Things to do nearby Tan Cottage

Borrowdale is one of the most stunning valleys in the Lake District - offering varied walking from the most family friendly fell of Catbells to the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike. Both can be reached from the valley floor as can a myriad of other walks. Borrowdale offers some classic rock climbing routes and scrambling opportunities. You can cycle on road through the valley and over one of the toughest passes at Honister, or go off road on the bridleways for some more adventurous biking. At the southern tip of Derwentwater you can hire all manner of boats for adventures on the lake from Platty+. Tan Cottage is perfectly located so that you may never need to use your car once you arrive!

Grange Bridge over the River Derwent

Alfred Wainwright described Borrowdale as containing the loveliest square mile in Lakeland and it is hard to disagree with him.  The area containing Castle Crag and Kings How were said to be of special significance and for a man who knew Lakeland so intimately, his description is quite an accolade. "It contains no high mountain, no lake, no famous crag, no tarn, but in the author's humble submission it encloses the loveliest square mile in England - the jaws of Borrowdale." Tan Cottage more or less falls into this 'loveliest square mile' and the path to Castle Crag and the trail along the river Derwent starts just next to the neighbouring cafe. It is perfectly situated for setting out on foot to enjoy all the delights that the valley has to offer - the beautiful Derwentwater, lush valleys, majestic peaks, mature woodlands and the gorgeous river Derwent winding a route from its source high up at Styhead Tarn. Borrowdale really is prime walking country with routes to satisfy everyone from all day monsters to gentle rambles along the valley floor.

My walking recommendations from Tan Cottage include the Allerdale Ramble, Cat Bells and Glaramara. You can read more about these fantastic walks on our Borrowdale Walks page.

Grange village is the biggest village in Borrowdale but it is actually still tiny. It has a charming double hump back bridge over the river (which is mostly shallow at this point) and perfect for paddling in. You can easily walk down the bank from the edge of the bridge and wade across the river to one of the pebbled islands for a picnic or to laze with a book. It is a glorious spot and gets busy in the summer months. Grange has two tea rooms, one is just off the bridge and has a lovely garden terrace overlooking the river, the other is opposite the church and marks the start point for the Allerdale Ramble, a charming walk through the valley.

Despite being only around 8 miles in length, there are quite a few places to grab a bite to eat in Borrowdale. We have a comprehensive guide (and have tested nearly all of them!) to the pubs, cafes and hotels. To read more click here.


Distant Keswick across Derwentwater from Surprise View

The traditional Lakeland town is about 15 minutes from Grange by car. You can also arrive via the Launch across Derwentwater, which is altogether more civilised! The Market Square is pedestrianised and holds a market twice a week. In Keswick you can do all your essential shopping, visit the cinema or theatre and take in one of the many traditional pubs or stylish bars. For further information, please visit our Keswick Area Guide.

Booths is the main supermarket serving the area specialising in local produce, a great meat and deli counter and lovely bread. You will also find all the things you are used to at home. There is also a Co-operative who will deliver your shopping for you (you shop and pay in store and they can deliver it for you). Thomason's is the town high quality butcher. As well as the meat counter they offer pies made in store, smoked fish, chutneys and eggs. In Packhorse Court you will find the Cheese Shop with an impressive selection of UK cheese, a cold meats counter, olive selection and various chutneys, preserves and biscuits. This is a lovely little shop but it is tucked away, very much worth a visit. Bryson's Bakery also has a cafe upstairs and the tables outside are dog friendly. They sell all sorts of bread, cakes and savouries plus many Lakeland specialties.

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