The Lake District
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Our Top Five Things To Do When Visiting The Lake District

29 October 2020

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Disclosure In collaboration with, but all views and photographs are our own.

Although we haven't done a lot of travelling this year we have had some very nice days out and overnight stays and I think that has helped us get through this very strange year. One of our favourite places is The Lake District and whilst following local guidance it's been perfect to visit as there is plenty of open space to enjoy and no matter what the weather it's a beautiful place to explore. Here are our top five things to do and see when visiting The Lake District. 

Bowness on Windermere

Enjoy A Boat Trip On Windermere
Taking a boat trip on Windermere never gets old and we have been enjoying it for as long as I can remember. You can enjoy the stunning views of Windermere from a cruise that departs from either Bowness. Ambleside or Lakeside.

Red Cruise
Sail from Bowness to Ambleside or vice versa, and enjoy this 70-75 minutes round trip cruise.

Blue Cruise
A 45 minute circular cruise from Bowness, enjoy contrasting scenery of mountains, wooded shorelines and lovely tranquil bays.

Yellow Cruise
This cruise sails from Bowness to Lakeside or vice versa. The round trip takes 90 minutes.

Due to Covid-19 all cruises now have allocated seating and you can book up to between 7-10 days in advance. A face covering must be worn on board all cruises and it's advised to check the website before you travel for any updated information.

Grizedale Forest

Visit To Grizedale Forest
The Grizedale Visitor centre is a great base if you are planning one of the walking trails as it has plenty of parking, facilities including toilets and washing area, picnic tables to enjoy lunch or snack before you set off.

The centre also has a fantastic childrens play area, and a cafe area with outside and inside seating (although inside isn't available at the moment) serving food, drinks and ice creams throughout the day.  There is also a Go Ape centre here with climbing options in the forest and Segway routes if you would prefer this to a walk.

Railway Sign

Take A Steam Train Ride
You can enjoy the scenic views of the Lakes from the comfort of a Steam Train on the heritage railway. You can combine the yellow river cruise from Bowness and enjoy a 2 hour round trip. 

Your boat cruise will take you to Lakeside where you will then board the steam train to Haverthwaite Station.

Once at Haverthwaite you can enjoy a take away snack from the tea room, browse the gift shop, take a woodland walk and the children can enjoy the large playground area.

Due to Covid-19 all visitors on board must wear a face covering and as always make sure you check out the website for up to date information regarding your visit.

Walking through the woods

Walk Through Fell Foot Park
Fell Foot Park is a huge open space where you can enjoy walks around the parkland, meadow and lake. There is cafe open inside the park and they are working hard to not only provide takeaway snacks and drinks but to offer indoor seating too. 

There is a downloadable activity sheet available from the Fell Foot Park website including a tree trail and bird spotter challenge. 

The car park is open however parking spaces are limited and at the moment there are just two toilets open. 

Please do continue to check the website before your visit.

Vegetable patch at Hill Top

Hill Top - A Visit Beatrix Potter's Home
A visit to Hill Top is a must for Beatrix Potter fans. Although the house is currently closed due to Covid-19 the gardens, shop and cafe are open. 

The gardens are beautiful all year round but in Autumn they are busting with vegetables, fruit and pretty colours. 

If you want to explore the area you can enjoy the Beatrix Potter Moss Eccles Tarn Walk. This is a gentle walk taking from Hill Top to Moss Eccles Tarn, one of Beatrix Potters favourite places to paint while her husband fished. 

Please do continue to check the website before your visit.

The lakes

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The Lake District is a beautiful place to visit with so many attractions and things to see and do and we never get tired of visiting and exploring. 

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Our Stay At Simgill Farm Cottages

24 July 2018

We have just returned from a lovely family weekend break to the Lake District. We love visiting the Lakes and have previously stayed in a little Bed and Breakfast, Caravan Park or Hotel. This break was a little different as there were 14 of us in total so we needed to book somewhere big enough for us all. After a lot of searching the internet my brother in law found Simgill Farm. It's described as luxury self catering accommodation with properties that sleep up to 18 people.

Simgill Cottage
Boy standing outside Simgill Cottage
We booked Barn Court which is a detached 5 bedroom cottage that can sleep up to 14 people plus room for cots for children under 2. We have never stayed in anything like this before so we weren't  sure what to expect however after reading the reviews on TripAdvisor and browsing some photographs we were really looking forward to it.

