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Holiday like royalty at Blencowe Hall, our unique 14th century Cumbrian abode. This majestic castle is packed with history and boasts many traditional features. Now extensively renovated, you can dine, sleep and recharge in its two embattled Peele towers, back in use for the first time in more than 300 years.
The sumptuous interiors are great for large groups to gather in five-star luxury. Catch up for quiet conversation in the cosy oak snug or over a frame or two in the handsome billiards room by Tiffany lamplight. Alternatively recline on squishy sofas around the blazing log fires in the Solar Room, a stunning communal living space that spans an entire wing of the castle first floor.
The kitchens and butler’s pantry are splendid for cooking up a storm as are the dinner drop-offs and recommended local caterers. Banquet in the claret dining hall, lit by candle sconces, overlooking the gardens and Cumbrian bluffs beyond.
And that’s just the communal living spaces! The castle bedrooms continue the five-star comfort, with carved beds, chaise longues and glass Juliet balconies. Stone fireplaces, Elizabethan beams and mullioned windows reflect Blencowe’s history at every turn. Unwind in freestanding baths and rainfall showers and drift off under sleek Egyptian cotton and feather duvets. You’ll find fresh flowers and Molton Brown toiletries in every room. If you don’t do stairs, choose from the ground floor bedrooms with private gardens.
Blencowe Hall is licensed for weddings and there is a large conference and function room, The Byre, which can be used for events and dinners. The Byre is available for exclusive use for guests by separate arrangement.
Reached along a winding drive that leads from Greystoke village, Blencowe Hall has impact. It sits on a bluff above the small river Petteril with views across the Eden Valley and the nearby Lakeland fells. Encompassed by its own grounds with access to the river, lazy terraces, lawns, a bubbling rill, an old moat and a haha abound for guests to explore.
You can fish for brown trout in the tributary to the River Petteril, shoot clay pigeons nearby or just explore the rolling countryside with your hounds at your heels - dogs are always welcome at Blencowe.
Walks in the Eden Valley are many and varied, with beautiful walks from the door. Along the Eden Valley, ancient stone circles and Lacy's Caves keep the mystery alive. Or get down to earth, hiking and biking the hills and fells -the popular C2C cycle route running through Blencowe village.
Stroll into Greystoke village, just over a mile away, to tour Greystoke Castle (the one Cromwell’s army missed!) and its 3,000 acre estate. Enjoy a hearty menu and local brew at The Boot and Shoe pub and cap another great day in the Eden Valley.
Ullswater, one of England’s most beautiful lakes, is nine miles, where there are steam cruises from Pooley Bridge to Glenridding and chances to walk to Aira Force waterfall and on up Gowbarrow Fell. Take quad bikes over the hills; paddle a kayak or canoe on Ullswater or take a pony out on Barton Fell.
Blencowe Hall is five miles from the famous old market town of Penrith which offers a great selection of restaurants, pubs and shops, a swimming pool, cinema and an innovative visitor centre.
You can enjoy the views in any weather with a drive over the Kirkstone Pass – Lakeland’s highest – from Patterdale to Ambleside, or along the Honister Pass with a diversion through the Honister Slate Mines with its fast zip line. Take a spin along the A66, voted top in The Telegraph’s Five Most Beautiful British Drives.
A short drive takes you to Appleby-in-Westmorland and Keswick and the local railway station is a stop on the Settle-Carlisle Railway - one of the most beautiful railway journeys in Britain.
Within easy reach are Brougham Castle, the historic city of Carlisle and Hadrian's Wall. Guests also love to visit Dalemain House, featured in a television production of Jane Eyre.
"We had a wonderful time and cannot fault it! Everyone, adults and children alike, thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was a beautiful building, lovingly restored with great attention to detail. The South Tower glazing restoration is particularly impressive as are the gardens, enjoyed very much by our family dog Floyd. We followed one of the guided walks off your website on the Monday, the one that goes from Greystoke and loops round back to Greystoke. It was a great walk and great scenery. No one wanted to leave and we will definitely be back!"
