There’s a hot tub frenzy at the moment in the accommodation industry. From hotels to even bed and breakfasts and holiday cottages, news that hot tubs are being installed is becoming more and more frequent.
When one Lake District hotel was embarking on a new development of luxury suites, they initially thought of including a swimming pool into the plans. After talking to guests and industry associates, the majority verdict was that private hot tubs for each of the suites was a far more preferred option.
Reason and points included, more privacy, more exclusivity, many said they wouldn’t swim on a luxury break anyway and said there was no worry about feeling self conscious as some may do in a shared pool. What a choice it was when the suites were launched 12 months ago. Applegarth Villa Hotel & Restaurant in Windermere is now famous for its hot tubs, the first of its kind in the Lake District.
Each large suite has sliding doors opening out into a terrace and/or large balcony with a table and chairs and a private hot tub, not overlooked by any of the other seven suites in the development. With views over towards Lake Windermere and fells, the owners of Applegarth Villa are finding many of the guests are not wanting to leave their room and hot tub at all! For a special treat, for complete privacy or for the ultimate in special occasion, the Lake District is the place for luxury in the North West.
Having stumbled on a BT blog post in the lifestyle section, “Is the north the most beautiful place in Britain?” I think we can wholeheartedly confirm it is.
The blog sights the survey by Nikon the camera specialists and the conclusion was amongst those surveyed, that the north, or top half as they called it, is far more photogenic than the south. There are sure to be scores of people from the southern part of the UK with smoke coming out of their ears at this but this was a true and honest survey.
The UK is blessed with stunning scenery from the very south to the very north. After a bumper summer with more people choosing a “staycation”, it could be we’ve falling back in love with this special island. How many times has the phrase been heard “Oh, I didn’t realise it was so nice in the Lake District/Scottish Highlands, North Devon coast….”. These places are on our doorstep (with a bit of driving in between) and surely the fact more and more overseas visitors are coming to the UK shows just what a special place it is.
But it is with great pleasure to announce top of the survey with 38% of the votes was Windermere, “undoubtedly the most picturesque location.” Windermere is extremely beautiful, has a wonderful light for photography and is extremely accessible for those visiting the Lake District, it is no wonder this busy part of the Lake District National Park has been voted number 1.
As of August 1st 2016 the largest National Park in England became even bigger so even more fun, even more scenery so even more beauty to enjoy.
Firstly to the south of the Lake District National Park and an area from Helsington Barrows to Sizergh Fell, an area north of Sizergh Castle and part of the Lyth Valley.
The largest added section comes further north where not just the Lake District NP has increased but so too the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This has created a large area made up of Whinfell, Grayrigg, Orton and Tebay meaning the M6 is now the only dividing line between these two National Parks.
Orton and Tebay have always been popular areas to visit being gateways to not just the two National Parks but also the Northern Pennines. With more support, promotion and increased rights of way, they are due to flourish even more so.
Many will know Tebay as the home of the famous motorway services, Tebay Services. Until their sister site opened, Gloucester Services of the M5, Tebay was the best services in the whole of the UK, now it has one of its family members to contend with! There’s now even more reason to visit this area, now withint he Lake District National Park, take advantage of the beautiful walks, great cycling routes and stunning landscape. Bring the dog, bring the family, stop on business or with a group of friends. The Tebay Services Hotel on the same site as the services is an ideal place to stay with advance booking rates at just £87 per room including breakfast. Stay in comfort with a vast range of local produce and come and enjoy the newest part of the Lake District National Park.
With the school summer holidays in full swing, it seems quite fitting and appropriate to talk about family friendly destinations. A lot of parents will agree, despite not wanting to stay in a specific children’s resort, a family friendly destination is more than a good decision and adds to the enjoyment of the holiday for children and adults alike.
One such extremely family friendly destination is Coniston in the true heart of the English Lake District. This village and surrounding area has everything required for a family holiday from accommodation to food outlets to shops and activities……lots and lots of activities.
The standard of places to eat in drink in Coniston is, as the rest of the Lake District, very high. Anyone that has been to any of the other nearby locations such as Ambleside or Grasmere will know it is very hard to have a bad meal. Pubs are always popular in the Lake District with a great choice of food, often locally sourced, a great range of children’s meals and of course, for parents excellent liquid refreshment in the form of local real ales.
The real draw to Coniston is its location surrounded by some of the best scenery in the Lake District and the lake which is just a stone’s throw from the village. The lake has activities galore around it and on it including the steam yacht gondola where a different view of the lake and the fells such as the Coniston Old Man can be viewed. This is well worth a trip on and is a great activity whatever the weather. And there are many other activities on Coniston Water also endless paths for walking and other outdoor pursuits as well as the Ruskin Museum and Brantwood, the once home of John Ruskin so even some educational time can be included!
