Things to do nearby Winder Hall
Lorton is the perfect starting place to explore the Lake District. It’s a wonderfully peaceful village yet it is within very easy reach of Keswick and Cockermouth. It boasts a stunning setting at the head of the Lorton Vale with a huge variety of walks and cycle rides right on the doorstep.
The Buttermere valley is a short drive away and the lakes of Loweswater and Crummock are just four miles from Winder Hall. The area surrounding these incredibly picturesque lakes is frequently quieter than other areas of the national park while offering some of the most glorious walking in the county.
The area around Winder Hall also gives easy access to the high fells with Grisedale Pike, Hopegillhead, Grasmoor, High Pike and Wainwright's favourite; Haystacks all in the valley. For a slightly less strenuous walk wander up Ranerdale and back over Ranerdale Knotts (approx 2-3hrs). This rewarding walk gives beautiful views to the valley and lakes below. The bluebells at Rannerdale Knotts are not to be missed if you are lucky enough to be visiting in season.
A good strenuous walk makes a great excuse to go and sample some to the delights of the local pubs. If you’re down in the Loweswater and Crummock area the Kirkstile Inn is a well renowned pub with excellent food and its own brewery offering award winning real ale. Just a short potter from the end of the driveway at Winder Hall you’ll find The Wheatsheaf, Lorton’s excellent local pub. It’s a very warm and welcoming spot with great beer and lovely food (don't miss the fresh fish on Fridays!). Alternatively on your way back to the cottage why not stop at The Barn Tearoom, just 1 mile from Low Lorton, which does an amazing Cumberland Tea (don't eat any snacks before; it's huge!).
Lorton is very well placed for Whinlatter Forest Park, a real mountain forest with plenty to explore. There are mountain bike trails, a children’s play area, family bike rides and walks, a Go Ape course and a visitor centre with excellent café. You can hire bikes and take tuition from Cyclewise. From the spring, the Bassenthwaite Osprey Project begins with cameras and binoculars stationed so you can watch these rare birds nesting.
Just four miles away is Cockermouth, a charming Georgian town which was William Wordsworth’s birthplace. Its attractive wide main street is home to many independent shops, cafes and restaurants. The town has an excellent butcher, fishmonger and greengrocer as well as a Sainsbury’s supermarket. Why not take a tour round Wordsworth’s childhood home, or try a tasting at the Jennings Brewery or investigate some of the live music on offer in the evenings at the Kirkgate Centre or in some of the pubs and restaurants?
Over Whinlatter pass you’ll find Keswick, a vibrant market town which is also well known as the adventure capital of the Lake District. Its beautiful position on the shores of Derwentwater means that there are many opportunities to mess about on the water, from a stately cruise around the lake on one of the Derwentwater launches to romantic rowing boats. Why not hire a kayak or better still take the family on a Viking Longship adventure with Platty+ water sports. What a great memory to make!
Aside from Keswick’s market on Thursdays and Saturdays the town also has a wealth of outdoor shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs. It also boasts its own Art Deco cinema and surely one of the most beautifully situated theatres in the country offering a wide programme of plays and music throughout the year.
Going in the opposite direction is tranquil Ennerdale Lake with its forest walks and mountain biking. You can walk right round the lake or up Pillar and the surrounding fells. Just beyond Ennerdale, on Cold Fell, is Bradley's Farm which has pony trekking on the fell. Driving along the fell road and coming across the ponies apparently roaming wild is quite a sight to see.
Cumbria’s western coast is also nearby. Whitehaven is a Georgian Harbour town 20 miles up 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 the start to the 140 mile long C2C cycle route which comes through Lorton itself.