Lakes Classic Car Show 2017 in Glorious Grasmere

Sunday June 18th is the date for the annual Lakes Classic Car Show organised by the Windermere & Ambleside Lions Club.

The Grasmere Sports Field will be a patchwork of both vintage classics as well as modern classic cars as well as motorbikes, tractors and service vehicles. It’ a great day out for everyone not just complete and utter car addicts! Choose to go along just to wander and admire hundreds of classic cars or classic car owners can register to bring their car. It’s only £5 per classic and that includes entrance for two people. Each visitor will receive a score sheet on arrival for rating on a number of categories. The cars receiving the most votes in each category will be announced at the end of the show.

lakes classic car show grasmere
Refreshments during the day will be from the fabulous Coffee Bug (a converted VW Beetle) and Bowness Bay Brewing with a pop up bar of their real ales and lagers brewed just a few miles away in Kendal.

It’s set to be a grand day out and all proceeds go to local charities. This year the funds will be divided between Blood Bikes and Langdale & Ambleside Mountain Rescue, both of which are extremely important to the local community as well as visitors to the area.

Register your vehicle for the 2017 event on the how website here, http://www.lakesclassiccarshow.org.uk/, where you’ll also find out further information for the day and directions if you are new to Grasmere.

Accommodation:
Whether it’s just for the night, making a full weekend or short break of it or a holiday then Grasmere is a fantastic location with plenty of places to stay, eat and drink. Raise View is a luxury bed & breakfast in the heart of Grasmere with a private, off road car park perfect for parking classic cars safely. Their delicious breakfast will set visitors up for a day walking around all the cars. Visit http://www.raiseview.uk for more details.

The Langdale Cycle Trail – A Must Ride in 2017

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.

langdale cycle trail

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.

C Art Open Studios showcasing the best of creative Cumbria

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.

c art cumbria eden
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.

Ullswater, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas of the Lake District

ullswater lake district
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.

Kendal, a music venue for everyone

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.

kendal music venues
The Malt Room at the award wining Brewery Arts Centre

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.

Make this summer the summer of cycling in Cumbria

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.

cycling cumbria
Getting to places a car can’t reach whilst cycling in Cumbria and the Lake District

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

National Trust properties around Hawkshead, the Lake District

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.

lake district national trust
National Trust properties 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.

Racing and revelling to start Cartmel’s 2016 fixtures

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 races

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.