Where to stay? The area has a fantastic choice of self catering cottages and properties as well as camping and caravanning sites. Each of these types of accommodation, as any parent will know, is the easiest and most practical when holidaying with children and also allows the family pet to go along too. Whether camping or staying in a cottage, there is typically outside space so even if the kids haven’t been tried out completely throughout the day, there’s a space for them to on site. Click for self catering cottages in Coniston from The Lakeland Cottage Company.
To some up Coniston, it really does have all the ingredients for a family holiday and most importantly, a family holiday that both the kids and parents will enjoy (and any 4 legged members of the family too!). Being smaller than Ambleside, Windermere and Keswick makes it very relaxing offering peace and tranquillity without being off the beaten track and with the endless activities.
Picture the scene, a bright Lake District day in the Langdale Valley, stunning 360 degree scenery, peace, calm and tranquillity, pure proposal perfection.
The Langdale Valley is home to one of the most iconic and well known picture postcard views, the Langdale Pikes. Choose to ask the question of a lifetime on one knee besides Blea Tarn or Loughrigg Tarn with The Pikes behind.
So where to stay in the Langdale area? Although the Langdale Hotel holds a civil wedding ceremony licence catering for small to medium weddings, it’s not just about The Big Day. The Langdale Estate incorporating 35 acres of private grounds just 4 miles from Ambleside and set in the true heart of the Lake District National Park, it is the ultimate destination for popping the big question, engagement celebrations, honey moons and mini moons as well as the joy of celebrating countless anniversaries.
Adding the luxurious Brimstone boutique hotel on the Langdale Estate into the mix gives the ultimate in exclusivity for such life memorable occasions. The hotel can be hired out exclusively for celebrations for close family and friends but the true USP of this place is exclusivity for two. At Brimstone, you don’t even ever have to leave the suite if you don’t want to!
Top Tip – Check out the Langdale Estate map on their website and locate the Founders Seat where the best views of the Langdale Pikes can be seen. It’s private and proposal location perfection!
View the Brimstone Hotel rooms here and select the perfect place for wedding memories throughout life.
Ambleside is a very popular and picturesque town situated at the heart of the Lake District National Park, close to the shores of Lake Windermere, which is England’s largest lake.
The town itself has become a major tourist resort and one of the most popular bases for exploring the Lake District with an array of excellent shops, restaurants, plus a great choice of places to stay.
Ambleside is mostly a Victorian town, although there has been a settlement there since pre-Roman times. Galava, a fort located beside Borrans Park was built by the Romans and was used to house around 500 soldiers. The fort was built to defend the lower fells of South Lakeland from invasion by the Picts and Scots, and also to guard the road to the Roman Port at Ravenglass which is accessible from Hard Knott Pass just a few miles away from AMbleside.
Many well known characters have been connected with this region including William Wordsworth, John Ruskin and Beatrix Potter. The Armitt Museum provides more information about each of these famous characters and just 4 miles away visitors will be able to experience the World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness. There’s also Rydal Mount in Rydal which was the home of the Wordsworth family from 1813 and Dove Cottage in Grasmere, which is where William Wordsworth wrote most of his greatest poetry.
Waterhead pier is only a mile south of Ambleside town centre and this ferry terminal allows visitors to experience scenic ferry trips on Lake Windermere. The ferries run regularly throughout the day between Waterhead, Bowness-on-Windermere and Lakeside at Newby Bridge.
A car isn’t always required and a great walk is up to Stock Ghyll Force, a highly picturesque waterfall, which can be reached through Stock Ghyll Woods. This spectacular seventy foot drop to a bowl shaped pool can be viewed safely from a hand railed vantage point. The ghyll once powered twelve watermills and the scenery around Stock Ghyll is truly magnificent.
For B&B accommodation with private off road car parking and a warm and friendly welcome Rothay Garth on Rothay Road is a good choice. Family and dog friendly rooms and delicious breakfasts. Visit http://www.rothay-garth.co.uk for more details.
Whether it’s the onset of summer or to aid in getting people to do more exercise, it seems national newspaper journalists can’t help but write about walking in the Lake District at the moment. Both online and in print, the last couple of weeks has seen articles on the best walks, best places to stay for walkers and dog friendly walking routes in the Lake District.
But it is no surprise really, journalists naturally want and need to write about what is popular at the moment and walking and especially in the Lake District and Cumbria is just that. Fell walking is more popular than ever and is far from that of a few years ago when it seemed it was always the slightly older end of the population. Now every age group from all over the country can be seen including families breeding a new generation of fell walking lovers.
Although the smaller members of the family may need to be coaxed along with the promise of an ice cream at the end, they always seem to have the broadest smile when they reached the top of the hill, even at their tender age they understand it is an achievement and love to see the landscape from up high.
