Tag: matson ground

Platinum Jubilee

Platinum Jubilee

This year, Queen Elizabeth II will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, after seventy years of service and to commemorate this special occasion, events and celebrations will be taking place up and down the country.

So how are we celebrating the Platinum Jubilee in the Lake District? Over the Bank Holiday Weekend of 2 – 5 June, there will be plenty to experience across the county. We’ve rounded up a few ideas, so if you’re visiting, why not mark the occasion by doing something extra special?

Jubilee Lunch on the Terrace – The Swan at Newby Bridge

The Swan at Newby Bridge is offering a quintessentially British Afternoon Tea on the terrace on 2 and 3 June. The terrace will be decorated with banners and bunting galore, with live music and a special afternoon tea. Available between 12.30 and 4.30pm. £30 per person.

Killington Sports

Killington Sports is a traditional old English sports meeting for all ages. Starting at 5pm, the order of events includes the 100 yards race, the open mountain bike race and the sack race, as well as the three-legged race and egg throwing. There’s also wrestling and a tug of war. And after the events have finished, they will be lighting the beacon at 9.45pm in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Jubilee Lunch – Inn on the Lake, Ullswater

For guests staying in our Ullswater Cottages, why not head to the Inn on the Lake and enjoy a ’best of British’ three-course lunch, as well as welcome canapés, in the elegant Lake View Restaurant? There will also be live entertainment throughout the afternoon courtesy of singer Glen Anderson.

The three-course lunch costs £39.95 per person.

Jubilee Celebrations at Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

Grab those Union Flags and join in the Jubilee celebrations at the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. The engines will be sporting their own royal tribute and there will be themed café treats. What’s more, you could win a trip for four to travel in their newest premium carriage, ‘Ruth’, as well as a royal hamper.

Whitehaven Harbour Jubilee Celebrations

Slightly further afield, Whitehaven Harbour will play host to a number of celebrations to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee. The harbourside will be decorated with red, white and blue bunting and there will be an international market on Whitehaven Promnade where stalls will include a wide range of foods, crafts and plants.

These are just a few ideas we’ve come across. You may of course want to do something on your own – a picnic up Brant Fell perhaps? But rest assured the Lake District will be packed full of celebrations to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee next month.

If you need any information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

National Walking Month

The view from Brantfell - a fantastic walk for National Walking Month

May is National Walking Month, as if we need an excuse to get out and enjoy the stunning Lake District. But to celebrate National Walking Month, we thought we’d share a few of our favourite Lake District walks we’re enjoyed with our children.

From little hills to England’s highest mountain, there’s something for all ages and abilities. And we’re going to start very close to home, Brant Fell.

Brant Fell

Brant Fell sits right at the heart of the Matson Ground Estate, so it’s perfect for anyone staying in our Windermere Cottages. From the centre of Bowness, it’s a relatively short stroll to the summit, and the reward on reaching the summit is well worth the effort, with views across the lake to Grizedale Forest, the Langdale Pikes and the Coniston range.

The walk begins in the centre of Bowness where you can grab a bite to eat before setting off up Brantfell Road, leaving the hustle and bustle of the town behind you. The early part of the walk takes in the Dales Way, before passing Post Knott viewpoint on your way to the summit of Brant Fell.

At the top you’ll see a rocky crag, only a few feet high, but another exciting adventure for the children. You’ll also come across a pair of heavy stone gateposts which were once part of a viewing platform. Sadly, it’s long since gone, but rest assured the inspiring views remain.

Gummers Howe

At the southern end of Lake Windermere is Gummers Howe, a mini mountain which has long been a firm family favourite. It feels like a mountain and there’s even a scramble to the summit should you decide to veer from the path.

The beginning of the walk is a gentle climb through fields and woodland before becoming a little steeper en-route to the summit.

This is a walk that will make your little ones feel like mini-mountaineers.

Tarn Hows

When you see Tarn Hows laid out before you, it’s hard to believe that it’s actually man-made. It looks as though it’s been part of the landscape for thousands of years.

This is one of the most popular spots in the Lake District and a fabulous place for those with young families. The circular path is just under two miles and is ideal for pushchair and wheelchair users. Small beaches add to the excitement, the perfect spot for a picnic, or simply stop at one of many benches are take in the views.

Aira Force

For anyone staying in our Ullswater Cottages, this is an absolute must.

Aira Force is arguably the best-known waterfall in the Lake District, as well as one of the easiest to get to – there’s a National Trust car park off the A592, halfway between Glenridding and Watermillock.

The circular route is another great walk for the youngsters. It could take just under an hour, but by the time they’ve hidden behind trees, marvelled at the 65-foot waterfall and spent time trying to spot red squirrels, it could be almost double that.

Catbells

At 451m, Catbells is not the highest mountain in the Lake District. But it’s a fantastic walk for children.

Located on the western shore of Derwentwater, this will feel much more like a mountain – challenging at times, with a few steep scrambles, but nothing too technical.

Parking can prove a little tricky, especially at the height of summer, so why not take a Keswick Launch to the Hawes End Jetty and start your walk from there?

