Well, the last Bank Holiday before Christmas has just passed and we are not meaning that to sound in any way depressing. This is just a little nudge for those whom this event has sprung up on and that have no plans. This Bank Holiday more than any shouldn’t be wasted. There isn’t any point in leaving it until the last minute to see what the weather is doing, it’s Britain. Take the Lakes by the horn and get somewhere booked and quick.
Having been included in the Lonely Planet 2015 Ultimate Travel 500 top sights list and other huge world travel compilations in the last 12 months, the Lake District is obviously hitting the right note with travellers worldwide. Facilities are increasing and getting bigger and better, the travel network expanding and areas such as Windermere with some of the best places to stay in the whole of the UK along with an ever growing restaurant industry and nearby Cartmel being the home, for yet another year, of the UK’s number 1 eatery, L’Enclume.
The bustling areas of Windermere and Bowness make for great September weekend away. Plenty to see and do whatever the weather, cruises, rowing boats, cycling, walking and the ability to never dine in the same place twice with the huge choice of bars and restaurants.
Where to stay:
For easy access to Bowness and Windermere but is a secluded location try the Damson Dene Hotel.
What to do:
Cycle Windermere’s western shore by travelling across on the Bike Boat or Windermere Ferry or around the quite roads of the Lyth Valley. Visit Brockhole – the Lake District Visitor Centre. Experience Swallows and Amazons in film for or in real life in many locations around Windermere and Bowness.
Where to eat:
Local, seasonal food can be found in abundance in the Heron View Restaurant at the Damson Dene Hotel. Alternatively there is a choice of traditional, Lake District inns just a short drive away.
By now everyone will have heard the fantastic news that for the massive fouth year running, a Cumbrian restaurant has been voted Britain’s best by the Good Food Guide, L’Enclume in Cartmel.
For Cartmel village and in fact the Cumbrian and Lake District food industry as a whole, having this accolade within a far northern county normally only associated with fells and lakes is an even bigger deal. With L‘Enclume being crowned Britain’s best restaurant for a fourth year, this has put the region on the global map and fully cemented it as foodie destination.
Since the first number one slat this Cartmel restaurant secured there has been a number of movers in the top 5 with Restaurant Nathan Outlaw at Rock in Cornwall moving to second and Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham in at third, a great display of the quality of Great British chefs, cooking and produce.
But back to Cartmel and although a large amount of people visit and stay there to dine at L’Enclume, you can’t help but fall in love with the whole village. It has the priory, the history, the quaint streets and buildings yet just a stone’s throw from the fells and lakes, it even has one of the most highly regarded horse racing courses! But walk through the village and you can’t help but notice food is at the heart of it and rightly so being located within such a fertile and diverse farming landscape. From cafes to coffee shops, pubs to restaurants, you could spend 2 weeks in Cartmel and never get bored of dining out.
But remember, room should always be left for pudding, Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding of course. But then who can pass up the exceptional cheese on offer at Cartmel Cheeses in Unsworth’s Yard or Higginson’s award winning butchers in nearby Grange over Sands?
As with the high quality and choices of the places to eat and drink in Cartmel, the accommodation is of the same high standard. Enjoy views of Morecambe Bay from Bay Villa Bed & Breakfast in the Edwardian town of Grange over Sands. Just a short cycle or drive to Cartmel or even take the train. Bay Villa has large rooms, breakfasts served at a time that suits the guests and lavish bathrooms.
Heading into September and the new school year is about to start, now’s the time for to book that luxurious, adult only weekend break full of pure relaxing. For parents looking after their children and entertaining them all summer to those who prefer the quieter months of the year to enjoy a short break, September and into early autumn is an ideal time.
Although York is a 365 day a year destination and a stunning place to visit at any time of the year, it’s still nice to enjoy as much of the day as possible to make the most of the “no matter what the weather” packed programme of events. With an abundance of culture including theatres, historic houses and museums to scenic river boat trips, bus tours and ghost walks, York is never short of things to see and do. Shopping is also an extremely popular and highly enjoyable reason to visit this city. Independent boutiques are interspersed with high quality national and international retailers all located in and around the historic, cobbled streets and yards. For the super organised, it could even be the time for Christmas shopping!
