We’re very proud of our region, and of the people who work so hard to create fabulous experiences for visitors and locals alike.
As local people ourselves, we’ve spent years exploring the Lake District’s finest food and drink, the most exciting attractions, the best shopping experiences and the most exhilarating organised outdoor adventures.
Lakelovers Recommends is our way of helping you save money on the very best the Lake District has to offer, and introduce you to some amazing experiences, with our selection of local delights and exclusive discounts and offers that will give your holiday budget a boost.
With the situation and guidance changing daily, please make sure you check directly with any of the businesses below that you are planning to visit to find out if they are currently operating or if there are any changes in opening times/procedures in the current climate.
Ambleside Adventure presents the Ambleside Climbing Wall. This huge wall is perfect for all experience levels and has new routes set periodically by the staff. When it’s too wet to be outdoors, this is a great way for all the family to have fun in the Lake District!
Lakelovers Recommends: 10% off pre-booked, supervised sessions and 10% off selected shop products. Open 7 days a week, sessions run daily from 10am to 5.30pm (approx).
We Love: the friendly, relaxed atmosphere. www.amblesideadventure.co.uk/ambleside-wall
The Salutation Spa is the perfect place for some relaxation and you-time. The gym and swimming pool offer the perfect “get fit” option but if that sounds too much like hard work you can enjoy a massage or beauty treatment in our luxurious spa instead.
We Love: the central Ambleside location.
This swanky Bar & Grill restaurant at the Waterhead Hotel in Ambleside is perfect for casual dining. The food is created give you a taste of the Lake District and all the ingredients are sourced from local producers. The Bar & Grill at Waterhead is open for dinner from 6.30pm – 9.30pm.
We Love: The view over the lake
Fancy a night in but don’t want to cook? Order a delicious Sourdough Pizza delivered to your door… This isn’t just any takeaway – handmade sourdough thin crust pizzas, fresh pasta and scrumptious puddings are made to order from local ingredients and delivered to you at your Lakelovers holiday cottage.
The Sourdough Pizza Co has even been recommended by the BBC Good Food Magazine.
We love: Their handmade Salted Caramel Brownies.
Cartmel is the home of Sticky Toffee pudding, and Cartmel Village Shop has a wonderful selection of cakes and treats made exclusively in the Lake District. We love their array of delicious puddings, Toffee Sauce and other yummy treats.
We Love: The Cartmel Village umbrella on sale here, perfect for those rainy days!
The Wordsworth Spa is a haven of tranquility where you can escape everyday life and take time for yourself. Enjoy the large indoor swimming pool, sauna and jacuzzi as you look out over the beautiful hotel gardens. Surrounded by the stunning Lakeland fells, The Wordsworth Spa is also the perfect place to relax after a hard days walk in the hills!
Home to one of the Lake District’s most prestigious artists, writers & social commentators, John Ruskin, Brantwood is a chance to step back in time. This beautiful lakeside residence is home to many of Ruskin’s possessions, and has stunning walks through the formal flower gardens to rambling woods which take you high onto the fells behind the house. Keep an eye out for the musical stones which will keep the little ones entertained. You can also arrive by boat from Coniston Boat Landings which is an absolute treat.
We Love: The breathtaking views over Coniston Water. Plus Kids go free – always!
In the heart of Hawkshead, Poppi Red has a great range of gifts and ideas for your home. The cafe is warm and welcoming and sells a great range of cakes and pastries.
The Hawkshead Relish Company is an artisan producer of award-winning preserves based in the historic village of Hawkshead in the heart of the English Lake District. Their huge range of relishes, pickles and preserves are handmade in small batches using traditional open pans and locally sourced ingredients, without any artificial flavourings, colourings or preservatives. All are free from nuts and gluten and suitable for vegetarians and they taste amazing!
We Love: Their Black Garlic Ketchup. Unbelievable flavours which goes with everything
Kong Adventure is a great place to head to on a rainy day. There’s a spacious climbing wall, offering lead, top rope and bouldering options. Illuminated, themed climbing walls adorn the kids’ section, “The Krazy Kong” and for little ones, there’s a huge indoor hard play are, complete with tunnels and a dragon. Kong Adventure also offer regular outdoor climbing sessions, or ghyll scrambles. The cafe has a full selection of coffee, cakes, snacks and they even host Kids Birthday parties.
