Things to do nearby Riggs Cottage
Riggs Cottage is located just outside the tiny hamlet of Routenbeck, the advantage of this is that just down the road is the popular and highly esteemed Pheasant Inn. It is within easy, if hilly, walking distance along a quiet lane but if you plan to return after dark take a torch! For alternative eating spots the Wheatsheaf pub is a short drive away in Embleton, serving a good selection of meals and is family friendly with a play area in the garden. Also in Embleton is the Spa Hotel with a restaurant serving home cooked meals made from local ingredients.
Riggs Cottage is perfectly placed for an ascent of Sale Fell. This beautiful little fell scores highly on value for effort and no serious fell walking is required to get to the top and enjoy the views. There are several routes up, over and around the fell to make a circular walk encompassing woodlands, fields and open fell. Look out for the remains of Wythop church hidden in the woods and take time out to enjoy the stunning view over Bassenthwaite Lake (you can even walk along some parts of the shore) from the ridge to the south east of the summit. Do it at the start of the holiday and you might just decide to do it in again by a different route near the end - or for the really fit it makes a perfect morning run!
Head towards Bassenthwaite and you will find the Lake District Wildlife Park with a range of animals to view including meerkats, otters and red panda for the cute factor, gibbons and lemurs for entertainment plus excellent bird of prey displays. Another local attraction ideal for young families is The Gincase; just up the coast from Maryport. This is a farm park with a locally renowned café, craft shop and animals to see plus indoor and outdoor play areas including a barn with giant sandpit and ride on tractors and a soft play area, easily enough to keep everyone busy all day.
The northern Lake District is an ideal location for trying something new and adventurous. There are a variety of local companies offering guided activities on the water and up in the hills or for those with a head for heights there is the Via Ferrata at Honister to get the adrenaline flowing. At the other end of the scale try Armathwaite Hall just down the road for a luxurious spa session with treatments, hydrotherapy areas, pool and fabulous outdoor hot tub. Also close by is The Lakes Distillery with a bistro, tours, tastings and a very tempting shop.
Cockermouth is an attractive Georgian town at the confluence of the rivers Cocker and Derwent; the wide main street offers a range of independent shops to browse and some of the pretty back streets are also worth a look. The town hosts several events throughout the year including food and beer festivals where the main street through the town is closed off and filled with stalls offering tempting treats. Wordsworth House, now owned by the National Trust, was the childhood home of William Wordsworth and his family. Now presented as it would have been in 1770, complete with costumed guides and plenty of items you can touch and try as you walk around. Also located in the town is Jennings brewery offering tours and the all-important tastings!
Anyone with an interest in wildlife should head to Dodd Wood to the Osprey Viewpoint from May to August, volunteers are on hand to show everyone the birds through telescopes set up at the viewpoint. You may also be lucky enough to see a red squirrel on the feeders while you are there. Across the road from Dodd Wood car park is Mirehouse. This sunny house dates from 1666 and welcomes visitors to linger and soak up the atmosphere; a family friendly house, 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. When you are done you can enjoy a sausage sandwich of spectacular proportions in the Old Sawmill café, or just tea and cake or locally made ice cream if this is your preference, all are delicious!
Keswick is the hub of the northern Lake District, beautifully located on the shores of lovely Derwentwater and starting point for numerous attractive walks for all ages and abilities. You can take the launch across the lake to see The Lodore Falls, made famous by ‘The Cataract of Lodore’ by Robert Southey, or Lingholm walled gardens, which were Beatrix Potter’s inspiration for Mr McGregors garden in Peter Rabbit. Walk down to Friars Crag for the classic view down the lake to Borrowdale, buy something in one of many 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 in this attractive town.
If you want to spend your days on the fells you will be spoilt for choice with the whole of the northern and north-western fells easily accessible. Routes starting from the edges of the National Park are often quieter and you can reach some popular summits without following the crowds. For gentler walks try Loweswater or Rannerdale in May for beautiful displays of bluebells. Whinlatter is great all year round with shelter from the sun or wind and offers an easy way to get up to the snowline in winter, with the added bonus of a cafe to warm up in afterwards. For autumn colours you cannot beat the woodlands around Derwentwater, accessible for all. For a bigger challenge how about Skiddaw via Ullock Pike, Longside and Carlside: with beautiful views all the way and a lovely ridge walk overlooking Bassenthwaite it beats the tourist path up from Keswick hands down. Or try the Coledale Horseshoe for a high-level walk over several summits with lovely views of the Newlands Valley. Cyclists can head to the off-road tracks at ‘Back O’ Skiddaw’, the mountain bike trails at Whinlatter or for road cyclists Newlands and Whinlatter passes offer a proper challenge.
Maryport can be reached in around 25 minutes from the cottage. An attractive coastal town in its own right with a harbour and marina it also offers a number of attractions. Senhouse Roman Museum houses an important collection of Roman alters, it is located next to the site of a roman fort which was part of Hadrian’s Wall and a viewing platform provides views of the fort as well as spectacular vistas across the Solway to Scotland. Maryport Aquarium will entertain and educate all ages with a variety of creatures found in local lakes, rivers and seas that are otherwise hard to see. For a more energetic indoor activity for any age head to Clip n Climb to tackle one of the climbing walls and try ‘the leap of faith’. A pleasant walk along the prom will complete the day with some rock pooling on the beach and an ice cream, what could be better?
The city of Carlisle offers a varied day out, from Roman remains to up to the minute fashion.There are plenty of shopping options but take time to look around the sandstone cathedral, quietly located on the edge of the shopping centre, it is still the tallest building in this compact city. Visit the historic castle and learn about its history from roman times to the present day - it was once home to Mary Queen of Scots. After a walk by the sylvan 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 popular café. Carlisle station is the starting point for the scenic Carlisle to Settle railway, which would make a relaxing day trip letting the scenery pass you by.
Riggs Cottage is perfectly located on the edge of the Lake District, offering that ideal mix of a quiet and tranquil location that is still within easy reach of all the local attractions this beautiful area has to offer; and there are many to choose from.