OUT AND ABOUT
Discover places to see and things to do whilst in and around The Low House, Lake Windermere, and beyond!
The Lyth Valley is one of the 'Most Beautiful Places on Earth'
- as featured in Lonely Planet's Beautiful World book
A FEW THINGS TO DO THAT YOU MIGHT LIKE TO TRY
So many people travel to the Lake District for the hiking. The area has so much to offer, from easy, relaxing ambles through the countryside to serious mountain challenges. One thing is certain, your path will be exhilarating, beautiful and breathtaking. We hope that you will leave from your travels here with some amazing memories.
There are numerous routes for both mountain and road biking in the local area and further afield. I would throughly recommend you get yourself a walking guide and an OS map from a local bookstore if you havent got one already. Most of the walks are graded by dificulty and length. Therefore, you are sure to find something suitable for your ability and time allowance. The Lake District will offer you lots and lots of choices!
Family Adventures (a few of my favourite places)
There are many walks that can be accomplished with young children, even with pushchairs. One of my favuoirites is Tarn Hows (3km circular). It has plenty of picnic spots and hideaways for chilly days or wide-open spaces for basking in the sunshine. The scenery takes in the Langdale Pikes and the Coniston Hills, and the tarn is surrounded by woodland and a fairly smooth path.
One of the famous walks from the house is Whitbarrow Scar and Lords Seat. A walk along the scar via Lord's Seat offers wonderful views of the surrounding area. On the lower slopes you’ll find rich woodland areas and many paths to take straight from the house – a circular route is possible. Just take a look at your OS map and the website.
If you are visting late April/early May you can take a lovely walk directly from he house to Cowclose Woodand to see the bluebells. The walk also takes in the lovely Hare and Hounds pub.
If you are looking to explore some greenery outside Bowness you can take a short stroll away from the town, Bowness to Cockshott Point (2km). Start at Glebe Road until it bears to the left and head through the gate into fields for wide-open spaces, some well-placed benches and a small shingle beach, perfect for feeding ducks. A buggy-friendly kissing gate brings you out south of Ferry Nab and to lots of boating activity. They have a kayak centre here too if you fancy taking one out. Retrace your steps to get back and for families with young children, take refuge in the Fun Factory (a soft play centre), where you'll find a café overlooking the lake.
At The Wild Boar Woods (B5284 between Kendal and Bowness-on-Windermere), you’ll find 72 acres of ancient woodland demanding to be explored. Packed with many varieties of trees including sweet chestnuts, larches, alders. Listen for woodpeckers and look out for deer, buzzards and falcons. There’s also an outdoor gym for the more energetic. There are various routes adapted to the distance you require. Teas, coffees, drinks, snacks and an all-day menu at The Wild Boar (access to the woodland is restricted to diners and residents). The Grill & Smokehouse here is one of the Lake District’s leading Windermere restaurants, belonging to the timelessly elegant Wild Boar Inn at Crook. Amazing steak just 5 miles up the road and well worth a night out to.
A must for my family when we are home is a trip to Low Sizergh Barn, a farm shop and tea room. This rustic, wood-beamed cafe serves home-cooked breakfasts and lunches, with views of the working farm. You can buy some wonderful homewares, groceries, local produce, and watch the milking of the cows. They have a few walking trails out from the farm and lots of chickens, which are great fun for young children to see.
Close to Low Sizergh Barn is Sizergh Castle, a beautiful medieval house, with rich gardens and estate. This imposing house stands proud at the gateway to the Lake District. Its beautiful gardens include a pond, lake, a national collection of hardy ferns and a superb limestone rock garden. Sizergh has a fantastic range of events over the year for all the family.
Take a trip to Whinlatter Forest Park. Whinlatter, England's only true Mountain Forest, is home to stunning views, fantastic walks, exhilarating mountain biking, rare wildlife and adventure play. This forest park has lots to offer, and even a fun Gruffallo trail for the kids. The trail is not pushchair friendly but the legs of my 2 year old managed the walk so it is not too dificult.
Turrets and Towers…….take a visit to the mock-Gothic Wray Castle which sits on the shores of Lake Windermere. The grounds are open to the public and are well worth visiting to see the specimen trees; wellingtonia, redwood, gingkoa, weeping lime, and varieties of beech. If you don’t want to drive directly here, you can go on the Winderemere Lake Cruises boats, who have lots of routes going all over Lake Windermere (stops include Bowness, Ambleside, Wray Castle, Brockhole and Lakeside).
Brockhole, situated between Ambleside and Windermere, is the National Park Visitor Centre. It is set in 30 acres of magnificent terraced gardens stretching down to the shore of Windermere, with splendid views of the surrounding countryside. They have a range of activities, from mini-golf & zip-lines to kayaking, pony riding & archery.
Travel back in time and take a trip on a traditional steam train at The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, a 3.2-mile-long heritage railway.
Visit the Lakes Aquarium on the southern shore of Windermere. Explore the lakes of the world and discover incredible creatures. Conveniently located near Windermere ferry cruises you can make a great day out exploring more than one attraction.
