• 01 February 2018

    New to the world of walking?

    The Lake District is full to bursting with great places to walk. Whether it’s your first trip on the fells or maybe you are venturing to an area you haven’t been before it’s always good to know the basics to make sure you have a great day out and are prepared for any little hiccups.

    Get kitted out

    You don’t need loads of expensive gear to enjoy a day in the hills but a few of the basics will get you started.

    Boots - a comfy pair of walking boots or shoes is essential, discovering a blister when you have another 10 miles to go is never going to be a great end to your day!

    Clothing - layer up so it’s easy to add something if you are on the top eating your packed lunch or take something off if you have a long climb ahead of you. A decent waterproof (jacket and pants) will keep out the rain and also the wind and cold if the temperature drops. Proper walking pants, or shorts, are a must; jeans and cotton trousers aren’t going to be up to the job if it’s raining, cold or even too hot.

    Rucksack - you are going to need a rucksack to carry all those spare layers and more importantly your packed lunch. It’s always a good idea to carry a basic first aid kit with you too, including a foil blanket, that can just be left in your rucksack so you never forget it.


    Plan your route and research

    The weather can be changeable in the hills and what might seem like a warm day when you step out of your car can be blustery and quite a few degrees cooler on the tops. Always check the weather forecast before you head out - Lakes Weatherline is a good one and during winter includes the Fell Top Assessors summary of conditions.

    There is an endless supply of guidebooks and information giving route ideas or you can get the map out and make up your own. If you prefer the peace and quiet of walking by yourself then try and let someone know where you are heading, approximate timings and let them know once you are back.


    Get the compass out

    Knowing how to use a map and compass is one of the best skills you can learn and lets you explore new places or cut the route short if you’ve been out longer than expected. Using a GPS or smartphone can be an option but you always need a back up if the batteries run out! There are loads of navigation courses right here in the Lake District, the Lake District National Park offer a good selection, or take a look at some of the basics from the BMC (British Mountaineering Council).

    Whatever your reason for visiting the Lake District you are guaranteed a warm welcome at The Regent Hotel, muddy boots and all, so why not come and visit us and start exploring.

  • The Lake District is known for its idyllic scenery, picture-postcard villages and the place to go if you like the great outdoors with plenty of hills, but there is also a rich and diverse cultural side to the area.

    Providing inspiration to many artists, writers and musicians and a fine selection of museums, galleries and attractions the Lake District is a cultural and historic destination to explore.

    If you fancy a more laid back visit without the waterproof pants and rucksack then take a look at a few places that might be of interest.

    Allan Bank - Grasmere

    The National Trust are celebrating Hardwicke Rawnsley this year at Allan Bank, his former home, as he played a key role in helping to establish the National Trust. Allan Bank is still a work in progress but you will definitely feel relaxed and made to feel at home as you explore it’s fascinating history, you can even pop into the kitchen and make yourself a cup of tea! Bring your creativity and create a masterpiece in the art room, relax in the 18th century mountaineering library while you marvel at the achievements of pioneering climbers or simply find a quiet corner to read the papers.

    Townend - Windermere

    Discover typical Lakeland life over 400 years ago in this traditional stone and slate farmhouse full of fascinating stories from the Brownes family. Take a tour around Townend and learn how to ‘burn a candle at both ends’ and how the cunning chambermaid outwitted the rich merchant as you are guided through the farmhouse kitchen displaying a strange and unique collection of domestic tools. The library contains a well-read collection of books some of which are the only remaining copies in the world. Their family recipe book is also on display and many of the dishes are cooked for visitors on a Thursday afternoon.

    Claife Viewing Station

    Aside from the glorious views getting to Claife Viewing Station is an adventure in itself as it is best accessed by the ferry. Following a two year restoration project Claife Viewing Station is now fully open to showcase its colourful history and architecture. Originally built in the 1790’s the building was cleverly designed to reflect the surrounding landscape throughout the different seasons. Today it is a rare example of a purpose-built viewing station and a reminder to the beginning of tourism in the Lake District.

    With so much to see we are ideally placed right in the heart of the Lake District and just a stones throw from the edge of the shoreline so you can wake up to beautiful views across the lake and the hills beyond. Take a look at our rooms and treat yourself to a getaway in the Lake District.

