Due to Covid 19 not all attractions may be open, so best to check on their website. If you want to dine somewhere, you might be best to book ahead.
Not exactly something to do, but essential nonetheless. Penrith is the best place to go, better parking and supermarkets than Keswick. There is an Aldi, Iceland, Morrison’s, Booths, Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer’s. If you want to get more local or eco-friendly go to the Cumbrian Food Hall on Ullswater Road or Another Weigh in New Squares for plastic free dry goods.
Out and About
There are lots of things to do in the Lakes, walking up Blencathra, Hallin Fell or Skiddaw for a start. But there are plenty of other things to get up to. Keswick is good for shopping. Booths supermarket is worth a visit and there are lots of coffee shops and restaurants. Kat’s Kitchen (017687 72211) does good vegan and vegetarian food and Jaspar’s Coffee House (017687 73366) likewise does vegetarian options and The Wild Strawberry (017687 74399) is lovely for afternoon tea. You could visit Derwentwater or take a trip to Mirehouse on Bassenthwaite Lake. The Pencil Museum or the Theatre by the Lake are great if you want something a bit out of the ordinary.
Pooley Bridge is down by Ullswater. There are several places to eat. We think The Sun Inn (017684 86205) is the best for food, but The Crown (017684 25869) has a lovely balcony and outside space. The Pooley Bridge Inn also does a hearty meal and Treetops does some great ice cream. If you want some restaurant food then 1863 is excellent, you will need to book (017684 86334).
Rheged is worth a visit, particularly if it is raining. They have a cinema there, but it shows live streaming and special features rather than the standard films. If you want to experience cinema-going like it used to be go to the Lonsdale Cinema in Penrith!
Dalemain is a beautiful Georgian house near to Ullswater. They have a wonderful garden that has won many awards. Or for other historic houses www.historic houses.org
Unthank is a small village just outside of the National Park, but it has the Upfront Gallery (017684 84538) puppet theatre, art gallery and does great vegetarian food. It is open all day but not for dinner.
Aira Force, a beautiful waterfall, is at the other end of the lake and is well worth the effort of the climb to view it. You can park above the waterfall or below. If you have children you would be better off parking at the bottom near the lake, as you can bribe them with an ice cream on their return.
Steamers: A trip on the lake itself is also very enjoyable. There are jetties at Glenridding, Pooley Bridge, Howtown and AiraForce so take your pick. You can while away an hour or two watching the world go by on the water, but take a coat as it can get a bit chilly.
Greystoke village is about 3 miles away. There is an outdoor heated pool there open in the summer, it’s great fun but don’t expect the weather of St Tropez. In the centre of the village is the post office/shop and the Boot and Shoe pub (017684 83343) that has various events on through the week. The locals are very friendly and if you catch the right night, Harry might be there with his Whiskey Club.
Skelton- the Dog and Gun (017684 84301) is a fabulous pub for Sunday lunch and dinner. Booking is recommended.
Penrith is a quiet market town, but there are some good places to eat, the Lounge (0176 866395) and Four and Twenty in the centre of the town we like very much (01768 210231). However if you prefer to buy something to cook for yourself, there are lots of supermarkets, Marks and Spencer, Sainsburys, Aldi, Booths and Morrison’s. (It is better than Keswick for choice of supermarkets and parking. If you want o stay for any length of time then go to the Sainsbury’s car park as it’s free for two hours)
Penrith Take Aways
There are various take aways in Penrith, but here are some that we prefer.
An Indian called Taste of Bengal (01768 891700j. Although you will have to pick it up from Penrith, you are just a bit too far away for delivery.
Italian – Villa Bianca 01768 210826
Chinese- Ming’s 01768 891725
For fish and chips I’d try the Angel Lane Chippy.
The Troutbeck Inn do a pub menu but also takeaways- pizzas, burgers and fish and chips. www.troutbeckinn.co.uk It’s well worth a visit.
Another Place opened in 2019 (017684 86442). You can do a dine and swim session or book if for a spa treatment. Although you can have one at your cottage if you contact Icon Spas, see below.
Walking and Cycling and Exercise
There are lots of walks and footpaths around about. There’s a footpath from Penruddock that crosses the A66 to Dacre and at the end of that, you’ll find the Horse and Farrier pub (017684 86022) for some refreshments. Alternatively Blencathra is right on your doorstep or you might prefer something a bit less challenging and try Little Mell Fell. I’d avoid Big Mell Fell at the moment because of re-wilding it can be hard to get up to the top.
The Ullswater Way is good as you can do a section and perhaps pick up the steamer.
Other possible walks are: Hallin Fell on Ullswater or Cat Bells at Keswick, Red Tarn (Helvellyn), Brother’s Water or Rydal Water. If you are a fit and energetic person you could do Striding Edge but it’s not for the faint hearted. You can look up the routes and car parking on the web, but there are maps in the cottages.
The Coast to Coast cycle route goes almost past your door, but the whole area is very popular with cyclists.
If you are feeling energetic there is a Park Run at Frenchfields on most Saturdays at 9.00am.
Lastly Whinlatter Forest is great, their website forestryengland.uk will give you lots of information You can walk or hire a bike and go trekking, but please note the road up to the forest can be quite twisty and narrow at times. Worth the effort!
There are chargers at Booths supermarket and Rheged.
If you feel like a bit of pampering then contact Icon Beauty on 01228 523412 and Marie can arrange for someone to come to the cottage. Have a look on our website www.huttonjohnestate.co.uk for the range of wonderful treatments. I can recommend them!
from £714 / week | Sleeps: 4
From the super king size bed to the roll top bath; 19th century Lacet Cottage has been refurbished to offer nothing but luxury self-catering accommodation.
from £725 / week | Sleeps: 6
The perfect place for a get together offering luxury modern amenities, decor and furnishings within a traditional 19th Century Lakeland cottage.
from £750 / three night stay | Sleeps: 10
Ideal for large friends and family get togethers, this luxurious house features 5 bedrooms and bathrooms, includes a playroom and all modern amenities.