Scafell Pike

We’ll finish at the top of England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike. This is not a walk for really little legs.

There are a number of routes to the summit, but if you take the direct, shortest route from Wasdale Head, the trickiest part of the walk will be crossing the river shortly after setting off, where big boulders act as large stepping stones.

The path to the top is pretty obvious, although it becomes more of a boulder scramble as you approach the summit. This can be tricky to navigate, especially in cloudy conditions, so we would advise that you are accompanied by someone with experience of the Lakeland fells, and in particular, Scafell Pike.

But the sense of achievement on reaching the summit is immense. You’re literally on top of the world – well England anyway!

If you’re planning a trip to the Lake District and want to be part of National Walking Month, then hopefully there’s something here for you – from the complete novice to the more adventurous, from little legs to experienced hikers. But whatever your level of expertise, please remember to pack appropriate clothing and equipment. Walking boots, waterproofs, layers of warm clothing, a rucksack, a first aid kit, snacks, a mobile phone in case of emergencies and, of course, a map and compass. And a camera – make sure you have memories of your day in the fells.

For more information on what clothing and equipment to take with you, click here.

And don’t forget, if you’re staying in one of our Ullswater Cottages, we can offer private guided walks. Click here for the walk from Elm How or Cruck Barn, and here for the walk from Eagle Cottage.

Lake District Wild Swimming

Lake District Wild Swimming

With so many lakes and tarns in the Lake District, it’s hardly surprising that wild swimming is proving more and more popular. What’s more, there so many benefits associated with wild swimming and cold water immersion. Perhaps it’s time you gave it a go (if you haven’t already!)

Among the health benefits are improved circulation; a boost to your brain power; a boost to your immune system; reduced anxiety and stress; increased alertness; feelings of euphoria and achievement; and if you’re swimming with others, a sense of community.

No wonder this adventurous hobby gained in popularity during the pandemic. And where better than in the lakes and tarns of the beautiful Lake District? But where are the best spots for a bit of Lake District wild swimming?

Here’s our guide to a few of our favourite places. We’ve tried to keep our choices relatively local to our Matson Ground cottages in Windermere and Ullswater. We’ve also included Wastwater because no Lake District wild swimming list would be complete without it.

Windermere

We’ll start with Windermere, England’s largest lake and home to the Great North Swim. Within easy access of our Matson Ground cottages is Miller Ground. It is easily walkable, but there is a car park for those who want to warm up in the car as soon as possible following a dip in the lake.

Alternatively, head up to Ambleside where Borrans Park at Waterhead is perfect for your first dip; or down to Fell Foot at the southern end of the lake, forty-three acres of beautiful parkland perfect for paddling, wild-swimming and picnicking.

Coniston Water

For somewhere a little quieter, Coniston Water is often less busy than some of the other major lakes and with plenty of small bays and beaches, it’s a great option for Lake District wild swimming. The eastern shore in particular has a number of parking spots and shallow water, perfect for those who are new to wild swimming.

Loughrigg Tarn

Loughrigg Tarn is considered by many as one of the best places to swim in the Lake District. And with the Langdale Pikes as a backdrop, it’s easy to see why. What’s more, the waters are relatively warm (we say relatively – this is not a hot spring!), making it the perfect spot to cool down after a hard day’s hiking.

Rydal Water

Sheltered on all sides by Lake District fells, Rydal Water is often a little stiller than other Lake District wild swimming spots. It’s also a touch warmer thanks to its lower altitude. This is a great place to swim for novices – the shallow beach on the far side of the water is about twenty minutes on foot, so despite the lake’s proximity to the road, swimming here still feels like you’re slightly off the beaten track.

Blea Tarn

When it comes to picturesque spots for wild swimming, Blea Tarn is right up there with the best of them. This is one of the most photographed locations in the Lake District, and with the Langdale Pikes perfectly reflected in the cool, still water, it’s easy to see why. Arguably one of the best views in the Lake District, and with a stony beach on the southern shore, it’s perfect for wild swimming.

Ullswater

For those of you staying in one of our Ullswater cottages, Glenridding at the southern end of Ullswater throws up a host of possibilities. Here, gently sloping beaches allow safe access to the water – perfect for families. It’s hardly secluded, but with large grassy banks and all the facilities available in Glenridding, you’ll find a spot you can call your own and enjoy a fabulous day out.

Wastwater

Our final destination is Wastwater. This is wild swimming with added drama. On the eastern shore, the screes drop down towards the deep, dark water and to the north some of the highest mountains in England, including Scafell Pike, Great Gable and Lingmell. A single track road runs the length of the western shore, with several places to park up and head for the lake. Just be prepared to feel a little chilly.

This list is just the tip of the wild swimming iceberg. We haven’t mentioned the likes of Easedale Tarn, Styhead Tarn or Buckstone Jum, all iconic wild swimming spots but which require a bit of a hike to reach. Another time maybe.

In the meantime, next time you’re visiting, why not dig out your swimming gear and take a dip? But do take care. Below is a list of wild swimming tips.

