As the year progresses (quickly) towards the summer, endurance events are springing up left, right and centre in the Lake District.
As this post is focusing on triathlons, I’ll “tri” not to be too triumphant in the amount of puns I include but as this sentence will suggest, this is going to be a futile hope!
Adventure and endurance is part of day to day life in the Lake District and Cumbria. Whether you’re a farmer on the fells having to deal with all elements and such long days to the world class athletes this region has as residents, the Lake District truly is the Adventure Capital of the UK.
But so many people come to visit the Adventure Capital of the UK each year too. To be able to experience this landscape and especially when it comes to races and sporting events, visitors are coming from far and wide, even from abroad. Some of the toughest marathons, triathlons and cycle sportives take place in Cumbria and the Lake District including the Great Langdale Road Races Marathon (a hilly marathon through the Langdale Valley with some 1:3 climbs), the Wasdale Triathlon X (the world’s toughest ultra distance triathlon.) and the Fred Whitton Cycle Sportive (112 miles and 12,000 ft of climbing).
For the completely mad triathletes out there, Ullswater and Windermere are where to head to over the next couple of weeks. On Sunday June 25th it is the “A Day in the Lakes Tri” starting from Pooley Bridge, Ullswater. Half Iron – 2000m swim 48 mile bike 12.8 mile run/Quarter Iron – 1000m swim 28 mile bike 6.7 mile run.
Then onto Sunday 2nd July for the Windermere Tri. Swim 1.5K of Lake Windermere. Bike 43K around the full length of Lake Windermere. Run 10K starting from Cockshott Point on the edge of the lake.
If you are one of those coming from out of the county and haven’t sorted out accommodation yet for either event, the Lakeland Cottage Company have cottages available in both Ullswater and Windermere. Self catering, a great way to stay when there’s kit, bikes etc and when there’s an early start. The Lakeland Cottage Company also work in conjunction with outside caterers where meals can be delivered to the holiday cottage and they can also arrange for a therapist to visit the cottage for massages and other treatments. Food and rejuvenating massages are surely two things any triathlete will require after doing either of these routes!
The second Langdale Beer & Bikes Festival will be taking place on Sunday June 11th in the stunning Langdale Valley.
Starting at 11am at Chapel Stile in the stunning Langdale Valley, the organisers have compiled a fantastic choice of bike rides, guided by Biketreks or British Cycling, both road and mountain biking routes.
Choose from a 60km road route around Coniston, 15 and 50km gravel adventures and 30 or 50km mountain biking routes led by the team at Bike Treks. But the festival isn’t just for the more advanced cyclists out there, there’s also a Lets Ride 6.5km family ride (https://www.letsride.co.uk/rides/langdale-beer-bike-festival-family-ride). Whether it’s the 100km monster or the 6km family route, all riders will experience the beautiful scenery in and around the Langdale Valley.
But it’s not just all about bikes, there’s beer too as the award winning Bowness Bay Brewing will be there with a pop up bar. The first pint will be free as well as excellent value subsequent ones from their range of 6 real ales they brew in Kendal. Food will also be available provided by Langdale Primary School before setting off for the bike rides in the form of bacon buns, tea & coffee in return for a small donation from 10am. Meet for rides at 11am – with an aim to start rides between 11:15 and 11.30am from the Wainwright’s Inn and non cyclists most welcome.
For more information visit http://www.langdalebeerandbikes.co.uk/ including routes, ability guidance and what to expect from each ride so everyone can be properly prepared.
Accommodation tip – the Langdale Hotel & Spa – http://www.langdale.co.uk
Whether you’re a family with pre school children, looking to get away for a weekend with the kids before the madness of the summer holidays or are yet to book a summer break, you’d be hard pressed to beat the lovely Lake District village of Far Sawrey.
