Things to do nearby Howgate Foot
There’s certainly a lot to see and do during your stay at Howgate Foot. Spend a day at nearby Lowther Castle, now just an intriguing facade, and its impressive grounds. There are a wealth of footpaths and cycle tracks to explore and even an adventure playground that children will love. Head up Askham Fell for stunning panoramic views over Ullswater. Continue down to Pooley Bridge for refreshments in one of the friendly pubs or see if you can find Cockpit Stone Circle, one of the four stone circles in the Lake District, near the summit. Why not leave the car where it is and head off on foot? There are many different footpaths and quieter country roads that criss-cross the area, so pack a picnic and enjoy a local ramble with beautiful scenery.
The beautiful Eden Valley village of Askham sits within its own Conservation Area on the far-reaching Lowther Estate. Colourful, listed houses line the streets, and there's plenty to do and see here despite its diminutive size. A heated outdoor pool is available in the summer months, surrounded by large grassy areas that are perfect for a picnic. Or indulge with a Michelin-starred meal at stunning Askham Hall. The magnificent ruins of Lowther Castle are also nearby, and the surrounding countryside is perfect for idyllic walks along the river and the nearby fells.
There's plenty of luck to be found at Askham, if local tradition is to be believed! Throw a coin from the bridge into the River Eden and, if it lands and stays on a specific boulder below the water level, the thrower is granted good luck. Or, if you visit The Punch Bowl Inn in the village, you'll see coins jammed into the ancient wooden beams of the building: a tradition that's said to grant you one wish. Even without the wish, The Punch Bowl offers delicious food and a wonderful atmosphere, so is well worth a visit!
If you're a lover of history - both ancient and more recent - then you will be delighted with the area, which is bursting at the seems with fascinating edifices and stories. Lowther Castle was the home of the Earls of Lonsdale back to medieval times, and the dramatic ruins of the Gothic castle are set in 130 acres of historic gardens that are open to the public and include cafes, shops, viewpoints and an exciting adventure playground. Dalemain is a beautiful mansion with a Georgian facade and other elements that date much further back. It also boasts extensive historic gardens. Hutton-in-the-Forest is set in magnificent ancient woodland and boasts legendary links to the Arthurian tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which makes for a magical day out. Dating further back, Long Meg Stone Circle is said to be the petrified bodies of women cursed for dancing on the Sabbath!
Nearby Haweswater Reservoir is the most remote of the Lake District lakes and has a fascinating air of mystery about it! Its sheltered and rugged terrain make it a peaceful haven for wildlife: red deer, buzzards, badgers, red squirrels... there's plenty to spot if you're in the right place at the right time! Wildlife events throughout the year allow you to discover the flora and fauna around this fascinating place.
Your nearest town is Penrith, which prides itself on its mix of independent and high street shops, regular farmers market, and castle ruins. There are plenty of places to eat and pick up some delicious food including an artisan bakery, cake shop, and even a smokery! Another must-see is nearby Larch Cottage Nurseries in Melkinthorpe. Not only is this surprising little place a lovely garden centre but it has an excellent cafe too – all with the decidedly marvellous feeling of being in an Italian garden!
Rheged Visitor Centre is the place to go for family activities, delicious food, and a bit of retail therapy. There are regular events that both children an adults will love, their shops stock beautiful local products, and the cafes serve up a treat or two when you want to sit back and relax. There's also a cinema and an exciting outdoor play area.
The Settle-Carlisle Railway line is one of the most scenic in the country. Regular trains pass through stunning countryside across 72 miles, through 14 tunnels, and over 20 viaducts. You'll see the likes of Wild Board Fell, the Lake District fells, the Three Peaks of Yorkshire, and awe-inspiring Cross Fell. Get your timing right, and you can even book an exciting journey on a heritage steam train!
A visit to this area would be incomplete without a visit to stunning Ullswater. Widely considered the most beautiful of the lakes, this long ribbon lake is surrounded by some of the Lake District's most famous walking, including Striding Edge on mighty Helvellyn. There are lower level walks to, with pretty Aira Force an ever-popular option, and the Ullswater Way following the full circumference of the lake.
If you want to take to the water instead, the lovely Ullswater Steamers are the perfect way to travel. Floating between several stops on the lake, they allow you an excellent way of viewing many parts of this valley with a hop-on-hop-off service. Or simply relax and enjoy a full lake cruise. There's a bar on board so you can enjoy a cheeky tipple, too! Or perhaps, if you prefer getting out under your own steam, you can hire a rowing boat or go on an adventure with one of the outdoor activity providers of the area!
Ullswater is also surrounded by several pretty villages including Pooley Bridge and Glenridding. Here you'll find plenty of welcoming pubs, and shops that are perfect for picking up some souvenirs. Don't miss Chestnut House, which stocks an amazing 400 gins (pictured) as well as local produce and lovely gift hampers!