Whether you're looking for an active holiday or just want to relax and enjoy the mountains and the peace and quiet, there are so many possibilities from Bowderbeck, here are just a few of them:
Whether you enjoy a gentle ramble around a lake or full day hikes over the highest fells in England, the possibilities for walks from the front door are endless! The major fells in the area include Fleetwith Pike, Haystacks, High Stile, High Crag, Red Pike, Mellbreak, Robinson, Grasmoor, Whiteless Pike, Grisedale Pike & Great Gable.
On cloudy days, or for the less energetic there are plenty of pleasant valley walks around Buttermere, Ennerdale, Crummock Water, Loweswater and Derwentwater.
If you do want to go walking, the books and maps we would recommend are:
Wainwright's Pictorial Guides to the Lakelands:
Alfred Wainwright (1907-1991) will always be known for his famous Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells, which he compiled between 1952 and 1966.
These handwritten and hand-drawn works of art have given inspiration to all true fellwalkers for the past forty years. For this labour of love, as he called it, he was awarded the MBE.
Click here for the Official Alfred Wainwright website.
Books by Alfred Wainwright:
The Central Fells
The Northern Fells
The North Western Fells
The Western Fells
Ordnance Survey 1:25,000
Outdoor Leisure Series No.4
The English Lakes, North Western Area.
Note: There are some maps, walking guides and walking magazines in the cottage.
Lake District National Park
The official web site of the Lake District National Park authority with information about the Lake District including walks, local events and visitor information.
Whinlatter Forest Park & Visitor Centre
Rising to 790 metres above sea level, Whinlatter Forest Park offers spectacular views of the Lake District and into Scotland, numerous walking routes, high level and low level cycling routes, nature trails, orienteering trails, picnic sites, a tearoom and a shop.
Cumbria Tourist Guides
The official website of the Cumbria Tourist Guides. All members of Cumbria Tourist Guides have been awarded the Blue Badge for Cumbria, the British national standard guiding qualification and internationally recognised benchmark of excellence. Blue Badge Guides are selected, trained and examined by the official British tourist boards. The training is detailed and comprehensive, the examinations rigorous and registration an achievement. Search for a guide by location or by special interest.
Guided Lake District Walks
We offer a guided walks service with experienced and qualified leaders. All walks are tailored to suit your requirements and personal abilities, leaving you free to enjoy the scenery! So if you are looking for a relaxing and informal ramble or a more demanding day out amongst the higher fells, have a browse through our site and see what we can offer you! Includes a Wordsworth Trail, Beatrix Potter Trail and Wainwright Trail.
With over 3300 pages of FREE information, "Walking Britain" is dedicated to the footpaths that cross the landscape. The National Parks feature strongly including the Lake District, the Peak District and Snowdonia, not to mention the Yorkshire Dales. Also detailed are the Brecon Beacons and Pennines. Coverage of Scotland and Ireland will be improved with more emphasis on these areas in future.
Walks Route Maps and GPS waymark data for walks across the UK including Cumbria.
Lake District Walks
John Dawson's Lake District Walks. Planning a day out on the Lakeland fells can be an enjoyable but sometimes time-consuming task. For newcomers to the area it can be daunting. A series of walks is presented here in outline, giving distances covered and heights ascended. More detailed information on the walks is available by following the links. It is not my intention for these pages to replace the available guidebooks, more to present interesting routes, for those who wish to enjoy a full day's walking on the fells, and to give the flavour of them.Back to the Top
The fishing on Buttermere is controlled by the National Trust. Boating & fishing (trout, char, pike & perch) permits and two rowing boats for hire are available.
Mr. & Mrs Parker
Tel: 017687 70233
For boating and fishing permits (trout, char, pike & perch) contact:
Tel: 017687 70208
For boating and fishing permits (brown trout & coarse fish)
Tel: 01946 861465
Fly fishing guide & tuition
Glyn Freeman is a full time and a fully qualified fly casting instructor and guide (River Eden - c.1 hour's drive).
