Things to do nearby The Place, Loweswater
Loweswater is a beautiful lake; small and sweet with fantastic lakeshore paths through ancient, leafy woodland, where you can find a hidden waterfall and possibly even see the odd red squirrel! The name itself is an Old Norse word for ‘leafy lake,’ a very apt description for this peaceful lake.
Loweswater has several fairly easy walks, either around the whole lake, up onto the low surrounding fells (from where you can admire the views over to Crummock Water and across the sea to the west), or simply down into the woodlands.
At one end, the Kirkstile Inn holds a reputation for unpretentious, home-cooked meals, placing great emphasis on local Cumbrian and Lake District suppliers. The beer garden must be one of the best in the region: it looks out onto Mellbreak and serves a fine pint of the mountain’s namesake beer, brewed in the onsite microbrewery.
Beyond Loweswater are the equally lovely lakes of Buttermere and Crummock Water. These three lakes once formed part of a large glacial lake and nowadays each has its own personality, marking the start of an array of different walks. In May, the bluebells in the ‘hidden’ Rannerdale Valley are a sight to behold even though the legend behind them is a gory one: they are meant to grow from the blood of the fallen from a great battle that took place in the area!
From Buttermere you can drive over Honister Pass, a steep, twisting road that takes you into the Borrowdale Valley and to the town of Keswick beyond. Honister Slate Mine perches above the pass and offers mine tours, a memorably climbing experience with their Via Ferrata, and an Infinity Bridge that dangles high in the air! If you’ve not got a head for heights, why not just treat yourself to a product from the gift shop made from the local slate?
Keswick is famed for its stunning mountain scenery, beautiful Derwentwater, and the friendly pedestrianised town centre. It has plenty on offer with independent shops (art, books, and sweet treats), supermarkets, a theatre and a vintage cinema. There are also museums, a crazy golf course, riverside walks, and adventure activities on the lake. Why not hop on a Keswick Launch and view the scenery from the water?
Cockermouth is your nearest town, just a 15-minute drive away, and has some of the best shopping in Cumbria, with a wealth of independent and antique shops along the main street. It is one of the closest locations for supplies; there is a Sainsbury’s, an excellent butcher, deli, fishmonger and two bakeries. The town has a strong Georgian heritage and is the birthplace of William Wordsworth, the Lakeland poet. His home in the town is now a museum where you can step back in time to the 18th century. Alternatively, why not have a tipple at the Jennings Brewery following a tour?
In the opposite direction lies the Ennerdale Valley, one of the Lake District's wildest valleys. Its remote location makes it the perfect place to escape to even in high season. Here, you will still see more sheep than people! The lake has the distinction of being the only lake in the Lake District without a tarmac road running alongside it, and long may that continue.
Walking is the big draw in Ennerdale with Pillar, Steeple, High Stile, Great Borne and Red Pike offering rewarding days out in the fells. You can also walk right round the lake itself: the path is fairly easy going, although there are some narrow parts and some slight scrambling is needed.
The Wasdale Valley (20 miles) is similarly remote and is prime walking country with the big fells of Great Gable, Scafell and Scafell Pike. Wasdale is a valley of records: it is home to England’s deepest lake, its tallest mountain, smallest church and the world-famous ‘Biggest Liar’ competition!
For a change of scene, why not head out to the coast? There are numerous historically-interesting towns to be explored. Why not head to Workington to find out about its industrial heritage, or to Whitehaven where you can learn about piracy and the rum trade? Alternatively, St. Bees is a pretty seaside village with a mile-long sandy beach and an RSPB reserve on the impressive sandstone cliffs. If you want to see more of the coast, the west coast train line hugs the coast down to the south of the county and provides spectacular sea-views for most of the route.