In the area, take a walk or mountain bike through Claife Heights to the viewing tower, enjoy a visit to Hill Top, the home of Beatrix Potter where the gardens are in full bloom at this time of year or nip across to Bowness on the Windermere Ferry. Far quieter than Windermere and Bowness, Far Sawrey has everything on the doorstep and is a great place to introduce small children to the joys of cycling and walking in this stunning National Park.
Ultimately this is a great chance to grab a bargain night away before the school summer holidays remember the Family rooms are perfect for pre-school children accommodating up to two adults and 2 children at a cost of just £140 per room per night B&B. A lovely large double for the adults and bunk beds for the kids and even have the choice of bringing the four legged member of the family too, just £10 per night.
Cuckoo Brow serve meals daily from 12pm until 3pm and 5pm until 9pm in the evening (booking is advised in the evening). Local and seasonal is what the menu is all about and the specials board is always worth perusing. Look out for the Cuckoo Nachos and their homemade burgers of the day.
Call the Cuckoo Brow Lake District Inn at Far Sawrey to book 015394 43425 or via the website http://www.cuckoobrow.co.uk. Best accommodation rates are guaranteed when booking direct.
Looking to get away from the doom and gloom of January, have something to look forward to and banish those winter blues? Grange over Sands has everything you need for a great short break to most definitely break up January and feel fully refreshed and ready for spring.
The weather in Grange over Sands is famous and in fact scientifically proven as being a mild climate which at this time of year is in much need. With walks up fells on the doorstep but so too Morecambe Bay and the sands, getting out and about is never a problem.
The arts are very well presented in this area with a decorative arts fair on at the end of the month on Sunday 25th January at the Grange Institute on Main Street. Workshops and tuition are available as well as the admiring of the work the highly talented and creative Canvas & Thread duo.
Grange Prom, past musical acts, the Grange Institute
Into the evening and musical art lovers are well catered for in Grange over Sands, Cark in Cartmel and Cartmel. You’ll find open mic nights, local singers and bands from further afield too. With so many lovely country pubs in the area, visitors will find entertainment as well as great food and drinks. Look out for The Engine Inn at Cark, the Kings Arms and Pig & Whistle in Cartmel and The Pheasant Inn at Allithwaite. Whether it’s to perform or simple sit and listen, Cartmel and Grange provide delightful backdrops.
And January is the time to bag a bargain when it comes to places to stay too especially when looking to visit mid week. Discounts such as stay 3 nights for the price of 2 are on offer and can be found at Bay Villa Bed & Breakfast on Main Street, handy when attending the arts fair but also only a few minute’s drive or taxi ride to Cartmel. Contact Bay Villa on 015395 36793 or visit their website here http://www.bayvilla.net.
Regularly coming top for safari travel in Africa, Tanzania is definitely the must go destination for this kind of holiday experience.
Often thought of as a once in a lifetime holiday, more and more travellers are realising, once is not enough. With better, more frequent and cheaper flights and safari tour operators offering great discounts, it’s now possible to explore more safari areas and national parks in Tanzania.
Tanzania spans nearly 950 square kilometres, is home to Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, its biggest lake, Lake Victoria and most importantly for safari travellers, where you can witness the largest number of the Big 5 game animals, the lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard. Almost 40% of Tanzania is set aside for conservation showing just how important this country is for wildlife and why there are 16 designated national parks.
3 of the A Tent With A View safari offers
Highlighting two top tips for Tanzania safari’s, Saadani National Park and Selous Game Reserve. At Saadani experience where the bush meets the beach and where the elephant island private conservancy is located and within Selous, A UNESCO World Heritage Site enabling experiencing some of the largest populations of Africa’s mammals including lion, buffalo, hippo and very importantly, African Hunting dogs.
A Tent With A View, a leading Tanzania safari tour operator, have special offers on safaris in both Saadani and Selous when booking before June 30th 2016 and travelling before December 30th 2016. The offers vary with savings up to US$ 1000 per person so most definitely worth booking. Visit http://www.tentwithaview.com/special-offers to view all the offers.
