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  • Damson Dene Hotel
    Near Bowness-on-Windermere
  • Riverside Hotel
    Located in Kendal town centre
  • Newby Bridge Hotel
    Overlooking Lake Windermere
  • Cuckoo Brow Inn
    Close to Lake Windermere
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Welcome to OUR FAVOURITE Blog

Meet our team and get the low-down from the locals

We, at South Lakes Hotels, are all lucky enough to live and work in this beautiful part of the country so let us introduce ourselves and tell you about the things that we like best. From favourite walk to favourite snack, from favourite day out to favourite pub, we'll tell you what we like and why.

...and we're not selfish, if you have a favourite thing to do, see, eat or visit in the Lake District, please tell us about it.

Home to the highest concentration of small breweries in Great Britain, the Lake District is full to the brim of incredible quality real ales and the likes. Take our word for it, we offer local ales in our bars at all of the South Lakes Hotels and they're very popular indeed. Here's our guide to where you might discover your new favourite brewed beverage.

Hawkshead brewery


Hawkshead Brewery and The Beer Hall

“Distinctive, flavourful and modern beers” is what you can expect to find at the Hawkshead Brewery and Beer Hall. A team of 5 make up to 120 barrels of the delicious stuff per week and deliver all across the North. Since 2002, Hawkshead Brewery have “furthered the renaissance of British Brewing” and are one of the most successful independent breweries. They have a bar open daily where real ales, craft beers and lagers are waiting to be enjoyed.


Ulverston Brewing Company

An award winning micro-Brewery, home of the famous Laurel and Hardy themed beers in Cumbria. With awards from both CAMRA and Taste Cumbria, Ulverston Brewing Company allows their visitors to observe the process of converting the ingredients into their full-of-flavour pints, which are available in their ‘Laughing Gravy Bar’, so named after one of their darker ales. The Laughing Gravy Bar is currently open to pre-booked parties.


Keswick Brewing Co.

A small Brewing Company where quality and environmental issues are at its heart. They work together with Nurture Lakeland to look after the Red Squirrel, and every time someone takes a tour they donate 10p to their conservation projects! At Keswick Brewing Co., their beers are produced with great pride by passionate brewers and include 4 regular beers and both seasonal and special beers.

 

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Watermill Inn & Brewery

“Quality without compromise” is what the owners at this award-winning Lakeland real ale pub go by. Only using the finest ingredients in their beers, the Watermill Brewing Company brew everything on site from their ‘Windermere Blonde’ pale ale to ‘Dog’th Vader’, a stout with attitude. The Watermill Inn and Brewery is located in Ings near Windermere and have a few of their real ales under their ‘Windermere Brewery’ label.


Barngates Brewery

Situated out back of the Drunken Duck Inn in Ambleside is the Barngates Brewery, first founded in 1997 as an experiment to supply the Inn with its own beers. In present day, it now produces up to 30 barrels a week and is distributed all around the Lake District. They produce 7 regular beers, each named after one of the Inn’s many former pets. For example, you can experience the malty taste of ‘Red Bull Terrier’ or the citrusy ‘Mothbag’.


Coniston Brewing Co.

Run by Ian Bradley, the Coniston Brewing Co. produces the excellent quality beers with pure waters of Coniston Hills, the finest challenger hops and “wonderfully roasted”pale and crystal malts. If you visit, you must try their award-winning session beer ‘Bluebird Bitter’, which received the Supreme Champion Beer of Britain award in 1998 at the Great British Beer Festival Olympia London. In more recent years, it still continues to receive accolades.

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Lancaster Brewery

One of the largest micro-breweries in the North West of England. Lancaster Brewery started with humble beginnings and eventually built itself up to reach production capacity in 2009. It has continued to thrive since then, even milling its own malted barley, and uses the best ingredients to brew the delicious beers. They produce core ales, seasonal ales and ciders. Besides the brewery itself and the shop, you can find the Brewhouse & Tap where a bar can be found, and functions and events can be held.

Peter Rabbit egg

 

1st – 23rd April – Lakeland Maze Park Farm Easter Activities

Whatever the weather, Lakeland Maze Farm Park is a real Easter egg-stravaganza for all the family. Join in all the fun activities including an Easter egg hunt, farm animals to see, both indoor and outdoor play and picnic areas, climbing wall, go karts, tractor rides and so much more.

 

8th – 23rd April – Dragon Egg Hunt & The Growing Egg at Lowther Castle

Go along with family and friends and see how many dragon eggs you can track down! Don't forget to check out the fantastic growing egg sculpture featured in the main courtyard of the grounds.


8th – 23rd April – Teddies Go Free on Ullswater Steamers at Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

Grab your favourite teddy and go for a fun-filled ride free of charge! All you need is a full-paying accompanying adult on a Ride all Day fare. Don't forget to keep a beady eye out for teddy bear clues around the railway to win fabulous prizes.


8th – 30th April – Ullswater Daffodil Fest

Between Aira Force and Glenridding/Pooley Bridge is a marvellous daffodil trail for youth to follow and explore. Download a quiz sheet here and battle to win great prizes!


14th – 16th April – Taste Cumbria Festival in Kirkby Lonsdale

Have a taste of the first ever Taste Cumbria Easter beer, created by the wonderful team at Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery! A packed producers market in the Market Square and a beer festival in the Royal Barn will surely tickle your fancy. Children's entertainment is also available!

 

14th – 17th April – Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt at Wordsworth House and Gardens with National Trust Properties

 

15th – 17th April – Easter Kite Festival at Birdoswald Roman Fort


12th April - 'Where is Peter Rabbit' Easter Treasure Trail

A smart phone is all you need to take part in the digital Egg Hunt (and a vehicle to get you to the starting point!). Explore the magnificent Lake District searching for 1 of 100 ceramic eggs with the help of an interactive map, with great prizes to compete for! A minimum £4 family donation is all that is asked. The event raises money for Wateraid, an international charity providing clean water and sanitation to some of the world’s poorest communities.


