Things to do nearby Riggs Cottage
Just a stone’s throw from Bassenthwaite Lake with its quiet wetland nature reserve and popular Osprey viewing station, Riggs Cottage is an ideal location for nature-lovers. Visit Lake District Wildlife Park and Lakes Distillery for a fun-filled day out, or explore nearby Whinlatter Forest to experience their high ropes course, mountain biking trails or Segway adventures. Keswick and Cockermouth are vibrant little towns offering an excellent array of visitor attractions, as well as plenty of cafes, restaurants and pubs to relax in at the end of a day.
Embleton is a small, attractive village that is ideally surrounded by beautiful scenery and within reach of some of the top attractions in the northern Lake District. The Wheatsheaf Pub serves a good selection of meals and has a play area. Also in the village is Embleton Spa Hotel with a restaurant serving home cooked meals made from local ingredients. Turn right out of the drive and you will find a lovely children's play area by the road junction just a couple of minutes’ walk away. Also within walking distance is Cockermouth golf course, a well-respected 18- hole course with fabulous views.
A footpath leads across the fields to Wythop Mill from where Ling Fell and Sale Fell are easily reached. Sale Fell in particular is a real gem; there are several routes to the top to make a circular walk encompassing woodlands, fields and open fell. Look out for the remains of Wythop Curch and don't miss the beautiful view of Bassenthwaite Lake from the ridge to the southeast of the summit. Do it at the beginning of your holiday and you might just decide to squeeze it in again near the end!
The Northern Lake District is an ideal location for trying something new and adventurous. There are a variety of local companies offering guided activities on the water or up in the hills. At the other end of the scale try Armathwaite Hall just down the road, for a luxurious spa session with treatments, hydrotherapy areas, a pool and a fabulous outdoor hot tub. The Lakes Distillery is also nearby with a bistro, tours, tastings and a very tempting shop.
Near Bassenthwaite you will find the Lake District Wildlife Park with a range of wildlife to view including zebra, otters, red panda, gibbons, snakes, birds of prey, and much more! You can get even closer to the animals with one of several ‘experiences’ including a Hawk Walk, Lemur Encounter, and Meet the Meerkats.
The Osprey viewpoint at Dodd Wood has volunteers on hand between May and August to show everyone the birds through telescopes, although you can also bring your own equipment. On the other side of the road is Mirehouse; dating from 1666, a welcoming, family-run stately home. There are extensive and varied gardens, a lakeshore walk and natural play areas. Don’t miss the short walk to tiny St Bega’s Church in the grounds. When you are done you can enjoy a sausage sandwich of spectacular proportions in the Old Sawmill Café in Dodd Wood, or just treat yourself to tea and cake or ice cream.
Cockermouth is a pretty Georgian town with pretty back streets and a wide main street offering a range of independent shops, as well as a supermarket and two butcher’s for all your essentials. Wordsworth House, the childhood home of William Wordsworth, is presented as it would have been in 1770, complete with costumed guides! Also in the town is the Jennings Brewery, which offers tours and the all-important tastings!
Maryport is an attractive coastal town with a harbour and marina. Senhouse Roman Museum, located next to the site of a roman fort that was part of Hadrian’s Wall, houses a large collection of Roman artefacts. The aquarium will entertain and educate 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 the ‘leap of faith’. There is also go karting on the edge of town.
On a nice day walk along the prom, rock pool on the beach or explore the cycleway running north or south along the coast. Maryport also has a railway station on the Cumbrian Coast Line. This scenic railway runs from Carlisle to Barrow and then on to Arnside and Silverdale. It is a handy half hour into Carlisle, or head the other way to Whitehaven and St. Bees.
The Gincase, just up the coast from Maryport, is a farm park with an excellent café and craft shop. As well as the animals, there are indoor soft play and outdoor play areas and a barn with giant sandpit and ride-on tractors. The attraction is found near the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which draws you to it with miles on interrupted sandy beaches, views to Scotland, and incredible sunsets.
Keswick, located on the shores of Derwentwater, is the hub of the Northern Lake District. It is the starting point for many fabulous walks and you can also cruise cross the lake on a Keswick Launch. This area offers all sorts of outdoor adventure activities as well as shops, museums, a theatre, a cinema, eateries, pubs, and much more!
If you want to spend your days walking or cycling, then the northern and north-western fells are easily accessed from Embleton and Wythop. Routes starting from the edges of the National Park tend to be quieter and you can reach some popular summits without following the crowds. For gentler walks try Loweswater or Rannerdale in May for stunning displays of bluebells. For autumn colours you cannot beat the woods around Derwentwater or, for a bigger challenge, hike Skiddaw via Ullock Pike, Longside and Carlside. The beautiful views all the way up and a lovely ridge walk overlooking Bassenthwaite make it well-worth the effort. Alternatively, the Coledale Horseshoe is a high level walk that takes in a number of summits. Cyclists can head to the off-road tracks at ‘Back O’ Skiddaw’, the mountain bike trails at Whinlatter, or challenging on-road tracks up the Newlands and Whinlatter passes.