Things to do nearby Birkrigg
The Newlands Valley is a stunning setting for a Lake District holiday. With so much on offer right from the door you may not even need your car once you arrive! The walking on offer is second to none, whether you want a relaxing stroll through the peaceful valley, an all day mountain walk, or anything in between!
Fells such as Catbells, Causey Pike and Ard Crags are an easier option for those looking for gentler fell walks whilst still getting the benefits of the views. If you’re looking for more of a challenge, bigger fells such as Robinson, Dale Head and the Coledale group are in the valley.
The Newlands Valley is also the backdrop of Beatrix Potter's “The Tale of Mrs Tiggy Winkle,” so if you’re a fan of the author-cum-conservationist, why not explore the locations from the book? Little Town, Skelgill and Catbells are clearly recognisable in her famous sketches.
Newlands Adventure Centre is the ideal destination for if you’re looking for something exhilarating. Situated just down the road at Stair, the outdoor activity provider offers a wide range of activities including ghyll scrambling, climbing, canoeing, mountain biking, archery and much more.
Braithwaite is a small village with two excellent pubs, The Coledale Inn and The Royal Oak, as well as two hotels, Ivy House and Middle Ruddings. All serve good food and drink. There is a well-stocked village shop that sells fresh bread and local beers and which has a great deli counter. The Coledale Fells provide an impressive backdrop to Braithwaite and the popular horseshoe walk stars from the village.
Whinlatter Forest, England’s only true mountain forest, is a short drive away. You’ll be able to fill a full day and more here with its mountain bike tracks, woodland trails (suitable for foot, bike and even Segways, which can be hired from the park), a Go Ape! high ropes course, an adventure playground, and a lovely café. There is also plenty for nature spotters: the woodland is a stronghold of the red squirrel and there is a viewpoint for the mighty Ospreys: watch them nesting and fishing on nearby Bassenthwaite Lake.
Buttermere is a lovely little village with great lakeshore walks and spectacular mountain scenery. Why not take on Wainwright’s favourite fell, Haystacks, which towers over the lake, and then return to the village for cake at the tearoom, a warm meal at one of the two pubs, or an ice cream at Ayrshires Ice Cream Parlour?
Crummock Water and Loweswater lie beyond Buttermere and these pretty lakes are tranquil even in the midst of summer. The Kirkstile Inn sits between the two and is well worth a stop for a tasty, home-cooked meal made from local produce.
From Buttermere you can take the steep and winding Honister Pass over to the Borrowdale Valley and the town of Keswick beyond. In fact, if you’re a keen cyclist and feeling fit, this is a favourite challenge by bike. You will pass by Honister Slate Mine, which offers mine tours as well as a spot of adventure with its Via Ferrata trail or Infinity Bridge (so called because you cannot see the other end of the bridge as it hangs precariously across a high gorge).
The Borrowdale Valley is another beautiful valley with fantastic walking, either along the valley bottom or up on the high fells. It is a good starting point to climb Scafell Pike (England’s highest mountain). Park at Seathwaite Farm and set off from there.
Continuing onto Keswick you will find the northern Lake District’s main hub for activities providers, bike hire, outdoor equipment and clothing shops. There is a great choice of pubs, restaurants, and cafés, two supermarkets, a vintage cinema and an award winning theatre (guests with Sally’s Cottages can purchase discounted tickets). There are plenty of popular walks from the town including the mysterious Castlerigg Stone Circle and the famous Ashness Bridge and Surprise View. For views from a different angle, hop onto one of the Keswick Launches and sail across the beautiful lake of Derwentwater.