Lakes Getaways – Holidays in the English Lake District. Book Direct and Save.

How to have an amazing experience in colour!

Claife Heights

If you want to experience a World Heritage site in all its glory, get yourself to Claife Heights Viewing station on the banks of Lake Windermere.

By road  …Junction 36 off M6, then take A684 which becomes the A591 to Windermere and Ambleside. B5285 from Windermere via Windermere ferry 3 miles. B5286 and B5285 from Ambleside 9 miles. B5285 from Coniston 8 miles.

Parking: Ash Landing, very near Claife Viewing Station and Harrowslack, on Windermere’s west shore.

There’s a cosy cafe in the courtyard and it is open every day 11am-3pm.  Four legged friends are welcome on the west shore of Windermere.

This colourful Viewing Station has endless lake views and waterside paths for you to explore.



Wine Tasting in Cumbria

Fabulous views, quaint shops and fantastic cakes! Where am I?

Well I’m talking about Grange over Sands .It’s a  quiet seaside retreat on the Southern tip of the Cartmel peninsula, between the mountains and the sea, and only 7 miles from Windermere. Grange has some of the finest parks and gardens on the Cumbrian coast – the ornamental gardens has a lake with many water birds and a beautiful prom to walk along.


Grange is a pretty resort with an Edwardian flavour and a mild climate. It is on the shores of Morecambe Bay, and from the 13th Century until the 1850’s, the major route from Lancaster was across the sands. In 1887, the coming of the Furness Railway encouraged the growth of Grange from a small hamlet to the town we see today.

grange edwardian terrace

The estuary and the countryside around Grange are fascinating places for nature enthusiasts. A tremendous range of birds can be seen, and there are several nature reserves and sites of special scientific interest.

Grange is famous for the cross bay walks, lead by Cedric Robinson, The Queen’s Guide, an event not to be missed.

Cross bay walk

Grange has a brilliant award winning tea room- The Hazelmere


And finally the most fabulous walk up Hampsfell to look down on to the Morecambe Estuary. On top is a strange shelter called The Hospice. Well worth the hike up.

Top of Hospice on Hampsfell

Many of the shops are specialist shops: specialist butchers, chocolate producer, boutique clothes etc. Well worth a visit!

The best Cafe near Newby Bridge

Low Sizergh Farm Shop & Tea Shop

Open every day 9.30 – 5.00pm (Sundays from 10.00am). Closed 25th, 26th Dec, 1st Jan

Four miles from M6 Junction 36 on the A590 Outside Kendal

Low Sizergh Farm Sizergh, Kendal LA8 8AE Tel (015395) 60426

The tea room, is on the top floor of a  late 17th century barn. Here  you can enjoy a hearty
Cumbrian breakfast, sip specially blended tea from a Kendal merchant made to suit the
local water, enjoy a lunch of local produce, or a fabulous farmhouse tea.
One interesting thing is that whilst you sip or eat you have  a bird’s eye view of the parlour so that you  can watch the cows being milked each afternoon from 3.15pm – it’s a sight you don’t often see with afternoon tea!

cows being milked
Rothart / Pixabay

Cows have been  at Sizergh since the 13th century when milk was produced for the castle across the fields. As a working farm, the yield today supplies the farm shop, tearoom and businesses across the county.

It’s everything you could want for a quick trip or a slow day out and good for families too
with everything from shopping, eating and a farm trail. There  are three galleries to explore
packed with everything from everyday staples and foodie finds, clothing to crockery, books
to baskets, toys to trowels and works by local potters, artists and designers.
Finding Low Sizergh Barn :  4 miles from Junction 36 on the M6. Follow the A590 towards Kendal, take the exit for Barrow-in-Furness and follow brown signs for Sizergh Castle, then Low Sizergh Barn.  Sat Nav: LA8 8DZ

The Coolest way To Travel In The Lakes!

