Eden Valley Features in April Edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

In fact, the Eden Valley doesn’t just feature inside April’s edition of Countryfile Magazine but an image of the valley adorns the front cover too.

The headline asks “Britian’s Loveliest Valley?” and naturally, with this blog being predominantly for Cumbria and the Lake District, we think it is a high contender (of course the other contenders for us would also be from with this county, not being biased whatsoever obviously)!

Beautifully green, rolling yet dramatic, the Eden Valley has something for everyone and spans a varied landscape. Often people bemoan the amount of times journalists, writers and photographers home in on the South and Central Lakes, Windermere, Ambleside, Grasmere for example. Across on the other side of the county, another world awaits and why writer Vivienne Crow describes the area as “The Lake District fascinating neighbour”. Vivienne Crow is an award winning freelance writer and photographer who also happens to live in Cumbria and be passionate about the county, who better to write such an article.

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Eden Valley in April’s Countryfile Magazine

It could be said that if you venture to the far est or the west of the county you are rewarded. Both The Eden Valley and the Western Lake District and Cumbria Coast offer peace and tranquility as well as adventure. The Eden Valley though has been mentioned for it’s ease of travel. Little off the M6 motorway and the beauty can be enjoyed.

Accommodation can be found to suit all budgets but a good all rounder for price and location is the Westmorland Hotel just south of Penrith. Easy access to the motorway means getting to any part of the Eden Valley a breeze. The hotel has family rooms, a restaurant and bar and is even dog friendly along with plenty of car parking.

April’s edition of Countryfile Magazine is in the shops now.

By Jenny Andrew



Update from Lake District Self Catering Company

Just a quick update about the latest offers, products and services offered by Goosemire Cottages, the family owned and run holiday cottages agency based at Crook, near Kendal.

Late booking continues to be a trend and across the whole tourism sector and which has been embraced by Goosemire who are continuing to offer a 20% saving on bookings when taken within 3 weeks.

Easter is booking up fast but there is still a few properties left including some delightful cottages in the Eden Valley and Windermere. Th 20% discount applies to these too and there is a chance to book some of the cottages on a short break basis.

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As standard and as always, Goosemire have a “Pets Go Free” policy in all of the pet friendly cottages. An excellent policy that saves a huge amount of kennel fees as well as cottage pet fees.

A new service that can be booked when staying in Goosemire’s Northern and Western Lake District cottages, holistic massage and facial treatments. Greta Brown, is a qualified therapist offering a mobile service throughout these areas. Treatments also include the use of crystals to recharge and revitalise making the perfect accompaniment to a relaxing holiday in the Lake District or when guests have taken on a fell walk just that little bit too far!

That completes the update from Goosemire Cottages so all there is left to do is check availability and book for this Easter and beyond.

By Jenny Andrew



Canoeing in the Lake District

Canoeing is accessible to the whole of the UK. Those who live miles from the sea or a lake can still enjoy this water sport on the hundreds of rivers.

So it is no surprise that canoeing is the 4th most popular water sport in the UK and is so for the 4th year running. This has been further confirmed by the 6-9% per annum growth in membership figures of the British Canoe Union and a growth in sales by leading canoe manufacturers up and down the country.

Unlike many sports, canoeing is “truly inclusive” as Canoe England so rightly says. There are in fact 8 different types of canoeing which enables every age, ability or interest to enjoy this outdoor pursuit. From the leisurely flat, recreational paddling to the fast flowing ad white water canoeing, this sport really is the sport for all.

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Canoeing for all in the Lake District

The Lake District, synonymous with water (naturally) is seeing more and more canoeists taking to the wide and varied waters and rivers there. Visitors to this National Park can enjoy the views from the tops of the fells or beside one of the lakes but the view from on the water is something different and unique and adds a further perspective to the landscape.

With outdoor pursuits being such a big reason why millions of visitors come to the Lakes, the caliber of activity providers and guides is extremely high. The Western lake District is no exception. The perfect combination for canoeists of varied bodies of water and peacefulness. Choose between flat paddling on England’s deepest lake, Wastwater at the foot of Scafell and with views of Great Gable to the River Esk in the next valley, Eskdale which eventually leads out to Ravenglass with a little help from the tide. West Lakes Adventure, based in Eskdale, hold Lake District canoeing courses, events and activities throughout the year and will tailor make the course to suit ability, time and interest. Contact 019467 23753 for booking enquiries and details.

The Canoe England strap line, “Something for Everyone” – says it all.

By Jenny Andrew



Cumbria Cottage Extras on Bookings Made this Month

Hill View Cottage lies within the Lake District National Park in the stunning village of Bouth, close to Newby Bridge and the southern end of Lake Windermere.