16th April - Peter Rabbit Mini Egg Hunt at World of Beatrix Potter Attraction

A chocolate egg and a sticker is to be won on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, don't miss out! The mini egg hunt is included in a children's entry ticket to the Attraction.


Displaying now until 11th June – Biosystem, Grizedale Forest

Meadhbh O’Connor is an Irish artist who works at the conjunction of science, environmentalism and art. Biosystem is a solo exhibition of sculptural installations and aims to “draw attention to our place in a wider natural system that is both powerful and fragile”. A must see exhibition! For more information, visit Meadhbh’s website here.

Just a few of the many marvellous, family-friendly places you can visit in the Lake District!

Greenlands Farm

Couples, friends and families can have a wonderful day out at Greenlands Farm. Originally a working dairy farm, Greenlands Farm diversified in 2009 to offer a taste of the countryside and artisan shopping for all the family.
On our open farm you can pat & feed storybook farm animals, enjoy a donkey ride, play on mini tractors, lark about in a straw play barn, race round the barn on the go-carts and picnic by the paddocks.


Go Ape at Grizedale

‘Unleash your Inner Tarzan’ at Go Ape in Grizedale Forest! At any of our Tree Top Adventures you get to tackle high rope obstacles, leap off Tarzan Swings, and glide down zip wires to finish, all whilst enjoying breath-taking scenery.

 

?Sizergh Castle

Sizergh Castle is great for a day out as there's lots for the kids and the adults to do. The grounds are very romantic and peaceful and there is very much a Victorian feeling about this place. If you visit just before the Summer, the daffodils are at the height of their bloom! There is a little lunch area with picnic tables, joined onto an orchard and a beehive. There's a pub/restaurant nearby called the Strickland Arms that's a stone's throw from the Castle.

 

?World of Beatrix Potter Attraction

Come on, a visit to the Lake District doesn’t count without a visit to the World of Beatrix Potter attraction; the most popular attraction in the Lakes. Its character perfectly encapsulates the beauty and charm of the Lake District, where Beatrix Potter found inspiration for her stories and children’s classics, such as Peter Rabbit. There is the attraction itself, but also the Peter Rabbit garden and the theatre to enjoy; endless family fun!

 

?Rheged Centre

Rheged is home to 10 individual shops selling artisan food, outdoor clothing, children’s toys, shoes and clothes, bath/body products, books and beautiful designed products from craftmakers and artists. Rheged is a good place to start exploring the area with its 4 Cumbria information stations specialising in outdoors, food, families and culture. Rheged also has the largest 3D cinema around, an art gallery with changing art, craft and photography exhibitions, 3 cafes featuring local produce including lamb and beef from our farm, indoor and outdoor play, pottery painting and a full programme of exciting children’s events every school holiday - all under one grass covered roof.

 

?Honister Slate Mine

Get an entirely different (and underground!) perspective of the Lake District with a tour of the Honister Slate Mine. Visitors are offered a host of different tours and experiences, including ‘Climb the Mine’ for the adrenaline junky and a historical tour for the avid learner. Believe it or not  it's great in dry AND wet weather!

 

?Lakeland Climbing Centre

Featuring the tallest indoor climbing wall in the country and Europe’s first indoor Via Ferrata, the Lakeland Climbing Centre is Cumbria’s premier climbing centre. An incredibly friendly, experienced team is on hand to guide you through what really is a unique and memorable adventure. A wide range of sessions, courses and climbing facilities are available for all ages and abilities; the finest bouldering walls in the Lake District and North West of England, dedicated Training Room, Skyline Indoor Ariel Adventure and Kendal CrazyClimb.


?Keswick Puzzling Place

Our exhibition has illusion pictures, sculptures and interactive exhibits. You'll rub someone out who's stood right in front of you, watch your skin come alive and generally rub your eyes in disbelief. We have a gallery of amazing holograms - 3D pictures that you'll want to reach out and touch, only to find your hand passes straight through. And see our newest illusion room, known as an 'Ames Room' it's the same effect that was used in the film 'Lord of the Rings' to create tall and little people. As you walk across the room you'll visibly grow and shrink! Or you can make yourself look tiny or like a giant alongside a fellow visitor!

 

?Aquarium of the Lakes

Lakes Aquarium - is a fun, friendly all weather attraction situated at Lakeside, near Newby Bridge on the southern shore of Lake Windermere.
From otters and diving ducks to piranha and marmoset monkeys discover a wide range of creatures found in and around water.


?= all weather friendly

After 15 years, 77 panels, 4,000 people, 15 countries, and a young boy named Jonathan who wanted ‘something more interesting to do than colouring in’, the Quaker Tapestry was born.
I was very pleasantly surprised when I visited the exhibition in the sense that there was so much more to the tapestry than I had first thought. I was naive to how much hard work really went into the creation of such a masterpiece. I admire the consistency and enthusiasm of the 4,000 people who came together to tell a story through stitch.

Quaker exterior

Finding inspiration in and around the Lake District is undeniably simple, where latter-day creativity builds on a heritage of artistic innovators, dating as far back as before the 18th Century. Delve into the lives of William Wordsworth, John Ruskin, Beatrix Potter and many more, and see the Lake District through the eyes of these literary favourites.
 
dove cottage
 

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Contact Us (all but home)

  • Damson Dene Hotel - 015395 68676
  • Riverside Hotel - 01539 734861
  • Newby Bridge Hotel - 015395 31222
  • Cuckoo Brow - 015394 43425
  • Bay Villa - 015395 36793

  • e: contactus@bestlakesbreaks.co.uk