Lakes Getaways – Holidays in the English Lake District

Castle and History in the Lake District

Sizergh castle

I must confess I love a wander around a castle. All that history. Even better that in the Southern Lakes we are near to 4 of the best castles in the Lake District!
First up, and about 45 mins away in the car,from Fell View and Woodside, is Muncaster Castle. Which is supposed to be Britain’s most haunted castle and their ticket entry Halloween Week events are coveted.

Muncaster Castle is a great day out with with the castle, gardens ,owl and hawk displays. There’s plenty to keep all the family happy.
There is a very busy events calendar:- haunted castle tours for Halloween, Christmas Tea, Muncaster Festival (running annually over May season) and Food & Drink Festivals, as well as tours.

Ticket prices to Muncaster Castle include access to 77 acres of woodland and gardens – the bluebell woods are popular in spring. For the more adventourous there’s an outdoor Adventure

My second choice is Sizergh Castle, about 15 mins from both of our cottages and owned by the National Trust.

Sizergh estate and garden walks are very popular. Sizergh Castle gardens include the National Trust’s largest limestone rock garden, wildflowers and water garden including two lakes, woodland walks, and follow the National Trust Wildlife Walk to enjoy the rich agricultural landscape of the Lyth Valley. Other popular walks include the The Sizergh Fell walk.

There’s a kitchen garden and greenhouse to explore and then you can enjoy a excellent food in the cafe.
For children there is an excellent play walk.

My third choice is Wray Castle . Managed by the National trust and on the banks of Lake Windermere. This castle is not old, as in built about 180 years ago by a surgeon and an heiress from Liverpool. The castle would only ever have to defend itself from the Cumbrian weather!

With all the furniture and artwork long gone and the last family moving out in the 1920s, the castle has had mixed uses and only opened to visitors in 2011.

The castle has church-like interiors and panoramic Lake District views. It is still a work in progress . As such it is great for families who have rooms to run and play in.
There is a fabulous walk down to the lake. (The video will give you a flavour of this fabulous castle and its wonderful setting!)

My final choice is Kendal Castle.
The castle is now a ruin and has been ever since the Tudor period, but it’s an intriguing place to explore. It was originally built in the 12th century for the barons of Kendal, and now the castle is home to some displays of fantastic medieval objects.

There are some wonderful views all around Kendal castle, so don’t miss out if you’re visiting. The most famous connections for this castle are the Parr family , Catherine Parr being Henry VIII’s, sixth wife!

For quality accommodation www.lakesgetaways.co.uk

Cut a dash in a vintage car at Backbarrow

I just went to do some videoing of the river down at Backbarrow and whilst I was there I thought I would check out the  The Lakeland Historic Car Club . They meet on the first Saturday of every month at the museum . Everyone is welcome to attend whether you’re an owner, enthusiast or just keen to see some great examples of some classic local cars. It starts at about 10am with loads of much loved cars and their owners turning up. Everyone is very willing to chat about their vehicle and even let you sit in on occasions.

vintage cars at Backbarrow

Backbarrow Motor museum Address: Old Blue Mill, Backbarrow, Ulverston LA12 8TA

A nostalgic visit suitable for all ages, this museum is located in Backbarrow,only 2 miles from Woodside and 15 mins drive from Fell View, on the site of the former Backbarrow Blue Mill – best known for manufacturing the washing additive, Dolly Blue. Well-behaved dogs are welcome throughout the exhibition areas free of charge, but do note that Café Ambio next door doesn’t accept dogs.

Motor Museum, dogs are welcome

30,000 exhibits that trace the development of road transport throughout the twentieth century – cycles, motorbikes, motor cars and automobilia.

Housed in a converted mill in the heart of the Lake District, we’re minutes from Lake Windermere and offer joint tickets with Windermere Lake Cruises and other local attractions.

Much more than just a motor museum, their  local history and period shopping displays, authentic recreations and picturesque riverside cafe makes it a great day out for the whole family.

Vintage cars at BackbarrowVintage cars at BackbarrowVintage cars at Backbarrow

OPEN 9:30am to 4:30pm 
every day except Christmas Day

Take time out from shopping and indulge your sweet tooth

2 Sisters Café, Kendal

I have to share with you a fabulous eatery in Kendal, so that the next time you visit Fell view or Woodside you can go.

I discovered the 2 Sisters Cafe in Kendal and have since found they have two cafes, so I will have to go and try that one out. I am confident it will be as good as the one in Kendal.  One of the 2 sisters cafe is  in Kendal town centre right on the High Street, next to Westmorland Shopping Centre, and other one is by  Plumgarths Farm Shop, just at the bottom of the A591 bypass outside Kendal, as you head towards Windermere.

