Things to do nearby Briscoe Mill Cottage
Briscoe Mill is well situated to make the most of this quiet part of the Western Lake District. Why not visit nearby Ennerdale, a tranquil haven with wonderful fell walking and cycling aplenty? While there, grab a pub meal at one of the village's pubs or at The Gather, a charming cafe and shop serving locally sourced ingredients. Explore the countryside on horseback at Bradley's Riding Stables on nearby Cold Fell. Alternatively head out to the coast and explore the maritime history of Whitehaven at the Beacon Museum or enjoy a beach or cliff top walk at St Bees. Reward yourself with an ice cream at the beach cafe afterwards of course!
The quiet villages in this area just outside the national park are wonderfully situated to explore the tranquil Western Lake District and the picturesque Cumbrian coastline. The region is a secluded and gentle place that offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
There are countless walks from the village including up onto Cold Fell and then down along the Calder River to Calderbridge. You can reward yourself with a pint and a pub lunch at the Stanley Arms in the village (on a sunny day it's lovely to sit in their riverside beer garden). It's also worth heading along to Monk's Bridge, locally known as Matty Benn's Bridge, which is the oldest packhorse bridge in Cumbria. It's a wonderfully picturesque spot for a paddle and a picnic. There's also the nearby peak of Dent Fell, at just over 350m it's not too taxing but it offers rewarding views of the coastline and a lovely circular walk down the secluded Nannycatch Valley.
For the cyclists among you there's a host of quiet roads and bridleways to interest you as well as miles of forest trails nearby. Why not head up onto Cold Fell to Blakeley Rise Stone circle then on down to Ennerdale Bridge for a piece of cake at The Gather Café?
The Ennerdale Valley is one of the Lake District's wildest and most tranquil valleys. Its remote location makes it the perfect place to escape to even in high season. Here, it's every bit possible that you will encounter more sheep than people. The lake has the distinction of being the only lake in the Lake District without a tarmac road running alongside and long may that continue. Walking is the big draw here with Pillar, Steeple, High Stile, Great Borne and Red Pike being rewarding days out in the fells.
As well as these mighty fell walks visitors can take gentler rambles such as the Nine Becks Walk and the Smithy Beck Trail. Indeed why not take a picnic and find a spot near one of these glistening becks or tumbling waterfalls? You can also walk right round the lake at Ennerdale, which has an obvious path and is easy to follow (although narrow in places). Much of the way is cyclable, too, making a fantastic family potter out.
Ennerdale Bridge is a charming village with a strong community feeling. It has two good pubs (one owned and run as a community co-operative), a small play park and a lovely new café called The Gather, which, aside from offering delicious cakes and light meals, also acts as a village shop.
St. Bees, just over 5 miles away, has a delightful beach with breath-taking views toward the Isle of Man and is the only heritage coastline between Wales and Scotland to feature an RSBP bird reserve. St. Bees is the start of Wainwright’s famous Coast to Coast walk (and cycle route) so you can expect to see many eager walkers and cyclists dipping their boots and back wheels in the sea, as they set off. The mile-long, sandy beach at St Bees is one of the most popular family destinations along the western coast. It is popular with water sports enthusiasts as well as climbers and kite surfers. Why not grab a delicious ice cream from Hartley's and watch the tide rolling in and out? The cliff top walk between Whitehaven and St Bees makes a delightful day out with picturesque coves and beaches, which you might even have to yourself!
The Wasdale Valley is similarly remote as Ennerdale and is prime walking country with the iconic fell outings of Great Gable, Scafell and Scafell Pike. The valley boasts England’s deepest lake, tallest mountain, smallest church and indeed the competition for the World's Biggest Liar!
Beyond Wasdale is Eskdale, home to the Ravenglass and Eskdale miniature steam railway, which takes you seven miles from Eskdale to Ravenglass, the only coastal village to be within a National Park. If you visit Eskdale for the day there's a host of walks to enjoy including the potter to Stanley Ghyll Waterfall from St Catherine’s Church as well as the delightful amble through the Japanese Gardens at the wonderfully named Giggle Alley.
Whitehaven is a Georgian Harbour town along the coast with a colourful history involving rum, sugar and piracy! The Rum Story makes a great place to start your visit and from there you can follow their ‘Quest’ around the town’s historical landmarks. It is also another start to the 140-mile long C2C cycle route.
Right on the doorstep of course is Egremont where you can find shops, pubs and a charming little gallery. Standing in the town are the remains of a Norman Castle and just south of the town is Florence Mine, the last working iron ore mine in Europe, and part of the rich mining history of West Cumbria. At the Mine Heritage Centre you can learn about miners and how they lived and worked, and extracted the ore from the ground. It also houses an art gallery, exhibition space and workshops areas. There is also a multifunctional studio where you may be able to catch a film, come to an open mike night, attend a sports class or come to watch shows and plays.
If you'd like to explore a little further off then head to Cockermouth a charming Georgian town roughly 16 miles away. It was the birthplace of William Wordsworth and you can still visit his childhood home. The town is blessed with a variety of independent shops, cafes and restaurants. Here you will find a Sainsbury's supermarket as well as several independent greengrocers and two excellent butchers. Alternatively why not take a tour round Jennings Brewery and sample some of its real ale offerings?
Also nearby are the stunning lakes of Loweswater, Crummock and Buttermere. These three lakes once formed part of a large glacial lake and nowadays each has their own personality with lakeshore paths and fell side walks up the surrounding mountains. We love any walk that involves a stop off at the Kirkstile Inn! The bluebells at Rannerdale Knotts are quite staggering in May, well worth a visit.