"My family and friends has just spent a fabulous weekend at the castle celebrating my 60th Birthday, we could not fault anything. Blencowe Hall is well equipped with everything you could possibly need. The historic rooms have been sensitively restored, with amazing views from the windows, a weekend I will never forget, thank you Christine for all your help and advice."
All self-respecting castles have a story and Blencowe’s no exception. When Cromwell’s men attempted to storm Greystoke, they stumbled on Blencowe instead. Cannon fire split the North Tower in two. Their idiocy is your gain. The dramatic V-shaped chasm, now shored with glass, is an award-winning architectural feature of the multi-million pound restorations, allowing light and modernity to flood inside.
WEDDINGS AT BLENCOWE HALL
The first floor Solar Room, reached by a stone spiral staircase, spans an entire wing of the castle and is licensed for the ceremony itself. Other reception areas include the billiards room and there is a choice of firelit and panelled snugs.
Blencowe’s kitchens are made for banquets, with a four-oven Aga and Bosch gas hob and oven, two American-style fridge freezers, two dishwashers and a laundry. The pretty butler’s pantry is an ideal space to lay out a buffet or prepare for serving between courses so the wedding breakfast runs smoothly. For large scale catering, your caterers can set up in the grounds if needed.
Spill out into the private castle gardens for stunning photographs overlooking the Eden Valley and rolling Lake District fells beyond. With terraces, lawns, a bubbling rill, an old moat and a haha, idyllic nooks abound for your guests to explore.
If you need more space, you’ve a marquee field. There is also a large function room, The Byre, with large sandstone terrace which can be used for events and dinners. It is step free and can seat up to 50 guests on four round tables of 10 and a head table or via a traditional trestle table arrangement.
Blencowe Hall sleeps 24 and a further 20 guests can be accommodated in the lovely coach house and barn conversions in the estate grounds. Explore our three stunning riverside shepherds’ huts at Blencowe too (each sleeping two), tucked away in tranquil woodland.
Lynn Hilditch provides delicious home-cooked Cumbrian specialities straight from her kitchen. Lynn prepares her meals at home and then comes with her team to the property to serve, clean up afterwards and leave you relaxing in the dining room. Guest reviews following her meals have been absolutely great, as seen on Trip Advisor. 01768 840 923 / 07775733608 | lynnhilditchcatering.co.uk | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Ecroyd Catering: As a specialist events and wedding caterer in the Penrith and Eden Valley area, Sarah Ecroyd believes that food should ‘speak’ of this place and as such her menus include many local and seasonal ingredients celebrating the Cumbrian countryside. 016974 72591 | email@example.com
Purple Sage. Whether it’s a sophisticated luxury banquet for that dream wedding, simple good food for a party or event, or speciality items such as a hog roast, Purple Sage Catering provides a unique service using local producers, suppliers and home-grown seasonal produce. 01768 895 555 | www.catering4cumbria.co.uk
EATING & DRINKING
Old Boot and Shoe Pub, Greystoke (1.4 miles, 25 minute walk).
Sportsman Inn, Troutbeck (4.7 miles). Near Whitbarrow, good walking nearby, great Trip Advisor reviews.
Horse and Farrier Inn, Dacre (5.1 miles). Great atmosphere, cosy, surrounded by walks.
Moo Bar, (an Independent cask ale and world beer bar) 52, King Street, Penrith (5.2 miles).
The Lounge Hotel and Bar, Mitre House, King Street, Penrith (5.3 miles).
Cross Keys Inn, Carleton Village (6.3 miles). English country pub with quality food, beers and wine and excellent service.
George and Dragon, Clifton, Penrith (9 miles). A meticulously refurbished, 18th century coaching inn which has kept its Georgian flare, the George and Dragon is a fine gastropub closeby. Serving excellent seasonal food, much of the produce is sourced either from the owners’ gardens at Askham Hall, or local farmers which reside on the family’s estate. Winner Taste of Cumbria 2011, Alastair Sawday Local Produce Award.
Horse and Farrier Inn, Threlkeld, Near Keswick (10.5 miles). Worth the drive, the owner’s favourite pub in the local area. Jilly’s recommendation.
