We all still love Beatrix Potter and the Lake District being her home and inspiration for her books is the place to find out more about this author.
Starting with her home, Hill Top. The house, gardens and shop are a great place to start. The house itself and the Surrounding villages of Near and Far Sawrey are a delight in themselves. The National Trust work tirelessly to keep the gardens looking as they were when Beatrix Potter tended to them and Peter Rabbit was bouncing about. The house is just as it was and the shop a lovely place to buy mementos of the visit.
On the way over to Bowness and The World of Beatrix Potter, have a stop off at the Claife Viewing Station on Windermere’s western shore. Great views and now the added bonus a lovely new tea room, perfect for light refreshments before heading across the lake on the Windermere Ferry.
It’s not time to head across the lake and for younger children, the World of Beatrix Potter. Located in the centre of bustling Bowness the attraction is packed full of character models, information, historical pieces and fun things to do. A date for the diary on Easter holiday Friday’s, Peter Rabbit Tea Parties. From 3.30pm enjoy entrance to the attraction, a tea party with cake and drinks, story time with Peter Rabbit and a gift and balloon for the kids to take home with them.
Hill Top is another place to be this Easter with drawing events in the location just where Beatrix Potter did in her books Peter Rabbit Trails – tours of the house and garden from this very special animals perspective.
Accommodation just 5 minutes away from the start of this Beatrix Potter extravaganza day can be found at the Cuckoo Brow Lake District Inn at Far Sawrey. Family rooms available and delicious food for both adults, animals and little people.
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.
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/.
Ambleside is gaining popularity year on year. Of course it is obvious that it’s a popular destination. Ambleside has restaurants, bar and pubs, more outdoor shops than you can shake a stick at and lots of lovely gift shops, it even has a cinema. Great for families, great for couples, for outdoor enthusiasts and groups with all the facilities yet with the chance to get away from it all never too far away.
Surrounding Ambleside there are some very quaint, very peaceful villages that will fulfil any real getaway from it all requirement particularly the area to the west of Ambleside. To the west you will find villages such as Hawkshead, Near and Far Sawrey. These areas have all you require for a great Lake District holiday or weekend break with a wide choice of high quality bed and breakfasts, hotels and guest houses as well as super country pubs and restaurants. All this but at a much slower, quieter pace than Ambleside.
Far Sawrey and Hawkshead are delightful villages. Faw Sawrey is the home of the National Trust Hill Top property, the once home of Beatrix Potter. Hawkshead just down the road is home to the her gallery, also owned and run by the National Trust. Then what brings most visitors and guests to the Lake, District, the wonderful lakes and mountains.
If staying in a bed and breakfast in Ambleside, you can take advantage of the nearby pier for cruises up and down Lake Windermere and even an effective way to travel in the busy summer months. Hire bikes and take the bike boat one day, cycle along off road routes or even tackle some of the famous mountain passes such as Wrynose and Hardknott, eek!
Claremont House B&B in the centre of Ambleside provides excellent and friendly low cost accommodation and a great breakfast. Rooms from just £60.