Now in its third year the Langdale Cycle Trail from Ambleside to the Langdale Valley continues to be one of the most popular, easy to access cycle routes in the area. Great for moderate cycling abilities, simply for a leisurely ride out and great for families.
The mostly off road trail has opened up the beautiful Langdale Valley to those staying in Ambleside and vice versa reducing the amount of cars on the all too busy road and encouraging those new to cycling to get out and on their bikes.
To aid encouragement and for easy to navigate, detailed routes, the Let’s Ride website from British Cycling in conjunction with HSBC is the point. Previously under the name of GoSkyRide, Let’s Ride has everything from guided cycle events to groups, bike buddy opportunities and over 400 routes throughout the UK. Let’s Ride gives invaluable information on the type of terrain, bike required, level of difficulty, GPS routes and elevation.
The out and back route allows cyclists to enjoy a virtually road free bike ride from Ambleside, alongside the northern end of Lake Windermere onto Skelwith Bridge through the pretty village of Elterwater also the Burlington Slate Quarry before heading through Great Langdale, pass the Langdale Hotel & Spa before the half way point at the New Dungeon Ghyll car park, it’s then back via the same way to Ambleside. To view the route visit https://www.letsride.co.uk/routes/ambleside-to-great-langdale.
Accommodation can be found in Ambleside or in Langdale at the Langdale Lake District Hotel & Spa (http://www.langdale.co.uk). When staying in Langdale simply do the reverse loop or for a real challenge, go onto Grasmere via the Grasmere Trail.
Cumbrian artist open studios are open throughout the whole of Cumbria starting on September 10th until the 25th September. C-Art is Cumbria’s countywide visual arts programme, co-ordinated by the award winning Eden Arts.
Artists studios are open during this time period across the length and breadth of Cumbria from the far north – Carlisle right down to the Kendal in the South Lakes and as far west as Wigton, Egremont and Askam in Furness. But with the programme being headed up by Eden Arts it is no surprise Eden and East Cumbria artists are highly visible and what talent this area of Cumbria produces from Bampton to Penrith, Appleby to Alston.
Some diverse examples of open studios in some tucked away places in Eden include a mixed media sculptor, a gallery and a printmaker but larger gallery and exhibition spaces are also opening their doors such as Dalemain Historic Mansion and Lowther Castle.
But it is the private studios of artists that is the most exciting. In most cases the only time they open their doors to the public enabling visitors to really connect with each creative and see how they work. Whether you’re an art lover or simply in any of the areas visiting, check the C-Art website for locations and studio opening times during this special two weeks.
For accommodation in the area then the Tebay Services Hotel is ideally located for accessing all of the Penrith, Eden Valley and South Lakes venues but so too Keswick, Shap and Carlisle.
Fair and equal offers can be found all year round at Applegarth Hotel & Restaurant. With guests from all over the world coming at all different times of the year, it’s great they can all take advantage of added value.
Firstly and the very popular and now legendary free dinner offer, “Dinner on the Villa”. This offer is for bookings of two nights or more from Sunday to Thursday throughout the year (except for Bank Holidays, Valentines, Christmas and New Year). Guests will receive a 3 course dinner absolutely free for two people on one of the nights. That equates to a saving of £70. The seasonal, changing menu at the restaurant is fresh, tasty and full of local produce with a variety of vegetarian, fish and meat dishes with many being gluten free.
Secondly, keep an eye out for the ”Hot Deals” via the hotel’s booking system. Find discounted midweek rates in Luxury rooms as well as the brand new suites with savings of up to £75 per night on weekend rates. All rooms include breakfast with the suites having many other added extras.
What to do in Windermere? Well it’s absolutely jammed packed full of things to do from water sports to walking, cycling to cruising and for the more leisurely then some fabulous independent shops to browse in Windermere itself or in Bowness. Staying in one of the suites? Then chances are you’ll be able to leave your private hot tub with views over Windermere and to the fells!