If you enjoy local produce in a warm and relaxing environment, in a lovely, modern space with tables and sofas to sit on and want somewhere to escape from the shopping , then this is perfect.  It’s owned and managed  by 2 Sisters! Monika and Magda , who love cooking and produce scrumptious cakes! ( I can attest to that!)

They are also right next to Plumgarth’s Farm Shop where you can pick up some of Plumgarth’s fabulous local produce – with a proper butchery counter, serving  meat; sausages, cheeses, pickles and jams, or bakery selections.  2 sisters cafe

They serve an All day Breakfast  (9am-midday)

Plumgarth’s bacon, sausages, tomato, mushroom, baked beans and fried egg served with toast or breakfast artisan roll, packed with Plumgarth’s bacon, sausages and/or egg.

Simply Lunches, Soups and Snacks Served from 12am-4.30pm

A wide selection of artisan rolls with simply scrumptious fillings, hot paninis, quiche with tasty salad, special savoury pancakes, smooth chicken liver, contreau & orange paté, 2 sisters 2 beans chicken chilli

Simply Delightful Afternoon Tea (2.30pm-5pm) 

tea: £12.50 per person and includes:
– Tea or your choice of coffee
– Selection of Sandwiches
– Fruit scone with clotted cream and jam
– Your choice of cake

You can just turn up but it does get busy in school holidays and peak times. You can book if you don’t want to take the risk. You can book a table by phoning 01539 720 589

Enjoy

If you are looking for quality accommodation in the Lake District please check out our cottages www.lakesgetaways.co.uk you won’t be disappointed.

 

A Recommended Day Trip near Cartmel

Laurel and Hardy Statue

A great trip out from Cartmel but in fact any destination in the Lake District at the moment is a trip to Ulverston.

Ulverston is not only a delightful market town with interesting shops and antique stores, but is also the home of a small, but perfectly formed and most informative museum!  Ulverston is the home of the Laurel and Hardy Museum, which seeing at the film “Stan and Ollie” has just come out ( January 2019) I thought I would share this lovely town with you all.

Mural of Stan Laurel

First a little history about the duo.  Laurel and Hardy were a comedy act during the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema. Stan Laurel was English (1890–1965) and Oliver Hardy American (1892–1957). They became well known during the late 1920s to the mid-1940s for their slapstick comedy.  Laurel played the clumsy and childlike friend of the self- important Hardy. They are famous for their signature tune which was played over their film credits  (The Dance of the Cuckoos”). their bowler hats!

Prior to emerging as a team, both actors had well-established film careers. Laurel had appeared in over 50 films as an actor (while also working as a writer and director), while Hardy had been in more than 250 productions. They didn’t become a comedy team until 1926 when they appeared in a movie short together, and they officially became a team in 1927 when they appeared together in the silent short film Putting Pants on Philip.

 

They appeared as a team in 107 films, starring in 32 short silent films, 40 short sound films, and 23 full-length feature films. They also made 12 guest or cameo appearances .

In 2005, they were voted the seventh-greatest comedy act of all time by a UK poll of fellow comedians.

The official Laurel and Hardy appreciation society is known as  The Sons of the Desert and memorabilia of them and their work can be found in Ulverston.

Ulverston is the home of Stan Laurel and at the Roxy Cinema not only can you at the moment (January 2019) see the film, “Stan and Ollie” with   John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan you can tour the delightful museum dedicated to the famous pair

To get to the museum by Car –(from Woodside or Fell View)

Turn off the M6 at Junction 36, follow the A590 to Barrow in Furness, which will bring you to Ulverston. The easiest car park is situated on the roundabout at the entrance to the town. From the car park, we are a short walk up the cobbled street, past Gillam’s Tearoom, turn left at Costa Coffee onto Brogden Street. Their  entrance is at the front of the Roxy Cinema, look out for the smiling Stan, as in the photo above!

Parking –

There is ample parking in Ulverston town centre with several Pay and Display car parks all within 5 minutes walk. Parking on the street is usually limited to 1 hour unless you have a parking permit (local residents only).

Admission Prices 2019

Adults: £5.00
Concession: £4.00 Children: £2.50
Family Ticket: £10.00 (Family Ticket consists of Two Adults and up to Three Children U16)
Deluxe Ticket: £7.00 (Entry plus Hot or Cold Drink and muffin or bag of popcorn)

Annual Passes:
Adult: £12.00
Concession: £10.00
Family: £25.00 Ulverston Walking Tour: £5.00 per person

Every Thursday during the School Summer Holidays
Join our experts for a guided tour of Ulverston as Stan would have remembered it. See his birthplace, the shop where Grandma bought him his Beers Treacle Toffee (a real treat!) and many other parts of our charming Market Town.

Opening Times

10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Easter – Oct: 7 Days Per Week
Close Monday & Wednesday at all other times.
Christmas Opening Times: From 20th Dec to 3rd Jan,

Looking for quality accommodation in the English lake District? Look no further, check out www.lakesgetaways.co.uk

Holker Hall Events

Holker Hall  owned by the Cavendish Family, is a few minutes from both of our cottages and has lovely gardens and tearoom. It is set in 18.800 acres so there’s plenty of room to run around! It is a few minutes from Grange over sands and Cartmel on the stunningly beautiful Cartmel peninsula.

They have some great events happening over the next few months .This is just taste of what’s happening!

pasja1000 / Pixabay

Evening Tour with the Head Gardener
Wednesday 22nd August 2018

Wednesday 22nd August 2018
NGS Open Day – Tour with our Head Gardener

Thursday 23rd August 2018
Kitchen Garden Guided Tours

Every Thursday at 2pm in July & August
Pop-up Pub & Pizza in The Courtyard

Every Saturday from 3pm in July and August
Plant Fair & Holker Food Market

Sunday 26th August 2018
Holker Food Markets

Sundays – Sunday 26th August 2018, Sunday 21st October 2018, Sunday 9th December 2018
Mexican Night at The Ilex

Saturday 8th September 2018
Holker Chilli Fest

Saturday 8th September 2018 & Sunday 9th September 2018
Early Openings for Photography

10th – 14th October
Tour & Tea with the Head Gardener (Autumn Colour)

Wednesday 17th October 2018
Holker Halloween Fun!

Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th October
Winter Market

Friday 2nd – Sunday 4th November
Holker Celebrates Christmas

Fri 30th Nov – Sun 2nd Dec, Thurs 6th – Sun 9th & Thurs 13th – Sun 16th December

Friday 23rd March to Sunday 28th October 2018

Opening and Closing times

Hall (11am-4pm) & Gardens (10.30am-5pm) : Wednesday – Sunday (+ Bank Holiday Mondays)

Gift Shop (10.30am – 5pm): Wednesday – Sunday (+ Bank Holiday Mondays)

Café, Food Hall & Park (10.30am-5pm) :  Daily

Ilex Bar & Brasserie (From 12noon, last orders 3pm): Wednesday – Sunday

Occasionally the Hall opening may vary to accommodate special events. Please check the website before visiting.

galadrim / Pixabay

Christmas Markets

My favourite Christmas Market of the season is Yew Tree Barn’s Market at High Newton

30th November, 1st & 2nd December 2018 10am – 4.30pm

Their annual Christmas Market, is a must visit festive event in the South Lakes  All the usual YTB offerings, PLUS over 40 quality stalls join us throughout the barn and in their heated marquee selling crafts, art, food and drink.  Each day they have live music with Andy Webb on the piano, and in the afternoons their regular 5 piece Jazz Band, with a guest appearance on Sunday of the Kendal Revellers!

Whilst you browse the market stalls you can also enjoy their ornamental reclamation yard too!

Hawskhead Christmas Fair & Beer Festival  – Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd December 2017, 10am-5pm 

This is a traditional family event with something for everybody. Jugglers, street theatre, lantern parade, live music and carol singing will entertain kids and parents will be happy with the Winter Beer Festival hosted by the local pubs. Over 50 stalls means you will actually be able to pick up some gifts too, as well as take in the wonderful festive atmosphere.

Blackwell Christmas Craft Fair – Saturday 1st December 

This events is inside  Arts & Crafts House, Blackwell, a visit to this event makes it difficult not to get into the craft spirit this Christmas.

You’ll find various local materials and skills on show at Blackwell’s 2018 Christmas Craft Fair; ceramics, textiles, scarves and blankets and wooden decorations, to mention a few.

 

Blackwell Arts and Crafts House

Holker Hall Celebrates Christmas  – Fri 30th Nov – Sun 2nd Dec, Thurs 6th – Sun 9th & Thurs 13th – Sun 16th December

Holker Hall and Gardens is,  an event for all. The hall is beautifully decorated for the festive season! A great variety of stalls will be at the event as well as their excellent food hall and restaurant.

Santa Express, Lakeside Railway – Dec 1 – Dec 16

This is one of  the most popular Christmas events in the Lake District for families and  booking is essential. And best of all it is a few minutes walk from Woodside! The Santa Express offers 1 and 1/2 hours of fun-filled festive entertainment and so we can see why it is so popular. When you join the Santa Express, it’s as though you’re part of a festive panto, with elves dishing out festive drinks to parents and carol singing before you hear, with much anticipation, the man in the red suit arrive in the carriage next door. Before the steam train journey from Lakeside to Haverthwaite is complete children choose a gift from Father Christmas in what is truly a fun and interactive Christmas even not to be missed this year.

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Haverthwaite to Lakeside steam railway

Windermere – Christmas Celebration – Saturday 8th December 2018, 11am to 6pm & Sunday 9th December 2018, 10am to 4pm 

The Windermere Christmas Celebration which promises snow cannons, Santa’s Grotto, live music and a record-number of local and national stallholders. You don’t need to be staying in Windermere to enjoy a hassle-free visit to this festive event because there is a shuttle bus provided for the event running from Windermere Lake Cruises Pier 1 in Bowness. You’ll find food, drink and craft with a festive theme across over 50 stalls.

Cartmel Christmas Food Market – Friday 16th December 

For foodies, Cartmel is fab! On the third Friday in December

Wine Tasting in Cartmel

Cartmel Village

A great place in Cartmel is Unsworth’s Yard. here you can find several eateries and specialist shops. They also have their own Brewery!  Unsworth’s Brewery

Unsworths Yard’s own brewery is open to visitors every day of the week. They are an open-door brewery with the modern, stainless-steel, 5-barrel brewhouse separated from the tasting room bar and shop only by large windows. Even on busy brew-days visitors are encouraged to view the beer making process, ask questions and taste the cask beer available from the bar. Their shop is fully stocked with our wide choice of bottled beers, available individually or in a range of gift bags and boxes, all brewed on the premises. They do  group tours and tastings.

Wine bar in Cartmel

also in Cartmel is the Drinkshop & Wine Snug

Cartmel Drink Shop specialises in the finest wines, spirits and liqueurs from around the world with a unique “try before you buy” available across much of the range.

they have an excellent   range which is  backed up by their  expert knowledge and attention to high quality customer service. they focus on small artisan producers, regional liquors and single estate wines. So if you’re looking for the perfect bottle for yourself or as a standout gift, this may be just the place to visit!

They have a  landscaped courtyard area, and a  cosy wine snug, as a perfect setting for their  full drinks menu. They have a wine dispensing cabinet with eight wines available every day. Also  specialist gin and tonic and artisan cocktails!

Quality accommodation in the English lake District www.lakesgetaways.co.uk

The Friendliest Bar in Newby Bridge

Swan Hotel gin

The Swan hotel at Newby Bridge is about 1 mile from Woodside, and is an excellent place to stop for a meal, a drink or an afternoon tea. They serve fabulous home cooked food in the main restaurant, called The River Room, and in the more relaxed bar area, called the Swan Inn. (I like the bar area!) They have a good selection of wines and a speciality gin list!

The River Room is open every day from 5pm with Lunch on a Sundays and The Swan Inn opens at 10am.

Just to give you an idea of there menu:

Lemon and garlic chicken kebab, flatbread, cucumber, chilli, cumin, black onion seeds
Swan whopper burger, beef burger, bacon, pepperoni, mature cheddar, fries, sweetcorn relish
Spicy fishcakes, cucumber salad, sweet chilli
Lamb koftas, flatbread, hummus, couscous, harissa, tzatziki
10oz Sirloin, chips, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion rings, peppercorn sauce

Thai yellow curry, steamed jasmine rice (chicken)
Rotisserie chicken, harissa potatoes, baby corn, chicory
Wholetail scampi, fries, garden peas, tartare sauce
Toasted goats cheese salad, gs walnuts, honey, sourdough toast
Salmon, crushed potatoes, peas, mint, watercress mayo
Garlic and herb rotisserie chicken, apple, bacon, avocado salad and French fries
Falafel, hummus, roasted peppers, flatbread, pickled gherkin, chilli
Vegetable tagine, almond and apricot, cous cous, harissa
tzatziki (V) no tzatziki (Ve)

Fish, chips, mushy peas, tartare sauce

They have a lovely seating area outside by the river

fish and chips

Quality accommodation in the English Lake District  www.lakesgetaways.co.uk

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

www.lowsizerghbarn.co.uk

info@lowsizerghbarn.co.uk

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

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!