Askham Hall Gardens, Café and Restaurant, Askham (11 miles). Awarded ‘Superior Quality’ by Cumbria Tourism April 2014. Restaurant open for dinner to non-residents 7pm - 9:30pm, reservations required. 01931 712 350. Café and gardens, open Sun-Fri. Excellent Pizzas from wood-fired oven served at lunch Wed – Fri and Sun only. Both the restaurant and café use locally sourced ingredients from the gardens, surrounding farms and woodlands estates.
RESTAURANTS (advance booking advised)
Four & Twenty, Penrith, Cumbria (5.3 miles/12 minute drive). This restaurant is a firm favourite for locals and visitors alike. Four & Twenty like to keep their menus fresh, and so regularly change them to accommodate new tastes and changing seasons. All the food is prepared and cooked on the day, and tastes exquisite. Accompanied with an excellent selection of wine or beers, you’d be hard done by to fault this place.
Grants of Castlegate Wine Bar and Restaurant, Penrith (5 miles/11 minute drive). An intimate and welcoming bistro with friendly and attentive service. Choose from a lovely selection of wines and beers at the bar, and then move on through to the restaurant where a delicious menu awaits.
The Restaurant and Bar, Ullswater Road, Penrith (5.3 miles/11 minute drive). A family-friendly restaurant with timber beams and roaring fireplaces, The Restaurant and Bar serves up mouth-watering local cuisine, from the Penrith sausage to the more exotic dried Cumbrian ham. All the fruit and vegetables are from the local green grocers, as are the meats and dairy products. The Restaurant also offers a wide range of children’s meals.
Dockray Hall, Penrith (5.2/11 minute drive miles) serving modern British cuisine such as roast hake and beer-braised feather blade.
Highland Drove, Great Salkeld, Penrith (9 miles/19 minute drive). Awarded the ‘Cumbria Dining Pub of the Year’ numerous times by the Good Pub Guide, the Highland Drove is an excellent gastropub run by a father and son team. Inside are cushioned chairs, roaring fires and a splendid dining area; expect on the menu inventive repasts such as venison curry, olive mash, and pork rillettes with sage mayonnaise. Combine these elements with glorious views of the Eden Valley and the Pennines, and you might have the perfect pub.
Yanwath Gate Inn, Yanwath, Penrith (8 miles/16 minute drive). A delightful 17th century inn which has a reputation for serving delicious food and providing first-rate service. An attractive stone inglenook, low-beamed ceilings, solid oak and pine furniture and walls give an effortlessly traditional and cosy feel to the place, while an impressive array of local ales, wines, and malt whiskies has something for everyone. The menu changes regularly, but expect things like Wild Mallard Breast with dauphinoise potatoes with a roast garlic and herb jus or Pork Loin steak and cider cream sauce.
Queens Head Inn, Tirril, Penrith (9 miles/17 minute drive) Originally built in 1719, this inn has many original features, with strong wooden pews, original flagstones and an inglenook fireplace that rages through winter. The pub houses well-kept local ales and serves some fantastic homemade pies and smoked trout from Ullswater lake.
The Bridge Café Bistro, Kirkby Thore, Penrith (15 miles/21 minute drive). A laid-back, family-friendly bistro, serving interesting food like Vietnamese chicken sandwiches, wild Alaskan black cod, and the house favourite, the Bridge Burger served with celeriac coleslaw.
Sharrow Bay, Lake Ullswater, Penrith (13.5 miles/27 minute drive). If you fancy a splurge, then Sharrow Bay is worth a visit - it’s widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in the Lake District. Winner of a Michelin star, it is an opulent affair that offers stunning views of Ullswater and the surrounding mountains. Head chefs Colin Akrigg and Mark Teasdale develop their lunch time and evening menus with the freshest of local ingredients, and welcome those who just want a morning coffee, or those wishing to try a wine from their 700-strong list.
Booths, Penrith (5 miles/10 minute drive).
Sainsbury’s, Penrith (5.5 miles/13 minute drive).
Morrisons, Brunswick Road, Penrith (5 miles/11 minute drive).