Tel: 016973 51752
Lake District Fishing
Website with information about all aspects of fishing in the Lake DistrictBack to the Top
Keswick Mountain Bike Hire
Tel: 017687 75202
Grizedale Mountain bikes
Situated at the heart of Lakeland's largest forest, which is also home to the county's biggest off road cycling facility. Ideal if you have young children, with unrivalled cycling tracks free of other traffic, the perfect place to cycle in safety . Maps, helmets and spare kit are also included in hire charges and we have a range of frame sizes suitable for all.
Tel: 01229 860369
Keswick Tourism Association
Downloadable mountain bike routes
Information & maps for cycling routes around the Lake District
Coast to Coast cycle route
The definitive resource centre for the sea to sea cycle route
Web: www.c2c-guide.co.ukBack to the Top
Armathwaite Hall Hotel, Keswick
Clay Pigeon Shooting, Quad Bike Safari, Off Road Land Rover Driving, Mountain Biking, Falconry, Guided Fell Walking, Mountaineering, Abseiling, Canoeing, Fencing, Ghyll Scrambling and Horse Riding.
In Portinscale, near Keswick, you can enjoy sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking also mountain biking and guided hill walking/climbing and ghyll scrambling.
Tel: 017687 72912
Low Wood Watersports & Activity Centre, Windermere
Waterskiing, speedboat rides, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, boat hire, also mountain bike & cycle hire and archery. Open 7 days a week, Easter to the end of November.
Tel: 015394 39441
Rookin House Equestrian & Activity Centre, Penrith
Quad bike treks, human bowling, Argo Cat, Go Kart Rally Cross, Archery, Clay Pigeon Shooting, tank driving, amphibious army vehicle driving, JCB driving, horse riding lessons and hacks
Tel: 017684 83561
Go Ape, High Wire Adventure
Go Ape! Grizedale Forest, offers you the chance to climb way up into the trees.
Rope bridges, a Tarzan swing and zip slides stretch through the forest up to 60 feet above the forest floor, the highest of any Go Ape course. As you might expect, you'll get some stunning views as you tackle the various obstacles. Winner of 'Best Tourism Experience 2005' in the Cumbria Excellence Awards, the course provides a dramatic tree top adventure which shouldn't be missed!
Grizedale Forest Visitor Centre (approx. 1 hour's drive)
The Glaramara Centre, Seatoller
Outdoor centre approx 20 mins drive from Bowderbeck with a variety of activities and 1 & 2 day skills courses in rock climbing, caving, orienteering, mine exploration, canoeing, mountain biking and many more. Advance booking vital.Back to the Top
Bradley Riding Centre, nr Ennerdale
Pony trekking & horse riding for all levels.
Tel: 01946 861354
Lake District Osprey Project
The Lake District Osprey Project is managed by a partnership of the Forestry Commission, Lake District National Park Authority and the RSPB. You can view these spectacular birds of prey from 2 locations as they nest near Bassenthwaite lake (April to August):
Whinlatter Visitor Centre
Osprey exhibition and giant live video screen open from 10am until 5pm during the period that the ospreys are nesting (usually April to August). Lake District Osprey Project staff will be on hand to answer questions and provide a guide for what can be seen on the live video.
Dodd Wood Viewpoint, Bassenthwaite Lake
Open-air viewing platform in Dodd Wood, Bassenthwaite. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff will be on hand from 10am until 5pm seven days a week (April until the end of August) to help you with your questions. High powered telescopes are provided but bring your own binoculars. Please note that on bright sunny days the visibility in the afternoons is much poorer than in the mornings.
The Dodd Wood viewpoint offers magnificent views over Bassenthwaite Lake, a favoured fishing area for the Ospreys and there is a clear direct view of the nest from a safe distance. Over the course of most days the Ospreys can be seen fishing, sitting, feeding, flying and washing.
