Things to do nearby The Old Homestead
Walking and cycling options abound in this secluded area of the Western Lake District, with Buttermere, Loweswater and Crummock Water all an easy drive away. Head to the coast to discover the Roman history in Maryport, or jump on the Cumbrian Coast Railway which runs between Carlisle and Barrow, stopping at charming towns and villages along the way. Whinlatter Forest is perfect for adventure seekers, and the thriving town of Cockermouth is packed with independent shops and eateries.
Lorton is the perfect starting place for exploring the Lake District. It’s a wonderfully peaceful village within very easy reach of Keswick and Cockermouth. It boasts a stunning setting at the head of the Lorton Vale with a huge variety of walks and cycle rides right on the doorstep.
The Buttermere Valley is a short drive away and the lakes of Loweswater and Crummock are just four miles from the village. The area surrounding these incredibly picturesque lakes is frequently quieter than other areas of the National Park even though they offer some of the most glorious walking in the county.
The area around Lorton also gives easy access to the high fells with Grisedale Pike, Hopegillhead, Grasmoor, High Pike and, Wainwright's favourite, Haystacks all in the valley. For a slightly less strenuous walk, wander up Ranerdale and back over Ranerdale Knotts (approx 2-3hrs). This rewarding walk gives beautiful views to the valley and lakes below. If you visiting in May, the spectacular display of bluebells at Rannerdale is not to be missed.
A good, energetic walk makes for a great excuse to go and sample some to the delights of the local pubs. If you’re down in the Loweswater and Crummock area, then the Kirkstile Inn is a well-renowned pub with excellent food and its own brewery offering award-winning real ale. The Wheatsheaf is Lorton’s excellent local pub. It’s a warm and welcoming spot with great beer and lovely food (don't miss the Fresh Fish Fridays!). Alternatively, why not stop at The Barn Tearoom, just one mile away from Low Lorton, which does an amazing Cumberland Tea (don't eat any snacks before; it's huge!).
Just four miles away is Cockermouth, a charming Georgian town that is the birthplace of William Wordsworth. Its attractive, wide main street is home to many independent shops, cafés and restaurants. The town has an excellent butcher, fishmonger and greengrocer as well as a Sainsbury’s supermarket. Why not take a tour round Wordsworth House, try a tasting at the Jennings Brewery, or experience some of the live music on offer in the evenings at the Kirkgate Centre or in some of the pubs and restaurants?
Over Whinlatter Pass you’ll find Keswick, a vibrant market town that is also well known as the Adventure Capital of the Lake District. Its beautiful position on the shores of Derwentwater means that there are many opportunities to mess about on the water, from a stately cruise around the lake on one of the Derwentwater Launches to ‘do it yourself’ with rowing boats. Why not hire a kayak or one of a number of different boats with Platty+ water sports? What a great memory to make!
Aside from Keswick’s market on Thursdays and Saturdays the town also has a wealth of outdoor shops, restaurants, cafés and pubs. It also boasts its own Art Deco cinema and surely one of the most beautifully situated theatres in the country, the Theatre by the Lake, which offers a wide programme of plays and music throughout the year. Guests with Sally’s Cottages even get a discount on some tickets!
In the opposite direction from Lorton is tranquil Ennerdale Lake with its forest walks and mountain biking. You can walk right round the lake or up Pillar and the surrounding fells. Just beyond Ennerdale, on Cold Fell, is Bradley's Farm, which has pony trekking on the fell. Driving along the fell road and coming across the ponies apparently roaming wild is quite a sight to see.
Cumbria’s western coast is also nearby. Whitehaven is a Georgian harbour town with a colourful history involving rum, sugar and piracy! The Rum Story makes a great place to start your visit and from there you can follow their ‘Quest’ around the town’s historical landmarks. It is also part of the 140-mile-long C2C cycle route that passes through Lorton itself.