The Lake District was once again a popular destination for both honeymoons and proposals in 2016. The romantic settings , secluded walks and great pubs make it an ideal choice for couples. Here at Anns Hill we helped over 50 couples celebrate last year and look forward to many returning to celebrate their anniversaries with us.
The Lake District is home to many farms and food lovers. The result of this is excellent dining no matter your taste or budget. There are hundreds of dining options across the district, with plenty of fantastic spots close to our idyllic location.
From exquisite eateries to friendly farm shops, Cumbria and the Lake District has plenty to offer. Here are just a few of the best places to eat near us.
In the town centre there are plenty of spots for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake. Merienda is just off the main street, and serves seasonal food alongside scrumptious scones and cakes. Blueberry scones, chocolate banana cake, and coffees are just a few of the things on offer at this cool café.
If you want to get out of town, take a trip to Wellington Farm Café & Tearooms. Treat yourself to an afternoon tea or indulge in a homemade ice cream. There’s also an animal enclosure with free entry…but make sure the llamas and donkeys don’t get your cake.
Back in town, one of the most popular place for eating is Wild Zucchinis Bistro. Pastries, homemade cakes, brunch, and lunch are all available at this delightful bistro. You could even make an evening of it with an open-mic night or a live music event.
For evening dining, there are plenty of choices in Cockermouth and the surrounding area. Honest Lawyer is often recommended due to their exquisite dishes. Vegan and vegetarian options are available, making it friendly to all.
If Italian is your thing, try out Tarantella. This delightful Italian restaurant on Main Street serves a range of delicious, authentic Italian meals. Open Tuesday to Saturday, Tarantella are able to cater for vegetarian, gluten-free, and other dietary requirements.
Instead of eating in Cockermouth, you could always have a short drive to Keswick. Morrels is a luxurious restaurant which has been recently refurbished to a high standard. Highly rated on Trip Adviser, this is the place to go for a beautiful meal nearby.
After a long day by the lakes and a delicious meal, it is time to have a glass (or two) of wine. There are many lovely pubs and bars in Cockermouth, including Castle Bar. This beautiful 16th century building is now home to a pub and restaurant which boasts a spot in The Good Beer Guide in 2014, 2015 and 2016!
For a cosy and traditional atmosphere, try The Bitter End. This pub and brewery stocks eight hand-pulled real ales alongside a range of imported bottle bears from Belgium, Russia, China, and more.
A short drive away and we return to Keswick for a visit to 18-20 Cellar Bar. As well as having a gorgeous restaurant with an extensive a la carte menu, 18-20 Cellar Bar often hosts live events. If you love to combine local real ales and good music, this is the place for you.
We all know that the Lake District is famous for its beautiful scenery and excellent walking routes, but what, and who, made it the place it is today?
Beyond the pretty views lies a rich history, both socially and geologically. Without this history, the Lake District wouldn’t be anything like the Lake District we know and love.
The Lake District, physically, is the result of 500 million years of geological processes. 500 million years!
There are many types of rock throughout the area, all with different stories to tell. But we’re focussing on three of the most famous rock groups in the Lake District.
The Skiddaw Group are some of the oldest rocks in the area. These rocks were formed as black muds and sands that settled on the seabed 500 million years ago. Since then, they have raised up and have been crumpled and squeezed to make them the rocks they are today. They are most commonly found in the north of the Lake District.
The Borrowdale Volcanic Group are another popular and historic group of rocks. This group was created by hard lavas and ashes when there were volcanic eruptions 450 million years ago. They make up the Lake District’s craggiest and highest mountains.
The Windermere Group are a bit softer than the other two. Sedimentary mudstones, sandstones, and some limestone formed in the sea roughly 420 million years ago. Between then and now, they have been folded, faulted, pushed up, and eroded. These well-weathered rocks make up the gentler aspects of the local scenery.
One of the reasons that the Lake District became such a popular spot was because of the admiration it received from famous writers. The ‘celebrities’ of the 19th and 20th Century brought the Lake District into the spot light.
William Wordsworth is one of the most notable writers to be linked to the Lake District. Born and raised in Cockermouth, just outside of the district, Wordsworth had a strong connection with the area and found a lot of inspiration in it. After finishing his studies at Cambridge University, Wordsworth moved to the Lake District in 1799.
