Things to do nearby The Nook
The peaceful village of Stainton is ideally located for exploring the northern part of the Lake District. Not only does the village itself have a great choice of activities in the immediate surroundings but it is just 10 minutes away from the head of Ullswater and Pooley Bridge, 20 minutes from Keswick, and half an hour from the remote and mysterious Haweswater.
The village itself has a lovely atmosphere at the heart of which is the King's Arms, a characterful, 18th century pub serving good food and real ale. The pub also operates as a post office with a converted garage that is well-stocked with newspapers, cards and basic groceries. This combined pub and post office is a real community hub and with the customary warm welcome. The restaurant at the local hotel Brantwood is well renowned for its food and is only a short distance further on. The village is also blessed with a farm café with its own playbarn - what a great way to spend a rainy afternoon!
The area around Stainton is a paradise for fell walkers and cyclists alike with the Ullswater Valley virtually on the doorstep. From charming lowland rambles to more challenging hike, this stunning valley offers a wealth of walking for all abilities. Nearby Glenridding is the gateway to the mighty Helvellyn, England's third highest mountain. Or why not escape the 21st century and take a walk or a bike ride on the eastern side of the lake to Martindale, a secluded valley that feels a million miles away from any kind of hustle and bustle. Despite its glorious isolation, it is nonetheless deceptively easy to get to.
Another way of exploring the valley is aboard the wonderful Ullswater Steamers. You can admire the stunning scenery from the deck of one of their elegant heritage vessels as it winds its way around the four landing stages. You can even indulge in a drink from the on-board bar while you do! The steamers also open up a wide range of linear walks along the valley as you can easily catch one back to your starting point. Alternatively, why not hire a rowing boat or a kayak and explore some of the secluded beaches and bays along the lake. Put together a picnic for yourself and enjoy the simple pleasures amongst the incredible scenery!
The mighty Aira Force is one of the most breathtaking attractions in the whole of Cumbria. You can park at Aira Force car park or get the steamer to the jetty at Aira Point and take a short walk to the waterfalls. The tumbling force drops an impressive 65 feet and the sound of the water crashing into the pool below is immense. There is a lovely, ancient leaf canopy to keep you dry on rainy days as you marvel the cascading water. Indeed, the falls make a fantastic rainy day spectacle. You can now walk along a new path between Glencoyne Bay and Aira Force, exploring historic footpaths that have been renovated. Glencoyne Bay is where the poet William Wordsworth first saw his daffodils; his sister Dorothy spotted the long line of yellow flowers that became the inspiration for his most famous poem, Daffodils.
Stainton is also very well placed to explore some of the history of the area. Nearby Lowther Castle was the home of the Earls of Lonsdale and you will now find the dramatic ruins of the Gothic castle set in 130 acres of historic gardens with a café and shop. Dalemain is a beautiful mansion with a Georgian façade that hides elements of the building that date much further back. It is also set in extensive historic gardens that are delightful to visit all through the year. If you're lucky, your visit might even coincide with the Marmalade Festival!
The two nearest towns are Penrith and Keswick. Penrith is less than three miles away from the cottage and is an attractive town with a good mixture of independent and high street shops as well as many places to eat. Just 20 minutes away is Keswick, the adventure capital of the Lake District. Aside from its outdoor credentials, it is a vibrant market town with a fantastic choice of outdoor shops, restaurants and cafés. It even boasts its own Art Deco cinema and one of the most beautifully positioned theatres in the country, which shows a varied programme of plays and music throughout the year. Guests with Sally’s Cottages can benefit from discounted tickets!
Why not take a different view of the Lakes by wending your way down the Ullswater valley then taking Kirkstone Pass over to Ambleside? Kirkstone Pass is the Lake District’s highest pass open to motor traffic. You'll find Cumbria's highest pub at the top and some wonderful, long-reaching views along the way. Ambleside is a very popular Victorian Lakeland town set at the head of Lake Windermere. It boasts plenty of shops, restaurants, a cinema and little nooks and crannies for you to explore. As if that’s not enough, there is also a pitch and putt, a climbing wall and the quaint, 17th century Bridge House, one of the most photographed houses in the Lake District!