a little calmer.

Let’s start with the World of Beatrix Potter and our favourite character, Peter Rabbit.

The World of Beatrix Potter

Located right in the middle of Bowness-on-Windermere, the World of Beatrix Potter is an exciting family attraction and an absolute must if you’ve got young children.

Here, the author’s best-loved characters are brought wonderfully to life through a series of charming sets, including Jemima Puddleduck’s woodland glade, Squirrel Nutkin on his raft and Mr McGregor’s garden, complete with Peter Rabbit’s coat.

As the website says, “you’ll feel as though you are walking through the pages of the little books”.

At the end of your visit, pop into the world-famous giftshop and take home a piece of Beatrix Potter magic, followed by a tasty treat in the family café?

Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House

Designed by noted architect Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott and built at the turn of the twentieth century, Blackwell is a stunning grade one listed property and one of the UK’s finest examples of Arts and Crafts architecture.

The house, which overlooks Lake Windermere and the Lake District Fells, is nothing short of awe-inspiring, retaining almost all of its original Arts and Crafts features. It’s also home to a wonderful collection of furniture and objects from some of the Arts and Crafts period’s leading designers and studios, including William de Morgan and Simpsons of Kendal.

From stained glass windows to inglenook fireplaces, carved wooden panelling to rare hessian wall hangings, Blackwell is definitely one of the most interesting, not to mention enchanting, houses in the Lake District.

Windermere Jetty

Just a few hundred yards from The World of Beatrix Potter is Windermere Jetty, a museum of boats, steam and stories.

Located right on the shores of Lake Windermere, this spectacular new museum boasts a stunning collection of around forty boats and sailing vessels, including steam launches, record-breaking speed boats and motorboats. These boats cover the history of sailing on Windermere from as far back as the late eighteenth century. You will also have an opportunity to see ongoing restoration projects and to chat with the restorers.

Other vessels include Swallow and Amazon, the boat used in the BBC film adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s famous book; Osprey (1902), one of the museum’s fully-restored Edwardian steam launches; SL Dolly (1850), the oldest mechanically powered boat in the world, and still in running order; and TSSY Esperance, owned by a chap called Henry Schneider who used it every day to take him to Lakeside, where he boarded the train to Barrow.

Before you leave, why not enjoy some of the delicious food available in the museum café. The café itself overlooks Lake Windermere and has arguably one of the most stunning views in the Lake District.

Brockhole and Tree Top Treks

A short drive towards Ambleside brings you to Brockhole House and Gardens. Brockhole is another stunning Arts and Crafts house set in extensive grounds on the shores of Lake Windermere.

Built at the end of the nineteenth century, Brockhole enjoys breath-taking views of Lake Windermere and the Langdale Pikes. The gardens were created by renowned landscape designer Thomas Mawson and are well worth exploring, as are the art gallery and gift shop.

And if gentle strolls and careful perusing are not everyone’s cup of tea, you can always visit Treetop Trek and swing, climb, balance and fly across the thirty-five exciting treetop challenges, including rope bridges, wobbly logs and an adrenalin-fuelled 250 metre zip wire on the shores of the lake. What a way to end your treetop trek.

Brant Fell and Orrest Head

Not all attractions and activities near Windermere require booking. If you fancy getting away from it all, escaping the crowds, then Brant Fell, which sits at the heart of the Matson Ground Estate, is a relatively easy climb.

Overlooking Bowness-on-Windermere, the trek to the summit of Brant Fell is a little steep in places, but well worth the effort. You’ll be rewarded with views of Lake Windermere, glistening in the sunshine (obviously we can’t guarantee the sun), and the Lake District fells beyond. To the north you’ll be able to spot Orrest Head, from where Alfred Wainwright was treated to his first view of the Lake District fells and the inspiration for his series of books.

Orrest Head is an easy walk, although you will have to head up to Windermere. But, as it’s a little over a mile, why not take a stroll, browse the various shops on the way, or stop for coffee and a cake – there’s plenty of choice.

The climb itself starts on the A591 by the large Orrest Head signpost and follows a narrow lane for most of the way. At the summit the views are incredible, especially on a clear day – no wonder Wainwright fell in love with the Lake District.

Just remember to bring your camera.

If you would like any information about attractions and activities near Windermere, please get in touch. Our friendly team will be more than happy to make any recommendations.