In a really difficult start to the year, we’ve come up with 10 Things to do in the Outdoors,...
At Lakelovers we aim to provide a selection of the very best places to stay in the Lake District, and are always adding new cottages to our range. Currently, we are delighted to be able to offer cottages in Cartmel and Ullswater, two more gorgeous villages set in a backdrop of outstanding natural beauty.
Cartmel is a foodie’s dream come true, with three establishments owned by Michelin Star winner Simon Rogan, including the internationally acclaimed l’enclume. For a more relaxed approach to Rogan’s style, which is embodied by a focus on local ingredients prepared with elegant simplicity, there’s also Rogan & Co. the bistro which serves lunch and dinner, and The Pig and Whistle, a 450 year old coach-house turned gasto-pub.
For sunny days and sweet tooths, there’s the Cartmel Village Shop, which will supply you with luxury picnic hampers loaded with specially selected goodies from their delicatessen, or serve you up a portion of their home made, indulgent sticky toffee puddings.
When you’ve had your fill of fine food, there are plenty of things to do in Cartmel, and we recommend starting with the 12th century priory. This building sits in stunning grounds and is so steeped in history you can almost taste it. Stained-glass windows and ornate carvings make this place well worth a visit even if you’re not religious. They also have a really excellent gift shop, with books, cards and stationary selected to compliment the surroundings.
For something a little more vigorous, we highly commend Cartmel Racecourse. Far more than just a racing stadium, these grounds aim to reclaim the social element of a day at the races and encourage families to come along and spend an exciting day out. With a funfair to keep the kids amused and relaxed rules about BBQs and picnics, it’s definitely a must. They even cater to other functions such as weddings and conferences, and can supply you with gourmet meat packs for your BBQ-ing pleasure.
For even more things to do, Cartmel is only a short distance to the major attractions of the Lake District, such as Windermere Boat Cruises and the Lakeside Aquarium. Check out Lakelovers Recommends for more information.
If it’s the lakes in the Lake District which interest you, then a cottage around Ullswater will have you delighted. Lauded as the inspiration for Wordsworth’s most famous poem, ‘Daffodils’ and commonly called the Lake District’s most beautiful lake, Ullswater offers an almost unrivalled natural beauty.
The lake itself is around nine miles long and sits in a glacial valley. This is a groove in the landscape left over from the last Ice Age, where icy behemoths eroded their way across Britain, allowing for the heart-stopping beauty which is characteristic of today’s Lake District.
For a closer look at the stunning surroundings, nothing beats a trip on an Ullswater Steamer. This historic fleet of five fabulous vessels makes regular trips up and down the lake allowing you to really sit back and enjoy the area. For a relaxing day out, try catching a steamer at one end of the lake and having lunch at the other end before the return journey.
Beauty like Ullswater will never become boring, but if you want to experience more of what the Lake District has on offer, you are in a prime location. Ullwater is within an easy journey of Keswick and Penrith, both of which boast an excellent array of independent shops and boutique eateries.
Within easy reach also is one of the Lake District’s favourite family days out, Rheged, which offers shopping, film showings, workshops and loads of other family-orientated events and activities. With free entry and year-round opening, this is one place you shouldn’t miss.
While you’re travelling up to your cottage in Ullswater, and on your way home, we’ll leave you with one more suggestion. Famous for peculiarly British reasons, Teebay service station is the only family owned service station in the UK. Hearty home cooked food, a duck pond, and a thriving farm shop set this service station miles above and beyond any others you’ll find on a British motorway.
So, come to the Lake District and stay in a hand-picked self-catering cottage – even the journey can be part of the holiday.