All the latest offers, details on the room types at Applegarth Villa Hotel & Restaurant in Windermere and new suites can be found at http://www.lakesapplegarth.co.uk
Ullswater is stunning part of the Lake District. So easy to get to from the M6 and with close proximity to the North Pennines making it feel quite different to most of the other notable locations in the Lake District.
The areas surrounding Ullswater Lake are sprawling with a real sense of openness making it an ideal location for walking, whatever your ability. Miles and miles of great paths for walking miles of open countryside and it is a place where everyone is welcome. New for 2016 is the officially recognised walking route, the Ullswater Way. 20 miles of scenic perfection in a circular loop around Ullswater the lake. Choose to walk the full route, just selected segments or perhaps choose to enjoy some of it by bus or boat. Ullswater Steamers are a must experience when visiting the area but also make for an extremely effective way of getting from A to B. With piers are Glenridding, Howtown, Aira Force and Pooley Bridge, all four corners of the lake can be accessed.
Glenridding and Pooley Bridge at either ends of the Lake are tourist hot spots whilst everywhere in between is full of peace, space and tranquillity. Glenridding and Pooley Bridge are however excellent places to get fed and watered! Most pubs in both of these two villages are dog friendly as well making them popular with two legged and four legged visitors alike.
Date for the diary:
The Kendal Mountain Festival outdoor cinema event at Waterfoot Park, Pooley Bridge – Saturday 23rd July 2016.
Where to stay:
A choice of self catering holiday cottages in the area can be found via The Lakeland Cottage Company. All exceptional quality sleeping between 4 and 8 and dog friendly cottage too. Visit the Ullswater cottages collection for more information and to book. Late availability deals on during July and August.
Just a little reminder about the ongoing offer at Brimstone Hotel, the most innovative boutique hotels in the Lake District. Running consistently throughout this year for any bookings made a minimum of 30 days in advance, guests receive 20% discount on all room rates which even applies to the Christmas period.
A 20% saving is extremely enticing and that 20% can go towards sampling some of the amazing food also on offer at the brand new Stove Restaurant & Bar on Langdale Estate and perhaps a bottle of Champagne?
There are many ways in which Brimstone is apart from the rest with individuality at its core. Just 16 suites make up this innovative hotel set within the Langdale Estate, just a handful of yards from the Langdale Hotel reception. Yet even the positioning of the hotel has been eloquently thought of with many people not even realising it is there. To be amongst one of the busiest tourism businesses in the Lake District, take advantage of all the estates facilities yet keep under the radar and remain exclusive and peaceful is yet another feat of genius created by the Langdale Estate and the Brimstone architects and constructors.
To check the rates simply enter the dates required into the search box making sure they are at least 30 days away, it will bring up the available rooms and the available rates including the flexible rate and underneath the rate discounted by 20%. 30 days is not a long time in advance to book and what a fantastic experience to be looking forward to. Booking ahead also means a greater choice of the suites. Maybe it’s an extremely special occasion requiring the Spa Suite or perhaps looking towards winter the thought of a Fireside Suite will be just the ticket.
Read about all the differences you can expect from Brimstone, to check availability and where only Brimstone suites can be booked via their website here http://www.brimstonehotel.co.uk
Boutique is the buzz word within the UK hotel industry at the moment. It’s no wonder as serviced accommodation businesses from small B&B’s to larger hotels are updating, upgrading and refurbishing rivalling many overseas choices.
The UK has areas of historic importance with iconic buildings in fabulous settings from the very north of Scotland to Northern Ireland, Wales and northern down to southern England, offering experiences and treats like no other world hotel location.
A boutique, independent boutique hotel doesn’t have to be small. Given the right location and operation, guests can enjoy a personal service, full of boutique extras and add ons yet with all the facilities and bonuses of a large hotel. This is why the Brooklands Hotel in Weybridge Surrey is leading the way in boutique accommodation in the area.
Located at the home of British Motor Racing, the iconic Brooklands Circuit, the hotel delights with décor arching back to the roaring twenties with views of the old track. Fantastic for leisure guests, and especially popular as a destination wedding venue, the hotel is also full of tech and perfectly located for business guests and conferences.