An essential visit during your time in Bowness is to the the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction complete with Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Squirrel Nutkin and all the gang. This is a great place to for any fan of Beatrix Potter on a day out in Bowness.
If you love Beatrix Potter you can also take a trip to visit her 17th Century farm house in Near Sawry, Hill Top Farm.
The Lake District offers great fishing opportunities with breathtaking scenery. A site of Special Scientific Interest because of its international importance as a wetland, nearby Esthwaite Water has a large population of wild birds and in the summer the fisherfolk among you could be competing with the ospreys that visit the lake.
Go Ape Grizedale tree top adventure is a popular day out for adrenalin junkies and adventure enthusiasts alike. Built on a side of a hill, it feels seriously high. And that's because it is. You'll fly 200 metres across the top of the Grizedale Beck and marvel at the forest canopy 18 metres up a magnificent Douglas Fir.
Some more serious walking
If you are here for a challenge you may want to look up a route for one of the highest peaks here in the Lake District:
Scafell Pike at 978 metres (3210 feet)
Scafell at 964 metres (3162 feet)
Helvellyn at 950 metres (3114 feet)
Skiddaw at 931 metres(3053 feet)
Great End at 910 metres (2986 feet)
Bowfell at 902 metres (2940 feet)
Great Gable at 899 metres (2960 feet)
Pillar at 892 metres (2926 feet)
Nethermost Pike at 891 metres (2923 feet)
Catstycam at 890 metres (2920 feet)
If you are looking for walking gear/equipment I would recommend a trip up to Ambleside. They have some great walking shops and knowledable staff, who will help you find everything you could ever need from new boots, a good compass to a spork! In Ambleside you’ll also find a climbing wall which is super fun if you want to have a go.
One website you might want to start with is walklakes.co.uk for routes and there you can look up most of the walks, graded from gentle to challenging.
The Local Towns
For sightseeing beyond the incredible hills, mountains, forests and lakes you will find the delights of some great small towns, including Bowness, Windermere, Ambleside, Hawkshead and Grasmere to name but a few.
It will be impossible to list them all; the Lake District is full of wonderful small villages and market towns, and will give you many days of fun exploring, in what ever direction you wish to head!
Bowness-on-Windermere, on the shores of Lake Windermere is a busy, bussling tourist town with lots of shops, art galleries, and cafes. Enjoy taking the ferry from here to other towns and attractions around the lake.
Ambleside, a major tourist town with shops, hotels and restaurants is a great town to buy walking gear and is the start of the Fairfield Horseshoe walk.
Grasmere, nestled at the foot of some spectacular fells and with its own lake, this village has many shops, pubs and cafes. You can also visit Wordsworth's grave in the churchyard and buy the legendary Grasmere Gingerbread. Be prepared for a queue, it’s popular!
Hawkshead, a truly historic and wonderfully picturesque village characterised by its cluster of whitewashed houses, archways and alleyways, courtyards and squares.
Kendal, no ordinary market town. Alive with arts, events, festivals and culture, packed with intriguing history and great shopping streets.
And finally (but maybe most importantly)……..The Lakes!
Lake Windermere, of course, offers many activities for sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding or a cruise around the Lake. You'll find the shores of the Lake just a short drive down Fell Foot Brow, at National Trust Fell Foot park. One easy route to take is down Fell Foot Brow, towards the National Trust Fell Foot park. I would really recommed you go down this road at least once. The most amazing view of the lake can be had along this route and a great walk from Gummer's HowForestry Commission Car Park.
After Winderemere, you may want to visit the others:
Windermere, Ullswater and Coniston offer boat cruises. This is usually a lovely day out for many visitors.
Also, consider a trip to the quiet Esthwaite water (perhaps on a trip to see Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top farm nearby – this part is busy). My famly love to go and walk/paddle along the water’s edge and see the swans. There is a little café there, rowing boats, and trout fishing to be had (see Esthwaite water trout fishery).
Walk/drive/Cycle to the pubs
From The Low House you can wander for miles along the quiet country lanes, most leading to some of the most noted Pubs in Cumbria including The Hare & Hounds (1.3 miles), The Masons Arms at Strawberry Bank (1.5 miles) and The Punch Bowl at Crosthwaite (2.5 miles) is reknown for its fine dining
Damsons in the Lyth Valley
Situated in a sheltered area, the valley is famous for its damson orchards, and the profusion of white damson blossom in the spring is one of the area's main attractions.
They are grown mainly in and around the Lyth and Winster valleys. Damsons are lovers of limestone and Lyth Valley damsons have a distinctive nutty flavour and are used for making desserts, jam, punch, damson gin and wine.
The orchards of the Lyth Valley are a unique sight, surrounding each small farm and growing along every hedgerow in the valley. They burst into bloom in April, covering the orchards and hedgerows with snow white blossom. The fruit ripens in September and is sold from roadside stalls and in local shops.
Explore more than just The Lake District
A little further afield. Being just 15 mins from the M6 motorway The Low House is the ideal base to explore the lesser known gems such as Sedbergh which is the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales, the delightful town of Settle also to the east, Penrith to the North and the seaside at Morecambe or Blackpool to the south.
.....and so much more!