Things to do nearby The Steading
Great Strickland is a small rural village surrounded by outstanding scenery, on the doorstep of the unspoilt Eden Valley and the eastern Lake District. It has a lovely pub, The Strickland Arms, which serves good food and local ales, and just up the road in Clifton is the George and Dragon, which boasts a varied menu including home-grown produce and meat reared on the estate. The Lakes are within easy driving distance, as are the Pennines, Scottish borders and the Yorkshire Dales. The peaceful location belies the ease of access to good transport links, including the M6, A6 and main railway lines.
The Eden Valley is an undiscovered gem, a beautiful area of Cumbria typified by gentle rolling lowlands and the picturesque river flowing through the middle. It is bounded by Lake District hills to the west and the Pennines to the east. These offer many great walks and the quiet country lanes are ideal for touring by cycle. One of the best ways to see the valley is on the Carlisle to Settle line, which runs steam services alongside a regular timetable. With its stunning scenery and picturesque stations, it will definitely be a journey to remember!
Penrith is the nearest main town to Great Strickland and is well worth a visit, especially if you like to discover local produce. Don’t miss J&J Graham, an independent grocer housed in a 19th century building in the Market Square known for its baked produce and its hampers combining many local goodies. Cranston’s Cumbrian Food Hall is another must-visit if you want to explore the local food and drink scene. Initially known for its fresh locally farmed meats and fishmongers, it now stocks a vast range of local delicacies and artisan produce. The cobbled streets and old alleyways of Penrith make for an enjoyable stroll and there’s a cinema and leisure centre where you could take a break, particularly if the weather isn’t so kind. The town’s train station is on the West Coast Main Line. On the outskirts of Penrith you’ll find Rheged, which boasts a spa, cinema, outdoor and indoor play, galleries and shops, and a choice of food options.
The popular Larch Cottage Nurseries, at Melkinthorpe, are a paradise for green-fingered visitors and a lovely stop if you enjoy exploring fascinating gardens and creative galleries or just fancy a yummy cake or tasty lunch! More than a market garden, this little gem is a hidden slice of Italy in the centre of the Eden Valley, thanks to the owner’s passion for Romanesque architecture and excellent plant varieties. Be sure to arrive hungry because you won’t want to miss the chance to try the home-cooked treats on the menu in the garden restaurant.
Acorn Bank, which is owned by the National Trust, is open to the public and allows a peek inside this incredibly elegant sandstone property. Outside you’ll appreciate the appeal of Acorn Bank, with the 17th century walled garden, the traditional fruit orchard and the walled garden tea room making for an enjoyable visit. A gentle walk follows the woodland path that meanders alongside Cowdundle Beck, passing by the partially restored water mill before returning to the house where you can enjoy the exceptional view of the Eden Valley and Lake District beyond. There are many events taking place at Acorn Bank throughout the year.
The dramatic ruins of Lowther Castle stand in 130 acres of gardens and woodland overlooking the Lake District National Park. The estate remained closed to the public for over 70 years and reopened after an immense renovation project. Visitors can now wander the grounds and castle, enjoying glimpses of its former grandeur. With the excellent coach house cafe, gift shop, tours and walks, Lowther Castle makes for a great day out and hildren will love it too when they discover the attraction’s latest addition, the Lost Castle. They'll be entertained for a whole afternoon in what seems like an endless world of woodland adventure play!
Nestled in the pleasant valley of the River Lowther, Shap Abbey is a remarkable place for a gentle stroll while soaking up the history of the area. Thanks to English Heritage, information boards allow you to explore the impressive 15th century tower and other ruins, learning a little about the abbey’s past as you go. How about calling at the award-winning Shap Chippy, in Shap village, before heading back?
Appleby-in-Westmorland is a lively and picturesque market town and tours are regularly available at the 17th century motte and bailey castle. The River Eden flows beside the town’s wide main street, which has been described as one of the finest in England, and there are lots of independent shops as well as numerous cafes, restaurants and pubs. Appleby’s famous horse fair attracts thousands of visitors every June.
Ullswater and Haweswater are two of the longest lakes in the Lake District and blessed with stunning scenery. Haweswater is a remote secluded body of water. The valley was flooded in the early 1930s to create a reservoir and during dry periods the remains of Mardale Head can be seen. Ullswater is a majestic ribbon lake with a steamer service from Pooley Bridge, Howtown and Glenridding. To the west it is surrounded by tall mountains and to the east the land falls gracefully to the lush rolling countryside of the Eden Valley. Popular walks from Ullswater include Helvellyn, St Sunday Crag, High Street and Place Fell.
There are endless experiences to be enjoyed around what is often said to be England’s most beautiful lake, including plenty of places offering water sports and cycle hire – but you don’t necessarily have to be an adrenaline junkie to appreciate your visit. A tour on Ullswater ‘Steamers’ will allow you to experience a more tranquil view of the lake, and if you’re a wildlife lover there is plenty to look out for, including red deer and red squirrels. Popular walking options range from the family-friendly Aira Force, where children will surely enjoy splashing in the streams and playing in the woods, to a hike to the summit of Hellvelyn, via the infamous Striding Edge.