Butchers: Cranstons, Ullswater Road Penrith (5.3 miles/12 minute drive) Winners of the ‘Best Cumbrian Food Retailer 2014’ by Cumbria Life Magazine, and winners of the ‘National Butcher of the Year’ at the 2014 Deli and Farmshop Awards, its nigh on impossible to find a better butchers in the UK. Cranstons also has a food hall that stores all the best local fruit and veg, freshly baked pies, cooked meats and cheeses.
Wine Merchant: The Wine House, Penrith (5.4 miles/12 minute drive).
Thai Food Café, Penrith (5.4 miles/13 minute drive).
Indiagate, Penrith (5.3 miles/12 minute drive).
Angel Lane Chippie, Penrith (5.3 miles/ 12 minute drive).
Royal Lake, Penrith (5.5 miles/13 minute drive). Chinese takeaway.
Aira Force, 9.3 miles (20 minute drive) (National Trust) - A tumbling waterfall drops 65ft and can be reached via a stroll through woodland and landscaped glades. One of the most famous in the Lake District and a must see when in the local area – great starting point for longer walks through Glencoyne Park and Gowbarrow Fell, the walk, which inspired William Wordworth’s poem Daffodils. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/aira-force-and-ullswater
Gowbarrow Fell, 8.6 miles (21 minute drive) Gowbarrow Fell is one of the less obvious Lake District Fells lying above the north western shores of Ullswater. Despite its lack of stature it is a popular place to walk with Aira Force, a spectacular waterfall, after heavy rain. www.walklakes.co.uk/walk_39.html
Lacy’s Caves, 10.2 miles (21 minute drive). Consisting of five man made chambers carved out of the sandstone cliffs directly above the River Eden at Glassonby, just north of the village of Little Salkeld. www.english-lakes.com/lacys_caves.htmlLong Meg and her daughters, 12.5 miles (27 minute drive). The stone circle has a diameter of about 350ft, the second biggest in the country. Local legend claims that Long Meg was a witch who with her daughters, was turned to stone for profaning the Sabbath, as they danced wildly on the moor. The circle is supposedly endowed with magic, so that it is impossible to count the same number of stones twice, but if you do then the magic is broken. www.visitcumbria.com/evnp/long-meg-and-her-daughters Bassenthwaite Lake, 21.4 miles (30 minute drive). Owned by the National Park Authority, the most northerly of the Lakes, and has no major settlements on its shores. www.visitcumbria.com/kes/bassenthwaite-lake/
Helvellyn, 17.8 miles (30 minute drive). As the highest point of the Eastern Fells, this mountain in the Lake District stands at 950m above sea level, making it the third highest peak in both the Lake District and England. The traditional border of Cumberland and Westmorland lies along the Helvellyn Ridge. www.helvellyn.com/
Kirkstone Pass from Patterdale to Ambleside is justifiably famous as a driving route and the Lakeland’s highest pass open to motor traffic.
The Honister Pass is a beautiful journey linking Keswick and Derwentwater with Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater.
The A686 which runs through Melmerby has been named as one of the greatest drives in Britain.
The drive along the West side of Ullswater is delightful with the Aira Force National Trust waterfall as a great stopping off point at about the halfway mark.
CYCLING ON THE C2C & MORE
The cycling routes around Blencowe are excellent. For a great session of safe and super exciting off road cycling, we recommend renting bicycles from Cyclewise at Whinlatter Forest or organising a cycle tour with CycleActive (01768 840 400).
Alternatively, if you would like excellent and well maintained cycles to be dropped off for use during your stay, please contact Jason Taylor at Inspiring Cycling on 07887 764987.
Penrith Angling Association, CA10 1RJ (25 minute drive) 01768 882 94. Penrith Angling Association has some of the best wild brown trout and grayling fishing in the country, set in the unspoilt and idyllic scenery of the Eden Valley. The whole river system is a Candidate European Special Area of Conservation, and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). www.penrithanglers.co.uk Visitors are allowed to purchase daily or weekly tickets during the Trout season (15th March - 30th September).