With a expanding network of electric car charging points in Cumbria and the Lake District, the increase in electric car owners visiting the region is growing rapidly.
With more charging points in new areas and the upgrading of existing points to provide rapid charge facilities, whether its hiring an eco car or using your own, visitors are not being put off now by the worry of not being able to charge or being limited as to where to go.
Being just off the M6 motorway, Tebay Services Hotel couldn’t be better located for making a base for exploring Cumbria, the Lake District and the Pennines for those with an electric car. The hotel has recently installed an Ecotricity charge point. Being the first and largest charging network, electric car owners will no doubt already have an account for the speediest of hook ups. Immediately after pulling into the car park, hook up and check in, stretch the legs on a stroll around the grounds, have a drink in the lounge and dinner. The next morning head into England’s largest National Park knowing both the car and the human batteries are full.
Charge points can be found in Penrith, Glenridding at Ullswater, Keswick, Ambleside and Langdale to name just a few as well as next door at Tebay Services and the Rheged Centre also part of the Westmorland Family.
To find out more about the Ecotricity charge point at Tebay Motorway Services Hotel, call 01539 624351 and for room availability visit http://www.westmorlandhotel.com/
Ullswater has been in the news an awful lot in the last 2 months as well having gone through a lot and all a result of the dreadful flooding in early December 2015 and again in January.
But Ullswater, the lake and region, is open, fighting fit and ready for providing those who visit a great day out, short break or holiday. February is a super time for visiting and with both Valentine’s and half term, it is sure to be busy. Earlier in January Ullswater Steamers reopened and now with four piers to choose from to sail to and from, the whole of this stunning lake can be enjoyed. Glenridding Pier to the south, Pooley Brodge to the north, Aira Force for the famous waterfalls and Howtown, ideal for walking or afternoon tea at Sharrow Bay.
The 5* Laburnum holiday cottage at Ullswater
For the romantics then Ullswater is Valentine’s paradise. Such a beautiful lake and the surrounding fells and one that regular wins most scenic region and lake in the Lake District. For half termers then families are very well catered for on this adventure lake. Hire boats or canoes or even book an activity session or multi activity day with one of the outdoor pursuits companies. Fell walking is naturally extremely popular in this area with great low level walks and lakeside strolls to an excellent walk along High Street, the highest point at 828 metres in this far eastern region of the Lake District National Park. The views are outstanding and the despite being high this once Roman road provides an easy, flat route.
So with plenty to do, 360 degree views to take in and a choice of places to eat and drink, it must be too good to be true to enjoy staying in luxury for less, but it isn’t. Laburnum Cottage at Glenridding at the south of the lake is a brand new holiday cottage that has already been awarded 5 Star Gold status by Visit England. The cottage sleeps 6, interior design and facilities to die for and views of the lake. Save nearly £100 on a 3 night Valentine’s weekend break and over £150 on half term 7 night break. For more information, photos and to book visit https://www.lakeland-cottage-company.co.uk/lake-district-cottage/laburnum_cottage/.
The first of four luxury wellness retreat breaks at the equally as luxurious Brimstone Hotel will be taking place on the 2nd to 5th February 2016. This will be first of its kind to be held at Brimstone in conjunction, well as Brimstone describe it, taken over by The Well Connected, a luxury wellness company. Keeping with Brimstone and the Langdale Estate’s ethos on local, The Well Connected are a Lake District based company.
The luxury yoga retreat in February is a 3 night break led by renowned teacher Charlie Morgan, a favourite of famous healthy foodie Deliciously Ella, yoga teacher to the Harlequins rugby team and Sweaty Betty Ambassador.
This a fully inclusive break with all meals, drinks and snacks included. The Well Connected know that what you put into your bodies as just as important as yoga and exercise so they have worked closely with the Langdale Estate & Brimstone Hotel chefs to create healthy, nutrient-dense menus that are refined sugar free. Also within the retreat cost will be wellness gifts, treats and surprise during the break and prior to arrival. The Well Connected have thought of all abilities with classes for everyone from absolute beginner to experienced yogi.
