Things to do nearby The Stick House
Your local village would be Hesket Newmarket, a mainly 18th century village stretched out along the central green, it has been home to Hesket Newmarket Brewery since 1988 making the village well known amongst lovers of real ales. You can arrange a tour of the brewery which includes tastings, or just sample their wares in the Old Crown which was the 1st pub in Britain to be owned and run by a co-operative. You can reach the village down the lane or via a network of footpaths across the fields.
A footpath from the far side of the green in Hesket leads through fields and Bluebell woods down to a bridge over Cald Beck, here you can join the Cumbria Way either turning left to Caldbeck or right to Sebergham both are attractive routes passing through woodland and pasture with views back across the valley. Once you reach the pretty village of Caldbeck a further short walk takes you to The Howk; a historic former Bobbin Mill by a limestone gorge in the river, and to attractive waterfalls a little further upstream. Caldbeck churchyard is worth a visit to locate the graves of ‘the maid of Buttermere’ and ‘John Peel’ it also contains the ‘Roughton Stone’ a monument to the men who worked Roughton mine over its 400 year history and are laid to rest here. Caldbeck has a selection of cafes and a pub for refreshment before you start your return journey which could be by the same route or utilise the quiet lanes and footpaths to the south of the village.
If you prefer your walks to be wilder then quiet lanes and footpaths lead south from your door to the base of routes up both High Pike and Carrock Fell, the ridge route between the two fells can be used to make a great circuit with extensive views across the Solway to Scotland and over the Eden valley to the north Pennines as well as to better known heights of the Lake District to the south. Geologists will find much to interest them on the slopes of these fells which have been extensively mined for their mineral wealth in the past.
A short car journey to parking places at Longlands or Orthwaite give access to some of the other Back o’ Skiddaw fells, including the infamous Great Cockup. These rounded green fells invite you to explore at your own pace and take time to enjoy the peace and quiet. For a bigger challenge go up the back of Skiddaw itself via Whitewater Dash waterfall and Bakestall, a quiet route up a popular fell one of only four lakeland fells reaching over 3000feet. Cyclists of all ages and abilities can find plenty of route choices around the network of quiet lanes and the off road Back O’ Skiddaw off road tracks. Mountain bikers will want to try Whinlatter which has purpose built trails varying in difficulty to cater for all. Road cyclists can also rise to the Challenge of Whinlatter by cycling over the pass and if that is too easy come back via Buttermere and Newlands Pass. The Reivers Route long distance cycle trail passes through Hesket Newmarket and the C2C cycle route also passes close by.
Fans of historic houses are well catered for in this area with Hutton-in-the-Forest just 15 minutes’ drive away. The house is linked by legend to the story of Gawain and Green Knight and there are beautiful gardens to discover. Mirehouse is a sunny house dating from 1666 where the children are encouraged to play in the nursery, there are extensive and varied gardens, a lakeshore walk and natural play areas to wear out all ages. Don’t miss the short walk to the compact pre-Norman St Bega’s church in stunning surroundings. 30 minutes’ drive will take you to Lowther Castle the now roofless but no less impressive country seat of the Lowther family, the gardens and ruin have been taken over by a charitable trust and the remains of once elaborate gardens are fascinating to explore. There is also a huge adventure playground and lots of rope swings plus a birdwatching hide for children.
Birdwatchers can make an easy day trip to the Solway coast, particularly popular in winter for large flocks of geese but there are waders, seabirds and a good variety of small birds to spot all year round. Try the SSSI at Grune Point/Skinburness or the RSPB reserve at Campfield Marsh. Anyone who is interested in wildlife should head to the Osprey viewpoint at Dodd wood from May to August, volunteers are on hand to show everyone the birds through telescopes and binoculars set up at the viewpoint. You may also be lucky enough to see a red squirrel on the feeders while you are there.
The city of Carlisle offers an interesting day out, the sandstone cathedral is still the tallest building in this compact city. Visit the historic castle which was once home to Mary Queen of Scots and explore the dungeons. After a walk by the River Eden you could head to the large play area with a music trail and gardens between the castle and the river. Tullie House museum has interactive exhibits on local history, geography and wildlife as well as a very good café. Penrith and Cockermouth are both smaller market towns with attractive architecture and a range of shops and cafés, perfect for spending some time and both within easy reach.
Keswick is the hub of the northern Lake District, located on the shores of Derwentwater at the foot of a range of popular fells, with lovely views all around. Launches can take you on a cruise arund the lake or stop off at one of the landing stages; Lodore Falls - made famous by The Cataract of Lodore by Robert Southey, Ashness Bridge - a scene gracing many a chocolate box, Lingholm walled gardens which were Beatrix Potter’s inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden in Peter Rabbit or Hawse End for an ascent of Cat Bells. Walk down to Friars Crag for a beautiful view down the lake to Borrowdale, buy something in one of numerous outdoor shops and don’t miss Old Friars sweet and chocolate shop on the Main Street to treat yourself or for gifts to take home. Play mini golf or tennis, take in a show at the Theatre by the Lake or a film at the traditional cinema, have fish and chips to take away or sit down to a Mexican, it is all here plus much more.
No need to worry about entertaining the children in wet weather either, though contrary to popular belief it does not always rain in the Lake District! A wet day in Keswick can be easily filled with visits to the wonderful quirky town museum, the Puzzling Place and Pencil Museum and a swim in the leisure pool with its wave machine and slide. Maryport has a fascinating Roman museum on the site of a roman fort, an aquarium and Clip and Climb for indoor adventures. Near Penrith is Rheged with shops, cafés, pottery painting, 3D cinema and for younger children a soft play area. If you choose to don wet weather gear and head out for a walk regardless then you can do so safe in the knowledge that The Stickhouse will still be warm and cosy on your return and you can look forward to drying out by the woodburner!
Whether you are looking to be out every day on the high fells, want to explore the tourist hotspots or choose to stay local and just relax in beautiful and peaceful surroundings you will not find a better spot to do so than The Stick House.