Things to do nearby Sale Fell
Sale Fell Cottage is wonderfully situated just next to Bassenthwaite Lake with mighty Skiddaw towering above it. Benefiting from wonderful views, extensive gardens and access to free boat launching, storage and open water swimming at neighbouring Bassenthwaite Lakeside Lodges it makes a perfect place for families, boat lovers and fell walkers alike. Fishing is also allowed with the correct permit. The lake is a wonderful haven for wildlife as no motorised craft are allowed.
Among the area's abundant wildlife, visitors might be lucky enough to spot the magnificent ospreys that nest a short distance from the cottage. From the spring to the autumn you can watch them at nearby Dodd Wood and find out more about their habits. The Ospreys have been nesting around Bassenthwaite's shores since 2001 as a result of a successful project to reintroduce the birds to the area and the lake itself is part of a wetland nature reserve. Guests at Sale Fell can arm themselves with binoculars (provided) and watch from the balcony of the master bedroom! Bassenthwaite Lake itself is just a stone's throw from the house. Interestingly it's actually the only lake in the Lake District as the others are Meres or Waters. Aside from the ospreys, cormorants have also been known to fish the lake and herons can frequently be seen.
There are, of course, many fantastic walks in the area. Mighty Skiddaw, England's fourth highest mountain, rises up from Bassenthwaite and if you're feeling energetic and well prepared you can walk straight from the cottage. Alternatively you are just a five minute drive from a variety of popular starting points up the mountain. For a rewarding shorter fell walk why not go up Dodd Fell? It's a smaller mountain forming part of the Skiddaw range which gives marvellous views of Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite and beyond to the Solway Firth and Scotland. Also from the cottage you could take the gentle potter down to the lake shore. There is a great network of footpaths here, in fact you could join the Allerdale Ramble as it hugs the shore of Bassenthwaite Lake. Of course visitors to Sale Fell Cottage might be inspired to take on the eponymous mountain which you can see from the house. It's an easy walk with rewarding views, ideal for a family outing.
This area to the north of Bassenthwaite is one of the lesser known parts of the Lake District, and boasts some outstanding scenery and some of the best, less frequented walking in the whole of the Lake District. Skiddaw and Blencathra can be reached from the North along quieter footpaths than the usual approaches from the South, and there are many other fine fells to explore such as High Pike, Carrock Fell and Binsey. Many of these yield staggering views across the Solway Firth to southern Scotland, across to the Pennines and of course to many of the Lake District peaks. The Caldbeck Rambler bus service to Keswick operates during the summer months making it easy to undertake some longer distance walks and be assured of a restful trip back home on the bus.
If you would like to explore some of the rich history of the area then there's plenty on the doorstep. Mirehouse is a wonderful historic house less than 2 miles from Sale Fell. It makes a great place for a visit to explore the area’s literary connections further. Overlooked by Skiddaw, with grounds rolling down to Bassenthwaite Lake it has poetic links in abundance, wonderful gardens, an adventure playground, a Rhododendron walk and access to the tiny lakeside church of St Bega. It also has some wonderful walks around its delightful grounds.
Sale Fell is not far from the edge of Whinlatter Forest, a real mountain forest with plenty to explore. There are mountain bike trails, family bike rides and walks, a Go Ape course and a visitor centre with café. You can hire bikes and take tuition from Cyclewise. For families the park has an excellent and imaginative outdoor play area and special family trails where you might be lucky enough to spot a Gruffalo!
Why not indulge yourself with a spa visit during your Lake District stay? Armathwaite Hall is a hotel with stunning leisure facilities just three miles from Sale Fell. It offers a wide range of spa treatments and a gorgeous outdoor hot tub. Why not treat yourself to afternoon tea after all that pampering? It's hungry work you know!
Sale Fell is perfect for families as not only are you a hop skip and a puddle jump away from the lakeshore but just over two miles away is the Lake District Wildlife Park where you can get to know Lemurs, Otters, Zebra and many more animals roaming the beautiful 25 acre estate. You can even arrange to be a zoo-keeper for a day!
Why not book a session at nearby Lingholm Sporting Quad Treks? Head out with experienced guides to take you around the 1000 acre Lingholm Estate where you'll find some staggering views of the surrounding countryside while, no doubt, having a fine muddy time of it, marvellous!
Keswick is one of the most loved towns in the Lake District and is a short drive from Sale Fell. It is chock full of outdoor shops, pubs and bars. There is also a cinema and a theatre if you fancy something a little more refined. Keswick has a beautiful lake that has shallow bays for swimming and a regular boat trip round the lake where you can hop off and hop back on to explore the lakeshore walks. It's also known as the adventure capital of the Lake District so however you'd like to test your wilder side then Keswick has an opportunity for you to do it. Read more in our Keswick area guide
Cockermouth is a similar size to Keswick but much quieter. It has a long main street full of interesting independent shops, cafes and restaurants. Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth and his childhood home has been turned into a museum. The Jennings Brewery is an interesting visit and tells the story of brewing in Cumbria over the past two hundred years. It is a vibrant market town served by a fishmonger, butcher, baker, deli and greengrocer. Read more in our Cockermouth area guide
Guests at Sale Fell are spoiled with great eateries nearby. The Sun Inn is a popular pub with a charming period interior in nearby Bassenthwaite village. It boasts good locally sourced food and local real ales. The Pheasant just over 3 miles away has an excellent reputation for food and an impressive selection of gin. Not only that but less than 4 miles away is the Lakes Distillery, where you can enjoy a tour and tasting or perhaps just a delicious meal at the Bistro. Ravenstone Lodge is less than two miles away which has a restaurant and bistro to choose from.
Exploring the area slightly further afield is very rewarding. Winding your way over Newlands Pass brings you to beautiful Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater beyond. These quiet valleys offer yet more beautiful walking, fabulous scenery and one of our favourite pubs, The Kirkstile Inn. Well worth an explore. Read more in our guides to Loweswater, Buttermere and Crummock.
For the birdwatchers among you the Solway coast is only a half hour drive. Here you’ll find an area of Special Scientific Interest surrounding Skinburness and Grune Point offering miles of unspoilt coastline, saltmarsh, specialist vegetation, a World War II pill box and the opportunity to view a wide variety of wading birds and wildfowl. Make sure to watch out for the tides! Even without the lure of birdlife this area is well worth a visit as it has been designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. Why not buy some fantastic local fish and chips and find a quiet spot to enjoy a Solway sunset?