They are offering enticing extras for bookings made on Hill View Cottage during the month of March for any 2014 holiday or short break. The offer includes a free drink at The White Hart Inn as well as 10% lunch or dinner bills for the duration of the booking.

Hill View Cottage sleeps 4 people and has a Visit England 4 star grading. It has everything you’d expect from a modern holiday let but within a delightful traditional cottage. It is ideal for a small family or a couple and the log burning stove is perfect for relaxing in front of in the colder months. It also benefits from being dog friendly too, up to 2 dogs in fact at a small charge.

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Hill View Cottage, Bouth Newby Bridge Exterior and Interior

Bouth Village is a picture box village and only 4 miles from Lake Windermere. The White Hart Inn is an award winning inn renowned in the area for its food and local ales and it couldn’t be more convenient to get to from the cottage.

Hill View Cottage is marketed by the Lakeland Cottage Company. Here the full details of Hill View Cottage Bouth Newby Bridge can be viewed along with availability calendar and the ability to either book online or talk to the team to book on 015395 38180.

By Jenny Andrew



Cumbria, The Lake District, #theplacetobe

The brand new and exciting ad campaign from Cumbria Tourism promoting Cumbria, the Lake District is now fully live. Centered around the phrase “The Place To Be” or as many will have seen #theplacetobe.

The 6 ads show exactly why the Lake District is The Place To Be through clear, simple yet striking images of areas around the county and an activity suggestion. The ads have been receiving exceptional comments and reviews from everyone from the James Berresford, the CEO of Visit England to the thousands of people on social networks sharing, posting and tweeting about them.

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The 6 #theplacetobe ads

Launching such a large campaign in January was genius especially with such engaging images that honestly make you go, I want to go there, I want to run there. It also happens to be the largest and most expensive marketing campaign Cumbria Tourism have ever run but the early signs show it has already made an above expectation impact.

One great example of how this campaign is being pushed is on The Telegraph website. Click here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/travel/lake-district-attractions/ and see some really insightful articles, tips and tempting accommodation images and links such as a spotlight on the hidden gems Ravenglass & Eskdale in West Cumbria to the newest of hotels in the Lake District, Brimstone Hotel at Langdale.

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A snippet from The Telegraph Lake District #theplacetobe page

With the constant rising in standard of everything from the food to the offerings in shops to B&B’s, self catering and hotel accommodation in the Lake District, such a campaign meets those standards and the message that this county is #theplacetobe.

By Jenny Andrew



The Cotswolds, a Hotspot for 2014 Travel says The Guardian

A travel tips for 2014 post from The Guardian last month listed La Graciosa, Canary Islands, Greece, Portugal and the Cotswolds Villages are their 2014 travel tips.

Obviously this is fantastic for The Cotswolds but a little surprising at the same time as small regions such as this are not normally sited next to countries such as Greece and Portugal!

But the Cotswolds Villages and this region as a whole is truly stunning and worthy of this 2014 travel tip. Picture postcard stone cottages in the pretty villages and towns, rolling countryside and magnificent castles, stately homes with historic houses and it is the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales. It has everything for a staycation but naturally highly popular with overseas visitors.

This 1,164 square kilometre district is made up of parts of many counties but primarily Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire with a smattering of North East Somerset, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire. Many people come to walk in and around The Cotswolds as it offers such diverse yet every inch stunning landscapes.

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The Cotswolds Way

For those into long distance walking then the Cotswolds Way is the ideal walk to enjoy in this region. The 102 mile route was recognised as a National Trail in 2007 and starts in Chipping Camden in the North through to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bath. It follows the western edge of the Cotswold Hills taking walkers through the real heart of the Cotswolds enabling every quintessential attraction to be experienced.

Mickledore Travel Ltd offer self guided Cotswolds Way walking holidays where walkers can choose to complete this route in 6 days up to 11 days depending on how much time is available, budget or walking ability. See the walk description here http://www.mickledore.co.uk/walking-holidays/cotswold_way

Read the full article by The Guardian here.

By Jenny Andrew



A Fabulous February in Ambleside

It’s nearly the end of January and before you know it it will be half term and Valentine’s. Hard to grasp as Christmas seems just like yesterday.

Whether you’re looking for a family getaway or a romantic Valentine’s break for two, Ambleside is a great destination choice for either. There is so much to see and do in and around Ambleside and plenty of places to stay, eat and drink.

It’s not hard to understand why Ambleside has a universal attraction and why it is an excellent place for a family holiday. Small children can get involved with some low level walking or when its too wet there’s Ruffy Tuffys to keep them entertained. In terms of cafes and restaurants, most are very child friendly offering a friendly welcome and a tasty children’s menu. Sheilas Cottage is open in the day and evening and is very child friendly.

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Family Adventures in Ambleside

For bigger children then of course Ambleside is outdoor adventure paradise. Guided walking, rock climbing and canoeing from Waterhead as well as fells galore.

