Things to do nearby Haystacks
Braithwaite is a lovely village and has not one, not two but three pubs! The Royal Oak is a stone’s throw from Haystacks, but there is also the Coledale and the Middle Ruddings. Perfect after a day on the fells. And what a day on the fells you'll have too! There are hundreds of walks from Braithwaite, my favourite being a horseshoe walk over Grisdale Pike, Causey Pike and down Barrow. You can cut this walk short by going along the valley floor first, and then up to Grisdale Pike and back down.
Whinlatter forest also starts at Braithwaite, the visitors' centre being a couple of miles up Whinlatter Pass. At the Centre you can Go Ape on the high ropes course, hire bikes to go mountain biking along the forest trails, check out the free adventure playground for kids or visit the shop for some quality souvenirs.
If you’re looking for action and adventure, Keswick is two-miles away and is a hub of activity. Rent a bike from Keswick Mountain Bikes, scramble up the climbing wall or have a go at dragon boating on Derwent Water. Whatever outdoor activity you’re into, it’s bound to be available in Keswick. A plethora of outdoor shops are located in the town centre and there is plenty to do for little adventurers, including crazy golf, radio controlled boating, the King Kong play centre and the Puzzling Place (we’ll leave that to your imagination!). Evenings is Keswick can be filled at any number of wonderful restaurants; Thai, Mexican, Spanish and Italian cuisine are all on offer, as well as three traditional fish and chip shops. Those looking for a more cultural experience will be enthralled at the Theatre by the Lake.
One of my favourite valleys is the Newlands Valley, which runs from Braithwaite over to Buttermere and Crummock Water. The beauty and peacefulness of either lake is not to be missed; Haystacks (the fell!) can also be seen and climbed from Buttermere or Honister Slate Mine.
The Caldbeck Rambler is a seasonal (Easter - October) circular bus route from nearby Keswick to Caldbeck. Destinations along the route include the Lake District Wildlife Park (it has a petting zoo, soft-play centre, café and bird of prey displays), Dodd Wood (a forested mountain with Osprey viewing points), Mirehouse (a historic house and gardens with wooded adventure playgrounds and lakeside walks) and Castlerigg Stone Circle (English Heritage say this “is perhaps the most atmospheric and dramatically sited of all British stone circles, with panoramic views and the mountains of Helvellyn and High Seat as a backdrop”). An additional service runs at weekends and school holidays, including a bus to Carlisle.
The market town of Cockermouth - which became famous in November 2009 and again in 2015 for the unbelievable floods - has now been revamped and completely recovered. It is a 30-minute drive from the cottage and has a fantastic array of independent shops, restaurants, cafes and other attractions, such as Jennings Brewery and Wordsworth House, the childhood home of the poet William Wordsworth and now in the hands of the National Trust.