In a really difficult start to the year, we’ve come up with 10 Things to do in the Outdoors,...
We invite you to Grass Ings, one of the very finest 3-beds, Gold Award holiday homes in the Lakes!
Pub menus are offering up winter feasts like pumpkin risotto, apple and blackberry crumble, pork and chestnut sausages and hearty steak pies. Fancy whisking friends away to enjoy a luxury cottage in the most iconic landscape in the UK? Who are you going to share a weekend at Grass Ings with?
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Winter is well and truly upon us and the days are short. This means that there’s all the more need to pack as much as you can into your precious weekend escapes. Fires are roaring and Sloe Gins are being poured. Bathtubs are filling up and we’re taking a lot more persuading to go out rather than choose a cosy corner, a good book and a glass of something warming. This season is all about entertaining at home, where strappy dresses and uncomfortable heels can be left in the wardrobe. We’ve left BBQ season behind and it’s all about candle-lit dinner parties and enjoying warm wintry indulgences like figs and cheese and boozy poached pears.
So that you can get the most out of your winter weekend escape, we’ve picked a Gold Award, sleeps 6 property, in a rural countryside location and planned a weekend itinerary for you and your party. Let us introduce you to a weekend at Grass Ings…
The stretch of the A593 from Ambleside into the iconic Langdale valley is one of the most breathtaking roads in the Lake District. The River Brathway runs alongside you on the left and Loughrigg Fell hugs the road on right, before you pass Elterwater and the views open up to reveal the dramatic Langdale Pikes and huge Langdale valley.
There are only a handful of properties along this sought-after route, and Grass Ings is one of them, located just before the village of Skelwith Bridge. Follow the drive to arrive at Grass Ings, where you will find parking for 3 cars large and a detached house with wonderful gardens. There’s a pub within walking distance and riverside walks straight from your garden. You can arrive and leave the cars behind if you wish. Alternatively, Grass Ings puts you in the very heart of the Lake District, with iconic Lake District hotspots like Grasmere, Hawkshead, Coniston and Windermere all within easy reach.
Grass Ings occupies an enviable riverside location, elevated just above the river with a huge garden sweeping down from the house down to the river, where you can walk to the village of Elterwater. There’s a choice of 3 patios, furnished with comfortable outdoor chairs and large alfresco dining space, perfect for soaking up the autumn sun. New to the market, Grass Ings has been thoughtfully presented for families or groups of friends looking for a sociable place offering privacy and flexibility.
After you have chosen who is sleeping where, selecting from 3 boutique bedrooms: 1 master suite with king-size bed and en-suite, 1 king-size and 1 double, it is time to stock-up the kitchen.
Shop: Booths in Windermere is 7-miles away and has parking. It closes at 10 pm on Fridays. Here you can pick up store cupboard essentials, lovely seasonal fresh fruit and veg, as well as shop the butchers, fishmongers, bakery and cheese counter. Booths also have an award-winning selection of beers, wine and spirits, with lots of lovely local tipples to try. And don’t forget Nespresso pods!
Make yourself at home: This is the time to introduce you to the “Happy Cupboard” at Grass Ings. This is a pantry off the kitchen – perfectly appointed for a group holiday we might add, with 5-ring hob, Nespresso machine and range cooker. Back to the “Happy Cupboard”, this is where drinks are served and it even has an ice machine for raising a toast with a delicious The Lakes Sloe Gin. Take your drinks into the large glass sun house at the back of the house, to drink in the stunning views regardless of the weather.
Early evening G&T and dinner: For your first night, we’d recommend leaving the car behind and enjoying a stroll to the local pub, the Talbot Bar and perhaps an easy dinner at the nearby Skelwith Bridge Hotel.
Soak: Some of your group may like to get into the party spirit with a drink and a nice soak in the luxury freestanding, roll-top bathtub that is dreamily deep. A bottle of wine and a catch-up over family news in the cosy living room, with the log burner roaring, is the best way to spend a Friday evening.
Breakfast: We recommend staying local for your first day to soak up the stunning location. One of the best vegetarian cafes in the Lake District is just down the road in Skelwith Bridge village and opens at 9am for breakfast (until 11am). Chester’s By The River is well-known for its wood-fired pizzas and delicious homemade cakes. For breakfast choose from the likes of banana and blueberry pancakes, wild mushrooms on sourdough and the popular ‘breakfast hash with tofu’.
A morning local walk: 2-mile linear walk, flat and easy.
Walk from Grass Ings along the River Brathay to Elterwater. This low-level riverside stroll is a gentle and easy walk, with a very well-maintained and wide path, which is good for prams and large groups. As it is a linear walk it makes for a great sociable walk, where a large group can spread out and not worry about the faster ones taking a different route to those bringing up the rear. This is also a good walk for this time of year, when rain or overcast weather may mean you won’t get the views you’d hope for from a mountain climb. You’ll still need to wrap up well and dress appropriately, with boots and raincoat, but at least this path will allow your party to enjoy several hours of drinking in the refreshing Lake District autumn air. There’s also another secret reason why we love this walk at this time of year, especially if it has been raining. Skelwith Force waterfalls is a mini-falls, only a 16-foot drop but for what it lacks in height it makes up for with force. The sheer volume of amber peat-filled water that rushes forcefully down into a pool of white bubbles is impressive.