The viewpoint is situated about 3 miles north of Keswick off the A591 - follow signposts to the Mirehouse from the A66. Car parking is available at the Sawmill Tearoom opposite the entrance to Mirehouse. From the Tearoom the viewpoint is a fifteen to twenty minute walk uphill along a gravel path.
Haweswater RSPB Reserve
The Haweswater RSPB reserve is a mixture of woodland and mountain grassland with tumbling becks and imposing crags, surrounding Haweswater reservoir. It is the only place in England where Golden Eagles nest. Buzzards, Dippers, Peregrines and Redstarts are also regularly seen here. An observation point is open 10am - 4pm during the breeding season (Apr-Aug). It is reached from the western end of Haweswater Reservoir, 2 km along an uneven path.
Tel: 01931 713376
There's plenty to do even if does happen to rain, listed below are just a few places within easy reach of Bowderbeck that are worth a visit:
Honister Slate Mine
The only slate mine in England! Fascinating visitor centre, guided underground mine tour and Slate Stone Garden. You can also purchase Westmoreland slate floors, kitchen worktops, house signs, rockery & walling stone and roofing materials.
Tel: 017687 77230
Theatre by the Lake
Theatre by the Lake, by the side of Derwentwater, is Cumbria's purpose-built year-round theatre which opened in 1999.
The acclaimed resident professional company offers a summer season of plays, a major Christmas show and an Easter production. The Theatre also hosts a wide range of visiting drama, music, dance, talks, comedy and film.
Theatre by the Lake is normally open 7 days a week to the public for food and drink, and for exhibitions in the foyer.
Cumberland Pencil Museum
Generations of craftsmen have maintained and improved upon the standards that make Derwent one the most highly regarded brands of fine art pencils in the world.
Tel: 017687 73626
Keswick Leisure Pool
Free form tropical pool with water-slide & wave machine and fully equipped gym.
Tel: 017687 72760
Cars of the Stars Museum
The world famous cars of the stars motor museum features celebrity TV and film vehicles including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, James Bond cars, Batmobile, Mr Bean's mini and many others.
Tel: 017687 73757
Derwent Bay Bears
The showroom and sculpture garden of the Derwent Bay Bears who specialise in Cumbrian chainsaw sculpture!
Mirehouse - Historic House and Gardens
A delightful Seventeenth century stately home, Mirehouse has several literary connections and an impressive collection of letters and manuscripts by Francis Bacon and three Poet Laureates Tennyson, Robert Southey and Wordsworth. Apart from the house there are also extensive grounds, an adventure playground, a tearoom, open air theatre and St Bega's Church. Open April to October.
Tel: 017687 72287
The Keswick Launch
Welcome to the Keswick Launch Company website. Located on the lake shore of Derwentwater near to the Lakeland market town of Keswick, the launch company offers Lake District cruises around Derwentwater throughout the year.
The launches start their journey from the Keswick boat landings and cruise around the lake stopping at seven lakeshore jetties where you may embark or join the various boats. Alternatively, stay on the boat and enjoy the 50 minute trip around Derwentwater. Also hire rowing boats and self-drive motor boats.
Tel: (017687) 72263
Keswick Climbing Wall & Activity Centre
Based in the heart of the Lake District, Keswick Climbing Wall is more than just a climbing centre. We run outdoor activities in Cumbria and the Lake District of all types; from biking to ghyll scrambling, canoeing to raft building, and of course climbing and abseiling. Whether you are part of a group, family or individual we tailor our activities to fit with your needs. We also run corporate events designed to encourage team building, enhance communication and develop leadership skills. On all our programmes the emphasis is on challenge and fun.
Tel: (017687) 72000
Trotters World of Animals
An idyllic country home to hundreds of happy, healthy and friendly animals including traditional farm favourites, endangered species, birds of prey and reptiles including the British Bird of Prey Centre, a great deal is undercover so rain need not spoil your visit.