Enjoy some luxury for less in September and the autumn months too. The Grange Hotel, a 4 star hotel in York city centre, has launched a fantastic Autumn Escape offer. The offer includes a 3 course table d’hôte dinner, bed, breakfast and a 12pm late checkout from just £145 per room based on 2 people sharing. In fact, guests can take advantage of this offer up to and including November 30th. Look out for Friday nights in their Ivy Brasserie for live music including motown soul, jazz and contemporary.
Hotel suites are THE way to stay for the modern traveller, leisure or business. Suites offer added luxury both in terms of interior design and furnishings and facilities but also space.
Whether it’s a romantic weekend away or a business trip, many hotel suites are like mini apartments but with the added benefit of no cooking or washing up! With lounge areas, a large square footage and in some cases outdoor space, be undisturbed in complete privacy.
The Brooklands Hotel in Surrey located at the home of British Motor Racing, the iconic Brooklands Circuit, has suites of panoramic proportions. The three panoramic suites not only offer panoramic luxury, style and space but panoramic views from private balconies over this hallowed site.
There’s no shortage of space being a whopping 75 square metres (or 807 square feet). They come complete with private doorbell and hallway, separate living room and bedroom, for the business guests a meeting table and chairs, two 42” flat screen TV’s and the stunning panoramic decked balcony with sun lounges. Plush yet stylish the suites are proving extremely popular for brides & grooms getting married at the Brooklands Hotel, motor racing fans as well as national and international business guests.
Single hotel rooms are requested by a variety of travellers with the popularity increasing yet it is not as easy as you’d imagine to find not just a single room, but also a quality one.
Whether it’s for solo business travel, travelling with friends or relatives that would prefer each to have their own room through to solo leisure guests, the need is quite significant. Despite a single occupancy rate for double rooms offered by many hotels, solo travellers are often charged over 50% more per person than double occupancy.
The Lake District is one location where there is a high demand for single rooms being a place where friends meet up but also the region is very popular for solo walkers. Within two hours of the major Northern cities by car and Windermere train station which connects to the West Coast mainline, this National Park is highly accessible.
The single room market is something one luxury bed and breakfast in Windermere has realised. Lindeth Fell Country House is located just a short distance from Bowness in acres of landscaped gardens with views over Lake Windermere. No crowds, no groups, just peace and quiet. With two single rooms Loweswater and Derwent having recently been refurbished, these rooms are far from an afterthought. Decorated to an extremely high standard with the all the same extras as a double room including a decanter of sherry, walk in shower, White Company toiletries and DAB radio with Bluetooth. What’s more, the rooms are priced at £90 including breakfast per night, the average room rate at the hotel per person.
So whether you’re a seasoned solo guest, needing a room for business trip or taking your first forage into travelling by yourself, Lindeth Fell Country House offer luxury value for money and a stunning setting. For information on all the rooms and facilities at Lindeth Fell in Windermere visit, http://www.lindethfell.co.uk/
Pre order one of the platters one evening, deliciously full of local produce. Sit and devour whilst admiring the view of Lake Windermere and the surrounding fells wither from the gardens or in the light and airy dining room.
Earlier in July tourism businesses operating in Tanzania were hit with a unexpected tax from the country’s government, an 18 per cent VAT tax on tourism services. Of course every business and in fact every traveller pays tax and understands a country needs to raise revenue in this day and age but the shock came that the tax was implemented with a notice of just 7 days. The tax has been added to various elements of a holiday of course namely the safari sector, from national park entry to activities and accommodation.
Although not at all ideal for all concerned, things must go on and this is exactly what A Tent With A view are doing right now from their Dar es Salaam office and when back in the UK. Special offers are still available with some amazing offers and hopefully this will encourage safari travellers to still visit the stunningly beautiful Tanzania and not venture elsewhere. With the major spectacles of the Wildebeest migration, the largest elephant population, the location where the bush meets the beach and with Zanzibar just a 15 minute flight away, Tanzania provides everything for a holiday of lifetime.