But Ambleside has another enticing side being very quaint and very romantic, a couples dream. Poets, writers and artists have for years took inspiration from this delightful town. For the modern day romantic then there are some lovely restaurants to eat in and plenty of places to escape, just the two of you. And there are some fantastic retreats for two on the outskirts of the town too like at Stepping Stones Cottages, once owned by the Wordsworth family so a very good pedigree for romance this Valentine’s!

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Ambleside for romantic breaks

So if you’re thinking what should we do this half term or wondering about a Valentine’s break then Ambleside, enjoy a fabulous February in Ambleside.

By Jenny Andrew



Windermere Marina Makes Top 10 Lake District Valentines List

As published on Easier.com, the latest finance, travel, technology, cars, property and lifestyle news, Windermere Marina Village have been listed in their top 10 of romantic laces to stay in the Lake District.

The Lake District as a whole is an ideal destination to take your loved one too to mark Valentine’s Day but Windermere in particular. The links with the local romantic poets, the lake and it’s beautiful backdrop, the fine food and wines that can be found throughout and endless romantic walks that can be had. Directly from The Marina there are countless walks including Gummers How where a spectacular view down the lake can be had towards The Langdales and Ambleside and up the lake to Lakeside and Newby Bridge. Up towards Windermere and a walk up Orrest Head is always worthwhile to catch a glimpse of Lake Windermere from a different angle.

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But who knows really what the weather will hold during this romantic weekend? Fear not as it won’t be a hardship to stay in the apartment or cottage. Fully kitted out with luxury fittings, kitchens and bathrooms and The Boathouse restaurant and bar in the resort is an excellent place to eat and drink from breakfast time through to dinner. They will also be offering a special Valentine’s candlelit dinner for 2 menu with fizz on the very evening, ¬£35 per person.

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Here is an extract “a chic new waterside penthouse at Windermere Marina Village offers a uniquely Cumbrian take on the French Riviera. Complete with spacious, southerly-facing balconies, plush interiors and all mod cons, it’s the perfect way to retreat from the outside world.”

An naturally, if you’re both sailing and boat lovers then it becomes an even better match, pardon the pun!

By Jenny Andrew



Calling Foodies and Cyclists come to Grasmere!

Grasmere is a stunning village in between Ambleside and Keswick on the heart of the Lake District National Park.

Many will know it as the home of Grasmere Gingerbread, now an international product (and gorgeous!) and of course that poet, what was his name…..Wordsworth! But even if you’re not a fan of gingerbread or literature, Grasmere is simply a delightful, full of character Lake District village.

But 2014 i set to be a big year for this village is further ways. The Fred Whitton cycling sportive, one of the most revered and toughest in the UK is set to start from Grasmere this year, a move from its traditional Coniston location. A new starting point affects the route slightly so it won’t just be the first time competitors that will be doing reckies.

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And then foodies. The love of food is growing in popularity with the ability to now easily find really excellent food and Grasmere is no exception. Amazing produce on their doorstep and high quality hotels are attracting equally as high caliber chefs. Just recently there has been an outstanding review in The Observer by the very critical critic Jay Rayner of the restaurant at the Oak Bank Hotel in Grasmere who couldn’t sing it’s praises highly enough. Quite some accolade for the hotel as well as Grasmere.

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Pigeon, Pork Belly, Textures of Onion – Photo by Alan Spedding

So it seems quite appropriate for any cyclists visiting Grasmere to take along a friend or partner so that both can enjoy some fine food and accommodation and make a weekend out of it! 2 birds, one stone!

By Jenny Andrew



The Lake District renamed The “Escape” District this January!

January is always associated with the booking of holidays for the coming year. Christmas and New Year are over and it’s time to book for something to look forward to.

But January should also be the time people look to go away for a short break. As lovely as Christmas is to meet up with friends and to gather family together, it can very well also be a stressful and very busy time of the year. And just as the retail industry has sales, so does the tourism industry.

A short break or holiday in January is an excellent way to start the new year off and the offers should not be missed. Whether it is a hotel break, B&B or self catering, tourism operators in the Lake District are offering some excellent deals throughout January and into February.

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25% off Holiday Cottage breaks in the Lake District

The Lake District is now a 365 day destination so all but a handful of attractions and businesses are open. Just think, the fells (weather dependent of course) are most definitely open 365 days a year and getting some walking in is only going to help shift those Christmas pounds!

Luxury self catering i becoming more and more popular in the Lake District. The variety of properties in beautiful locations are perfect to take advantage of in January with some holiday agencies such as Lake District cottages from The Lakeland Cottage Company who have 25% off January sale discounts.

So for a way to break up and escape the dark, long month of January and to bag a bargain, the Lake District is the place to “escape” to at the start of 2014.

By Jenny Andrew