Coniston Calling in 2017

Whether it’s for a quiet, out of season short break or holiday, a group of couples on a walking weekend or a family holiday, the Lake District is now a 365 day a year destination for all.

It’s just down to choosing a destination and Coniston fits the bill perfectly. Smaller so naturally a little quieter than Ambleside and Bowness, Coniston provides everything for a romantic getaway but so too those who are seeking a little bit of adventure and outdoor pursuits. Visit Coniston in the winter and witness the stunning mirror reflections on the lake, September and October for some of the best examples of autumnal landscapes in the Lake District, spring full of daffodils and summer, simply staycation heaven.

Beautiful Coniston Water is where most people venture too. Hire a boat or canoe from Coniston Boating Centre or take the more relaxed approach to spending time on Coniston Water by going on the Victorian steam yacht gondola, Cumbria Tourism Awards Attraction of the year 2016, which reopens April 1st. But to be really at one with Coniston Water then bring a swimming costume! There is an annual Chill Swim in Coniston. A long distance open water swimming at its best where the participants swim end to end, 5.25 miles. This event is well worth spectating and always has a great atmosphere.

coniston holiday cottages
Road biking and mountain biking are both popular activities and the recently improved cycle routes from Torver to Coniston and around the lake make cycling easier and safer. Mountain bikers that like a bit of gradient can cycle up and over Walna Scar. The prize at the top are the views reaching right down to Morecambe Bay, across so much of the Lake District and even Scafell Pike in view.

But walking is always going to be the number one activity when visiting Coniston. A flat walk around Coniston Water is a joy but head up onto the fells and be awarded the fabulous views. Coniston Old Man is the most famous fell but is most definitely one to do on a good day. A walk up Walna Scar is never a bad route or for a quieter walk then Wetherlam is ideal and the route takes walkers down through the Coppermines Valley where remains of the mining industry can still be seen.

Specialists in holiday cottages in and around Coniston is the The Lakeland Cottage Company who have a choice ranging from romantic retreats for two to large country houses. Visit The Lakeland Cottage Company Coniston Cottages website for more details https://www.lakeland-cottage-company.co.uk/.

Make the most of the great outdoors when visiting the Lake District

The Lake District National Park home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the UK. Getting out and enjoying the Lake District outdoors is a must and can be done in a variety of ways.

Fell walking
Fell walking, it is what the Lake District is most famous for. From leisurely low level walks to full day routes taking in multiple fells, once people start fell walking, they’re hooked. Even going up one of the smaller fells walkers are rewarded by even more scenery and even more stunning views. Right in the heart of the Lake District National Park are the Langdale fells. In the area you’ll find a walk for any ability but the views keep getting bigger and better the further you go up. From the Langdale fells it is possible to see England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike and the Cumbrian coast beyond also the Ambleside fells and on a good day even Morecambe Bay.

When walking on the hills, planning and great care must be employed. Whilst objects of great beauty, the weather can make the hills dangerous places. Be prepared with the correct clothing map, compass, food and water and check the Lake District Weather Line for the latest fell conditions.

lake district walking

 

Cycling
The Lake District is well known for its great cycling terrain. Explore the quiet roads, lanes, bridleways and forest tracks which provide great exercise whilst seeing as much of landscape as possible. Choose a flat route on the designated cycle paths in the Lake District or take on the mighty mountain passes such as Wrynose and Hardknott. These road wind up through the fells with 1 in 3 gradients and hairpin bends. Not for the faint hearted, these roads are challenging but highly rewarding and the ride back down exhilarating.

Other activities
Whilst fell walking and cycling are without doubt the most popular activities for visitors to Lakeland, there are many other available for those who enjoy the great Lake District outdoors. For outdoor adventurists there’s rock climbing, canoeing, ghyll scrambling and attractions such as the Via Ferrata at Honister Slate Mine. For the less hedonistic there are some excellent golf courses in the county which still offer amazing views as well as challenging golf.

Where to stay
The Langdale Lake District Hotel & Spa has the location and the facilities for all lovers of the great outdoors. A spa, restaurant and pub and walks and cycle routes on the doorstep. Rooms start from £135. Visit http://www.langdale.co.uk for more information.

Walking in and around Grange over Sands

It doesn’t matter what your walking ability is, Grange over Sands has walking routes and paths to suit everyone.

Let’s start off with the little bit of sands that Grange lies beside, Morecambe Bay. From large charity walks to small group guided walks, walking across this stretch of Morecambe Bay provides fabulous views all around you. In fact, this Saturday there is a guided walk across the bay starting from Arnside Prom and crossing the bay to finish at Grange over Sands and which will be raising funds for VSO –‘Bringing People Together to Fight Poverty. Starting at 4pm, this walk is a lovely 4 hour walk. Notice the use of the word “guide throughout this paragraph. The nature of the bay with being tidal and with quick sand areas means going out for an experienced guide is essential and there are plenty of them.

grange over sands walking
Hampsfell overlooking Morecambe Bay

Another 4-5 mile walk that may interest is up Hampsfell. This fell lies directly behind the town so when at the summit, views of Grange, the surrounding fells and seascapes galore can be admired. The walk starts from the centre of Grange, takes approximately 2 to 3 hours and despite the possibility of some muddy areas, it is all paths and tracks. A handy guide can be found on The Westmorland Gazette website here.

Up and over Hampsell is the perfect route to walk to Cartmel too. This walk adds roughly another 3.5 miles onto the length but the ability to experience Cartmel half way through is a delight and what better place than the foodie capital of Cumbria for lunch. There are plenty of cafes and pubs to choose from.

Just a reminder, it doesn’t matter how long you’re going out for, walking boots are advised, take a map and compass as the weather can close in especially when on higher ground and take the 3 “w”, waterproofs, warm clothing and water.

Bay Villa is a luxury B&B in Grange over Sands and an ideal place to come back to after one of these walks. Views across the bay and handily located on Main Street, a stones through from the start of any of these walks. More details can be found at http://www.bayvilla.net.

Walk – Stay – Dine in the Lake District

The Lake District is the walking capital of England but the choice of walking routes and locations is perfectly matched with a plentiful choice of places to dine as well.

Cumbria and the Lake District is becoming as famous for its food as the stunning landscape that brings millions of visitors to this National Park each year.

Walking is most definitely the number one activity people enjoy when visit the Lake District and for most, the reason they do come year after year for holidays, short breaks or even just a day trip.
But it is the characterful, traditional Lakeland pub that so many people think of and wish for. That thought of coming off the fells to a pint of real ale, some hearty food and a real fire is what dreams are made of! Whether it’s for a refreshing drink and refuel in the summer months or a place to dry off and warm through after a winter walking expedition, the Lake District has conveniently located pubs and inns at the end of many a fell walking route.

lake district inn bed and breakfast
Walking, warmth, food and beer=Lake District heaven

An inn for all seasons and one that offers accommodation as well is the Cuckoo Brow Inn and Lake District B&B at Far Sawrey. This base enables exploration of the Windermere, Ambleside, Coniston and Hawkshead fells, can be reached by road or via the Windermere Ferry from Bowness. The policy at this inn is muddy boots etc are always welcome, there is a fire and woodburner to snuggle up to in the cooler months but a large beer garden with open views in the summer. Food and ales are all local, hearty and reasonably priced. The rooms modern and start from around £80 for bed and breakfast. For more information call 015394 43425 or visit http://www.cuckoobrow.co.uk/