With plenty of child friendly places to eat and drink and most definitely a plethora of accommodation geared up for families, it is no wonder the Lake District National Park tops the lists of family friendly and walking friendly destinations in the UK.
Accommodation Highlight: The Damson Dene Hotel near Bowness on Windermere in Crosthwaite with a choice of family rooms including three separate annexe family suites in the hotel grounds. The hotel also has a family friendly restaurant and bar, leisure facilities and plenty of outside space for children to play. Family rooms range from £86 – £150 per night. Visit http://www.damsondene.co.uk/bedrooms/family for more details.
Yet another year of very successful Easter and Whitsun holiday periods, the English Lake District has further broadened its appeal. With the fells to bursting point with seasoned walkers and newbie’s alike, the beauty of this region is truly being appreciated. To compliment the free fresh air are a multitude of festivals and events on this year too.
It’s the little things that are contributing to the Lake District appeal. For food lovers then the local produce in Cumbria the Lake District is hard to beat. Cumberland sausage gaining its protected status has further cemented this region on the culinary map. Then the now ultra famous and in demand Herdwick lamb hoggat and mutton, Cumbrian produce is highly sort after in London such as at Borough Market. Then sweet treats and condiments like Grasmere Gingerbread, Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding and Hawkshead Relish now international brands. Chefs in many of the hotels in the Lake District have been resurrecting traditional Lakeland dishes and using as much local produce as possible on their menus. The for real ale fans, Cumbria and the Lake District has the highest concentration of micro breweries in the country. All in all, a foodie paradise.
The outdoors and walking is paradise for dog owners. The Lake District is geared up for dogs with the endless walking routes but also many pubs and other establishments being dog and pet friendly. There is now a very good choice of dog friendly hotels in the Lake District. Not every dog owner likes self catering holidays or like having to put their dog into a kennel. Dog friendly hotels suit both the dog and its owner.
So, Cumbria and the Lake District is really leading the way in tourism in this country. It is moving with the times, enabling visitors to try out diverse activities and experiences and caters for adventurists, romantic weekend break seekers and now more than ever, foodies. Grasmere is definitely #theplacetobe for foodies. Check out Oak Bank Hotel in Grasmere village with their award winning 2 AA Rosette The Dining Room Restaurant. Exciting food in relaxed surroundings. Visit http://www.lakedistricthotel.co.uk.
Brathay Windermere marathon and half marathon is taking place on Sunday May 22nd 2016. After the previous 9 year success of the full 26.2 mile Brathay Marathon, the organisers have added a half marathon, a brand new event for 2016. This marks the 10th anniversary of arguably the most beautiful UK race of this length and the reason why it is referred to as “The Beautiful Marathon”.
The half marathon will surely not disappoint, a 13.1 mile route through the beautiful village of Hawkshead, onto Esthwaite Water, returning with views of the iconic Langdales and the surrounding fells. The closing date for entering either event is Friday May 20th 2016.
Whether its pre or post race, either full or half marathon, some rejuvenation to the legs is a must and why its worth choosing accommodation with a pool and even better the healing properties of hot bubbling water and saunas.
In the heart of Ambleside in a peaceful location is The Old Vicarage Bed & Breakfast. Hidden away under the garden terrace is a 9 metre heated indoor swimming pool, hot tub and sauna, the only one of its kind in the area within a B&B. The leisure facilities are ideal for relaxing and gathering thoughts pre and post race.
Unlimited, free use of the pool, sauna and hot tub is available to all guests at The Old Vicarage. For more information and to book online visit http://oldvicarageambleside.co.uk/
After a period of no luck for the glorious village of Grasmere since the floods back in December, Friday May 13th is set to be far from unlucky with no resident, business or visitor giving a second thought to the usual superstition.
Since early December, the main A591 road has been closed just north of Grasmere due to the road subsiding stopping all traffic from travelling to or from Grasmere. A temporary road was constructed and a special bus service was put into operation allowing visitors and residents to get to not just Keswick but many other destinations north.
But Friday May 13th 2016 is the date, the date the road reopens and it definitely going to be well attended with much excitement on social media and in the news. Grasmere is lovely whatever time of the year but it’s now looking the greenest of green with the brand new shoots on the trees and new lambs bouncing around and the real May treat, bluebells galore. The village is fast becoming the go to destination for food with new restaurants opening along with artisan cafes and producers. Enjoy all this and with the fells, waters and lake on Grasmere’s doorstep.
Its perfect timing for the Spring Bank Holiday and half term so if it’s not possible to attend the opening on Friday, get a weekend or holiday booked later in the month to drive or cycle along this now famous stretch of road. Raise View House in Grasmere is a luxury B&B with rooms from £120. Welcoming walkers and cyclists, enjoy peace and quiet with all the restaurants in Grasmere on the doorstep to sample.