Contemporary five-star luxury in classic Lakeland cottages
Lakeland scenery – Bike trails – Theatre by the Lake – Lake cruises – Lodore Falls – Friars Chocolate Shop
The Borrowdale Valley has been a popular destination for adventurers and seekers of peace and beauty since the late 1700s when tourists first came in search of the sublime. Today the Borrowdale Valley still provides an escape from the stresses of busy city life. Visitors can explore the Lodore Falls, take a walk around Derwentwater or catch one of the lake ferries. At the top of Honister pass (2m) one can explore the massive caverns of the slate mine.
For those of a literary bent the valley is home to the characters of Hugh Walpole's Herries Chronicles. The poets Robert Southey and Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived in the charming town of Keswick at the foot of the valley. Every year Keswick hosts a literary and film Festival and the Theatre by the Lake has an extensive repertoire of performances throughout the year. The theatre also offers acclaimed avant garde productions, film screenings, music, festivals and arts and crafts events. (Tel 017687 72282 for information and booking).
Borrowdale is home to one of the few remaining red squirrel populations in the UK. These beautiful animals can occasionally be observed feeding close to the cottage. Trout fishing is available locally. There are several local pubs in the valley along with hotels that cater for every standard of dining. The Langstrath pub in nearby Stonethwaite is outstanding (To book for meals ring 017687 77239).
Step out of Ghyllside's front door and you are straight into some of the finest and most spectacular walking country in the whole of England. From the challenge of England's highest peak, Scafell Pike, to a gentle stroll along the valley bottom by splendid trees and tranquil waters. For all walks the OS Explorer maps OL 4 and OL 5 are essential whilst the still excellent Wainwright guides are a must. Do check the local weather conditions and leave a note of your route just in case. Don't forget to let someone know that you are back safely.
A delightful circular walk of about five miles which can be done either way round. From Seatoller follows signs for Grange and Rosthwaite along the Allerdale ramble. The route ambles along side the clear waters of the River Derwent. After a short final stretch on a minor road you reach the hamlet of Grange for a well earned rest and refreshments. You can either retrace your steps all the way back or the more energetic can take the ascending stony path to the right of Castle Crag and follow the path back to Seatoller.
This is a strenuous walk to the summit of Scafell Pike requiring high levels of fitness and stamina and should not be undertaken without proper skills and equipment, stout shoes or boots and waterproofs are essential as even on the sunniest day the weather can change rapidly. The walk starts from Seatoller and heads towards Seathwaite. Proceed straight on through the farm and follow the track over Stockley Bridge. Continue to Styhead tarn at the top of the pass. The walk this far is suitable for the moderately fit who will be rewarded with a stunning panoramic view of some of Lakeland's highest mountains and most fearsome crags. For the more experienced the walk continues to the summit of Scafell Pike via Sprinkling Tarn. Walkers are advised to consult the Wainwright guide for more detailed information.
This beautiful eight mile walk will take your right around Derwentwater. Park your car at Keswick or Braithwaite. The walk is usually done in an anticlockwise direction. The beauty of this walk is that it can be shortened at any point by catching the launch from the numerous piers around the lake. Make sure that you turn left into Nichol End Marina after the short road walk from Braithwaite.
Borrowdale is one of the Lake District's finest valleys. Keswick, at the head of the valley, was first established at a Roman crossroads. Today it is a thriving market town which manages to successfully combine Victorian charm with modern facilities. The Theatre by the Lake is a 'state-of-the-art' performance venue in an unrivalled situation. Keswick's other attractions include the Cars of the Stars Museum, the Cumberland Pencil Factory, the famous Friars Chocolate Shop, indoor climbing walls, swimming pool, bicycle hire, Derwentwater boat hire and a delightful Victorian market at the weekends. Keswick is home to many specialist shops and vibrant cafes and pubs.
Travelling down the Borrowdale Valley one may take a detour to Watendlath, home of the fictional Judith Paris. Along the way one will cross Ashness bridge, perhaps the most famous bridge in the whole of the Lake District.
The Borrowdale road continues past Grange and through Rosthwaite eventually winding its way to the hamlet of Seatoller at the bottom of the Honister pass. It is here that you will find Ghyllside. Let the adventure begin.