Coniston Water is nearly  five miles long, and has a maximum depth of 184 feet.  It is  the third largest of the lakes. It provided an important fish source for the monks of Furness Abbey who owned the lake and much of the surrounding land in the 13th and 14th Centuries. More recently Coniston Water was used to transport slate and ore from the many mines worked in the Coppermines Valley above Coniston village. It has three small islands, all owned by the National Trust.

The elegant Victorian Steam Yacht Gondola sails between March and November. Renovated by the National Trust, its passengers can travel in opulently upholstered saloons – a superb way to appreciate the magnificent scenery. The traditional timber craft of Coniston Launch provide regular hourly sailings throughout the year to jetties around Coniston Water, including Brantwood.

The Victorian philosopher John Ruskin bought Brantwood house to the east of the lake in 1871 declaring the view over the lake to ‘The Old Man of Coniston’ to be ‘the best in all of England’.

Arthur Ransome based his book ‘Swallows and Amazons’ on Coniston Water, and much fun may be had trying to discover the locations of the stories. There are both boat hire and sailing courses & centres on Coniston Water.

Sir Malcolm Campbell chose Coniston for his attempt at the water speed record in 1939, which he achieved at over 141 miles per hour. On his death, his son Donald Campbell [left] took up where his father left off.
His aim was to better 300 miles per hour, which he did on 4th January 1967, but the craft, ‘Bluebird’, shot up into the air and disappeared into the lake. Until early in 2001, his body had never been found. There is a memorial to him near the Information Centre in Ruskin Avenue. The story is told in the refurbished Ruskin Museum.

The Ruskin Museum has a display of Donald Campbell memorabilia, and is home to the actual tail fin of K7, as well as the air intake of the Bristol Orpheus engine recovered in 2001. A project is under way to restore K7, aimed at returning Bluebird to Coniston before permanently housing her at the Ruskin museum.

On 8 March 2001, Bluebird was raised from the bed of Coniston Water, on 28 May the remains of what was later proved to be Campbell’s body were brought from the lake. A memorial service was held in Coniston church on 12 September 2001, and his body buried in the churchyard.

At the Lakeland Motor Museum is the ‘Campbell Legend Bluebird Exhibition’ featuring the exploits of Sir Malcolm Campbell and his son Donald Campbell.

Magical Minibeasts – A Fun day For The Children

Magical Minibeasts – 12 February

Brockhole web site 

Date: 12 February 2018
Price: £5 children, £2 adults accompanying children
Start: Sessions at 11am, 12 noon, 1.30pm and 2.30pm

Meet Dude the bearded dragon and Toady the cane toad, plus Madagascan hissing cockroaches, stick insects, giant African land snails and many more minibeasts. Get the opportunity to handle them and find out about their habitats too.

Sessions at 11am, 12 noon, 1.30pm and 2.30pm. Fun family event – children must be accompanied by an adult.

Book online or call us on 0845 272 0004 (calls cost 2p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge).

Why Not Take A Snowdrop Walk In The Beauty Of The Lakes?

Snowdrop Walk

Time: Open at 11am and close at 3pm

Venue: Brockhole – The Lake District Visitor Centre, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 1LJ

Entry Fees: Free Entry. Car parking charges apply

Costs: Snowdrops – £2.00 and Children’s Treasure Trail – £1.00

Brockhole is available for you to walk around at your leisure with the addition of a children’s Treasure Hunt where they receive a fun-filled goody bag at the end.

Snowdrops are available for purchase on the day and charity staff and volunteers will be on hand to help with the planting at a dedicated area within the park.

Refreshments will be available from on site cafe that has stunning views of Lake Windermere.

Booking isn’t required, please just turn up on the day between 11am and 3pm.