Glyn Freeman Fly Fishing Tuition 01697 351 752 / 07808 563 788. There are many fishing beats along the Eden and other local rivers which are not open to the public. Glyn Freeman at Cumbria Fly Fishing is a full time, highly qualified fly casting instructor and guide as well as being a keeper on one of the lower stretches of Eden and the appointed fly casting instructor and guide for John Norris of Penrith. www.cumbriaflyfishing.co.uk
Whins Pond (Coarse fishery) (8 miles).
Blencarn Rainbow Trout Fishing Lake - Stillwater Trout Fly Fishing (15.5 miles, 30 minute drive). Fly Fishing Tuition, half or full days out on private beats.
SAILING & CANOEING
The Glenridding Sailing Centre, The Spit, Glenridding (12.5 miles) - Canoe and kayak hire, sail boat hire including traditional boats, dinghy and single manned boats.
Derwentwater Marina, Portinscale, Keswick (16.4 miles) offers various canoeing, windsurfing, sailing and rock climbing courses as well as providing various boats for hire.
Happy Hooves Riding Centre, Eamont Bridge (7 miles). Located on the banks of the River Eamont, this centre provides high quality riding lessons, hacks, equine therapy and pony days to both children and adults. Suitable for all levels of abilities from ages 2 and up.
Rookin House Farm, Troutbeck (7.5 miles). Home to around 35 horses so can offer treks for large groups and big parties. Pony parties for both children and adults can be arranged, and treks through the Lakeland countryside are also on offer.
Parkfoot Pony Trekking, Pooley Bridge (12 miles). Situated on the edge of the banks of Ullswater Lake, this centre offers pony treks in the glorious countryside surrounding the lake. The trip will take you over the hills and grant you stunning panoramic vistas of theprevailing landscape, and is suitable for all levels of abilities and from ages 5 and up.
Rookin House Farm, Troutbeck (7.5 miles). This adventure centre offers quad biking for a variety of age groups; mini quads for 6 to 11 year olds, midi quads for 12 to 15 year olds and adult quadbiking for 16 plus. Rookin House can also accommodate hen parties and corporate team-building days.
CLAY PIGEON SHOOTING
Rookin House Farm, Troutbeck (7.5 miles). Clay pigeon shooting for children and adults. They have an advised minimum age of 12. This sport is immensely fun and challenging, and is perfect for big parties who want to compete!
Penrith Leisure Centre & Eden Climbing Wall, Penrith Leisure Centre, Penrith (5.5 miles) – Eden Climbing wall, gym, 25 meter indoor pool, 13 meter indoor learner pool, indoor bowls. Pay by activity available (no fixed membership necessary & very reasonable prices for activities). Please call to check times and activities.
Eden Rock Climbing Centre, (5.5 miles) 01228 522 127 One of the largest indoor bouldering walls in England. Something for everyone, even if you’ve never tried rock climbing or bouldering before.
Cumbrian Adventures, Maughanby Farm, Little Salkeld, Penrith (13 miles) offer a range of group activities from their stunning base set in more than 300 acres of countryside. They cater for corporate groups, youth groups, hen parties, stag groups, birthdays. Activities include; clay pigeon shooting, paintball, a downhill BMX course, archery, it’s a knock-out style Cumbrian Olympics, Offroad go karting, zorb football, mountain boarding, Sumo Suit wrestling and the spectacular Cumbrian Cresta, a high speed grass toboggan run.
Keswick Adventure Centre (15.5 miles) offer a lot of activities, including zip wires, abseiling, rafting, canoeing and scrambling. Run by a passionate team of Duke of Edinburgh teachers, canoe instructors and ex-Royal Navy soldiers, you will be guided by local experts who know the area inside-out.
Bitts Park, Carlisle (17 miles) is a super fun and largely free day out for all the family. There is a fantastic children’s adventure playground suited to 3 to 10 year olds, a Putting Green, Crazy Golf course, a mini maze and both open air and under cover tennis courts. There are pleasure walks and the riverside walk to enjoy as well as a stroll through the Japanese Garden. The Hadrian’s Wall Trail also passes through this park. Annual events here include a huge fireworks display in October/November, an ice skating rink during the festive period and a celebration during Love Parks Week in July.
