You may well speed past Staveley on your way towards Windermere. It’s found on the A590 between Kendal and Windermere, sitting at the foot of the secluded Kentmere Valley, which is an idyllic valley of rolling hills, valleys woods and drystone walls, as well as Kentmere itself, the tarn. Two rivers flow through the village, the fast-flowing River Kent, and the smaller River Gowan. This huge water supply once powered 8 wood mills.
The Kentmere Horseshoe, or Kentmere Round, is one of the longest and most remote walks in the Lake District. The circular route takes in 9 of the 214 ‘Wainwright’ fells, including; High Street, Thornthwaite Crag, Harter Fell, Mardale III Bell, III Bell, Kentmere Pike, Froswick, Yoke and Shipman Knotts.
The walk starts near the village hall in the hamlet of Kentemere, just 4 miles north of Stavely. Parking is limited in the village, an honesty box is located near the village hall.
Distance – 22km | Time – 6-8 hours
Dorothy Farrer’s Spring Wood
Nearby Dorothy Farrer’s Spring Wood is a nature reserve made up of three seperate areas of woodland: High Wood, Dorothy Farrer’s Spring Wood and Beddard’s Wood. In spring these woods full of bluebells and bird song in the spring, keep an eye out for the spotted flycatchers and redstarts. In the past, the wood was coppiced for bobbins, charcoal and baskets, and is still managed in the same way today but to nurture wildlife.
The best times to visit are April to June, but catch the trees turning colour from September to November.
Distance – Each of the three woods can be linked to make a walk of 1.2km
No visit to Staveley is complete without a trip to Hawkshead Brewery & Beer Hall – they make the beer on site and serve delicious food and, of course, drink. The full range of Hawkshead Brewery beers are available across the 14 handpumps and you can stock up on your favourite from the Bar Shop to take away and enjoy at home too. Brewery tours are also available for those interested in learning how their brew is made.
Inglefield Speciality Plants
Those with green fingers will not want to miss this family-run nursery. From plants, containers and compost, this specialist nursery have a passion for architectural plants with strong shapes and colour. Enjoy a relaxing stroll through the countless interesting pots and unusual plants, many imported from northern Italy, you will not be disappointed.
Located in the centre of Staveley Mill Yard is Wheelbase, one of the largest bike stores in the region with over 600 bikes on display. Take advantage of professional bike fitting in-store or simply hire a bike for your break and explore the Lakes on two wheels! Their friendly team will be happy to offer advice on local routes and Lakeland trails including their go-to ride around the Kentmere Valley. After you ride, they also offer hot showers, a free bike wash and in-store cafe.
More? The Artisan Bakery
Enjoy fresh baked bread and goodies as well as great coffee, hot pies and soup. Whether you’re looking for a quick fix after a morning on the fells or stocking up at your cottage, these guys have got you covered.
The Eagle and Child
A superb Lakeland inn serving warming home-cooked food and great ales with an outdoor seating area by the river for those crisp autumn days.
Wilf’s Cafe will provide you with good food, all made on the premises and a tranquil riverside setting overlooking the River Kent. Serving traditional breakfasts, lovely lunches and daily specials – you’ll be spoilt for choice at this little gem.
Kimi’s Gelato Bar
Kimi’s Gelato Bar is a family-run Gelato Kitchen and Parlour in the heart of Staveley. They pride themselves on using the very best ingredients and offering an ever-changing menu of flavours – including some seasonal surprises!
Mr. Duffin’s Coffee
Artisan coffee is roasted at Mr. Duffin’s family-run roasters. Call in to pick up a bag of speciality coffee, home brewing equipment or a tasty takeaway coffee, cake, ice cream or soup!