Things to do nearby Rivermead Cottage
The village of Eamont Bridge is ideally located for exploring the northern part of the Lake District. Not only is there a great choice of activities in the immediate surroundings but you’re just 10 minutes from the head of Ullswater and Pooley Bridge, 25 minutes from Keswick and less than half an hour from the remote and mysterious Haweswater. The village itself boasts historic houses and inns. It is named after the River Eamont and has a listed road bridge, and nearby is the confluence of the rivers Eamont and Lowther.
Visitors will find they are well placed to learn about the area’s rich history. History buffs can explore the ancient earthworks known as King Arthur’s Round Table and Mayburgh Henge, as well as the picturesque remains of the 13th century Brougham Castle which can be reached by taking a gentle walk along the river. Brougham Hall is a marvellous 14th century building rescued from dereliction and now houses a cafe and regular craft workshops.
Penrith is just over a mile away and is worth a trip. It’s an attractive town with a mixture of independent and high street shops as well as many places to eat. The range of small independent shops covers just about everything you could want. And to tease your taste buds there is an artisan bakery, cake shop, and even a smokery! While you’re there, check out Devonshire Arcade, an original indoor Victorian shopping arcade in the centre of town which is home to small boutiques and food retailers. Farmers’ markets take place on the third Tuesday of the month, between March and December in Market Square, and there’s also a town trail for anyone interested in Penrith’s history.
For anyone seeking a little pampering, try the Spa at Rheged, just outside Penrith. You’ll also find a range of activities for all the family on site, including pottery workshops, exhibitions, a 3D cinema, an artisan food hall and restaurants. If you’re looking for other places to potter around, Larch Cottage Nurseries is about four miles away, in Melkinthorpe, and is a garden centre and cafe with the marvellous feeling of being in an Italian garden!
The area is an ideal base for fell walkers and cyclists alike, with the Ullswater Valley less than five miles away. This stunning valley offers a wealth of walking for all abilities from charming lowland rambles to more challenging hikes. One way to explore is aboard one of the Ullswater ‘Steamers’. Admire the stunning scenery from the deck as you visit a number of landing stages – you can even indulge in a drink from the on-board bar! 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, you could hire a rowing boat or kayak to explore some of the secluded beaches and bays along the lake. Pack a picnic and find your favourite spot!
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 new jetty at Aira Point and take a short walk to the waterfalls before rewarding yourself with a treat at the café. The tumbling water drops more than 65ft and the sound of it crashing into the pool below is immense. There is even an ancient leaf canopy to keep you dry on rainy days! Indeed, the falls make a fantastic rainy day spectacle. You can walk along a new path between Glencoyne Bay and Aira Force and explore historic footpaths that have been renovated. Glencoyne Bay is where the poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy first saw the long line of yellow flowers that became the inspiration for his most famous poem, Daffodils.
If you’re feeling adventurous, Glenridding is the gateway to the mighty Helvellyn, England’s third highest mountain, or you could escape the 21st century and take a walk or cycle ride on the eastern side of the lake to Martindale, a secluded valley which feels a million miles from any kind of hustle and bustle but is deceptively easy to get to.
Haweswater is the most remote and mysterious of the lakes in the national park and its sheltered and rugged terrain make it a peaceful haven for wildlife. It’s a quiet and remote reservoir with a flooded village at Mardale Head, and in times of drought the remains of the lost village can be seen.
You could enjoy a different view of the Lake District by winding your way down the Ullswater valley and heading to Ambleside over Kirkstone Pass, the Lake District’s highest pass that is open to motor traffic. Ambleside is a very popular Victorian Lakeland town set at the head of Windermere, England’s largest natural lake, and you’ll find Cumbria’s highest pub and some wonderful views along the way.
If you’re looking to learn more about the area’s heritage, visit Lowther Castle, the home of the Earls of Lonsdale since medieval times. The Gothic castle’s dramatic ruins are set in 130 acres of historic gardens, along with a cafe and shop. A magical tree house offers a wonderful place to play for children and the young at heart! Also worth a visit is Dalemain, a beautiful mansion with a Georgian facade hiding 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. It even hosts an annual marmalade festival! A magical day out can be enjoyed at Hutton-in-the-Forest, the historic home of Lord and Lady Inglewood set in magnificent ancient woodland and boasting legendary links to the Arthurian tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
The popular market town of Keswick is known as the adventure capital of the Lake District. It boasts a vast range of outdoor activities to help you find your wilder side, all set in magnificent scenery, along with a wide selection of shops, restaurants and cafes. The town has its own Art Deco cinema and one of the most beautifully positioned theatres, where guests of Sally’s Cottages can get discounts on tickets!
The Settle-Carlisle Railway travels through stunning landscape and is often referred to as one of the most scenic lines in the country. The railway and its stations are part of a huge regeneration to ensure the continued use of the line, which covers 72 miles, and passes through 14 tunnels and across 20 viaducts.