Don't miss Ambleside's discount factory outlets for outdoor clothes, rucksacks, walking boots etc these include Gaynor Sports (www.gaynors.co.uk), Field & Trek, Rohan, Rock & Run, Craghoppers, YHA Adventure Shops and many more.
There's also a glass blowing centre and plenty of good bookshops, tea rooms and cafés, look out for:
Lucy's on a Plate
Café, restaurant, delicatessen and cookery school specialising in produce from around Cumbria emphasising individually created foods ranging from cheeses, breads and pastries to pickles, chutneys and puddings.
Tel: 015394 311191
Zeffirelli's cinema, restaurant & jazz bar
Unique, independent cinema with 4 screens, wholefood restaurant / café and jazz bar with live music.
Tel: 015394 33845
A very pretty village with a few shops, an art gallery and plenty of lovely walks around the local area including Helm Crag (otherwise known as the 'Lion and the Lamb'), Easedale Tarn and Helvellyn. You can also hire a boat and row out to a delightful island in the middle of the lake.
Dove Cottage & Wordworth Museum
Grasmere's most famous residents were William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy who lived in Dove Cottage from 1799 - 1808. There are guided tours, telling the story of the house and family and many of the Wordsworths' household items, furniture, family possessions and portraits are displayed. The garden (open, weather permitting) has been restored to the half wild state that he and Dorothy lovingly created from local plants and materials. Open every day, 9.30am - 5.30pm. Last admission is 5pm.
Grasmere Gingerbread Shop
This tiny shop is the home of 'Sarah Nelson's Famous Grasmere Gingerbread' sold in the village since 1850.
Tel: 015394 35428
Rheged - The Village in the hill
RHEGED is home to a giant cinema screen showing giant movies daily, the Helly Hansen National Mountaineering Exhibition, 12 Shops and Artists Galleries, Children's Indoor Play Area, Restaurant and Cafes and Tourist Information Centre.
Tel: 01768 868000
The World of Beatrix Potter
Come & see Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle and all their friends at the definitive Beatrix Potter Attraction.
The Old Laundry
Tel: 015394 88444
Ullswater Lake Cruises
You can take a trip on either "Lady of the Lake" or "Raven" along the 12 km lake, with fine views of the valley and Helvellyn. These classic vessels were once steam powered but have since been converted to conventional power. There is a one-hour cruise, which takes place at the southern end of the lake or take the complete two-hour cruise around the lake. You can incorporate a walk by starting at Glenridding then walking to Howtown and catch the Ullswater Steamer back to Glenridding.
Muncaster Castle - Gardens, Owl Centre & Children's Maze
Muncaster Castle, home to the Pennington family for 800 years, is a genuine treasure trove of art and antiques. Its Great Hall, Octagonal Library and elegant Dining Room are all windows on a grand past. But Muncaster's wild history reveals a flipside to life in a stately home. The castle evolved from the Pele Tower, built to repel marauding Scots. Those who stay here say it is haunted by ghosts, including the legendary Tom Fool. Visit the Tapestry Room if you dare!
Tel: 01229 717 614
Jennings Brewery Tour
Jennings have been brewing traditional beers at The Castle Brewery, in the quaint market town of Cockermouth since 1874 The Brewery is sited in the shadow of historic Cockermouth Castle at the confluence of the River Cocker and River Derwent.
Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
The most beautiful train journey in England! Situated in the English Lake District this 15" Narrow Gauge Railway carries passengers from the old Roman Port of Ravenglass seven miles along the Eskdale Valley to Eskdale (Dalegarth) with a journey time of 40 minutes from Ravenglass to Eskdale. Trains are hauled by either steam or diesel engines.
