This week we explore the Lake District, an area of surprising adventure and fantastic food.
The Lake District is the largest of England and Wales’ 13 national parks, with 3,500km rights of way for walking, cycling and riding. Those not au fait with walking should not be deterred, it is also an area immersed in history, adventure and awe-inspiring views, captured by J.M.W Turner on canvas and by William Wordsworth on paper.
For laid back luxury head straight to the Askham Hall Hotel. The lack of clutter and excessive decoration is calming rather than corporate and is best experienced in one of Pele Tower master rooms. Despite only opening in Spring 2014 the hotel already posesses a ‘home away from home’ charm. Guests should make the most of the impressive gardens and outdoor heated swimming pool.
* You can find out more about Askham Hall here, or telephone 01931 712 350.
Waterhead Hotel is for those yearning for spectacular views; from the hotel’s restaurant you can gaze out across Consiton Water and the surrounding mountanious scenery. The property, which looks more like a private house despite running as a hotel for 100 years, is also steeped in history. Both John Ruskin, the Victorian art critic, and Charles Darwin were visitors.
* You can find out more about Waterhead Hotel here, or telephone 01539 441 244.
If you are organising a Christmas away from home or an intimate New Year’s celebration book in to Howthwaite, a self-catered property that sleeps 8 and is owned by the Landmark Trust, who offer short term holiday lets in historic buildings across Britain, France and Italy. The house shares the same inspiring views as Dove Cottage, once the home of William Wordsworth who published some of his finest work whilst in the Lake District. A large fireplace and inviting beds and sofas are combined with wide open rooms to create a cosy, rather than stuffy, atmosphere. We recommend asking for a fresh stack of logs to be delivered the day you arrive.
*You can find out more about Howthwaite here, or telephone the Landmark Trust on 01628 825 925.
Holbeck Ghyll (01539 432 375) is an unmissable event for anyone in the area, a restaurant that could hold its own against London’s finest. Already well respected when it appeared on The Trip, an award winning comedy starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, it subsequently shot to stratospheric heights. The success however is wholly deserved. Under head chef David McLaughlin, Holbeck has been awarded twelve michelin stars in as many years and is helped along by one of the regions best wine cellars.
The Drunken Duck Inn (01539 436 347) is the Lake District’s original Gastro-pub. Although the relaxed setting remains the food has evolved into something else entirely. Mouthwatering mains, such as duck breast with white pudding, salsify and cobnuts, are surpassed by the puddings. Our favourite? The caramel chocolate bar, served with peanut ice-cream.
After a long morning walk through the countryside stop at the George and Dragon (01768 865 381) to sample some of the local ales and light lunch options. The picturesque 18th century inn is part of the Lowther family estate that own the Askham Hotel and the surrounding farmland, where the majority of the menu’s produce is grown or reared.
The Lakes play host a surprising range of activities from extreme walking to off roading adventures. What’s more, if you book in advance through the official Government website any commission goes towards protecting the landscape for generations to come. Our top picks include:
You can’t come to the Lake District and not head out on scenic walk. For more high octane adventure Mountanerrin will organise walks tailored to your experience and desired intensity.
For a true adrenaline rush book an afternoon experience with Kankuu off roading or take to the sky with Roger Savage Gyrocopters and experience the Lakes like no other.
There are, of course, plenty of more cultured and slower paced options. Visit the home of Wordsworth, wander around Muncaster Castle or take a tour around Keswick Brewery.