For First-Timers & Open-Minders – A Place to Discover, Explore & Be Inspired By
From the highest point of Scafell Pike to the deepest at Wastwater, with thriving and energetic communities in between, the Lake District is a wonderful world to experience. Yes, the Cotswolds has Chipping Campden, its old and quirky market town of the North. Then there is the gorgeously green Bourton-on-the-Water, with its good looks and 17th-century charm to consider. Perhaps, the regal aesthetic of Painswick and its serene Severn Valley might raise the bar? All things considered, it is fair to say that the Cotswold’s does have a sense of British attractiveness and an impressive ‘things to do’ tick-list. It is also fair to say that the Lakes goes that step further and delights its inhabitants with grace, glory and a gigantic welcome.
The Lake District is England’s largest National Park and a World Heritage Site, so it is safe to say this place has credentials to make all the other English tourist destinations green with envy. A place that ticks all those boxes, embraces mother nature and with each turn and twist, offers a picture-postcard worthy snap. It is also the proud home of Beatrix Potter and of course let us not forget THOSE Lakes! Surrounded by hills, peaks and villages, Lake Windermere is not only the largest Lake in the district but a busy-bee watery hub of yachts, boats, cruises, kayaks and canoes. A famously buzzing place that is much-loved by tourists and adored by its locals, but still manages to keep that humble ‘un-touched’ feel and natural handsome quality. With a vast range of attractions, activities, places of interest, villages and things to do, Windermere is quite the perfect location to explore. Potter up to the village of Windermere before jumping from Bowness-on-Windermere to Ambleside, then to Waterhead and finally taking a leap onto Lakeside’s jetty, all in a day’s work.
You cannot amble up a peak, take in a summit view or jump over a stile without walking in Wainwrights’ sturdy footsteps. This infamous man, though a rather awkward chap, delighted the nation with his paths, turns, bends and journal memoirs for guided walking. A secretive man that opened his heart, mind and arms to the Lake District. Find mud, rock and stone at Scafell Pike and the dizzy heights that come with being upon the pinnacle point of this district. A rough and fine mountain, unspoilt in nature, that boasts awe-inspiring panoramic views of the boundless green below. Find peace and tranquillity with lowland ambles and take time to ‘just be’, as your toes dip at the edge of Lily Tarn. A sweet and serene spot, from the bustling centre of Ambleside, overlooking Northern Windermere, Fairfield Horseshoe and the rolling Coniston Fells.
This district is a colourful hive of culture and heritage and lovingly celebrates these little finds within its nooks and crannies. Just off the shores of Windermere, you will find the enchanting historic Blackwell House and a true 20th century Arts & Crafts architectural specimen. Soak up the atmosphere and picturesque lakeside views amongst the lush estate gardens, while taking in all that Blackwell has to offer. Ponder what life was really like for pupils who studied at the house as you embark on a guided tour, indulge in the memories and artefacts of the Arts & Crafts movement and engage within the inspiring exhibitions that dwell inside the wooden walls and tapestries. They currently have a contemporary display of ceramic art, sculptured forms and narrative works that encompass the ‘Form over function’ spectacle. Make a date in your diary to visit Blackwell once again when Grayson Perry’s ‘Spotlight’ exhibition arrives in town. A unique collection of ceramics that confronts issues surrounding gender, identity, social status, religion and sexuality. A must-see for those art enthusiasts and a great opportunity to see such pieces within an Arts & Crafts setting. Before heading back on your journey of the district, embrace the view once more, as you sip from a refreshingly cool glass of chardonnay on Blackwell’s tea room terrace and plan your next adventure.
To satisfy both young and not so young minds, take a trip to The World of Beatrix Potter, nestled just off the shores of Bowness-on-Windermere. Spoil yourself in a childhood crush or open the minds of your little ones, as you happily potter in Beatrix’s shiny shoes, alongside her beloved animals and the whimsical world she created. Get whirled away in this fairy-tale and feast your eyes upon Jemima Puddleduck’s woodland glade, Mr Tod’s underground home, Peter Rabbit’s garden adventure, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle’s kitchen, Jeremy Fisher’s lily-pad boat, Mr McGregor’s greenhouse and finish off at the gift shop to snap up a piece of Potter magic, to take home with you. Such a wonderful place to visit and one of the most popular kid’s attractions in the area. A place where you really do get a sense of Beatrix Potter’s life and how she had such a positive impact on this part of the world she adored.
There are many Lakeland heroes and heroines to name, but it would not be fair to not give a certain gentleman a mention. Have you ever read Daffodils and wondered what life was really like for William Wordsworth? Step back in time, at Dove Cottage, as you embrace the dark panelled rooms, stone floors, the crackling fire and William’s precious belongings. A truly enchanting place, where he settled beneath his beloved mountains, in peace and tranquillity. Stroll through his thriving garden, where he sat, pondered and composed his much-loved poetry. Consider how time stood then, amidst the 19th Century and sample a taste of his family life. A tour that will answer those unanswered niggling questions and be inspired by how pleasantly productive this period was for him, while he found solace and the perfect dwelling place, within Dove Cottage.
So, you see there are so many wonderful reasons why you should come and visit the beautiful Lake District and experience a truly British Summer adventure. Why not combine your Lakeland tour with a stay at The Lakeside Hotel & Spa? Sample superior luxury, in its finest and embrace the Lakeland life in style. Find the perfect tonic to relieve your well-walked legs, relax in your suite and reminisce on your day, as you wine and dine.