The amazing offers on selected tours must be booked before September 1st and taken any time before March 2017
There are four Coasts & Islands tours, “The Wilderness Beach”, “Islands of Elephants & Space”, “Where The Bush Meets The Beach” and the “Zanzibar beach break”. Also on offer the “Amazing annual solar eclipse tour 2016”. Save between an incredible $120 to $1000 (US) per person.
These offers are not to be missed and could possibly allow a once in a lifetime holiday to be a twice in a lifetime at an absolute minimum. View the special offers A Tent With A View Tanzania safari tours here, http://www.tentwithaview.com/special-offers
Branching from Kendal’s main street through the centre of the town starting at Kirkland onto Highgate leading to Stricklandgate are yards. These yards are characterful, historical and full of intrigue. With some dating back to the medieval period, it isn’t hard to understand why these cobbled alley ways have been preserved and maintained with help from the Kendal Civic Society and why visitors to the town will flock to walk down them.
With beauty and historical merit to boot as well as many being bustling hubs of activity all these years on, the yards are being used this July to showcase art in the form of “Yarn in the Yards”.
Running from Monday July 25th until Saturday July 30th, it’s a full week of arts in the “Grey Auld Town” from plays through to visual arts and most importantly situated in the many historic yards. What creative gallery spaces for those exhibiting and performing a where modern techniques meets the past. Six yards will house this exhibitions during the week. Pick up a programme and guide at the Brewery Arts Centre or the Festival Hub at the Town Hall. It gives times of specific events as well as location details. Being the school summer holidays, it is the ideal activity to enjoy this weekend with the whole family. For more details visit http://www.kendalcommunitytheatre.org/kendal-yarns
For somewhere to stay? It’s not too late to book a weekend away with family accommodation available at the Riverside Hotel in Kendal. The hotel has a restaurant and bar for dining, children’s menu, special family rooms and even a pool and leisure facility. Car parking completes the package or if travelling by train then the hotel is just a 2 minute walk from Kendal station which links to the West Coast mainline station, Oxenholme.
We’re nearing the legend that is Beatrix Potter’s 150 anniversary on July 28 but there’s no need to wait to mark, celebrate or languish in the characters in one of the most famous series of children’s books in the world.
Visitors and Beatrix Potter lovers and enthusiasts can have the choice of a huge numbers of events, exhibitions and productions with many on right now and with more to come as we approach the end of July and the official day.
With Beatrix Potter being such a talented artist and highly knowledgeable naturalist here celebration is far from just aimed at children. The Lake District and especially the South lakes area around Hill Top here home at Far Sawrey, Hawkshead and Windermere, are already seeing an influx in visitors specifically to mark the anniversary and from far and wide due to the international appeal and love.
Featured events worth going to see starting with something aimed at little-uns. From now until September 4th enjoy Beatrix Potter musical “Were is Peter Rabbit” at the Old Laundry theatre in Bowness just a stone’s throw from The World of Beatrix Potter.
For the older audience then Hawkshead is the destination and the Beatrix Potter Gallery where there is an exhibition of her original watercolours and illustrations on her love of the natural world, wild animals, the seasons and her beloved mushrooms. Entitled “Romance and Realism”, it runs until October 2016.
Beatrix Potter friendly accommodation can be found just 5 minutes from her former home Hill Top in Far Sawrey. Cuckoo Brow Lake District Inn and B&B is a traditional inn serving food and ales all day and with 14 en-suite bedrooms. Visit http://www.cuckoobrow.co.uk to check availability.
Make the most of this now diminishing pre school summer holiday time of the year and book a luxury holiday or short break in one of the apartments, cottages or lodges on the Langdale Estate at highly enticing discounted rates.