A Magnificent Church in Finsthwaite

Built in 1874, the church of St Peter replaced an earlier chapel constructed in 1724-5. It was designed by Paley and Austin, the well known Lancaster firm of architects, and won a prize in a competition to design a church suitable for an alpine area. It is a grade II* listed building. A lych gate was added in 1914. The parish clock, which is situated in the tower, was installed in 1918 as a monument to the Fallen of the parish. It was completely renovated and electrified by public subscription in 2005. A set of tubular bells is housed in the tower, and these were refurbished and computerized in 2012. St Peter’s has a dedicated, hard-working congregation with attendance averaging about 18 from an electoral roll of 42. The congregation currently enjoy both BCP and CW services.

One of the graves in the graveyard belongs to the Finsthwaite Princess, Clementina Johannes Sobieski Douglas of Waterside, who was buried on 16th May 1771. It is widely believed she was the daughter of Prince Charles Edward, the Young Pretender, by Clemintina Walkinshaw.


1st Sunday: 9.30am Holy Communion CW

2nd Sunday: 11.00am United Service with Haverthwaite and Staveley-in-Cartmel – Holy Communion CW

3rd Sunday: 11.00am Holy Communion BCP

4th Sunday: 6.00pm Evensong BCP

5th Sunday: 11.00am United Service with Haverthwaite and Staveley-in-Cartmel – Holy Communion CW

A little taste of brilliant bakes, wonderful wines and fabulous food!

Low Sizergh Barn is a great place to visit on a Winter’s afternoon. in fact any time of year. The range of food they stock is fabulous: fresh breads, wines, cheeses, savories, cakes as well as raw milk! Then a quick visit to the tearoom where again the food is excellent and if you time it right, you can watch the cows ( through a glass window) being milked. Kids love this. And if that’s not enough you can browse the gift department and ladies do visit the clothing gallery and for those who want a walk, you can take the farm trail.

Low Sizergh Farm, Sizergh, Kendal LA8 8AE


3 Great Places You Must Take Your Camera near Newby Bridge

High Dam must be the top of the list.

My second choice is Tarn Hows near Hawkshead.

My third choice must be Gummer’s  How. looking down on to lake Windermere with Lakeside in the distance.

Fabulous places to visit in the lakes when it’s chilly outside.

Winter Beauty….. sounds romantic. Winter walks …….sounds romantic but not all of us want to walk the fells in the Winter, so I have put together my top 4 places to visit in the Winter months when you stay at Woodside.

The mountains, lakes, valleys and woodlands might be a bracing place to be in the Winter months, but it is a wonderful place for winter walking, cycling, family activities and much more.

And, when the snow falls, there are plenty of slopes for sledging and for building snowmen, which the kids will love! This is the Bobbin Mill across the road, just waiting for those snowmen to be built!

And, with early dark nights and clear winter skies, it is a perfect time to get looking up at the stars.

After a day out hiking the snowy fells (be prepared as the weather can be very unpredictable) or having enjoyed a cruise across lake Windermere from Lakeside  you can get all warm and toasty in front of the fire at Woodside.  Or venture out to The Swan for a great meal.


My top selection for indoor places to visit when at Woodside in the Winter months.

  1. The Aquarium of the Lakes, Newby Bridge

A lovely little aquarium on the southern shore of Windermere at Lakeside, with freshwater and marine life, featuring an underwater otter tunnel and stingrays.

Aquarium of the lakes

  1. Lakeland Motor Museum, Backbarrow

The museum has the largest collection of motoring memorabilia in the country. It has more than 300,000 exhibits which trace the development of road transport throughout the 20th Century.

There’s also a tribute section to legendary racing father and son Malcom and Donald Campbell, a 1920s garage and a 1950s café – so there’s lots to do on a visit here and dogs are welcome.

Motor museum and dogs

  1. Lakeland The perfect place to hear about exciting new products, recipes, offers and competitions from the home of creative kitchenware.

The home of the kitchen gadget!  Things you didn’t even know existed! Things you didn’t even know you wanted till you saw it! All this and more, especially on the run up to Christmas. Lakeland is packed with ideas for you and your home, and on a winter’s  afternoon a perfect place to call into when in Windermere. They have an excellent restaurant too.