Urban Adventure, Bitts Park, Carlisle (17 miles) is a private enterprise offering a thrilling high ropes adventure course for age 5 yrs plus.
Whinlatter Forest near Keswick (19 miles). Attractions include a Go Ape! high ropes course, mountain bike rental from Cyclewise - there are some great cycle trails through the woods, walking trails and a woodland based playground which connects via the trees to nine different play areas including stream based play and a great low level climbing wall.
Treetop Trek, Brockhole National Park, Ecclerigg, Windermere (26 miles). Available for ages 5 yrs upwards, try up to 35 exciting treetop challenges, designed to make you swing, climb, balance and fly through the ancient oak woodland canopy.Glenridding Activity Centre, CA11 0PE, 12.5 miles (29 minute drive) 01768 482 541. Set on the shores of Ullswater. Learn to sail, canoe or kayak, have sail races or go on a sailing picnic; there is something to do for those of all ages and levels of ability.
Cumbrian Adventures, Little Salkeld (13 miles). With eight unique scenarios ranging from trench warfare to close quarter combat, Cumbrian Adventures is perfect for private parties, hen parties and corporate team building exercises.
Penrith Golf Club, Penrith (6.5 miles). Situated in the middle of the Lake District and Pennines, this golf course provides views nothing short of extraordinary. Formed in 1890, the course has 18-holes and follows the natural contours of the hilly setting. Each hole offers different challenges, with troublesome sandbanks and undulating slopes.Keswick Golf Club, Threlkeld (10.5 miles). An 18 hole course in the Lake District, great views throughout. Not a long course at just over 6200 yards, weekend and weekly rates available. www.keswickgolfclub.com Penrith Golf Hub and Driving Range, Redhills (4.8 miles). 300 yard floodlit driving range and a 9 hole par 30 golf course. Club and ball hire available, no booking required.
CASTLES, HOUSES & GARDENSGreystoke Castle (1.7 miles, 6 minute drive) 01768 483 722. With the castle dating back almost a thousand years, the secluded and tranquil building enjoys stunning views of the mountains of the north-east lakes and the northern Pennines. www.greystoke.com
Hutton-in-the-Forest House and gardens (3 miles,7 minute drive). House and gardens open for walks, teas etc. As well as a rich variety of architecture, furnishings and a beautiful garden, there are varied outdoor events during the summer, including the Plant and Food Fair, open air Shakespeare, Potfest in the Park and Horse Trials.
Dalemain Mansion & Historic Gardens, Dalemain, Penrith (6 miles, 12 minute drive). Since the Saxon era, the grounds of Dalemain Mansion have been a settlement for various folk, first posing as a Pele Tower to keep Scots out, and then as a manor house, which was constructed in the 14th century, with more parts being added in the 16th and 18th century. The house regularly holds guided tours and exhibitions, so we recommend you check the website to see if anything is on during your stay. If the weather is nice, take a leisurely stroll around the gardens which are exquisite. Home to ‘The World’s Original Marmalade Awards & Festival’ every year in March.
Lowther Castle & Gardens and Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre (11 miles). A large collection of birds of prey consisting of hawks, eagles, vultures, owls, falcons and buzzards, with flying demonstrations daily. Visitors get the opportunity to fly a bird at the display and onsite tearoom and local crafts make this an easily enjoyable day out for the family.
Acorn Bank Garden and Watermill (National Trust) (13 miles). With a delightful garden and a thirteenth-century watermill driven by the Crowdundle Beck, Acorn Bank is a red sandstone house which forms an attractive foil to the garden.
Appleby Castle, Boroughgate, Appleby-in-Westmorland (20 miles) dates back to the 11th century with an impressive Norman Keep and earthworks. The Great Hall has some fine paintings. The walled gardens, children’s play area and tea rooms cater to a variety of interests. Open 10am – 5pm from April – October.
Levens Hall historic house and gardens (40 miles) – a bit farther afield, but definitely worth the journey.
Penrith Alhambra Cinema, Penrith (5.3 miles).
The Rheged Centre, Penrith (5.5 miles) - indoor soft play area, pottery painting, castle themed outdoor playground, large 3D cinema screen, collection of shops featuring local crafts, produce & restaurants.
