Things to do nearby Bluebell Cottage
Yanwath is a quiet village located on the eastern edge of the Lake District near Penrith and Ullswater. The popular Tirril brewery can be found in the neighbouring village and you can try their beer at The Queens Head along with a huge choice of pies for which this historic country pub is well known. Walks from Yanwath follow the River Eamont along the valley, cross the river near Tirril and walk into Penrith or up to Rheged. In the other direction walk to Eamont Bridge and down through the woods of Lowther Park to visit Lowther Castle.
If you bore of the quiet local rural paths, then the Ullswater area offers many more walking opportunities. Wander around the lake on one of the lakeshore paths or amble through the lovely rural valleys surrounded by fells. If you prefer your walks to be on higher ground, then you are spoilt for choice. The entire length of the High Street ridge opens out in front of you via Arthurs Pike or Loadpot Hill. From Howtown you could try the perfectly formed Hallin Fell, this little fell scores ten out of ten for value for effort with beautiful views over Ullswater. Place Fell is a popular walk from Patterdale but quieter and equally attractive routes head up to the top from Sandwick. From Glenridding the classic Helvellyn via the edges makes a challenging day’s walk or head up to secretive Grisedale Tarn via St Sunday Crag from Patterdale. Quieter routes start from Dockray up onto the Dodds. Don’t miss the lovely walk through Swinburns Park and up onto rugged Gowbarrow fell, with numerous little rocky tops you can always find a quiet spot to sit and enjoy the stunning views of Ullswater.
Visitors have been able to catch a steamer across Ullswater since 1855 and it is still a popular attraction today; the historic craft call at 4 landing stages around the lake; Glenridding, Howtown, Pooley Bridge and Aira Force. Relax on a circular tour of the lake or use the service one way and walk back, popular walking routes with lovely views link to all the landing stages and can take you right around the lake on the waymarked Ullswater Way. Pooley Bridge village offers a picturesque hub at the east end of the lake. Sadly, the historic stone bridge across the River Eamont was destroyed by floods in 2015 but a new bridge is planned, and in the meantime a temporary bridge provides access across the River Eamont and the setting of the stone-built village alongside the river is attractive. There is a range of pubs and cafes for refreshment plus gift shops and galleries to browse, the village store offers a range of groceries and sought after fresh baked bread in the mornings. Pooley Bridge is the starting point for gentle walks along the lake shore and riverside, or for the slightly more energetic Dunmallard Hill, site of an iron age hill fort, offers lovely views down the lake for not too much effort.
Aira Force is a must see as you tour the area. The water falls for over 70 feet in a rocky cleft and there is a stunning view from the stone bridge which arches over the top of the falls. Spend an hour or half a day exploring the valley woodland and waterfalls and don’t miss the short (but uphill) detour onto Gowbarrow Terrace for a beautiful view of Ullswater and its sylvan surroundings beneath the rugged fells. Walkers and non-walkers alike can enjoy the variety of paths through mixed woodland to various viewpoints of the falls which are at their most impressive after rain. You may also be lucky enough to see Red Squirrels in the woodland here as it is being managed specifically to attract them. The lakeshore here was the inspiration behind Wordsworth’s famous daffodil poem, go and seek them out in the spring. Further down the lake is Glenridding village, jumping off point for the high fells and the headquarters of the Ullswater Steamer Company. The autumn colours of the beech trees along the lake north of Glenridding are beautiful - photographers take note!
Located in Europe’s largest grass covered building, Rheged is home to nine individual shops and 3 cafés which reflect the best of the region, including taste food hall and mountain life outdoor clothing shops, it also houses an exhibition centre and a large 3D cinema. If you fancy making a truly unique gift to take home, for yourself or someone else, release your inner artist and have a go at the pottery painting, there are a wide range of items to choose from, from children’s money boxes to plates, cups and jugs, this is definitely not an activity just for the children – go on, have a go!
Penrith is the local market town having a choice of supermarkets handy for stocking up on essentials, including a Booths, and also a good range of independent shops in the town centre. The ruined castle is surrounded by a pleasant park and the churchyard of the mainly 18th century St Andrew’s church contains ancient crosses and hogsback tombs. From Penrith station you can catch a fast train for a day out in Carlisle, Edinburgh, Glasgow or Lancaster. Just south of Penrith off the A6 towards Shap treat yourself at Abbot Lodge, known by the locals as ‘The Ice Cream Farm’! A wide range of flavours of Jersey ice cream are made on the farm for you to try, one visit may not be enough! A couple of miles further down the road is Larch Cottage nursery a mecca for plant lovers with a wide range of rare and unusual perennials, shrubs, climbers, acers and conifers set amongst a pretty ‘secret’ garden of Romanesque walls and water features plus an Italian inspired cafe.
Fans of historic houses are well catered for in this area; Dalemain is an impressive family stately home containing a maze of rooms of different periods with collections of old toys, ceramics, dolls house and furniture. The sheltered garden contains a variety of separate areas to discover, included a well-stocked walled garden. Hutton-in-the-Forest is just north of Penrith, the house is linked by legend to the story of Gawain and the Green Knight and there are beautiful gardens to discover here too. Head 10 minutes south east down the lanes to Lowther Castle and park; the now roofless, but no less impressive, country seat of the Lowther family. The gardens and ruins have been taken over by a charitable trust and the remains of once elaborate gardens are being restored and are fascinating to explore. There is even a garden in the castle ruin! A huge adventure playground and lots of rope swings plus a birdwatching hide keep kids of all ages amused. Going further back in history the ruins of Brougham castle are run by English Heritage and stand in a beautiful location beside the River Eamont.
If you like thrills and adventure, take a trip to Rookin House Farm where you can try your hand at archery, quad biking, rifle shooting, fishing, tree climbing, JCB operating, pony trekking or even driving around in a small tank!
Keswick is the hub of the northern Lake District. Located on the shores of Derwentwater at the foot of a range of popular fells it is less than 30 minutes’ drive away, and the views on the way make it worth doing for the drive alone. This attractive market town nestles into the valley at the foot of Derwentwater with the boat landings just a short walk from the town centre. From here you can enjoy beautiful views across the lake or take a launch across the lake to see Lodore Falls - made famous by The Cataract of Lodore by Robert Southey, Ashness Bridge - a scene gracing the front of many a chocolate box or Lingholm walled gardens the inspiration for Mr McGregors garden in Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit. Back in the town there are a plethora of outdoor shops to browse and don’t miss Old Friars sweet and chocolate shop on the Main Street to treat yourself and others. For a cultural fix take in a show at the lovely Theatre by the Lake or a film at the family run traditional cinema.