However, Wordsworth did not end up alone here. He was joined by poet pals Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey. Together, the became known as the Lake Poets. They were part of the wider literary movement, Romanticism which went against the overpowering industrial revolution. They made emotion the chief force of their works, so the pastoral setting of the Lake District was perfect for them
Another famous literary figure who came to the Lake District slightly later, is Beatrix Potter. After years of holidays in the area with her family, and enough money earnt from Peter Rabbit, Potter was able to buy a field in Near Sawrey in 1903. Two years later she bought Hill Top farm and so her life as a farmer began. She worked as a farmer for 30 years of her life, buying more and more farms. When she died in 1943, she left all 14 of her farms and 4000 acres of land to the National Trust.
Until the late 18th century, tourism wasn’t a big thing, particularly in the Lake District. Daniel Defoe described it as “the wildest, most barren and frightful of any that I have passed over in England” in 1724. Not the kindest of words!
In 1778 Father Thomas West published “A Guide to the Lakes”, this was followed by another guide by William Wordsworth in 1820. That’s when things really started to get going for the tourism industry in the Lake District.
1847 saw the arrival of a railway in Windermere, which made the area a lot more accessible. It was around this time that the working classes started to enjoy holidays. Improved working conditions led to a shorter working week, increased wages, and paid holidays.
The railways continued to expand, and from the 1960s onwards the roads also improved greatly. More and more people had access to a car, along with rising standard of living, meaning that a holiday to the Lake District was possible.
We’re lucky enough to be situated in one of the most beautiful areas in the UK. The Lake district is home to so many wonderful lakes, mountains, and beauty spots. But beyond the good looks, Lake District has some impressive facts and figures.
1.Lake District covers 2,292 square kilometres, a huge amount of space! However, it is not the largest national park in the UK. That title does to Cairngorms which is an incredible 4,528 square kilometres, putting Lake District in second place.
2.It has had national park status since 1951. Until the 19th Century, areas such as Lake District were seen as dangerous; that was until the Romantic poets discovered its beauty and inspiration. It was given its status on the 13th August, and 44 years later the Environment Act was brought in.
3.It is home to the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike. It is estimated that the mountain was formed more than 450 million years ago, and on a clear day you can see other peaks in Wales, Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.
4.The largest natural lake in England is also in the Lake District. Lake Windermere is 11 miles long and has 18 wooden islands dotted along the length of it. The largest is called Belle Island, and remains dating back to Roman times have been discovered there.
5.The deepest lake in the area, Wast Water, is 80 metres deep and 3 miles long. In 2012 it made it to national news sites after the infamous underwater gnomes were labelled as a potential risk. Local and visiting divers are known to place garden gnomes in the lake.
6.There’s actually only one official lake, Bassenthwaite Lake as it is the only one to have ‘lake’ in its name. The other lakes are actually ‘waters’, ‘meres’, or ‘tarns’.
7.In 1810 William Wordsworth published “Guide to Lakes”. The famous Romantic poet only wrote the travellers’ guidebook because he needed the money. It was originally published as an anonymous introduction to a book of engravings of the Lake District by Reverend Joseph Wilkinson.
8.There are 14560 archaeological sites and monuments. These include remains of homes from the Bronze Age, ruins of an Abbey built in 1200, and even some rock carvings that are believed to be up to 6,000 years old.
9.Beatrix Potter played a large part in the conservation of Herdwick Sheep. This breed of sheep is domestic to Lake District, and the famous children’s author was involved with keeping and breeding Herdwicks, she was even president of the breed association!
10.The best preserved Roman Fort in the UK is also in the Lake District, it’s called Hardknott fort. The small 3-acre fort was established in the second century AD under the reign of Emperor Hadrian. It was demilitarised in the late 130s and believed to have offered temporary shelter to passing patrols and travellers after that time.
With 885 square miles of land and lake to play with, there’s always plenty to do in the Lake District. Regardless of age and ability, the Lake District has different activities suitable for everyone. Whether you’ve packed your hiking boots and waterproofs, or you’ve brought along a wetsuit there will be the activity for you.
For those of you who are seeking adventure, the Lake District is the perfect place to visit. Walking, biking, and wild swimming are just three of the many adventure activities you can try out.
There are plenty of walking guides available through the Lake District National Park website. Beginners and advanced walkers can find suitable guides and information on walking in the area, including park rules.
Cycling is also very popular in the area. Regular cycling events are held throughout the year and are, on average, 10 miles long. If you’ve got your own set of wheels that’s fine, but if you need to hire one there are plenty of centres to pick up the perfect bike for your Lake District adventure.