From a state of the art spa with hot tub and treatment rooms for body, facial and beauty packages to the ultra stylish, art deco inspired lounge bar for sipping cocktails whilst imagining the fastest cars in the world racing around the circuit in the sites hey day, the Brooklands Hotel boutique hotel in Surrey takes this industry adjective to a whole new level. For more information visit http://www.brooklandshotelsurrey.com/
The new restaurant on the Langdale Estate, Stove is now open and receiving exceptional comments. The décor is unlike any other restaurant in the Lake District. It’s size large and spacious but with annexes and different rooms including areas inside and out, provide a dining experience whether it’s a group, social or intimate.
The new menu is equally as exciting as the interior. The firm ethos is keeping produce local with Cumbrian chicken, lamb and beef as well as locally produced artisan bread from Lovingly Artisan in Staveley. The new menu also features more dishes than previously using meat, fish, vegetables and cheese smoked by Langdale’s own smokehouse close to Wainwright’s Inn. No self respecting restaurant menu is without smoked produce these days, it not only adds an extra flavour dimension but also a very different texture. You can experience lightly smoked produce from everything from Romano peppers to aubergine, cheddar, salmon, lobster and pork ribs.
But for guests staying at the beautiful boutique Brimstone Hotel on the estate, choose in room dining and Stove will come to you. Although it is a must to dine at Stove during a stay, the Brimstone suites are very often hard to leave at the same time. Have the best of both worlds, dine at Stove one evening and enjoy the same quality of food but on your private balcony the next. Visit http://www.brimstonehotel.co.uk/ for more details.
The Langdale Hotel, a 4 star hotel on the Langdale Estate in the Lake District National Park offers everything a guest needs for a perfect Lake District holiday or short break this spring. The lakes are alive now spring has sprung, the longer days and life in the form of new animals, leaves and blooms at every turn.
With everything fresh and vibrant, what better time to visit and head to the fells and it doesn’t need to break the bank. Langdale Hotel has rates starting from just £120 for a Signature Room including breakfast. This rate also includes full use of the leisure facilities and bookings made for stays after April 4th will be able to enjoy the brand new restaurant and bar Stove. Stove will be the all in one dining and drinking destination on the estate with indoor and outdoor seating areas serving food and drink from breakfast until late. Wainwright’s Inn is an option too, a traditional Lakeland inn serving hearty food and real ales daily, most definitely the place for post walk refreshments.
Although period property, Garret House Cottage is a brand new holiday cottage let in the highly popular Cumbrian village of Cartmel.
In preparation for letting the cottage out to guests, the owner carried out extensive refurbishments throughout and the result the cottage has been awarded a 4 Star Gold Award by Visit Britain. The interior is light, bright, airy and stylish with the highest quality fixtures and fittings. Accommodating people, guests at Garret House Cottage are treated to complimentary The White Company toiletries in the bathroom and in the kitchen a Nespresso Machine with a small selection of capsules as well as a hamper with wine, Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding, bread, eggs, tea, coffee etc.
Just a short walk from Cartmel Village, Garret House is the ideal place to stay when visiting Cartmel Races with the race course in view from the front of the property along with the surrounding woodland.
Many people will know for a good few year now, you’ll find some great live music in Kendal but the quality and popularity of bands playing in the town keeps on increasing.
Kendal despite being a small town is attracting some huge names past and present yet continues to champion local and lesser known bands thanks to venues such as the award winning Brewery Arts Centre through to Bootleggers Bar.
Earlier this month the widely acclaimed Jamaican music producer and performer played at The Brewery, Lee Scratch Perry+The Mad Professor. Good Friday saw Big Country, the Scottish rock band play and upcoming events include gigs by the likes of Turin Breaks. In between find folk, brass bands, more rock, punk and renowned cover bands such as Fleetwood Bac.
Bootleggers is now firmly on the fixture list for both local bands and even the likes of 80’s legend Nick Kershaw who regularly visits and plays there. Bootleggers located on Finkle Street in the town centre, dark with great acoustics has long been a haunt for music fans and now find live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Be treated to indie, blues, ska and rock to name just a few.