Check in time is from 3pm however we were stuck in traffic on the journey then popped in to Kendal for some dinner first so we didn't arrive till almost 8pm. We headed to the owners house who greeted us and came across opened the cottage up, and gave us a brief tour.

Living Room at Simgill Cottage
Downstairs there was a large living area which had three sofas, tv, video and dvd player and lots of cushions and beanbags.

Downstairs Bedroom at Simgill Cottage
There was a bedroom which had one double bed and two single beds. This bedroom had a small wardrobe and 8 decent sized drawers.

An en-Suite bathroom
Across the hall from the bedroom was a small bathroom with toilet, sink and shower cubicle.

A hallway leading to the kitchen
Dining Room at Simgill Cottage
Just along the hall was the kitchen. It was fully equipped with a huge dining room table. It wasn't big enough for all of us to sit around at the same time due to highchairs however there were extra chairs and breakfast bar stools available.

The kitchen had everything you needed from a self catering cottage. It had a huge double oven, microwave, kettle, toaster and lots of cutlery, glasses, plates etc.

There was also a fridge, dishwasher and washer/dryer.

Outside there was a huge garden area, BBQ and a hot tub which is available to use at an extra cost. I am sad to say that we didn't use the outside area at all we were too busy exploring the Lakes.

Master bedroom at Simgill Cottage
en-suite bathroom
Upstairs there were 4 bedrooms. A Master bedroom with ensuite and a single bed.

Double bedroom at Simgill Cottage
a double bedroom plus single bed
Two double rooms and the last bedroom had a double bed and a single bed. There was also a bathroom upstairs too.

Simgill had provided us with two travel cots, two highchairs and stair gates were fitted, so really child friendly and saved some space in the cars travelling up.

An Alpaca Farm
Simgill Farm is home to over 100 Alpacas and we were lucky enough to book a time slot to go up to the fields and see them.

Boy feeding alpacas
Boy feeding alpacas
Boy feeding alpacas
This was free of charge and I would definitely recommend it. The owners were very friendly and answered any questions we had about the Alpacas and also gave us buckets of food so we could feed them.

Travelling in a group of 14 including 4 small children I was a bit unsure whether it would be big enough and whether we would all have enough space as I know we were all bringing toys etc but it honestly was. It never felt overcrowded and I know the four of us felt like we had lots of space and could head to our bedroom should we need a quick rest.

Big J shared a room with his cousin even though our room had two single beds so it was just the three of us. The extra bed was used as a place to store things so that did come in handy.

Like I said earlier we have never been to this type of accommodation before so had no idea what to bring so we did pack everything we could think of however there are a few things we didn't need.

Whats Included.

Towels - There were plenty of bath towels and hand towels on each bed.

Toilet Rolls - We only used the downstairs bathroom as our bedroom was downstairs and there were two rolls provided. I did top this up with our own toilet rolls as this bathroom probably got used the most by everyone.

Hand Soap - there was a small bar of soap provided and small toiletries.

Tea/Coffee - Again a small selection of tea/coffee is provided (similar to those found in hotel rooms)

Entertainment - There were a selection of videos and dvds in the living area, playing cards and also some family board games such as scrabble.

Wifi - Free and was very good considering we were in the Lake District

Highchairs/Cots - available on request.

A visit to the Alpacas - Definitely worth a visit. The kids loved it.

What To Bring

Food/Drink - It's self catering so unless you want to eat out then I would recommend bringing some food especially breakfast/snacks. There is a Morrisons and Aldi about a 10/15 minute drive away.

Hairdryer - I brought my own anyway but I didn't spot one in the rooms.

Iron - there was a board however couldn't find an iron.

Kitchen Roll - I was lost without this because I use it for everything.

Kitchen Foil - The trays in the oven where already lined but I brought extra and it was used.

Overall we had a great stay at Simgill Farm, I think we all wished it was for longer. It's a great base for visiting the Lakes. Kendal is about a 20 minute drive away, Bowness/Windermere/Ambleside is about 30/40 minutes and Coniston was approx 1 hour away.

Departure time was 10am so it was nice to get up and enjoy breakfast before we left. When it was time to go the owners popped over to say goodbye and also to start cleaning for the next guests who were arriving that afternoon. It does seem very popular so booking in advance is definitely recommended.

The lake district
Would we visit again? Definitely if we could get a big group together again. Like I said earlier I wished we had booked for longer as there is so much to see and do in the Lakes, an extra few days would have been great.

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