  • Acclimatise to the water slowly to avoid shock
  • Be aware of your limits
  • Avoid swimming alone
  • Always check the weather forecast
  • Take warm clothes and hot drinks for after your swim – a hot water bottle in your bag is a great idea
  • A wetsuit can help prevent your suffering from cold water shock – and it can also act as a buoyancy aid
  • Always check the depth of the water, especially if you’re jumping in
  • Don’t swim anywhere where there’s blue-green algae
  • Keep an eye out for boats
  • Make sure you’re visible – a brightly coloured hat or tow float would be ideal
  • If you do get in to trouble, try to float on your back with your arms and legs out
  • Always clean your clothing and equipment to help keep water free from non-native species

If you would like any further information about Lake District wild swimming, please do get in touch.

Lucy’s of Ambleside Private Dining

Lucy's of Ambleside Private Dining

We are delighted to be able to offer our guests Lucy’s of Ambleside private dining services. Fantastic food delivered straight to your Matson Ground cottage. Meaning you get a very well-deserved night off – after all, you are on holiday.

Whether you’re in the Lake District for a special occasion or simply spending time with family and friends, why not enjoy a delicious dining experience from Lucy’s Inside Out? Take away the headache of shopping, putting away, preparing, serving, washing up. Instead, choose from a selection of dishes, prepared using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible.

All meals are catered for, from small and intimate to large and loud. If you fancy something ready prepared for when you arrive, maybe you’re celebrating a special occasion during your stay, or you simply fancy a night away from the cooker, let us know and we’ll send you some menus.

What’s on the menu?

Lucy’s of Ambleside private dining offers a range of dishes. Choose from the ‘Hot and Hearty’ savoury selections, perfect for small and large parties. If you’re gathering guests together for a celebration, enjoying a simple kitchen supper or you want something warm and tasty after a day walking the fells and don’t feel like cooking, these dishes are the perfect solution.

The ‘Super Salads’ menu has been designed to accompany most of the dishes at Lucy’s Inside Out, while the ‘Delicious Desserts’ menu will have you sorely tempted to ditch the diet for the day, offering over twenty luscious, sweet treats. From Westmorland Toffee Apple Crumble Tart to Damson and Sloe Gin Fruit Fool, Lancashire Lemon Tart to Sublime Sticky Toffee Pudding laced with rich butterscotch sauce, we challenge you not to indulge.

Lucy’s of Ambleside

Lucy’s of Ambleside comprises Lucy’s On A Plate, Lucy’s relaxed and friendly Ambleside-based restaurant, as well as Lucy’s Inside Out, for those who fancy a taste of Lucy’s On A Plate but in the comfort of their own home.

For more information about Lucy’s Inside Out, or to take a look at the menus, please do get in touch.

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.

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.

Fell Pony Adventures at Matson Ground

Fell pony adventures on the Matson Ground Estate

Earlier this year, we were lucky enough to enjoy a fell pony adventure on the Matson Ground Estate, courtesy of Tom Lloyd, owner of Fell Pony Adventures. This is just one of the tailormade activities we offer our guests, and we had the opportunity to experience it first-hand. And what a fabulous day it was.

This is an adventure suitable for families and groups of all ages, and the perfect way to introduce people to horses. Tom is very patient, so even if you’ve had no experience of horses, you’ll soon feel at ease. Tom is also all geared up for social distancing, as everything takes place in open spaces – a chance to breathe in some fresh, clean air.

What’s more, it’s an absolute treat at any time of the year. The stunning Lake District scenery is never the same from one day to the next, so you’re guaranteed a different view every time. It’s even great fun in the rain, as we found out on our fell pony adventure.

As the saying goes; “There’s no such thing as bad weather. Only unsuitable clothing.”

This is what memories are made of

We began our fell pony adventure at Birkdale House, where we met Tom and his daughter, Flo, along with Faye and Pansy, our fell ponies for the day. Once we had loaded them up with the essentials for the day – picnic, shelter, camping stove, spare harnesses and tethers – we set off.

We gently led the ponies along the byways and lanes of the estate, stopping in an organic hay meadow for lunch. We tethered the horses, put up the waterproof shelter and settled back to take in the breath-taking views.

Tom had prepared our lunch – cranberry balsamic vinegar, Appleby Brie, Garstang Blue, mixed olives, smoked humous, homemade leek and potato soup (his own family recipe) and artisan bread. Absolutely delicious.

It’s days like this when we realise just how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful part of the country. This is what memories are made of.

With the packsaddles loaded up, we set off back to Birkdale House. What a wonderful way to spend a day. For a few hours we had been transported to a different time entirely, far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Fell Pony Adventures

Fell Pony Adventures is based at the southern end of Lake Windermere, where Tom keeps a herd of about a dozen semi-feral ponies.

The herd was originally established by Tom’s father, Walter, but Tom made the decision a few years ago to switch careers – he had been a film producer – so that he could keep the herd going. He took his mountain leadership course and set up Fell Pony Adventures.

Nowadays, Tom works the ponies, leading families and groups on day trips around Windermere, following old pack-horse routes through meadows, woods and fells.

For our guests, the Matson Ground Estate provides a ready-made route. What a perfect day out.

Huge thanks to Tom, Faye and Pansy.