Of the many treasures waiting to be discovered in the English Lake District, Lowther Castle is a particular gem. Seventy years on from its demolition, Lowther Castle is now one of the most intriguing visitor attractions in the country. Dramatic ruins, gardens within gardens, an adventure playground to rival the best in the land. For visitors young and old (and four-legged), Lowther Castle offers plenty to enjoy.
We Love: The many different festivals and events held here from fireworks, to Crafty Vintage.
The Lakes Distillery
Enjoy half price Distillery tour and tastings with your Lakelovers discount code. The tour includes a VisitEngland Gold Accolade Winning 1 hours guided tour around the distillery, guided tasting of 3 spirits and £5 off any 70cl purchase in-store! Book your tour online here or simply show your Lakelovers Recommends key fob or confirmation email on arrival without pre-booking. T&C’s apply.
Discount code: LAKELOVERS2020
Theatre by the Lake is the only theatre in the Lake District which produces 9 of its own shows throughout the year with their Summer Season being performed in rep! From comedy to thrillers and everything in between, there’s sure to be something that takes your fancy even if you are not normally a theatre-goer.
Lakelovers Recommends: Get £3 off each ticket when you book online. How? your unique Lakelovers 5 digit code which can be found in your pre-arrival email or show your Lakelovers key fob.
We Love: the location on the shores of beautiful Derwentwater and the fabulous cafe.
These historic vessels make for a wonderful day out exploring this serene and beautiful lake. Step aboard these beautiful steamboats and enjoy a leisurely tour around the lake to see some of the most beautiful views in the Lake District.
We Love: Gliding along the lake and watching the iconic red steam chimneys.
Magnificently set in the secluded splendour of 400 acres of deer park and woodland, bordered by the calming waters of Bassenthwaite Lake and framed by the dramatic Skiddaw Mountain and Lake District Fells, Armathwaite Hall Hotel is as romantic as the surrounding countryside. One of the original stately homes of England and a wonderful luxury hotel in the Lake District with a fantastic brasserie and Spa.
Call 017687 76239 to book.
On the outskirts of Penrith, the Rheged Centre is a Cinema, Exhibition Centre and Play Area all in one! This rambling complex is perfect for a family outing and is sure to keep you entertained throughout the day with the latest films, workshops and activities.
We Love: The Cumbrian food delis and shops.
Explore the bays and beaches of Ullswater by Kayak. Sea Kayaks are used for maximum comfort and stability. We use double ( tandem ) boats unless there is an odd number of guests on the trip. While the vast majority of our guests don’t even get their feet wet, it’s worth bringing spare clothes just in case you do get wet. Kids ( 12 – 17 years old ) go half price. All under 18’s must be accompanied on the water by a responsible adult. Half and whole day trips available.
Launch & meeting place is Glenridding Sailing Centre, very friendly, accommodating, with free parking.
Lakelovers Recommends: Take 10% off when you book online use the code: Lakelovers10%. Book here.
Venture out with your Skipper on a private tour of one of the UK’s most famous lakes. When you board the elegant Sealine Pleasure Cruiser be prepared for a Lake District Tour with a difference – you can plan your own itinerary, select the length of your cruise and even enjoy complimentary soft-drinks and nibbles (you can bring your own alcohol and/or picnic if you prefer). A perfect way to give your holiday a stylish lift and with the affordable prices on offer, there’s a reason to treat yourself!
Lakelovers Recommends: Enjoy special discounts on 1½ and 2-hour cruises when you quote Lakelovers and your Lakelovers booking reference. Tours can be tailored to individual needs and prices for longer cruises can be negotiated directly with Darren. Call VIP Lake Cruises on 015394 68178.
The World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness-on-Windermere
Step into the stories of Beatrix Potter with this all-immersive walk-through experience. Meet Peter Rabbit and all his friends as you travel through the Lake District in miniature, using all five senses to whisk you off to Victorian times when Beatrix Potter wrote her beautiful little books. Keep an eye out for the Peter Rabbit Garden, a magical little place which won a Gold Award at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2015!
Blackwell Arts and Crafts House is part of the renowned Lakeland Arts, specialising in bringing great works of Art to the Lake District. This beautiful house in Bowness-on-Windermere, overlooking the lake, has exhibitions all year round and has an incredible programme of local and national art on display.
We Love: you can play the piano in the Great Hall at Blackwell.
