Keswick and North West Lake District
Keswick is the main northern town in the Lake District and has a fantastic setting. The shores of Derwentwater are a short walk from the centre and the town is near the Borrowdale Valley and the ridges of Skiddaw. Keswick’s unique charm is to accommodate walkers of all ages and experience levels. Day-trippers strolling in the park feel just as welcome as hardened mountaineers ordering a pint in the Dog & Gun. The award winning Theatre by the Lake offers a packed and varied programme throughout the year.
Loved by pub quiz pedants, Bassenthwaite is the only real lake in the Lake District. Sitting beneath Skiddaw, it is home to a rich variety of birds and wildfowl. Dodd Fell is a family friendly climb or for a challenge, hike up Skiddaw, and remember to visit the serene Norman chapel of St Bega's set on the shores of the lake.
Bassenthwaite Village is a typical north Lakeland village. The Sun Inn serves hearty meals, welcoming walkers and dogs. The nearby wildlife park is home to over 100 species animals with lots of opportunities to get up close and learn a little more about some of the most popular animals.
Threlkeld and St John's in the Vale
Threlkeld is a mountain village nestled beneath Blencathra. It has two great pubs, the Horse and Farrier and The Sally. The village is on the Coast to Coast cycle route and several good bike rides start here. Blencathra is a mountaineer’s mountain. It has three rocky ridges and thrilling ascents and a simply glorious view.
St John’s in the Vale is a peaceful valley overlooking Blencathra, offering picturesque walks along the river, and panoramic views from High Rigg.
Newlands is one of the smaller valleys and has a lot to offer. Beautiful mountains line the valley with their glorious ridges.
Beatrix Potter wrote several of her most famous stories whilst holidaying in the Newlands Valley and you may recognise some parts of the valley from her beautiful illustrations.
The small villages on the edge of the valley are popular bases for a walking holiday – Braithwaite and Portinscale both have excellent pubs and direct access to the fells.
Loweswater and Lorton
Lorton is a gentle vale made up of several scattered settlements around Loweswater. The area is rich with red squirrels and you can spot them around shores of the lake.
The Kirkstile Inn is the hub of the Loweswater area, serving hearty Cumbrian food and local ales. It has a beautiful beer garden with views over Melbreak.
Lorton village is at the foot of the Whinlatter Pass and has a welcoming local pub, that also serves as the village shop! The Coast-to-Coast cycle route passes through the area and the quiet lanes are popular with cyclists thanks to the endless variation of circular road and mountain routes available.
The Georgian town of Cockermouth is a popular destination for holidaymakers wanting the best of both worlds. The main street is lined with quirky independent shops and those with an eye for antiques are particularly well catered for. It is also home to the Jennings Brewery where you can take a tour and and sample their fine ales. The fells of the north western lakes are within a 15-20 minute drive. The quiet western fringes of the Lake District are easily accessed from Cockermouth, as is the dramatic coastline.
Alfred Wainwright described Borrowdale as ‘a pageant of beauty from end to end’. In this stunning valley you will find a glorious lake, soaring mountains, woodlands rich in wildlife and nature and crystal clear tarns. Click here to view our day long itinerary so you can experience the magic of Borrowdale.
Caldbeck and Hesket Newmarket
The area known as Back o' Skiddaw is made up of small scattered hamlets, rolling fells and very little traffic. It is the perfect tonic for a busy bank holiday and retains an isolated feel that many of the larger villages and valleys seem to have lost. Highlights include Caldbeck, Uldale and Hesket Newmarket. The roads are open to the verges and often busier with sheep than people.
Several pubs in the area are CAMRA members. The Old Crown in Heskett Newmarket is a pub of note. It is the first co-operatively owned pub in the UK with a warm community feel.
The Solway Coast is famed for its dramatic sunsets and diverse habitats. The coastal areas have been a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty since 1964 and very little has changed in the landscape since then. The environment consists of vast plains and wetlands and wide sandy beaches.
To the north, there is a large RSPB reserve, attracting a varied range of birds including beautiful goldwings, ringed plovers and herons. The Solway is a photographers’ dream, perfectly located to enjoy stunning sunsets, coastal scenery and the view to the southern Scottish fells.
There is a strong Roman history along the coastline, linking the Solway to places like Ravenglass in the south. The Hadrian’s Wall path is traditionally walked from east to west, ending at Bowness-on-Solway, the village being built on the site of a Roman fort.