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Month: February 2017

Biggest and best yet Bowness Bay Blues Festival nears

We’re just over a month away from the music extravaganza that is the Bowness Bay Blues Festival on the weekend of 7-9 April 2017.

After a string of very successful previous festivals, this blues festival in various atmospheric venues around Lake Windermere, is being held for the 6th year running. Social media buzz and increased ticket sales suggest the 2014 festival.

The headliners this year are Geoff Achison, LaVendore Rogue, The Revolutionaires and The Stumble with a further 18 other bands. Choose to attend and purchase tickets for either of the 3 nights/days or for the whole weekend as well as separate cruise options.

bowness bay blues
Not only is this a celebration of blues music but being organised by the Rotary Club of Windermere raises money for extremely worthwhile organisations. This year’s proceeds will go to will support two local charities – Ambleside and Langdale Mountain Rescue and Blood Bikes Lancashire and North West Blood Bikes Lancashire and Lakes.

Friday night is particularly exciting for the festival as both Geoff Achison and The Stumble will be headlining at the Wheelhouse Venue. Geoff Achison will be playing with the Souldiggers, a ripping live band with an infectious sound combining elements of blues, funk and soul is building for such a prestigious act performing in Bowness.

There are many places to stay in and around Bowness from B&B’s to hotels and self catering but why not have the best of both worlds and avoid the hustle and bustle by staying somewhere a little quieter and enjoy some R&R too. The Damson Dene Hotel is a short drive or taxi from Bowness located in the Lyth Valley. Easy to access from the A590 yet tucked away and secluded to have a break from all the music.

Full ticket, programme and venue details for the festival can be found here http://www.bownessbayblues.co.uk/

Car Free = More Fun in and around Windermere

The train station at Windermere played a huge part in making this beautiful Lakeland town so popular. Having opened in the mid 1800’s, it enabled visitors from across the country to travel by train due to the direct link to Oxenholme which was on the Lancaster – Carlisle line which is now the West Coast Mainline. With travel times at their lowest, it is now possible to travel by rail from London to Windermere in little over 3 hours with just one change at Oxenholme.

Encouraging visitors to travel by rail is one thing, to enable them to get around whilst staying in Windermere or Bowness is the other half of the transportation process. With projects such as GoLakes Travel and other low carbon initiatives such as Co Wheels, a variety of transport options are now readily available to thoroughly encourage and make leaving the car at home as easy as possible.

cycling windermere
Yes, not everywhere in the Lake District and Cumbria lends itself to a car free holiday, some places are just too remote. But use Windermere or Bowness as a base with the hubs of the bus and train stations, bike and boat hire and lake cruises and it’s quite amazing where you can get to including being able to travel from Windermere to Whinlatter Forest near Keswick with your bike.

This year there is the return of the bike bus. Bus number 800 is Stagecoach’s specially converted Bike Bus service to carry up to 12 bikes and handily links up with Windermere Lake Cruises’ ‘Bike Boat’ over the school holiday times commencing weekends 27 May to 16 July and daily from 22 July to 3 September. . Whether for use by cycling pros in order to cover an even greater area or for families to help younger children see further afield or break up a bike journey, the Bike Bus is a very handy service.

Family and cyclist friendly accommodation close to Windermere can be found at the Newby Bridge Hotel at the southern end of Lake Winderemere. Choose to cycle to Ferry Nab for a quick hop across the lake to Bowness to pick the bus up or cruise from Lakeside to Bowness. For information on the hotel and to book visit http://www.newbybridgehotel.co.uk/.

It’s all about music and drama in Grange over Sands

Grange over Sands is often referred to for its climate, the choice of places to eat and drink in and around it and the views of Morecambe Bay.

But arts are very much the order too in this Edwardian resort located between the Lake District and Morecambe Bay. The Grange and District Art Society is very well represented and supported, in fact throughout the county but it’s the music and drama arm of the arts we’re focusing on here and especially in February and March.

Before the Easter holidays begin and two months further when the racing starts at Cartmel races, what a great time to not only visit Grange and the surrounding region but to also enjoy some very fine performances.
grange over sands events
Firstly on Friday 10th Feb 2017 live music by Dave & John from 8.30pm at The Pig & Whistle in nearby Cartmel. Look out for their year round live music events, in the cosy bar in the winter and outside in the summer. Another live music venue is the Keg & Kitchen in Grange. Look out for regular bands, duo’s and solo singers and performers.

The second half of March is all about the drama kicking off with the Cumbria Drama Festival at Victoria Hall. This is a preliminary round of the All England Theatre Festival, the only countrywide competition for one-act plays in performance. The date Saturday March 25th with an afternoon and evening session to enjoy.

Accommodation is required can be found at the equally as artistic Bay Villa Bed & Breakfast in Main Street, a converted private residence with features galore. Call 015395 36793 to book.