Due to Brimstone’s Lake District location, heading out onto the fells is a must and real bonus of this retreat. Free hire of Berghaus walking gear and kit is available to all yoga guests.
Further upcoming retreat dates being held at Brimstone and organised and led by The Well Connected will be in April – Fitness & Yoga, June – Luxury Pilates and October – Lavish Fitness.
The 3 night all inclusive, luxury yoga break starts from £690 per person based on 2 sharing a double room. Perfect for a couples retreat for you both to destress.
For more information on the luxury Brimstone Lake District Hotel visit http://www.brimstonehotel.co.uk/ and for further details regarding the yoga retreat and to book, visit http://thewellconnected.co.uk/charlie-morgan.html.
Christmas is just a month away, where has this year gone the words coming out of everyone’s mouths. Christmas has most definitely crept up of many of us from where to spend it to what gifts to buy.
Going away for Christmas in the UK is becoming more an more popular. With children being off for a full 2 weeks and many businesses closing down for a full week at least, it’s an excellent time to get away and is the perfect solution when you don’t want to cook for a big family group or are torn between who to spend the day with! Whether its with friends, as a couple of a family, the Lake District is lovely at Christmas. Cosy country pubs, endless places to walk off Christmas dinner and fingers crossed, the a white Lake District Christmas.
The Langdale lodges in the snow
The Langdale Estate have some last remaining Christmas availability in the Scandinavian Lake District self catering lodges within the main estate. The lodges are 5 star properties with full towels and bed linen provided and set amongst the trees and becks around the 35 acre estate. Choose to cook in the fully equipped kitchens of take advantage of the The Terrace Restaurant or Wainwright’s Inn for dining and drinks throughout the day and evening. With walks and cycle routes directly from the lodge door as well as the swimming pool and leisure facilities on site, these lodges are geared up for a Christmas getaway. Ullswater Lodges Browfoot and Brotherswater sleep 8 and a 7 night break starting Saturday 19th December costs £1890. The smaller sleeps 4 Grasmere Lodge White Pike is available for 4 nights starting Tuesday 22nd December for £755.
Visit http://www.langdale.co.uk/rental.html for more details
Cartmel is rarely out of the news these days and all for the right reasons.
As a leisure destination is what it is famous for and why people flocks there for holidays, short breaks, a cheeky night away, dinner, lunch, a coffee or simply to look around the shops. Apart from that there is the Cartmel racecourse where thousands of people attend each race meeting from May to August, growing in numbers each year and attracting even bigger stars in the horse racing world.
But its food which has become to main association with this truly English, delightful village in Southern Cumbria on the edge of the Lake District. Everyone knows about Simon Rogan’s empire of L”Enclume and Rogan & Co but even just grabbing a coffee is a nice event in one of the many superb cafes. Then there’s the pubs where restaurant quality food is served daily and restaurants too.
Garret Cottage sleeps 2 and Old Bank House sleeps 6
And so it was without hesitation that The Lakeland Cottage Company jumped at the chance of marketing two new holiday cottages in Cartmel. and fit perfectly into the 5 star portfolio of cottages already marketed by The Lakeland Cottage Company who know the village like the back of their hand. The village is full of period properties with Garret House Cottage and Old Bank House no exceptions. Garret House Cottage in Cartmel is true romantic bolt hole sleeping 2 people with a fantastic sun room and patio and is dog friendly. The cottage overlooks Cartmel Racecourse so this is the ultimate in holiday cottage for any of the race weekends and is sure to get snapped up early.
Old Bank House is right in the centre of Cartmel and sleeps 6 people yet it is still only a short walk to the racecourse. The interior is stunning having been recently completely refurbished by the owners providing accommodation of 3 bedrooms with 2 bathrooms and a lovely walled patio garden with furniture and a chiminea. Reach out from one of the front windows and it’s almost possible to touch the Post Office and grab yourself some famous Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding!