THINGS TO DO IN THE LAKE DISTRICT (near Rose Cottage)
Rose Cottage is a great base from which to explore the Lake District.
Loweswater is the nearest lake and has some fantastic woodland walks. The Kirkstile Inn at the end of the lake has won several awards and promises a warm welcome.
From Loweswater Lake it is a few minutes to Rannerdale where the bluebells in May are a spectacular sight, covering the fellside in a layer of blue.
A mile or so beyond Loweswater is Crummock Water and Buttermere Lake beyond here. A scenic drive over Honister Pass takes you past the slate mines and via ferrata to Borrowdale and Keswick beyond.
Or you can drive through the pretty Newlands valley which takes you over Whinlatter pass where there are some of the country’s longest and best mountain bike trails. There is also a ‘Go Ape’ high ropes course here as well as a fabulous children’s play paradise.
Keswick is a fantastic place to spend the day (30 min drive unless you go via Honistor or Whinlatter in which case it will take longer). There are plenty of cafes and outdoor shops here, as well as a cinema, theatre, rowing boats on the Lake, the Pencil Museum (better than it sounds), Puzzling Place, climbing wall, lakeside and woodland walks and much more besides.
Cockermouth is a lovely town with antique shops, cafes, restaurants, indoor play centre, Sainsburys, independent local shops and a small cinema located at the Kirkgate. The Quince and Medlar vegetarian restaurant comes highly recommended by others who have stayed at Rose Cottage.
A few miles beyond Cockermouth (going towards Bassenthwaite) is Trotters’ Animal Farm. Brilliant for small children, there is also an indoor play area if the weather is inclement.
Going South from Rose Cottage is Ennerdale Lake (4 miles). This is a quiet valley where you are still likely to see more sheep than people. The Ennerdale valley is home to some of the Lake District’s highest mountains and there are also mountain bike trails and lakeside walks (pushchair friendly).
Cold Fell joins Ennerdale with Ravenglass and Eskdale. On Cold Fell is Bradley’s Pony Trekking centre – good for all ages and abilities (call 01946 861 354).
Ravenglass is home to the famous Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway (or the la’al ratty as it is known in Cumbrian dialect). This narrow gauge steam railway puffs seven miles through picturesque scenery to Boot in Eskdale. Ravenglass is the only coastal village that is officially classed as being within the Lake District National Park boundary. A sign on the beach warns you not to pick up any bombs. I’ve not seen any yet.
Muncaster Castle is also situated by Ravenglass and has been lived in by the Pennington Family since 1208. The gardens are superb, the views amazing and there is an Owl Centre there too. It’s easy to spend the whole day exploring here. Our kids love it.
The Eskdale valley is a beautiful place and has five good pubs, all serving food. Stanley Ghyll waterfall is one of my favourite walks – reminiscent of walking through the rain forest. Start by the war memorial or at St Catherine’s church. There is good river swimming at Forge Bridge.
On the way back from Eskdale to Lamplugh, the road bypasses the valley of Wasdale. It is well worth making a detour into the Wasdale Valley which was voted Britain’s Favourite View a few years back. For me, the best time to go is when it is pitch black and the stars are out. Scafell Pike (England’s highest mountain) can be climbed from the top end of Wasdale. Other starting points for Scafell Pike are Eskdale and Borrowdale.
For supermarkets, I would tend to go to Cockermouth but you can also go to Workington (which also has high street shopping area and multi screen cinema) or Whitehaven – a Georgian town which used to be the second biggest port in Britain, way back in the day. The harbour here is lovely and the Beacon gives you everything you need to know about the history of Whitehaven.
If beaches are your thing, then Allonby Beach is further up the coast, with Silloth beyond here – it’s like stepping back in time.
There are also some good golf courses in the area – Silloth is famous, but there are also golf courses at Cockermouth, Workington, St Bees, Threlkeld and Whitehaven.
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