Things to do nearby The Stables (Dean)
Dean, Pardshaw and Branthwaite are situated in quiet West Cumbria amidst rolling farmland and offer easy access to the stunning valleys of Loweswater, Buttermere and Crummock. Also close by is Ennerdale – a wild and remote valley where you can walk for miles without seeing a soul. The village of Dean has a lovely tranquil feel about it and includes the 12th Century church of St Oswald. It's wonderful to hear the bells gently pealing on special occasions. The village also has a well regarded village pub, so make sure you book in advance!
The tranquil setting belies the ease of access to the small towns and villages along this western edge of the Lake District. Cockermouth is the nearest town and is set on the banks of two rivers that meet under the Jennings Brewery. The market town is famous for being the birthplace of William Wordsworth and his childhood home in the centre of town has been preserved as a living museum. The house is managed by the National Trust and hosts events throughout the year. You can also visit the Jennings Brewery and Museum to take in a tour and sample some of the locally brewed ales.
For local shops you will find a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Cockermouth, a bakery, butchers, fishmonger, deli, and other special interest shops. The town is popular with shoppers thanks to the wide variety of independent stores just perfect for a lazy day browsing. The town has several Aladdin's cave style antique and curio shops as well as a popular auction on a Wednesday.
Cogra Moss is a peaceful fishing lake with paths around it for gentle strolls. Or head to Loweswater, a beautiful little lake nestled beneath gentle hills. A short climb is rewarded with big views over the lake towards Grasmoor and the western fells, as well as the sea and across to Scotland. There is a very pleasant circular walk around the lake that takes in pebbled beaches, fields, ancient woodland, and waterfalls. Make sure to include a trip to the Kirkstile Inn to sample their popular menu and home brewed Loweswater Gold.
Ennerdale is a 20-minute drive away. This valley has been managed over the past few years to return it to a wilder, more natural state – removing some of the intensive planting and replacing it with a variety of native trees. You can see all kinds of wildlife and enjoy mountain biking on the forest trails.
In the spring the bluebells in Rannerdale - the ‘hidden valley’ near Crummock Water - are a riot of colour. Legend has it that an army of Norse invaders were slain in the valley and the spilt blood is when the bluebells grow so profusely. Despite this morbid tale, the display really is spectacular. Just as beautiful is nearby Buttermere - often voted as having the best view in the UK. The four-mile circuit is an easy walk for most people and takes in the spectacular scenery of the surrounding fells such as Haystacks (Wainwright’s favourite), Grasmoor, and Rannerdale Knotts. If you fancy a more challenging walk, head up into these fells for even more incredible views.
If you want to explore by car, this is a great place to do it. The road here runs right alongside Crummock's lakeshore and then continues up Honister Pass, a steep and winding road that takes careful driving but which will reward you with spectacular, rugged scenery. At the top of Honister Pass is the Honister Slate Mine. Here you can buy yourself some local slate products, tour the mine, or walk high above the valley on the Infinity Bridge. If you want more hair raising adventure, take on the Via Ferrata, which follows the old miner path up a steep incline. There is a continuous cable to make the route more accessible and you can choose from the Via Ferrata Classic or the more extreme Via Ferrata Xtreme.
At nearby Rowrah you will find a well-maintained karting stadium that caters for all ages and abilities. The track is in a disused quarry; this part of Cumbria was heavily mined in years gone by and a wander over the fields will reveal plenty of intriguing industrial history.
The beautiful Cumbrian coastline is within easy driving distance. The landscape is varied with sandy and pebble beaches along the coast as well as sand dunes filled with wildlife and birds. Try taking the train from Workington to enjoy a tour of the coast as far south as the nature reserves at Silverdale and Arnside on the southern edge of the county. Workington itself is a popular, old industrial town with lots of shops, two theatres, a cinema, local museums, and a trampoline park.