Lakeland plastics

4.  Hawkshead Village for great shops and cafes. The Hawkshead Relish shop is a must.

Hawkshead relish shop

What ever you do , enjoy your stay in the Lakes in the Winter, a warm welcome awaits you.

Snow at woodside

Unusual Things You Can See near Newby Bridge

Gummers How

My thanks to

 A Great Walk With A Great View!

Start Point: SD 389876. There is a small car park on the Fell Foot side road 1 mile north of Newby Bridge.
Height to Climb: 88ms (289 feet)
Terrain: An easy path to the summit and back but a myriad of smaller paths offer great opportunities to explore and vary the route.
Eating & Drinking: There is nothing nearer than Newby Bridge but the outcrops make great picnic spots

Gummers How walk map

Gummer’s How walk

Access is from the Fell Foot Brow road from the southern end of Windermere off the A592. There is a small car park before you get to Sow How Lane if you are coming up from the lake. The path is well trodden and easy to follow, although eroded in places, so watch for small diversions whilst the landscape recovers.

Although not detailed, this map will give you a rough idea of how far the walk is from the road and you will see that from gaining a little height you will have access to views across Windermere and to the fells beyond – quite breath taking.

Wainwright neglected to include Gummer’s How in his 7 main guides, probably due to its insignificant height (less than 400 foot of climbing), but added it later to his Outlying Fells collection. His amusing description here challenges any walker to reach the summit but if they fail to he suggests the potential climber invests in pipe and slippers rather than walking boots! It is simple, can take no more than 1/2 an hour up and down but is worthy of greater exploration. Little rocky outcrops and heather clad slopes are the order of the day on Gummer’s How. It offers great views both up Windermere and also down beyond Newby Bridge to the sea. With nothing else of any interest on the east shoreline of Windermere Gummer’s How is a real find and should be included for all who stay in the area.

Recommend: Although Wainwright talks of the elderly I would add that it is a great first family walk, a worthy summit and has little scrambles ideal for younger children.

View from Gummer's How

A Monet Masterpiece to View in Kendal

Monet Masterpiece in the Abbot Hall Art Gallery Kendal. An event not to be missed

See a masterpiece by one of the world’s most famous painters in Kendal. Claude Monet’s Haystacks: Snow Effect, will be displayed at Abbot Hall Art Gallery from Friday 12 January until 28 April.

The painting, dated 1891, is from a series of work widely regarded as among Monet’s best and is loaned from the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh. It is believed to be the very first time that a Monet has been on display in Cumbria and cements Abbot Hall’s commitment to show work by iconic international artists.

Monet, a founder of French impressionist painting, produced over 30 haystacks paintings. He worked at different times of day and season to capture the effect changing light had on their form.

The haystacks in this painting stood in a field to the west of Monet’s house in Giverney, France, where his famous water lily gardens were situated. In autumn and the relatively mild winter of 1890, Monet persuaded the local farmer to leave the stacks in his field so he could make a series of paintings. In Haystacks: Snow Effect the haystacks are almost reduced to shadow in the glowing winter light.

There are 25 paintings from Monet’s Haystacks series held at galleries around the globe including Tokyo, Los Angeles, Chicago, Paris and now Kendal. This is your chance to see a Monet masterpiece in Cumbria.

Event details

Dates Times
Fri 12 Jan – Wed 28 Feb 2018 10:30 to 16:00
Thu 1 Mar – Sat 28 Apr 2018 10:30 to 17:00


Adults £7.70 / £7.00 without donation.
Friends, students and children free

A Little Bit Of History near Newby Bridge

Not far from Newby Bridge is the Motor Museum at Backbarrow (which you can walk to through the lanes from Woodside,)  It’ s a great afternoon out. When I went I didn’t think I would find it that interesting, however I was so wrong!!!
There are so many fantastic cars to see, even if you’re not a car enthusiast. You just can’t help but enjoy this museum.
And when you fancy a cuppa or lunch, you can just go next door to Cafe Ambio for some great food. Their coronation chicken sandwiches are my favourite.
And yes! dogs are welcome in the museum and on the terrace at the cafe.