Accommodation tip: Riverside Hotel Kendal. It’s the only hotel in the centre of Kendal with a restaurant, bar, and health club with pool & gym, just 2 minutes from Kendal train station with views over the River Kent and has parking. Have a hearty meal in the bar before the gig or choose to dine al la carte in the restaurant. Breakfast is included in the room rate along with use of the leisure facilities. Rooms start from approximately £88 based on 2 sharing including breakfast.
Road, mountain, family, solo, group, trail and long distance cycling can all be enjoyed in huge amount in Cumbria and within the Lake District National Park.
Take part in totally for leisure cycling or be put through the paces in one of the many challenges either road or off road that are held every year in the county.
The confirmation of Cumbria being one of the best and most challenging locations to cycle in UK has surely been confirmed by the increase in number of large, cycling sportives taking place such as the ever growing Fred Whitton Challenge and most definitely by the fact the Tour of Britain 2016 that revisits the county for another year. The Cumbria stage this year is stage 2 on Monday 5th September starting from Carlisle and heading to Kendal for the ever popular (well with spectators but not the cyclists!) summit finish of Beast Banks right in the centre of the town. The route goes down to Penrith, across to Ullswater, Keswick, Cockermouth before heading south through Grasmere, Ambleside and onto Kendal.
With improved routes and cycle lanes it really is the summer to take up cycling if not done already or come and visit Cumbria to indulge even more so in the obsession with the sport. A bicycle enables areas of this very sparsely populated, with many hard to reach locations become accessible, summed up perfectly in the image above.
Cycle friendly accommodation is becoming more and more widespread making it even easier to visit with the two wheeled instrument of torture. It is pleasing to see larger hotels encouraging cyclists to stay such as the well located Tebay Services Hotel between Kendal and Penrith. Rooms start from just £89 B&B based on 2 sharing and the restaurant and bar within the hotel provides much needed pre and post cycling refuelling. For more information visit http://www.westmorlandhotel.com/ or call 01539 624351
In the South Lakes area of the Lake District there is a wide choice of National Trust sites. Whether you’re a keen national trust property visitor and member or simply like to enjoy new experiences and gain knowledge along the way, the sites in this region are varied and there are ones to suit all, from galleries to houses and even Sticklebarn, a National Trust Inn. A full list can be found on the National Trust webpage here http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/local-to-you/north-west/things-to-see-and-do/lake-district/.
Hawkshead is an extremely delightful village and makes an excellent base to be able to explore all NT sites in the Southern Lake District. Two in particular are Wray Castle and Hill Top.
Wray Castle is particularly good for families having rooms and events aimed at children and having been acquired in an empty state, it is not the usual national Trust property filled with antiques and paintings. What it does have is plenty to see and do and a wealth of character and intrigue. The tour around the castle is well worth taking part in.
Then arguably, the most famous of the Lake District National trust properties, Hill Top. Hill Top was once the home of Beatrix Potter. This 17th century farmhouse “is a time capsule of her life” along with the gardens that inspired so much of her work. Hill Top house is an extremely busy attraction with visitors travelling from Japan and America to see where one of the most famous children’s authors and illustrators lived. There has never been a better year to visit than this year, the 150th anniversary of the birth of this most talented lady.
Both properties can be reached by car or by ferry, The Windermere Ferry runs across the lake from Ferry Nab in Bowness to eastern shore for Hawkshead. The ferry can take cars and bikes as well as pedestrians and is quite an exciting and novel way to travel.
With this many sites with so much to see and do, it’s no wonder Hawkshead is a popular place to stay. The Cuckoo Brow Inn and Lake District B&B is within touching distance of Hill Top so is perfectly located, offers recently refurbished bedrooms and great local food and ales. Visit their website http://www.cuckoobrow.co.uk for more information.
Child free hotels and bed and breakfasts can suit many a guest. Take the business traveller for instance who may travel all year round, requiring quiet to work or just to relax in peace after a long day.