The majority of schools in the UK break up for the summer holidays on Friday July 22nd where the super busy time of the year starts. Whether it’s a group of friends, a couple or those lucky enough to have pre school age children, it’s the time to book a last minute deal making the most of July and the summer.
The location of the Langdale Estate couldn’t be more stunning. Set in a private, 35 acre site with restaurant, Lake District inn, leisure facilities and walks right from each of the properties front doors.
Choose from 3, 4 and 7 night breaks from now until Friday July 22. These late availability properties range from sleeping between 4 and 8 with savings of up to £650. This is a great opportunity to book a last minute short break or holiday on this award winning site and being discounted at this time of year it should not be missed.
Apart from walking, cycling, hiring an electric car, climbing, mountain biking and much more Saturday July 9th is the date for an adventurous event at Sticklebarn, the National Trust owned and managed inn and centre. Organised by Kendal Mountain Festival the “Summer Party” will be fantastic day of incredible films and live music with screenings and activities in the afternoon through to 11pm in the evening suitable for families in the day and with local beers and food for adults at night.
Any food lover will be well catered for in and around Penrith this July with food festivals and farmers markets galore. Combine it with a short break or holiday staying at a foodie friendly hotel will be the cherry on top of the delicious cake.
Starting with the farmers markets on in July and in fact throughout the year in the region. Orton between Kendal and Penrith and just off the M6 is the second Saturday of the month. Onto the third Saturday of the month and its Brough’s turn. Brough is located just off the A66 and A685 on the border of Cumbria and the Western Pennines. If you’re still hungry then Tuesday is Penrith farmers market. Held in the centre of this market town, the choice if varied and of the highest quality and Penrith also has some fabulous independent shops to browse too.
The real week long super food fest is happening July 16 to the 23. It is the annual Eden Food & Farming Festival starting with Penrith Farmers Market and then carrying on through the week cumulating with the Penrith Show on Saturday 23 July. The show is a steeped in history, traditional agricultural show but will be full of food stalls and suppliers from the Penrith and surrounding areas too. Yet another chance to sample local, Cumbria food and purchase plenty of goodies.
Where to stay, well we mentioned a foodie friendly hotel and Tebay Services Hotel is most definitely that. The hotel has the same ethos, suppliers and produce as the award winning Tebay Services on the same site. The hotel offers excellent value for money and it really is worth dining in either the restaurant or the lounge bar when staying. The seasonal food the chefs create is exceptional and uses not just locally sourced food but even meat from the Dunning’s Farm, owners of the hotel, services and the whole Westmorland Family group.
Advance purchase rooms available include breakfast and start from just £87 based on two sharing a twin or double room. Family rooms are also available. For more information visit http://www.westmorlandhotel.com/
The annual June race weekend at Cartmel Races has all the usual excitement plus a bit extra this year. On Friday Race Day enjoy not just high level horse racing but fabulous trade stands as well as a cacophony of Cumbrian micro breweries. Sample some of the best real ales and lagers brewed in South Cumbria including Cartmel itself, a region firmly on the micro brewery industry map.
On Sunday step into the circus and the race day aimed at families with The Acrochaps – an amazing acrobatic display, Miss Bubbilicious, The Hoola Girls and much much more. A picnic is a must topped up with some delicious treats available from the food & drinks stands.
It’s still not too late to find accommodation in and around Cartmel. As anyone who has attached Cartmel Races before, race weekends are usually fully booked come the first day. The Lakeland Cottage Company have a handful of cottages in the Cartmel, Lindale and Grange over Sands area still available either for a 3 night break starting Friday 24th or as a full week starting Friday 24th or Saturday 25th and all have a late booking discount, more to spend on the horses and sampling real ales! To check availability and book visit https://www.lakeland-cottage-company.co.uk
Tickets may still be available on the day and remember, under 18’s free. Visit http://cartmel-racecourse.co.uk/ for more details.
For various reasons the word mini moon is cropping up and being mentioned more and more. Once thought to be a faddy saying that would come and go is now the buzz word for brides to be.