A Great Walk With A Dog near Newby Bridge

Sitting on bench above High Dam

One of the best walks in the Central Lakes is up to, and around High Dam.It’s a lake that was much favoured by Wainwright. In fact he said “It is far superior to Tarn Hows” High praise indeed!
It’s a picturesque tarn near Finsthwaite and Lakeside at the southern end of Windermere. A dam was built across the southern end of the tarn in the early 1800s to supply water to the bobbin mill at Stott Park a few miles away. It is surrounded by mixed woodlands of oak, birches, larch and Scots pine to name a few that we spotted. The woodland floor is scattered with bilberry, bracken and heather.
High Dam is a circular route that can be extended up to Stott Park Heights which will afford you a view down on to Lake Windermere.

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) not to be missed.

Today I thought I would share with you an area that is often overlooked as it’s just outside the Lake District National Park. It’s Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s across the Morecambe Bay and opposite Grange over Sands.

This extraordinary place is famous for its amazing wildlife, stunning scenery, and superb walks. From the simple beauty of the lady’s-slipper orchid to the shining sands of Morecambe Bay, the area is simply awe-inspiring.

A great way to visit the area is by train, if you fancy a day off from driving, as there’s a station at both Arnside and Silverdale.

There are 5 major villages to enjoy: Arnside, Silverdale, Beetham, The Yealands and Wharton all worth an explore! From a Victorian seaside resort to a village with connections to the first president of the United States, the villages of the AONB will take you back in time and reveal an interesting history.

Other attractions include :

 Heron Corn Mill is an 18th century Grade II* listed water mill and important local heritage site and visitor attraction within the AONB.

Lakeland Wildlife Oasis is an all-weather attraction. Where you can meet the Meerkats,  and  stroke a snake (if you want to!)

RSPB Leighton Moss  

Leighton Hall and Hawk Garden

Leighton Hall is the historic home of the world-renowned Gillow furniture making family, a stunning location for a day out     : 

A great place to visit in the area is the Heritage Centre and Refreshment Room at Carnforth station which offers you the chance to take a step back in time! Opened in 2003 following an extensive renovation project, the centre attracts visitors from all over the world who come to experience the 1940s’ atmosphere of David Lean’s film ‘Brief Encounter’ which was filmed here.

I Found The Best Bakery near Newby Bridge

Cartmel Village

Well I not only found the best bakery near  Newby  Bridge,  I found loads of other food shops too. I went to Cartmel Village. A few minutes from Woodside and on Fell View’s door step!

Cartmel is unique! It’s a medieval village with an ancient Priory and the smallest race course in England!

Cartmel Village

It’s a lovely place to wander around at any time of year is Cartmel Village. Not only has it an artisan bakery but there are many other interesting places to visit in this medieval village. Wine bars, bistros, cafe bars, coffee shops, pubs and top class restaurants! You can see why it has a reputation of being the best “foodie” village in the Lakes.

And when you have finished eating and drinking there are gift shops, vintage clothing and antique shops, chocolate shops and of course ice cream shops!

I Found Some Wonderful Artwork near Newby Bridge

 If you’re looking for arts and crafts a trip to Yew Tree Barn at High Newton just off the A590 is well worth a visit.

Book Launch at Yew Tree Barn – 18th January

Please make a note in your diaries of this January event.  Yew Tree Barn are  hosting the launch of local poet David Hunt’s new book, ‘Inklings’, which will be hot off the press for his book signing on Thursday 18th January.

Please email or call to book tickets.

A visit to Yew Tree Barn is not complete unless you have a browse around the barn, or a visit to  Harry’s Cafe Bar. Their coffee is fantastic, there’s an interesting wine list, wherever possible they buy locally, everything is freshly cooked, there is a cosy seating area by the fire with newspapers and magazines, free wifi, and you will be very well looked after!