Then there are child free couples who also may not wish to be staying somewhere where children will be. Then there are of course those who have children who really just need a break from them! Maybe they are requiring a romantic weekend getaway and even if the little ones aren’t their little ones, the reminder and lack of escapism is the same.
All in all, there’s really quite a call for child free travel accommodation. Obviously, not all children are loud, not all children run about but it’s about enabling people to relax and enabling those who wish to stay in a child free environment to do so.
Windermere in the heart of the Central Lake District is extremely family and children friendly with lots and lots to see and do. But it also happens to have recently been voted one of the top 5 most romantic destinations to visit. So you see, the two can sit quite happily together as long as there are both family friendly and couple friendly accommodation venues. With lots of romantic places to walk, eat and sleep, its couples heaven.
Travel and holidays in today’s climate is about giving guests the choice and as there is plenty out there, tailoring the choice specifically to the needs of guests.
For the ultimate in romantic accommodation and confirmed by the recent Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Awards is the Applegarth Villa Hotel & Restaurant in Windermere. With seven brand new luxury hot tub suites to choose from, the hotel and suites are fully adult only ensuring complete escapism.
Tanzania is one of the most diverse countries in Africa, home to some of the best and most extensive wildlife in the whole world but which also offers beyond beautiful coastal regions.
It is for these and s many other reasons that visitors flock to this country and for so many difference reasons too. A Tent With A View safari tour operators know this only too well with clients ranging from wildlife photographers and nature lovers to those seeking a once in a lifetime holiday which combines the outdoors with luxury accommodation and also a very popular market, those on honeymoon.
The coast spans from safari regions such as the nearby Saadani National Park onto Zanzibar where pure paradise, peace and tranquillity can be experienced. Zanzibar is naturally an extremely popular choice amongst honeymoon travellers. White sands, rocky cliffs, heritage sites such as the Stone Town, Zanzibar’s oldest sector and hidden places to discover with a base of the intimate Zanzibari boutique hotel set on a rocky cliff with stunning views of the Indian Ocean. If this sounds like heaven then the A Tent With A View Exotic Zanzibar Beach Break is perfect.
Staying on the coast and another exciting break is the Islands of Elephants and Spice tour. Travellers stay in Babs Camp which borders the Saadani National Park and the Indian Ocean and will of course be able to see elephants in the full natural beauty. This tour is combined with a stay in the Stone Town and The Zanzibari.
The third coastal break is Saadani – The Wilderness Beach. Palm lined beaches neighbour the Saadani National Park and the Simply Saadani Camp visitors stay in. A perfect combination for those wishing to explore and witness the coastal region of this national park.
Being 5 to 8 days in duration means, and especially in the case of the Wilderness and Exotic Zanzibar breaks, they can be added onto the end of more intense Tanzania safari tour.
Visit http://www.tentwithaview.com for full itinerary and booking details.
The new season of racing at Cartmel is always met with much anticipation and excitement but this year, even more so. The first date and weekend for racing annually is always the May Whit Bank Holiday. This year the event and entertainment is even longer with two additions to the calendar to be held at the racecourse although not involving horses. The two events start on Saturday 28th May with Simply Red and then Sunday 29th May with Jools Holland. These two prolific and talented acts is a great confirmation that Cartmel, the race course and the facilities are world class.
The whole village and surrounding areas buzz during any horse racing meet which have gathered momentum and is now attracting riders and horses from the top elite. The event itself always booked months in advance.
Cartmel is famous for its food and drink and whether you’re on the racecourse site for the events and racing or in the village, you will most definitely not go hungry an be treated to some excellent local produce from any one of the suppliers, producers and vendors.
Places to stay can be found in Cartmel village as well as the surrounding villages but also just 2 miles away in Grange over Sands. Great connections, transport and access by road, cycle or rail can be found. Choose Grange for even more places to eat and drink and better value accommodation. Bay Villa on Main Street offers luxury, views and a great breakfasts along with stunning bathrooms to sooth any aching limbs from walking during the day/night or cheering on the odds on favourite. Visit http://www.bayvilla.net to book and for more info.