Things to do nearby Bendale
Bendale is located around a mile from the village of Dearham, a short walk away down the quiet lane are a pub, shop and petrol station providing local amenities. A network of local footpaths also lead out from the village providing options for rural walks of varying lengths. An attractive but often muddy footpath follows the River Ellen into Maryport with opportunities to see dippers and kingfishers along the way. Or for lovely views of the coast and the fells walk to Tallentire village and then up onto Tallentire Hill. Staying closer to home and therefore a less strenuous alternative is offered as the cottage owners allow you to explore the farm tracks at your leisure. Or they will take you on a farm tour to find out more about the daily routine on this working dairy farm, if the cows seem a little large for a close encounter try feeding the chickens instead!
Located at the southern end of the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is Allonby, a traditional seaside village offering typical seaside attractions; fish and chips, ice cream and long walks along the beach, no amusement arcades or illuminations here! This is a timeless place popular with locals and visitors alike but walk a little way along the beach and you will have the place to yourself. Allonby is a great place to go to catch the sunset over the Solway with the Scottish hills behind and reflections in the wet sand in the foreground, photographers and romantics take note.
The remainder of the Solway Coast AONB is but a short drive away, sand dunes, wide estuary views, miles of beach walking, copious wildlife spotting opportunities and away from the crowds there is plenty to explore. In winter look for large flocks of geese who make the most of this area for food and shelter, seeing and hearing hundreds of them fly over in V formations at sunset is a sight and sound that will not be forgotten. There are also plenty of other water birds and waders to see, and in the summer the mosses and wet woodlands provide homes for rare dragonflies and butterflies.
The harbour town of Maryport is only a 5-minute drive away and as well as shops, restaurants and supermarkets has plenty of history to explore. Start with the romans; the excellent Senhouse Museum showcases some of the Roman finds from the area which is famous for its altars. The museum is located next to a roman fort which can be viewed from a purpose-built tower, being on top of the cliffs this also affords wonderful views across the Solway. The old castle mound also provides spectacular views over the town and the coast and as all that remains of a motte and bailey castle this is the next stage of your history tour. The large harbour, part of which is now a marina, hints at the importance of Maryport for exporting coal and iron ore in the industrial revolution. The old railway sleepers can still be seen on the harbour wall where industrial railways brought the spoils down to load onto ships in the harbour. Maryport Aquarium will entertain and educate all ages in natural history with a variety of creatures found in local lakes, rivers and seas that are otherwise hard to see. Or for a more energetic indoor activity head to Clip N Climb to tackle one of the climbing walls or for the bravest try ‘the leap of faith’.
The lovely Georgian town of Cockermouth is only 10 minutes away, with a good range of independent shops to browse and restaurants to try, there are also numerous events held in the town centre throughout the year. Cockermouth is at the confluence of the rivers Cocker and Derwent so there are some lovely riverside areas to explore and pretty back streets to wander around. Wordsworth House, now owned by the National Trust, was the childhood home of William Wordsworth, it is presented as it would have been in 1770 complete with costumed guides.
Keswick is only 20 minutes’ drive away and offers all the benefits you would expect from the hub of the northern lake district, but Bendale is also perfectly placed for exploring the quieter and lesser known western lake district, Buttermere is beautiful, popular and well worth a visit but why not also try a walk around Loweswater? This pretty little lake nestles between the fells and offers a pleasant circular walk through woodland filled with bluebells in the spring. With a little forward planning a stop for lunch at the Kirkstile Inn at the end of the lake will be ample reward for your endeavours.
Just over the fells from Loweswater is Ennerdale, an altogether wilder valley which is being deliberately made more so by the Wild Ennerdale project. There is parking at the entrance to the valley but beyond this point it is 2 wheeled or pedestrian power only so walks here are always quiet with some great opportunities to spot wildlife or just for relaxing contemplation. Take a short amble down the forest tracks or a serious hike into the surrounding fells, either way there is peace and quiet to be found here.
For those looking for a bit more decadence from their holiday experience try a visit to the Lakes Distillery, take a tour which includes a tasting or just visit the shop for a souvenir to take home and don’t worry if whisky is not to your taste gin and vodka are made here too! For those preferring a real ale Jennings brewery in Cockermouth also offers tours and tastings, then round the day off with a trip to the spa at Armathwaite Hall for a prosecco in the outdoor hot tub. Perfect!
Cyclists of all abilities will find an excellent choice of routes around the local network of quiet lanes plus only a couple of miles away at Maryport get access onto the extensive network of cycle tracks linking west Cumbrian towns and villages. Many of these cycle tracks follow disused railway lines and provide a quiet network of paths for exploring lesser known areas but also link into the heart of Workington, Whitehaven and Maryport. Mountain bikers flock to Whinlatter forest to try out a variety of purpose-built trails but road cyclists can also rise to the challenge by cycling over Whinlatter pass and if that is too easy come back via Buttermere and Newlands Pass, a route only for the fittest! An easier option is to hire a bike at Allonby and head down the coastal cycle path to Maryport, a flat 10-mile round trip with beautiful coastal views plus ice cream or fish and chips on offer at both ends!
Bendale is ideally located for enjoying all the well-known attractions of the northern lake district but why not take the opportunity to explore some of the lesser known but no less beautiful and much quieter parts of the area while you are here? There are plenty to choose from; but the real selling point of this cottage is its lovely rural location, so you won’t need to travel far afield for a truly relaxing break.