At the beginning of December, the barn holds its annual Christmas Fair. Watch the video to get a flavour of Yew Tree Barn.

Morecambe Bay Cycle Ride

morecambe bay cycle route

Morecambe Bay’s fantasic cycle way. Have your own big adventure on two wheels! 

From Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness to Glass Dock, Lancashire, the award-winning Bay Cycle Way (NCN 700) is 130km of relatively flat cycle routes around the Bay.

It is a family-friendly, long distance route, suitable for entry-level touring cyclists. And importantly it is designed so that you’ll never be far from a loo, a view or a brew!

if your staying at Fell view this section of the route is ideal for a short ride. 

Cartmel Peninsula

The route carries on towards the little village of Greenodd before crossing the Leven Estuary and on through Roudsea Woods in preparation for the climb up aptly named Bigland Hill. Catch your breath at the top before coasting downhill towards foody capital Cartmel (of sticky-toffee-pudding fame), and through to Flookburgh where the famous Morecambe Bay shrimps are available, in season – look out for signs at fishermen’s homes.

Moving back towards the coastline, the route passes through the genteel Edwardian town of Grange-over-Sands before heading back inland along the quiet old road adjacent to the A590 towards Witherslack and Levens villages and the historic house and stunning topiary gardens of Levens Hall.

Arnside and Silverdale area

Meander along the marsh road through the diverse natural habitat of the country’s smallest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at Arnside and Silverdale and visit the largest reed bed in Northwest England at Leighton Moss RSPB Nature Reserve – home to otters, red deer and breeding birds such as bitterns, bearded tits and marsh harriers.


Blackwell Arts and Crafts House

Blackwell Arts and Crafts House , just waiting to be explored!

Blackwell Arts and Crafts House is  not far from Newby Bridge and Windermere, and must be one of the most stunning arts and crafts houses in the country, and somewhere that is a must for a visit. The views from the terrace are amazing, looking out onto Lake Windermere. It is one of the most enchanting historic houses in the Lake District. When you visit you are invited to relax and immerse yourself in all the beauty and craftsmanship of Blackwell. You are encourage to sit and soak up the atmosphere in Blackwell’s fireplace inglenooks, which have fine examples of tiles by Arts & Crafts designer William de Morgan. The inviting window seats offer stunning views of the surrounding Lake District scenery. You can appreciate the house as it was originally intended, without roped-off areas.

Blackwell retains many of its original decorative features, including a rare hessian wall-hanging in the Dining Room, leaf-shaped door handles, curious window catches, spectacular plasterwork, stained glass and carved wooden panelling by Simpsons of Kendal. The rooms contain furniture and objects by many of the leading Arts & Crafts designers and studios – metalwork by WAS Benson, ceramics by Pilkingtons and Ruskin Pottery and furniture by Morris & Co., Stanley Webb Davies, Ernest Gimson and Baillie Scott himself.

Recent acquisitions of furniture by Baillie Scott are on display, including an oak and ebony inlaid barrel chair with slatted sides, sideboard and a set of dining chairs. Blackwell offers more than most historic houses with several rooms displaying historical exhibitions that explore different aspects of the Arts & Crafts Movement.


Blackwell Arts and Crafts House

The original gardens were laid out by Arts & Crafts garden designer, Thomas Mawson, in a series of terraces to achieve the very best views from the house over the lake towards the Coniston fells. Today, Blackwell is bordered by beautiful flower beds set against a terrace of York stone paving, providing shelter for garden chairs and tables, surrounded by fragrant flowers and herbs. On the lower terrace there is a long sweep of lawn where visitors can stroll and take in the intoxicating beauty of the Lake District whatever the season.

Opening Times

Every day, 10.30am – 5pm
Tea Room open from 10am

Winter closing time: 4pm (Nov – Feb)
Closed 25 & 26 Dec 2016 and 2 – 12 Jan 2018

Admission 2017

Adult £8.80 (without donation £8)

Kids and full-time students FREE