Mike Bevans, owner of Linthwaite, gives you his personal insight into his favourite Lake District locations, attractions and snippets of local information
A wandering I shall go.....
Apparently I enthuse about a few paces in the Lakes to shop,
stop and eat, stop and stare, and it's been suggested I should write 'em down.
so here goes.
Stars of Bowness are not obvious, though the village is
really very nice being on the edge of Lake Windermere.
If you want some outdoor gear I use Stuart Sports half way up the hill on the
right, just past the NatWest bank. I am not a fan of Costa because I like to
support small businesses. Bowness is near Linthwaite, so coffee is back at the
ranch. Hole in t'wall is the pub to go to. Looks authentic. We have
arrangements at the McDonald Spa at the Old England Hotel for our guests; it's
free if you stay with us.
The bit of town by the A591, the main trunk road through the
Lakes, also known as the Golden Mile in Windermere. Lakeland is loved by shoppers of kitchen
stuff. Go to the station and the car park's through there. There is a great
cafe upstairs, run by our friends the Doherty's. He's ex Gavroche, so the nosh
is good indeed. Nice views too. Lunch may involve a wait though. You can browse
the kitchen drawer specialists meanwhile. There is a Greggs, to be avoided at
all costs, but just down from them is the Oak Street Bakery. A different
prospect altogether. There are the staples such as Boots, and WH Smiths if you
really need them.
This is a small village between Kendal and Windermere. Worth
a detour. Great base for mountain biking and walking the Kentmere Valley.
Wheelbase: they have all your bike needs. Huge warehouse. Also in Staveley Yard
are numerous other good things. MORE bakery, where we buy some bread and I buy
the 'full shaba'.
Go on, find out what it is. Awesome brownies, or muddies as he calls them. A
proper bakery with great takeaways and fine coffee. There is a small sitting
area in and outdoors. Of course most people mention Wilfs, the vegetarian cafe,
spread out over all sorts of levels in and outdoors as the place to eat in
Staveley. In between these esteemed establishments is the Jewel in the Crown;
Hawkshead Brewery, where you can not only enjoy a pint of fine local ale, but
you can accompany it with some of the ubiquitous Mr Doherty's fine food.
(Cumbrian tapas in other words.) Don't spoil your dinner though! Work it all off with a visit to the Waters and Acland
bespoke furniture and cabinet makers. Serious antiques for the future.
A bit farer along frm Staveley towards Windermere. here
there are two things. A petrol station and the excellent Watermill Inn, where
one of our old chefs cooks hearty meals. But the beer's the thing here.
(Noticed a theme yet?) Worth mentioning you can download a fantastic map of the
beers and breweries of Cumbria.
The CAMRA breweries map is based on the London
tube map. As well as the breweries, regular beers are featured along with their
alcoholic strength, so you know what you’re getting. This is the second
version of the map and 500 individually numbered maps have been printed. Click here to view.
Also known as God's waiting room, it really is a splendidly
gentile place. It has a long flat promenade overlooking Morecambe Bay.
Fabulous views. It has some shops. Some lovely parks and garden style parks
with water and exotic bird life. It even has an adult outdoor gym. Most of all
though it has Higginson's Butchers which happen to sell the best pies ever!
Brilliant if you're off walking.
This is where Wordsworth carved his initials in the desk at
the grammar school. It's pedestrianised. Good car parking. No street parking. Great tea shops with
massive cakes (The Sun Tea Shop), pubs, relish shops, and the National Trust
have the Beatrix Potter Gallery here too. Essential!
The Bobbin Mill. What more can I say? I could mention the
Lakeside Hotel; nice people, lake front, right next to where the boats stop on
their way round Windermere (Bowness-Lakeside-Waterhead). Also, why not drop in
to the YMCA which has a fabulous position; if you have kids you can book them
on some terrific outdoor pursuits here?
On the way to Haverthwaite (you can always get
the steam train from Lakeside), is the excellent Lakeland Motor Museum.
One of the best I have ever seen, and I do love cars.
This is the biggest central Lakeland town. It has myriad outdoor clothing
shops. Loads of tea shops and cafes. Pubs, cinemas, bookshops. Great on a rainy
day. If you like garden centres, you may not want to go to Hayes. There are
nicer ones elsewhere, but this one is enormous.
Daffodils. Wordsworth's grave. National Trust's new Allan
Bank House; decidedly radical for the NT. Outdoor clothing shops, tea shops;
Baldry's the best, pubs. Brilliant Jumble Room Restaurant. If you like 70's
music you'll admire the LP sleeves in the toilet! Beautifully small. Cute, and
American called it. Nestled in the central lakes overlooked by big fells, this
is truly a great setting for a village. Don't forget to try the famous Grasmere gingerbread!
One of our favourite destinations for the fabulous Chesters
by The River. This is run by our friend Steph
Barton who also has the amazing Drunken Duck at Barngates. Chesters has a
fabulous setting. A wonderful eaterie which is constantly re-inventing itself,
and a shop full of desirable things for your home and kids/grandchildren. Soon
to have a new takeaway food thingy. This is also another good base for walking
but she won't thank you if you leave your car in the ir car park as space is
The Drunken Duck. Great food; Chef Johnny used to work for
us at Linthwaite 'when he were a lad'. Great beer; they brew the famous Tag
Lag. All beers here are named after their dogs. But don't taste like dogs. I
have never had one, honest.
The ferry goes from South of Bowness (Ferry Road is a clue) just down the hill
from Linthwaite across Windermere, the water not the town, to the Western
shore. Drive West a very few miles, and in a short time you'll pass through Far
Sawrey to Near Sawrey. Beatrix Potter's Hill Top Farm (NT).