Things to do nearby The Hayloft

The Hayloft is located in the hamlet of Lamonby, the village has no services of its own but is peaceful and quiet with a network of quiet lanes, lonnings and footpaths to explore from your door.  Local shops can be found in Greystoke and Hesket Newmarket just a short drive away and there are numerous pubs worth visiting in the surrounding villages.  The Dog and Gun at Skelton is just under 2 miles walking distance away and recommended by the cottage owners, as are the Shoe and Boot at Greystoke, The Old Crown in Hesket Newmarket and The Sun Inn in Newton Reigny all a short drive or cycle ride away.

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Local circular walks could include an exploration of Greystoke forest or park in Hesket Newmarket and take a footpath by the green which leads through fields and bluebell woods to Cald Beck, cross over the footbridge and link onto the Cumbria Way to Caldbeck before looping back along the lanes or footpaths to Hesket, home to Hesket Newmarket Brewery since 1988 making the village well known amongst lovers of real ales.  You can also arrange a tour of the brewery which includes tastings, or just sample their wares in 1st pub in Britain to be owned and run by a co-operative.

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Visit the pretty northern Lake District village of Caldbeck to locate the graves of ‘the maid of Buttermere’ and ‘John Peel’ in the churchyard which 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.  A short walk from the village car park takes you past the village green with its attractive pond and up to The Howk; a historic former Bobbin Mill by a limestone gorge in the river, and to attractive waterfalls a little further upstream.  Caldbeck also has a selection of craft shops plus cafes and a pub for refreshment before you start your return home.

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Fell walkers will be tempted by the tops they see every morning when drawing the curtains, the quiet and geologically interesting circuit of High Pike and Carrock Fell makes a lovely walk, the tops plus the ridge route between the two fells have 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.  The ever popular Blencathra offers a variety of routes to the top, from the challenging Sharp Edge route which should only be attempted by experienced walkers with a head for heights to the easy routes up the back or over Scales Fell.  Whichever path you choose the view from the top is well worth the effort with the whole Lake District laid out at your feet.

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A short and attractive car journey to parking places at Longlands or Orthwaite give access to the Back o’ Skiddaw fells, including the infamous Great Cockup.  These rounded green fells with many easy ridge routes 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 which is one of only four Lakeland fells reaching over 3000feet.

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Cyclists of all abilities can find plenty of route choices around the vast network of quiet lanes and the unsurfaced Back O’ Skiddaw off road tracks.  Mountain bikers should head to 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, a route only for the fit! The long distance C2C cycle route comes through Greystoke whilst the Reivers Route long distance cycle trail passes through Hesket Newmarket.

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Fans of historic houses will be spoilt for choice with Hutton-in-the-Forest just 10 minutes’ drive away. The house is linked by legend to the story of Gawain and Green Knight and there are beautiful gardens to discover as well as the interior.  Mirehouse dates from 1666 and has a homely feel, there are extensive and varied gardens, a lakeshore walk and natural play areas for adults as well as children to enjoy – steeplechase challenge anyone?! Don’t miss the short walk to the compact pre-Norman St Bega’s church in stunning surroundings. Just south of Penrith is Lowther Castle the now roofless but no less impressive country seat of the Lowther family, enter through the impressive stable yard with café, shop and museum and explore the ruined castle and once elaborate gardens which are gradually being restored by a charitable trust. Visit Dalemain and look out for the mouse house under the stairs as well as enjoying another lovely garden.

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Birdwatchers must take an easy day trip to the Solway coast, particularly good in winter for large flocks of geese but there are waders, seabirds and a good variety of small birds to spot all year round.  You can access the coast at many points but try the SSSI at Grune Point/Skinburness or the RSPB reserve at Campfield Marsh.  If you like the seaside but are not a birder then head to Allonby, this charming little seaside village is perfect for a beach walk at any time of year and you cannot visit without trying an ice cream from Twentyman’s, a local institution.

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The city of Carlisle offers an interesting day out, there is a good range of shops to browse and the attractive sandstone cathedral is still the tallest building in this compact city. Visit the historic castle, once home to Mary Queen of Scots and explore the dungeons or walk beside the lovely River Eden.  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.

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Back in the Lake District the nearest lake is Ullswater, home of Wordsworth’s host of golden daffodils.  There is plenty to do around the lake, or take a boat trip on the historic steamers across the lake from Glenridding, Howtown or Pooley Bridge.  If there has been a lot of rain Aira Force on the north side of the lake is particularly spectacular, but it is a beautiful spot in any weather nestled in the woodlands; look out for red squirrels here too.  There are numerous walking opportunities from high fell routes to gentle lakeshore strolls.  The woodlands on the west shore are particularly beautiful in autumn with the beach trees looking as if they are on fire.

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Slightly further afield but still an easy day trip the whole northern and eastern lake district opens up to you.  You could explore the quiet and beautiful Eden Valley, historic Hadrian’s Wall or the solitude of the Howgill fells.  Get the train to Edinburgh from Penrith or enjoy the Settle Carlisle line from Appleby, drive up to Alston and ride the narrow-gauge line from the highest market town in England.  So much to do you really are spoilt for choice.

The Hayloft is ideally located for enjoying all the local attractions and there are plenty to choose from, but its real selling point is its rural location, nestling in rural peace and quiet perfect for a really relaxing break.

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