For some, a mini moon is an appropriate title for those who either don’t have the time for a full honeymoon or perhaps not the money to. A couple of days away is still marking to occasion. The growing trend now though is to have a mini moon straight after the wedding, not too far from home and then the full honeymoon taken a month or so later.
Jetting straight off on honeymoon after the wedding day is pretty full on. Not only is it something else to think about, the travelling to the airport, making sure bags are packed etc, but it doesn’t give the bride and groom chance to take everything in that has occurred over the past 24 hours. This is one of the most special of days to cherish and savour and goes by far too quickly as it is. The following day can then be a chance to gather thoughts and meet up with friends and relatives as so many travel from afar these days.
But it is a lovely thing to be able to spend some quality time together, the first as a partnership and this is where a mini moon is an excellent way in which to do so. If the word mini moon is baffling, it is basically a short break but mini moon sounds so much nicer!
The Applegarth Villa Hotel in Windermere has definitely noticed a rise in couples staying for a short break after their wedding. The chance to get away from it all, especially in a location as romantic as the Lake District, is a lovely way to start marriage. For a spot of luxury in extremely peaceful surroundings Applegarth Villa Hotel is the choice and has a no children policy. The seven brand new hot tub suites mean you don’t even need to leave your room.
There are so many places to choose from for a mini moon but the romanticism of the Lake District suits this occasion perfectly, it has been voted the most romantic destination in the UK after all.
With the summer holidays fast approaching most people who are looking to come to Windermere and the surrounding area may have booked but it isn’t too late to book a holiday around Lake Windermere.
A great family activity is cycling and a great method of transport too and by the end of July, everyone will be have surely got Tour de France fever if they’ve not already got it! Cycling is an excellent way to get around the Lake District as well as see it. When the roads are brimming full of visitors going from A to B, get the bike out and cycle on one of the bridleways or cycle paths.
Also, cycling around South Cumbria has been given an extra boost in recent years with the introduction of the Bike Boat the number 800 Bike Bus. The new Bike Boat service is a great way for those staying in and around Windermere to get from one side of the lake to the other cutting out the busy A591 road. The service, from Windermere Lake Cruises, departs from Brockhole over to Bark Barn and the floating jetty on the western shore of Lake Windermere. The Bike Boat timetable works alongside the Bike Bus service so both can be used in conjunction with one another. The Bike Bus stops at Ambleside at Waterhead, Brockhole at the Visitor Centre , Windermere Train Station, the Bowness-on-Windermere Pier, Fell Foot, Newby Bridge, Lakeland Motor Museum with the final destination being at Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway.
Looking for somewhere to relax and unwind after a day’s cycling around The Lakes? Newby Bridge Hotel near Lake Windermere is family friendly and serves super tasty post cycling food. Close to the Lakeside Pier for boat transport down to Bowness, take the cycle track to Brockhole and head across on the bike boat for a full day out.
The success of Brimstone Hotel on the Langdale Estate since its opening in June 2013 has prompted the same ethos, design and quality to influence the latest developments within the estate.
Stove, the new dining experience restaurant & bar definitely echo’s Brimstone with wood fires, natural materials alongside opulent fabrics and soft furnishings. Having only opened in April 2016, it is proving extremely popular with guests staying at Brimstone, the Langdale Hotel, self catering and lodge guests as well as none residents.
But due to open in Autumn 2016 is what so many people associate with the Langdale Estate and that is first class spa and leisure facilities. The old spa will make way for the brand new Brimstone Spa.
Expect all the very best spa, pool, therapies, gym and fitness facilities as with the old Langdale spa just bigger, better, modern and ground breaking for the Lake District. A brief insight includes a Laconium, lava and herbal saunas, Himalyan salt steam grotto, both indoor and outdoor pools and an outdoor sauna.
Autumn is set to be THE time to visit the Langdale Hotel and Brimstone Hotel in the Lake District and try the new spa facilities first hand and body. Remember, book 30 days or more in advance at Brimstone and receive 20% off all room rates. Autumn has never been so appealing.