Come rain or shine and at any time of the year, Lake Windermere is bustling. It is busier now than with Bowness, Windermere village, Ambleside and to the south at Newby Bridge, being true 365 day a year destinations.
Record numbers of visitors have enjoyed this very special and utterly stunning part of the UK this summer. With the “staycation” being a popular choice this year as well as the 150th anniversary celebrations for Beatrix Potter and with the bonus of stage 2 of the Tour of Britain set to race by early September, Cumbria – the Lake District as THE destination of choice in 2016 is most definitely correct. The southern edge of Lake Windermere for example is just 15 minutes from the M6 great for day trips, short breaks and easily accessed holidays.
But this time of the year really is quite special in the Lake District and well worth a visit to see the wonderful autumnal into winter colours. If you like the Lake District in the summer, you’ll love it even more in the autumn.
But the time for visiting in and around Lake Windermere doesn’t finish when the summer. Autumn and winter are not just fantastic times to visit the Lake District but also to take advantage of some super offers. Newby Bridge Hotel on the southern tip of Lake Windermere has an extremely enticing late autumn/winter break for 2016. It’s only available when booking direct and from just £84 per person for 2 nights enjoy 3 course meal on your first evening, a full Cumbrian breakfast each morning and a £10 credit to be used in either our Restaurant or Bar on your second evening. Also included is full use of the private, on site leisure facilities. Call to book direct 015395 31222.
It always heartens me when I go somewhere, love the food and then I realise many others are loving it for the same reasons.
I know taste is very subjective and what one loves the other loathes but I reckon when it comes down to it, when you find a little, unpretentious gem, then you really hope they do well.
This is the case of The Cuckoo Brow. After hearing what a dog friendly place it is, we were naturally interested to see what’s what and have a recce. The other side of Windermere, Far Sawrey, quiet, great walks, 2 Border Collies in tow, dog friendly pub, ales, food, what more could you ask for.
So the first time we went to Cuckoo Brow was basically because it’s lovely for walking around there and we could take the dogs in, no expectations whatsoever. But I think these very factors are why this little spot is growing from strength to strength. Local produce is it for them completely highlighted in their menu that is called the “20 Mile Menu”. As much of the ingredients as possible have been sourced from within 20 miles of the inn. To quench the thirst, real ales from local breweries are always available from the likes of Hawshead, Cumbria Legendary Ales and Fell Brewery of Flookburgh.
But as mentioned before, don’t just take our word for it. Recently Cuckoo Brow has been selected as the best dog friendly pub in the Lake District by Haven Holidays and Dugs n’ Pubs, the online dog friendly guide to pubs, cafes, restaurants and hotels.
So that is why I felt the need to write this post as the owners of the Cuckoo Brow have put it very well in their marketing literature, “Muddy boots, wet dogs and children welcome”, long may that mantra stand. Visit https://www.cuckoobrow.co.uk/ for the full menu and information on the dog friendly accommodation.
Kendal – the gateway to The Lakes in every sense. Visit Kendal to have the best of both worlds, a highly buzzing, vibrant town and just 15 minutes from the central Lake District including Lake Windermere.
All these factors make for a dog friendly holiday heaven and the town of Kendal is extremely welcoming to dogs. Walking through the town centre you’ll see locals and visitors with their dogs. And for dog walks then even though the Lake District National Park is on the doorstep, Kendal has so many walks to offer itself.
Head up to Serpentine Woods, just 5 minutes from the centre and let dogs sniff to their hearts galore before rising from the tress to panoramic views of Kendal. Walk along the River Kent footpath, the length and breath of Kendal or look the The AA for inspiration and a fabulous 3 mile circular route, “Kendal’s Two Castles”, http://www.theaa.com/walks/kendals-two-castles-420657.
Keeping with travel and with Kendal train station the heart of the town, jump on the train and visit Staveley where the dog friendly Eagle & Child pub is and lots of walking onto Windermere and well, need we say more.
Onto eating and drinking, extremely important holiday aspects for 2 and 4 legged visitors. A new dog friendly café has opened, The Bristly Hog on Stricklandgate and Brew Brothers on Highgate. You’ll also find most pubs in Kendal are dog friendly too including The Factor Tap which has 2 outside seating areas and real ale.
Where to stay dog friendly? The Riverside Hotel Kendal is a centrally based, dog friendly hotel with private car parking, 2 minutes from the train station with walks right from the hotel door and The Tannery bar serving food daily also welcomes dogs.
August 25th the special date, the date of National Burger Day. A staple on many a Lake District restaurant menu and home dinner table, the mighty burger has been propelled to God like status in the last couple of years and its set to be the biggest burger-tastic day yet. Gourmet burgers restaurants are popping up left right and centre in every town and city and it seems we can’t get enough of them from the very far north of Scotland to us down here in Cumbria, the Lake District right down to London.
We’re not talking burgers that look like they have been in a pocket and squashed, on a synthetic bun or that say they contain “meat” but that is debatable. This new wave of burgers are 100% real meat, different and exciting offerings, in an artisan/sour dough/brioche bun etc and large enough to satisfy a rugby player’s appetite. Then moving onto the important sides. Thank goodness for the resurrection of the proper chip then a good salad is a must, maybe some slaw, pickles and in many places, a tangy homemade relish.
Where to celebrate National Burger Day? It’s a tough choice in the Lake District but the Langdale Lake District Hotel & Spa have been providing burgers lovers with super tasty patties for years. At Langdale enjoy a choice of burgers at their two eateries. Firstly at the new Stove Restaurant the Stove Burger cooked on the Josper grill for ultimate flavour and succulence. An 8oz homemade rump steak burger, Langdale’s own smokehouse cheddar, bacon, gherkins and triple cooked chips.
Onto burger heaven at Wainwright’s Inn, the perfect post walk or cycle establishment just a 2 minute walk from the main Langdale Estate. Choose from a good old 100% beef, Cumberland, smoke pulled pork or a veggie – a Portobello mushroom with blue cheese crumb. All come with house salad and chips.
What a year 2016 has been for putting the Lake District on the global map. Firstly the massive celebrations still ongoing to celebrate the author, illustrator and naturalist Beatrix Potter’s 150th anniversary and now the big screen adaptation of the Arthur Ransome’s, Swallows and Amazons.
This enchanting family film, released on August 19th nationwide, brings to life the classic novel by Arthur Ransome, telling the tale of the Walker children’s summer holiday in the Lake District, sailing, camping, fishing and much more.
Staring Kelly Macdonald, Rafe Spall, Harry Enfield and Andrew Scott, the film is due to strike a cord with so many families who do or have visited the Lake District for their family holiday enjoying exactly what the Walker children are doing in the film.
Lake District lovers will also be able to watch and point out places so many of them will have visited around various locations in Coniston and Derwentwater. Look out for Tarn Hows, the east shore of Coniston and the Steam Yacht Gondala before heading over to dramatic Keswick and stunning Derwentwater.
Visit The National Trust website for more information on the locations and things to do when visiting, click here.