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 think you will love. From walks to local food, from rainy days out to local pubs, 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.
Festival of the Fells is essentially a celebration of all things Fells and our love for Ambleside! “It’s a mountain, outdoor-activity and cultural festival”.
13th – 15th October – Comic Art Festival
The only event of its kind in the U.K.! Taking over the whole town of Kendal, the Comic Art Festival has something for everyone, whether you’re new to Comic Art or have been a fan for years. This year there will be over 70 artists showcased for you to enjoy.
22nd October – Autumn Wedding Fair at Newby Bridge Hotel
Newby Bridge Hotel is part of the South Lakes Hotels group - come and have a look around at our Wedding Fayre, meet local suppliers and get some great ideas for your special day. All visitors will receive a welcome drink, goody bag and chance to win Sunday Lunch for Two!
28th – 29th October – Kendal Wool Gathering
2017 marks the fifth year for Kendal Wool Gathering. “Kendal Wool Gathering mixes demonstrations, fun activities and displays, all connected to the cloth on which the town’s wealth was built.”
4th – 5th November – Holker Winter Market
Over 80 stalls to indulge in showing you the best local produce that will be available over the festive season. Don’t forget to take a visit to the Courtyard Café! There is also live music and street entertainment to enjoy! For more information, please visit here.
16th – 19th November – Kendal Mountain Festival
Kendal Mountain Festival is an award winning event which has been running successfully for the past 17 years! A must for any outdoor enthusiasts or, well, anyone! There’s always really insightful and is host to an International Film `Competition – definitely a must see.
17th – 20th November – Kendal Mountain Literature Festival
New for 2017! Alongside the Mountain Festival will now be a Literature Festival, celebrating the “very best in nature, landscape and places”.
Starting in the village of Glenridding, the 14.1 km ascent of Helvellyn begins, at a modest 950m above sea level. Helvellyn is probably one of the most popular ridge walks in Britain and is also the 3rd highest.
Striding Edge and Swirral Edge make up the mountain, with Striding edge considered the most spectacular. However, it does have a reputation of being both scary and difficult. More scrambling is required up the Swirral side, and is considered more difficult, particularly on the way down. The terrain is very steep and exposed. Make sure you catch the mountain on a clear, dry day to make the most of the views and to avoid tricky terrain in wet and windy weather. Unfortunately, it might be potentially too dangerous for your four-legged friends.
Near the start of Striding Edge is the Dixon Memorial, which reads “in memory of Robert Dixon of Rooking, Patterdale who was killed in this spot on the 27th day of November in 1858 following the Patterdale Foxhounds”. At the far end of the ridge is another memorial stone to painter Charles Gough.
Red Tarm sits between both edges and is home to a small population of the 'Schelly', which is a rare freshwater white fish. They are only found in a few tarns in the Lake District and the Arctic!
Helvellyn and it's surroundings makes up 1 Furth, 3 Wainwrights, 4 Nuttalls, 3 Birketts, 1 Marilyn, 2 Hewitts, 1 HuMP and 1 County Top - Historic.
1. Cross the footbridge over Helvellyn Gill at the back of the car park then follow the path South East alongside the gill to another footbridge. Cross the footbridge, then climb the steep zig-zags to a wall. Through the gate continue climbing to the remains of another wall. From here the path ascends the steep scree-covered shoulder South East directly to Helvellyn's summit.
2. From the summit of Helvellyn follow the main ridge path South until it forks at Swallow Scarth, take the left branch and follow it South to Dollywaggon Pike. From Dollywaggon Pike the path turns South East. Continue along it and descend the steep zig-zags to Grisedale Tarn.
3. At the tarn turn West and follow the path across the low col to the head of Raise Beck. Join the path on the South side of Raise Beck and follow it down towards Dunmail Raise.
4. Just before the road turn right and follow the Permissive Path North to the footbridge over Birkside Beck. Cross the bridge and continue North along the path as it traverses the mountainside into the forestry plantations. The path is followed North for just over 4km back to the car park
If there's one name that springs to mind when thinking of the Lake District’s artistic greats, Beatrix Potter is likely to be it. Beatrix Potter loved life in the Lake District for the same reasons as we all do – it's not surprise that many of her books are based around some of the Lake Districts favourite spots.
The author and conservationist was born a Londoner, but lived her life surrounded by the very nature and places that inspired the stories of the likes of Squirrel Nutkin, Benjamin Bunny and of course, Peter Rabbit. Wray Castle in Ambleside was responsible for making Beatrix fall in love with the Lake District as it was here that her parents rented on family holidays. Her “intricate sketches of animals and plants as a child revealed an early fascination for the natural world, which continued throughout her entire life”.
She resided at Hill Top House in Sawrey, her favourite home, which is now open to the public and left completely unchanged and receives thousands of visitors every year . She later lived in Castle Cottage with her husband William Heelis until her death in 1943. She also left over 4000 acres of land and her 15 farms to the National Trust, which was so dear to her. She adopted the Lake District as her “spiritual home” and it is here where she wrote and illustrated her masterpieces. Her first book ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ has sold over 40 million copies since being published in 1902. More than two-million Beatrix Potter books are sold across the world every year - that's 4 books every minute!
Beatrix was also a key figure in saving the herdwick sheep from extinction. She bred Herdwick Sheep on her farms in the Lake District and was at her upmost happiest with her farm animals. She won a number of prizes for her Sheep at local shows and became the first female president designate of the Herdwick Sheep-breeder’s Association.
Other Beatrix Potter attractions in the Lake District include the Beatrix Potter Attraction in Bowness, where you can meet Peter Rabbit and all his friends, explore the Peter Rabbit garden with recreated scenes drawn by Beatrix Potter from her marvellous stories. There is also a gift shop and nursery shop, and the Peter Rabbit tea room! The Beatrix Potter Gallery no Hawkshead is a 17th-century building, which was in-fact the office of her solicitor husband, and is the place to go to admire the miniature masterpieces.
In 2006, ‘Miss Potter’ was released which is a biographical film about Beatrix Potter, with many of the scenes filmed in the Lake District. Renée Zellweger stars as Beatrix Potter.
Notable locations in the Lake District (relevant to life and books created by Beatrix Potter) - Wray Castle in Hawkshead (owned most of surrounding land) - Fawe Park in Keswick – features in ‘The Tale of Benjamin Bunny’ - Holehird Gardens in Windermere - Lingholm Estate by Derwentwater in Keswick - Armitt Museum and Library in Ambleside - Yew Tree Farm in Coniston - Tarn Hows near Coniston
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.
“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.
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.
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.
“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.
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’.
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.
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.
Windermere Christmas Celebration at Windermere InformationSaturday 9th December — Sunday 10th December Christmas Advent Events at Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts HouseFriday 1st December - Sunday 31st December Christmas...