The Lake District Visitor Centre
Situated between Ambleside and Windermere, the Lake District Visitor Centre opened in 1969, and is set in 30 acres of magnificent terraced gardens stretching down to the shore of Windermere, with splendid views of the surrounding countryside and a range of indoor and outdoor activities including exhibitions, trails and lake cruises. Open February to October.Back to the Top
Annual Local Events
Ambleside Daffodil & Spring Flower Show, 3rd Saturday in March
Keswick Beer Festival, June
Contact Tourist Information Office for details - 017687 72645
Cockermouth Festival, July
Contact Tourist Information Office for details - 01900 822634
Ambleside Sports, Thursday before the 1st Monday in August
A traditional Lakeland event now in it's third century!! Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, fell races, hound trails and much more!
Contact Tourist Information Office for details - 015394 32582
Borrowdale Show, September
Visit this friendly show and meet and see a traditional part of Lakeland life.The show takes place at Yew Tree Farm, Rosthwaite, Borrowdale in September. Attractions from 10am include Buccleuch and Queensbury Caledonia Pipe Band and the Thornhill Scottish Country Dancers. Judging will take place of fell sheep, fell ponies, foxhounds, trailhound pups and shepherds' dogs. Also featuring sheepdog trials, fell races, Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling, Craft tent, trade stands, Vintage machinery and vehicles.
Contact Tourist Information Office for details - 017687 77294
Cumbria Food & Drink Festival, Rheged, Nr Penrith
A weekend celebration of the finest food and drink Cumbria - the Lake District has to offer. Held in October.
Tel: 01768 860090
Buttermere Shepherds Meet & Show, October
Herdwick and Swaledale sheep show, shepherds crook show, working sheep dogs, terriers and trackhound pups show. Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling. Local produce and related stalls, fell races, and catering and beer tent
Tel: Mrs Norman 01900 821312
Keswick Victorian Fayre, 1st Sunday in December
This spectacular annual event involves market traders and lively locals dressing up in Victorian costume. Held in the picturesque Market Place, with the Christmas tree and shops festooned with colourful lights, and equally colourful local characters providing entertainment and leading the carol singing, the event is an occasion not to be missed.
Tel: 017687 71337
Local Tourist Offices
Borrowdale Tourist Information Centre
Seatoller Barn, Borrowdale, Keswick, Cumbria
Tel: 017687 77294
Keswick Tourist Information Centre
Market Square, Keswick, Cumbria
Tel: 017687 72645
Cockermouth Tourist Information Centre
Town Hall, Market Street, Cockermouth
Tel: 01900 822634
Ambleside Tourist Information Centre
Central Buildings, Market Cross, Ambleside, Cumbria
Tel: 015394 32582
Useful Lake District links
The official Cumbria Tourist Board website
Information about events, and the history and people of the Lake District
The official Keswick & North Lakes website
Web: www.keswick.orgBack to the Top
Eating OutThe Fish
Once the home of Mary Robinson (the Maid of Buttermere made famous by Sir Melvyn Bragg's book) the Fish Hotel offers bar food. Five minutes walk.
Tel: 017687 70253
The Bridge has a bar offering bar meals, local specialities and real ale and a more formal restaurant. Five minutes walk.
Tel: 017687 70252
The Yew Tree Restaurant
Unique restaurant in a building dating back to 1628, with a wide choice of freshly prepared food including many traditional Cumbrian dishes including Herdwick Lamb, Ullswater Trout, Cumberland Sausage and real Cumbrian Cheeses. Twenty five minute drive.
Tel: 017687 77634
The Wheatsheaf Inn
Seventeenth century inn with traditional fine foods and real ales. Bar, beer garden and restaurant. c.Fifteen minute drive.
Tel: 01900 85199
Sixteenth century inn nestling below Mellbreak with a beer garden, bar and restaurant all with fantastic views. c.Fifteen minute drive.
Tel: 01900 85219
The Drunken Duck Inn
Lovely pub / restaurant in a beautiful setting, just outside Ambleside - great place to stop for lunch and well worth a visit. One hour's drive.
Tel: 015394 36347
Note: All the information from this page is printed out in an Activities Book kept in the cottage.