Crafty Monkeys, Penrith (5.2 miles). This is a welcoming pottery and crafts studio in the middle of Penrith which has a range of great activities for kids and adults including pottery wheels, pottery painting, glass painting, mosaic making, build a bear, plant pot painting.
Penrith and Eden Museum, Robinson's School, Penrith (5.3 miles), home to an array of interesting local artefacts including pottery from the Plumpton Roman Fort and historical and contemporary art.
The Ullswater Steamers, Pooley Bridge, Howtown Pier & Glenridding (7.5 miles to Pooley Bridge) operate lake cruises on Ullswater. For events, please refer to the Ullswater Steamers Events calendar on the web site.
Lakeland Llama Treks, Llama Karma Kafe Lords House, Brougham, Penrith (8.5 miles). The centre offers mini treks or half day treks which includes picnic lunches or a café meal.
Lazonby railway station (9 miles) is a stop on the Settle-Carlisle Railway, which is one of the most beautiful railway journeys in Britain. The line covers 70 miles of tracks with 20 major sandstone viaducts (including one 90 feet high at Ormonside) spanning various ravines and 14 tunnels. The railway offers service throughout the day with a number of small stops enroute and has periodic steam engine trips.
Aira Force waterfall (National Trust) (9.3 miles), near Watermillock on the road running between Pooley Bridge and Glenridding, is a great drive as well as a great walk. A tumbling waterfall drops 65ft and can be reached via a stroll through woodland and landscaped glades. One of the most famous spots in the Lake District, it is a must-see beauty spot that has inspired countless poets, including Wordsworth himself who paid many visits to the falls in his life.
Lacy’s Caves, Church Villa, Little Salkeld (10 miles). Consisting of five man-made chambers carved out of the sandstone cliffs directly above the River Eden at Glassonby, just north of the village of Little Salkeld. The caves were commisioned in the eighteenth century by Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Lacy who lived in nearby Salkeld Hall and was infamous for once attempting to blow up the stones of the Long Meg and her Daughters Stone Circle. Lacy decided to blast the prehistoric monument with gun powder. After a violent thunder storm was read as a supernatural warning, Lacy instead used the dynamite to blow a whole in the side of a hill, and constructed a romantic folly for entertaining his many guests. A bizarrre and somewhat eerie structure that is definitely worth a visit.
Carlisle Racecourse, Durdar Road, Carlisle (13.5 miles) offers racing from February to November (National Hunt and Flat) including three evening meetings.
Keswick (14.5 miles) is a thriving town settled next to the idyllic Derwentwater, forever busy with walkers, outdoor enthusiasts and artists. Brimming with cafés, art galleries and the largest collection of outdoor shops in the country.
The Puzzling Place, Keswick (15.5 miles).
The Pencil Museum, Southey Works, Keswick (15.5 miles), home to the world’s longest colour pencil, which is nearly eight metres tall! Learn all about the history of pencil as well as taking part in creative workshops, discovering the Secret Pencil Exhibition and escape to the Kids Art Studio while the adults relax and have a cuppa and a sticky bun at the riverside location.
Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle (17 miles).
Carlisle Castle, English Heritage, Carlisle (17 miles).
Talkin Tarn Country Park, Tarn Road, Brampton (21 miles) - fairytale mature woodland and gentle meadows around a glacial lake.
Hadrian's Wall (English Heritage) (35 miles, 47 minute drive). Marching 73 miles from sea to sea across some of the wildest and most dramatic countryside in England, well worth a day out for the history and amazing archaeology. A good museum, tea room and fun for running around – Vindolanda & Roman Army Museum. www.visithadrianswall.co.uk/
Walby Farm Park, Crosby-on-Eden, Carlisle (21 miles). For family fun on the farm, come and meet the donkeys, hand-feed the lambs, groom the ponies and watch the goat-racing at this award-winning attraction, open year round and suitable for all ages and abilities.
The World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness on Windermere (26 miles).
Treetop Trek, Ecclerigg, Windermere (29 miles). Experience life in the woodland canopy on 35 daring challenges.
