Out and about

Skiddaw Mountain rangeThere is much to do in the Northern Lake District but one of the great things about the villages in the area referred to as the ‘back o Skiddaw’ is that they are very peaceful. If you prefer the slow and relaxing pace of true rural village life then simply step outside and enjoy.

There are numerous local walks, both high and low, gentle and energetic. In fact, just a short distance from The Snooty Fox are the remains of a probable Noelithic causewayed enclosure. The walk up onto Green How gives a little insight into where our ancient ancestors lived and also offers some tremendous views.

But it’s not all about being outdoors and fresh-air if that’s not your thing. There’s lots to see, much to do and many places to go. So here’s a few ideas:

The Lakes Distillery – Recently opened in December 2014, The Lakes Distillery produces it’s own whisky, gin and vodka. It is located next to Bassenthwaite Lake just a 10 minute drive from The Snooty Fox. Tours of the Distillery are available every day and purchases can be made at the distillery shop.

Lake District Wildlife Park – Located just a 5 minute drive from The Snooty Fox, The Lake District Wildlife Park is the only wildlife park in North Cumbria. See a varied mix of over a 100 species of wildlife, from Anaconda to Zebra and Gibbons to Lynx. The Bird of Prey displays are particularly recommended.

Osprey viewing Point – See the Ospreys nesting in the marshland at Bassenthwaite Lake from the Osprey viewing point located at Dodd Wood. This is situated alongside Bassenthwaite Lake towards Keswick and contains a collection of telescopes trained on the Osprey’s nest. RSPB volunteers are at hand to answer any question you may have.

Mirehouse & Gardens – Situated at Dodd Wood, Mirehouse and Gardens is a family run historic house open to visitors to enjoy it’s strong literary connections, live piano music and childrens activities. As it more or less the same location as the Osprey viewing point they can easily be visited together.

Maybe a little shopping?

Keswick – Situated at the southern end of Bassenthwaite Lake, Keswick is a town that offers the visitor many things to do. Roam around the pedestrianised main street and enjoy the many cafes and bars (and Outdoor clothing shops!), or visit Derwentwater and relax, maybe enjoy a cruise around the lake on the Keswick Launch.

Cockermouth – Located just a 20 minute drive from Uldale, Cockermouth is a town full of character and charm. It has a wide diversity of independent, locally owned, shops from a great selection of cafes, restaurants and delicatessens, to butchers, bakeries and fishmongers. Both Wordsworth House and Jennings Brewery are destinations with an international reputation and are well worth visiting.

Carlisle – Easy to get to and easy to park in, Carlisle has the majority of high-street names within its main shopping area. Well worth a look.

Maybe something a little more energetic?

Boat Hire / Water Sports

For those looking for water based activities, such as hiring a boat, wind surfing, paddle boarding or canoeing, there are a number of marinas just a 15 minute drive from The Snooty Fox.

Derwent Water Marina at  Portinscale – 017687 72912

Nicol End Marina near Portinscale – 017687 73082

For those guests who are keen sailors and members of a club affiliated to the RYA, why not bring your sailing boat and make use of the facilities at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club. Motor boats are not allowed on Bassenthwaite Lake so enjoy sailing in a serene environment undisturbed by engines. Various events are held during the sailing year.

Fishing at Bassenthwaite Lake

Bassenthwaite Lake offers a variety of fish with a good head of roach, perch and pike. During the autumn, the outflow of the lake at Ouse Bridge is a popular area for salmon fishing. Fishing permits are required before fishing at Bassenthwaite Lake and are available from Keswick Tourist Information Centre, Youdales Newsagents in Keswick and  the Castle Inn Hotel at Bassenthwaite (which happens to be on the way from Uldale to the lake) .

Mountain Biking

If you have fancy getting up or down a trail on a bike then maybe pop over to  Whinlatter Forest, home to the longest purpose-built mountain bike trails in the Lake District. The Altura Trail puts the mountain back into biking and has been built for experienced riders with good off road skills and a higher level of fitness and stamina. The Quercus Trail is a fantastic blue grade route at 7.5km long with a shorter 3.5 km option.

Cycle hire is available at Whinlatter where they have a fleet of quality hire bikes from Cube and Mondraker.  Contact:  017687-78711.

Cumbria is also perfect for road cycling with country lanes, quiet back roads and lots of National Cycle Network routes to explore. Various guides can be downloaded from the GO LAKES Website

Those guests looking to hire bikes for general road use can contact Keswick Bikes which has a variety of Cycle Hire options. All are current model bikes not more than a few months old.  Contact: 017687 73355 / 75202

And the most popular of all Lake District pursuits – Fell Walking
We could write an entire book about Fell Walking, in fact a certain Mr Wainwright has already created quite a good one, so we’re not going to try. There are a number of good Lake District related walking sites such as Lake District Walks or the National Park website that you can look at to start with.