Afternoon spa treatment: Our guests have access to a day pass at the luxurious Langdale Spa, just a few minutes drive down the road into the Langdale Valley. Please speak to Lakelovers when making your Grass Ings booking to arrange your Langdale Spa pass.
Late afternoon prosecco: The Drunken Duck fine-dining pub and microbrewery is a long-standing local favourite, as well as being popular with visitors. It occupies a wonderful location at Barngates, elevated above Ambleside, between Coniston and Hawkshead. You walk into a stylish bar, welcoming both muddy boots and well-heeled drinkers. The open fire is guaranteed to be roaring at this time of year and champagne sits on ice in a giant silver trough on the bar. Their own ales will be on tap, including the delicious Tag Lag. Hops hang from the ceiling and a professional team of staff are on hand to make your visit as welcoming as can be. The no alcohol elderflower G&T is a must for the designated driver!
Return back to Grass Ings. Hang coats and boots up on the stylish ski hooks in the downstairs cloakroom. Time to take full advantage of the luxury bathrooms and get ready for a night of dining like no other. Hire a 6-seater taxi with Amber Taxi Ambleside and be whisked away to a dreamy Lake District manor house for a very memorable dining experience.
Dinner: The Forest Side, Grasmere
A Victorian manor house set in a beautiful wooded estate, just outside Wordsworth’s much-loved Grasmere village, is home to one of the most-talked about Lake District restaurants of the moment. Three years ago The Forest Side restaurant gained the coveted Michelin star status and is known for its Cumbrian-inspired menus, including the L’al Un (Cumbrian for small) and its foraged tasting menus. For a large group, we’d recommend booking a table in the dining room well in advance. There is a private dining room for 6-10 people available at no extra charge and offers the 6-course menu.
L-R: Chester’s By The River, Skelwith Force, The Forest Side
Breakfast: The generous-size open-plan kitchen and dining room at grass Ings is ideal for lazy breakfasts. Keep the Nespresso machine switched on as guests come and go, enjoying the morning sun on the outside patios and the peaceful garden sunroom. There’s a lovely big range cooker and the large dining table is ideal for getting everyone together for breakfast – our favourite meal of the day when on holiday!
Exploring further afield: Grasmere
Grasmere was the adopted home of one of England’s best-known poets, William Wordsworth. The pretty petite village is today lined with boutique shops, galleries and eateries. It can get busy during the summer season, so now is a great time to enjoy this iconic part of the Lake District. From Grass Ings follow the A593 back to Ambleside and the shores of Lake Windermere, then north to Rydal Water and into Grasmere. Alternatively, there are buses (555, 599, 516) from Skelwith Bridge to Grasmere and back, hourly.
Walk: Grasmere and Rydal Water circular walk, flat, 5.5 miles.
Parking at Stock Lane Car Park for the day (9 hours) is £8 and gives easy access in the centre of Grasmere village for this walk. From here you head out of Grasmere and pass Dove Cottage the Wordsworth shop to take the footpath signposted ‘Alcock Tarn and Coffin Route to Rydal’. This walk takes in one of the most famous Coffin Roads in the UK. Look out for the ancient coffin stone on the side of the road at Town End. Dove Cottage was Wordsworth’s first family home in the Lake District and is where is produced some of his most famous poems. The next stretch takes you to Rydal Mount, the final home of William Wordsworth. The rest of the walk is very scenic indeed, traversing along the shore of Rydal Water, with Loughrigg Fell towering down (Grass Ings is just on the other side of Loughrigg). Partway along Rydal Water, take a detour to Rydal Cave, making sure you take care during wet weather. Leave Rydal Water, and breathtaking views across the tranquil waters of Grasmere open up, which makes up in beauty for its diminutive size. Finish the circuit, returning to the village of Grasmere.
Lunch: Back in the village, we recommend a laid-back lunch in one of the Lake District’s most quirky eateries, The Jumble Room. This bohemian-style restaurant has been a mainstay of Lake District life since 1996 when the husband and wife team first opened its very welcoming doors. For large groups, it would be worth ringing in advance to let them know what you’ll be turning up for some warming soup and homemade focaccia after your walk. The food is organic where possible and locally-sourced.
L-R: Grass Ings, Dove Cottage, Rydal Water – Grasmere
Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast as you pack or head back to Chesters to save on the dishes. Perhaps head into Ambleside on your way home, where you’ll find one of the most unique high streets in the UK with quality brands mixed with unique local retailers. Pop into Kysty’s for lunch. ‘Kysty’ is a Cumbrian word for ‘fussy’, or rather ‘picky’ about one’s food, which is the ethos driving this relatively new Lake District eatery. It is headed up by Ryan Blackburn, the chef at the 2019 commended Michelin-star evening restaurant The Old Stamp House (also in Ambleside but not open on Mondays).
We hope that you leave Grass Ings with a wonderful taste of Lake District life and enjoyed some truly quality time with loved ones.
To book Grass Ings, check availability online here or call us on 015394 88855.