Things to do nearby Birkbank
Birkbank Cottage is located on a rural lane in Mosser, a tiny hamlet near Loweswater. The hamlet is slightly elevated on the slopes of Mosser Fell. The peaceful location benefits from views across the countryside and walks from the door. There is a small church on the hillside above the road and plenty of walks or mountain bike rides to Loweswater and Lorton straight from the door.
Loweswater is two miles away on foot. There is a bridleway from Mosser leading to Waterend at the head of Loweswater. At the other end of the water is Loweswater village and the Kirkstile Inn. The Kirkstile is a popular traditional pub that is dog friendly and serves an excellent menu of locally sourced food. It has magnificent views of Mellbreak and serves beer from its onsite microbrewery.
The gentle hills above Loweswater are perfect for family walks and gentle rambles. Darling Fell, Fellbarrow and Burnbank Fell are small grassy fells with beautiful views over the vale of Lorton, Grasmoor and out towards the west coast. These hills rise gradually with no steep slopes and are a joy to walk on.
Mockerkin Tarn is a short walk away along a quiet country lane The beautiful tarn is transformed each summer by a riot of white and yellow water-lilies and surrounded by gently rolling hills and lush pasture. The tarn is said to be the ancient site of the palace of one of Cumbria’s legendary Celtic kings, King Morken. It is a wonderful place to sit and contemplate the history of this quiet corner of Cumbria.
Buttermere and Crummock are a few miles beyond Lowestater no more than a 15 minute drive from Birkbank. The walking here is simply superb with the High Stile range dominating the far side of Buttermere and Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks framing the northern end of the lake.
The timeless feel of this part of Cumbria is emphasised by the quiet lakeside paths and wild woodlands. The quiet nature of the area lends itself to a proliferation of wildlife including otters, red squirrels, roe deer. Towards Buttermere you may be luck enough to spot stoats, weasels and badgers. The lake itself is home to a varied range of birdlife including crested grebes and tufted ducks.
Buttermere has two pubs, the Bridge Hotel and the Fish Hotel, both lovely Lakeland inns especially the Bridge with a cosy bar, flagstone floor and interesting pictures on the walls. The finches and sparrows are particularly friendly in the beer gardens and will often join you for a pint! Both hotels have a public payphone in their bars. There are two cafes as well one of which makes its own ice cream at Syke Farm. Chose from a huge variety of flavours all made with milk from their own Ayrshire cattle that you can often see in the fields near the head of the lake.
At the junction of Honister Pass and Newlands Pass just outside of Buttermere village is the tiny church of St James. There has been a church here since 1507 and the present building dates from 1840. Unique features worth noting include the wrought iron shepherd’s gate and the antique 1800s organ. The stunning East Window by Henry Holiday, who is responsible for designing many stained glass windows across Lakeland. At the top of the Honister Pass is Honister Slate Mine which runs interesting mine tour and for thrill seekers the only Via Ferrata in the UK.
Beyond the Honister Pass is Borrowdale valley, a beautiful lush valley with craggy fells on either side. The walking in Borrowdale is superb, with endless choice of walks for all abilities, including the perennial favourite of Catbells. Past Borrowdale is Keswick (30 min drive), famous for its outdoor shops and tea rooms. It also offers two supermarkets, independent food suppliers and a wealth of pubs and restaurants. There are wet weather attractions here including museums, children’s swimming pool and art galleries.
Cockermouth (15 min drive) is a Georgian town with a wide main shopping street and lots of interesting and independent shops. It was the birthplace of William Wordsworth and his childhood home is now a popular museum. Jennings Brewery and Museum runs tours and tastings. There is a proliferation of antique shops, and some lovely cafes including Merienda, Coffee Kitchen and the Wild Zucchini.