If the land isn’t for you, why not hire a kayak or canoe and get paddling? If you’re new to canoeing, try out a taster session and get a feel for it before you go solo. There are loads of boating centres to hire canoes and kayaks from, so give it a go!
The Lake District is steeped in history, and the landscape has been shaped by human actions for thousands of years. People have lived in the Lake District for over 12,000 years – when the last great Ice Age ended.
In the northern area of the district, you can see Mirehouse, a historic home that dates back to 1688. There are also three farmsteads in the area which date from roman times. Each farm contains hit circles and animal pens.
The eastern area is home to Shap Abbey. Now in ruins, this abbey was built around 1200 and housed a thriving monastic community. There are also remains of a 2,000-year-old road built by the Romans. This road linked forts at Brougham and Ambleside.
To the west, we can see Duddon Iron Furnace – the oldest surviving site of its kind in Northern England. Built in 1736, this furnace has recently undergone conservation work. Remains of a Roman bathhouse are also in the west. Walls stand up to 12 feet high and two rooms with doorways and windows survive.
The south region of the Lake District has historic buildings from the industrial revolution and earlier! Stott Park Bobbin Mill made wooden bobbins for the spinning and weaving industries in Lancashire. Whilst the Coniston Copper Mines date back to 1600.
After a tough few days of adventures and exploring (or watching people do that) it’s time to treat yourself to some total relaxation.
There are many spas across the Lake District, so take an afternoon or even a whole day to visit one and relax. Facials, massages, and other treatments will help you unwind and chill out. Plus, a pedicure is an absolute dream for tired feet after lots of walking.
You could also book yourself in to a yoga session. Join in with a group or have an individual class as you stretch out and feel the calmness of the exercise and the lakes.
The lakes themselves are incredibly relaxing, and having a luxury cruise is one the best ways to enjoy their beauty and make the most of the serene nature surrounding you.
With thousands of square miles to roam, walking is one of the most popular activities in the Lake District. Each year more than 15 million people visit the national park, with a large proportion being drawn to the area by the popular walking routes across the rolling hills.
Whether you’re preparing for a hike or searching for a simple stroll, we’ve come up with a list of nearby walks for all abilities.
You don’t need to travel far or hike a mountain to enjoy some of the Lake District’s finest scenery. Here are some of our favourite spots that are worth a wander:
•The Vale of Lorton – known as one of the prettiest parts of the Northern Lakes, The Vale of Lorton is just a 20-minute drive from Anns Hill
•Watch Hill — starting from Cockermouth this gentle four-mile walk will take you to the top of the hill, where you can enjoy valley views
•Buttermere Valley – Pack a picnic and take your time sauntering around the beautiful valley. According to the National Trust, the Buttermere Lake offers one of the best round-the-lake walks in the Lake District.
Step out the front door of Anns Hill and you’ll see the lush green mountains lingering in the distance, along with hundreds of paths that are waiting to be walked. Cockermouth really is the perfect base for exploring the Lake District.
A few nearby places that are suitable for all types of walker, include:
•Loweswater — Located in a quiet, wooded valley, the four-mile walk around Loweswater offers a gentle stroll via easy paths.
•Crummock Water — Just a half an hour’s drive from Anns Hill, Crummock Water is situated between Buttermere to the south and Loweswater to the north. Park in the National Trust car park and follow the path down to the lake’s shores for stunning views over the surrounding fells.
•Bassenthwaite Lake — the only official lake in the Lake District and the closest lake to Anns Hill. This National Nature Reserve provides a variety of routes for walkers of all abilities.
Hunger for hiking?
Feeling adventurous? The Lake District is home to some of the most challenging treks in the country. Don your hiking boots and get ready for a challenge because our top three recommended trails aren’t for the faint hearted…
•Scafell Pike — At 3,209ft, Scafell Pike is England’s highest mountain. There are many paths so choose wisely, otherwise you could find yourself rambling along the most difficult route.
•Helvellyn – One of the most recognised walks in the Lake District. It’s famous for its twin ridges; Striding Edge and Swirral Edge and at 3,117ft, you certainly can’t miss it from Ann’s Hill. Good news is, it’s only a 30 minute drive away!
•Coniston Old Man — If you fancy exploring further afield, venture over to the Furness Fells, the home of the Old Man of Coniston, also known as the Coniston Old Man. There are a number of well-marked paths to the summit, which is popular with tourists and walkers.
For further information on walks in the Lake District visit the National Park’s website here