Windermere Lake Cruises is your ticket to travelling seamlessly around the largest lake in Britain! With stops in Bowness, Ambleside, Lakeside, Wray Castle and Brockhole, you can keep yourself entertained throughout the day with just one ticket.
Lakelovers Recommends: Treat yourself to a Freedom of the Lake pass & enjoy 24 hours of unlimited boat travel. We’ve negotiated some exclusive rates on these tickets for our guests. Purchase your lake pass in optional extras when you book your holiday and simply present your voucher at any pier to explore England’s largest lake for 10% less.
The Old Laundry is the little theatre that thinks big – bringing the best of World entertainment to Bowness-on-Windermere! Book your tickets to see the best in large and small touring productions and musical entertainment anywhere in the Lake District. There is also an in-house dinner menu if you don’t fancy cooking at your cottage (this must be booked at least 24 hours in advance) Check out their website to book your tickets!
(Please note this is for Auditorium performances only, Laundrama events are not included in this offer)
Affectionately named La’al Ratty, meaning Little Railway, this attraction is a real Lake District gem! Hop on the beautiful steam train which runs one of the oldest narrow gauge railways in Britain and enjoy a trip through the beautiful Eskdale Valley.
Kankku is the ultimate in 4-wheeled experiences. Take to the fells to see them in a completely new way when you battle mud, rocks and boulders on your off-road adventure in the Lake District.
This independent Bowness Restaurant and Bar mixes urban style with rural charm. Urban Food House offers a delicious array of choice, from pizzas and burgers to more sophisticated dishes like Roasted beetroot and Goats Cheese salad and Roasted Rack of Lamb From. Its wood-panelled walls, rough wood tables and mouth-watering menu and an array of light-bites make this the place to be if you’re looking for good food, rural character and a hint of towny glamour.
The only establishment in Windermere to overlook the Fells, The Smith, a cosy DOG-FRIENDLY coffee shop and bar, is a lot bigger than it looks. With a cosy wood-burner and fairy lights glowing softly in the rafters, you feel completely removed from Windermere’s busy streets. The Smith is a short walk from the station, close to Booths Supermarket. It is the perfect place to stop for a coffee (or something stronger) and a spot of lunch. Whether you’re on your way to pick up some shopping or just want to enjoy a spectacular view without venturing onto the fells, The Smith is definitely one to visit.
With a fascinating history as a centre of the spice trade, Cumbrian cuisine has a rich heritage, and local specialities have long included exotic spices with favourites such as Cumberland sausage, potted shrimps, Grasmere gingerbread, and of course, sticky toffee pudding. The laid-back Gilpin Spice has an open kitchen serving tapas-style pan-Asian dishes inspired by countries along the spice trail – spanning the Philippines, the Indian sub-continent, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and China.
Lakelovers Recommends: 10% off lunch Monday-Thursday excluding the festive period, bank holidays and Valentine’s day. Tables are subject to availability and advanced booking is highly recommended.
Huttons has been around since 1901, making exquisite handmade chocolates, truffles and fudge on its own premises. With over 100 years of history this chocolate shop not only produces delightful treats to tantalise anyone’s taste buds but also has an unshakable reputation for using the finest ingredients and producing luxuriously rich products.
These independent wine stores supply the finest wines, champagnes, whiskeys and spirits to enjoy in your Lakelovers Cottage. Keep an eye out for the special spirits from the Lakes Distillery.
To make your Lake District holiday truly perfect, relax with a bottle of wine from Windermere and Ambleside Wine Stores. With over 600 wines from which to choose, you’ll be spoilt for choice. 015394 46891.
Glo Pamper is a mobile spa service delivering a range of affordable holistic massage and beauty treatments to guests staying in stylish holiday homes in the Lake District. Choose your own indulgent, tailor-made package and enjoy a truly luxurious experience in the comfort of your Lakelovers holiday cottage.
Lakelovers Recommends: Enjoy Glo Pamper packages when you stay at a Lakelovers cottage.
Go to the Glo Pamper website for more details.
Mountain Goat Tours is the #1 Lake District tour specialist with 40+ years of experience. They pride themselves on their choice of exciting and inspiring tours. Choose a half-day or full-day tour to discover new corners of the Lake District. Or visit favourite destinations all from the comfort of a chauffer-driven mini-bus! Tours include the Ten Lakes Spectacular, Beatrix Potter’s Favourite Countryside, Six Lakes in a Morning, Private Hire Tours and much much more. Tour availability depends on season and weather.