Predator Experience, Barns Close, Ayside, Cartmel, Grange-over-Sands (36 miles). Walk a hawk, handle an eagle, join a wolf pack wandering through the countryside or step inside a fox enclosure.
Keswick Film Festival, Keswick (14.5 miles) (February – March).
Penrith Goes Orange – the World's Original Marmalade Festival, Dalemain (6.3 miles) (February or March).
Keswick Film Festival, Keswick (14.5 miles) (February – March).
Penrith Goes Orange – the World's Original Marmalade Festival, Dalemain (6.3 miles) (February or March).
Words by the Water Festival of Words & Ideas, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick (16 miles).
Pirelli Carlisle Rally, Carlisle (16.5 miles).
The Cumberland Show, Carlisle Racecourse (13.5 miles).
Ullswater Daff Fest.
Ullswater Yacht Club annual Daffodil Regatta.
Melmerby May Day Festival, Melmerby (14 miles).
Penrith May Day Festival, Penrith (5.2 miles).
Langwathby May Day Festival, Langwathby (10 miles).
Fell Pony Show at Dalemain (6.3 miles).
Keswick Mountain Festival, Keswick (14.5 miles).
Orton Scarecrow Festival (22.5 miles).
Appleby Horse Fair, Appleby-in-Westmorland (19.5 miles).
Keswick Beer Festival, Keswick (26 miles).
Cumbria Hound and Terrier Show, Brough (28 miles).
Warcop Rush Bearing (25 miles).
Ullswater Fair, Patterdale (13 miles).
The Cumberland Show, Carlisle Racecourse (13.5 miles).
Alston Gala Day, Alston (24 miles).
Skelton Show, Old Park, Hutton-in-the Forest (2.7 miles).
Langwathby Scarecrow Festival, Langwathby (10 miles).
Derwent Water Regatta, Crow Park, Keswick (16 miles).
Lakes Chilli Fest, Dalemain (6.3 miles).
Penrith Agricultural Show, Brougham Hall Farm, Penrith (7.5 miles).
Kendal Calling, Lowther Deer Park (10.8 miles).
Ambleside Sports Day - cycle races, Cumberland wrestling (which has thought to come from Vikings), hound trailing, and track racing, Ambleside (27 miles).
Alston Gala Day, Alston (24 miles).
Appleby Town Carnival, Appleby-in Westmorland (19.5 miles).
Rainbow Craft Fair at Dalemain House (6.3 miles).
Great Musgrave Rush Bearing (27 miles).
Fell Pony Breed Show, Dalemain (6.3 miles).
Lowther Show, Lowther Castle (10.8 miles).
Appleby Show, near Appleby Golf Course (19.4 miles).
Ravenstonedale Agricultural Show, Ravenstonedale (30.8 miles).
Crosby Ravensworth Show & Vintage Rally, Maulds Meaburn (20 miles).
Great British Food Festival, Dalemain (6.3 miles).
Dufton Agricultural Show, Dufton (19.4 miles).
Ullswater Yacht Club annual August Regatta.
Brough Agricultural Show, Brough (28 miles).
Patterdale Sheep Dog Trials, Patterdale (13 miles).
Keswick Agricultural Show, Braithwaite, Keswick (17 miles).
Cumbria Classic Car Show, Dalemain (6.3 miles).
Hesket Newmarket Show (9 miles).
Appleby Flower Show, Appleby-in Westmorland (19.5 miles).
Alston Flower Show (24 miles).
Brough Hill Fair (gypsy and trading fair dating back to the 17th century) (28 miles).
Carlisle Fireshow entitled 'Spellbound Sensations' at Bitts Park, Carlisle (17 miles).
Winter Droving (2 days - Lake Ullswater first evening & then a day in Penrith).
Kendal Mountain Festival: Annual film festival, a diverse event for outdoor enthusiasts in the UK.
Things you need to know about Blencowe Hall if you’re thinking of booking a holiday there:
*Internet access is offered at this property for recreational purposes only and is not meant for business use. Speed/service may vary depending on the package obtained by the owner which is provided to guests free of charge. Should guests experience difficulties or loss of use, neither the owner nor the agent will be held responsible.