Things to do nearby Otley Beck (Howe Foot)
Otley Beck Cottage is situated in the quiet village of Lowick, in between Coniston and Ulverston. It is part of the southern Lake District National Park area. Less than a mile away the fantastic Farmers Arms pub serves great food and drink, including some great guest ales. The Royal Oak is also nearby, and serves filling meals as locally sourced as possible and on some occasions even their own hand-reared stock. Cask ales are aplenty with local ales from breweries in Coniston, Staveley and Ulverston. Selections of spirits are also available including whiskey, vodka and gin from distilleries in Keswick and Penrith.
A short drive away is the White Hart Inn in the neighbouring village of Bouth; a traditional country pub with a great selection of vegetarian meal options as well as the usual fayre, all produced using local ingredients. They have several guest ales as well as a great selection of other beverages. Otley Beck Cottage is a short drive away from the bustling festival town of Ulvertson. The chances are that there will be a festival on of some description when you visit – be it a flag festival, the Dickensian festival or a lantern festival. Ulvertson is a traditional market town, with independent shops dominating the high street. Market days on Thursdays and Saturdays are a great opportunity to get some fresh produce, and really is a focal part of the week for the local residents. A great selection of cafes, pubs and eateries provide options for every taste and diet.
The Roxy cinema is a traditional 1930’s art deco cinema boasting original features. It shows a small selection of current films, and even keeps the atmosphere of the 1930s cinema with an ice cream interval half way through the films. Next door, the comedy relief continues at the Laurel and Hardy museum.
The Coronation Hall (the Coro to the locals) hosts various events from antique fairs to concerts and speakers.
On the border of Ulverston there is the towering Gothic mansion of Conishead Priory, which is home to the Buddhist Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre and offers historical tours at the weekend, as well as host various events. It is a beautiful area to walk around, and the onsite café provide wonderful cakes and beverages in the conservatory overlooking the stunning grounds.
It is hard not to notice the lighthouse towering above Ulverston, and this area is called the Hoad. It is a great short walk to the top, and the reward of the amazing views over the buzz of Ulverston out to the estuary is not to be missed. Once you return to the bottom, Ford Park shows off the wonderful collaboration of a community garden – the first Incredible Edible scheme in Cumbria - and a welcoming café to warm up with a brew and some cake.
Travelling in the opposite direction from Otley Beck Cottage, Coniston is a great place to explore what the Lake District can offer in terms of, or course, lakes and fells. Coniston Old Man is a great fell for beginners, and a firm favourite of the more experienced walkers with it’s ever changing views from the tops depending on the weather. The Lake, Coniston Water, is approximately five miles in length and has a range of activities to enjoy such as boat hire, kayaking or a ride on the Steam Yacht Gondola. A good variety of shops, pubs and cafes are closely knit together to enjoy. The Ruskin Museum features an exhibition about Sir Donald Campbell and his historic but tragic attempt at the world speed record in his speedboat Bluebird in 1967. Brantwood is a glorious stately home overlooking the lake and was home to the Victorian artist, writer, critic and philanthropist John Ruskin. It’s beautiful gardens and house is open to visitors to enjoy the views as well as his writing and artwork.
Grizedale Forest is the beautiful woodland spanning over 400 hectares kept by the Forestry Commission. With numerous walking routes and biking trails there are plenty of ways to enjoy the forest. Along these routes, artists display various sculptures to enjoy that reflect the natural environment. Currently there are over 40 sculptures to discover, with more under commission. Various events such as rallying and biking competitions are held at Grizedale Forest annually, and if you are feeling more adventurous take a trip on the tree top assault course GoApe Adventures.
The lovely village of Hawkshead is a short drive away, with cobbled streets and mysterious alleyways to wonderful shops, cafes and pubs. The streets are paved with historical reminders of the greats who visited or lived in the area. You may see Wordsworth’s signature carved in a desk at the Grammar school, or take a look at the Beatrix Potter gallery, hosted in the 17th century building once the office to her husband William Heelis. If you want to discover more about Beatrix her home in Near Sawrey is just two miles away from Hawkshead, called Hill Top. Many of her stories were written from her home, and is a popular attraction in the area. The traditional cottage garden is well kept and the house has been preserved to it’s original features after Beatrix Potter left the house to the National Trust when she died, requesting that it was kept exactly how she left it in 1943.
Cartmel is also a short drive away, where the famous Sticky Toffee Pudding is made, where Simon Rogan’s renowned fine dining experience L’Eclume is based. A must for the foodies amongst us.