  • 14 December 2017

    Family Friendly Festive Fun

    Tarn Hows

    The Christmas holidays are a lovely time to spend with your family and are a great excuse to get outside and work off those mince pies and extra helpings of roast potatoes! If you want to tire the kids out after all the excitement of Christmas then head for the hills with your turkey sandwiches.

    Here are our top four family friendly walks not far from Ambleside.

    Discover the tallest trees

    This walk is great for little legs as the circular route is just under 1 mile long and on easy terrain. The Champion Tree Trail takes you through Skelghyll Woods in search of some of England’s tallest trees. This walk is also perfect if you like a picnic as there are three benches along the way. Watch out for red squirrels our furry little friends are often on the hunt for lunch although your mince pies should be safe as their favourite snacks are conifer cones.

    Miles Without Stiles

    There are more than 40 routes now classified as Miles Without Stiles and if you want stunning Lake District scenery without climbing to the top of a mountain then this is the walk for you. Just under 2 miles long the walk around Tarn Hows takes you through pretty woodland with views over to the Coniston hills and Langdale Pikes. As with any good family walk there are plenty of benches and places to picnic (we like a good winter picnic in the Lakes) unfortunately the ice cream van is only there in summer.

    Scouting for views

    Half an hour drive from Ambleside a walk over Scout Scar near the market town of Kendal is a classic. You can either follow the suggested route or explore the many other paths taking you in every direction. On a clear day from the ‘Mushroom’ viewing point you can see for miles across the fells to Coniston Old Man, Langdales, Kentmere Horseshoe and beyond.

    Through the woods you go

    Go exploring for bugs, creepy-crawlies and a whole variety of wildlife as you go on your walking adventure through Common Wood and its moss-covered oak trees. Only a small walk of about 1.5 miles but you won’t be short of things to see along the way and as you descend back into Windermere you will be treated to spectacular views over the lake.

    Come and enjoy the beautiful Lake District over the Christmas and New Year period, we still have some availability and great offers. Have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year from everyone at The Regent Hotel.

  • Christmas in the Lake District

    With Christmas nearly upon us again we are making an early New Year’s resolution and that is to slow things down, stop all the pre-Christmas rushing about and just enjoy the fun leading up to the big day. The Lake District has some fabulous events to help you relax into the festivities with lantern processions, lights switch on events and Christmas markets. Here are a few of our favourites, all just a short drive from us here in Ambleside.

    Ambleside Christmas Lights Switch On – Saturday 18th November

    One of our favourites, we might be slightly biased, but this is a Christmas celebration with a difference. Where else could you go on a boat cruise along Windermere Lake with Father Christmas? There then follows a spectacular lantern procession with Santa firmly back on dry land in his sleigh. Loads going on throughout the day including local entertainers, musicians, brass band, Christmas stalls and a grand finale of fireworks to end the celebrations.

    Keswick Christmas Lights Switch On – Friday 24th November

    Keswick is a lovely place to visit any time of the year and their Christmas lights event is the perfect excuse. Plenty of market stalls with delicious festive food, great gifts and entertainment in the Market Square before the big lights switch on at 7pm, including their local rock choir. Definitely one not to miss.

    Hawkshead Christmas Fair – Saturday 2nd / Sunday 3rd December

    What better way to enjoy the festive season than with a traditional Christmas fair. Hawkshead is a pretty village that puts on a great event amongst its picturesque alleys, squares and cobbled streets. Jugglers, stilt walkers, craft and gift stalls, locally made puddings and pickles and if that wasn’t enough there is also a Winter Beer Festival with a selection of 25 specially selected ales.

    Jingle Bell Jog. Windermere – Sunday 17th December

    Something a bit different to burn off all those mince pies you have eaten at the Christmas Fairs? Open to all ages and abilities you can run, jog, walk, jingle, push a pram or wheelchair as long as you are in festive fancy dress. A really fun way to get that Christmas spirit flowing, dress up as Santa, a Christmas pudding, maybe an elf or snowman and enjoy the views around the flat and scenic course along the shores of Lake Windermere.

    Come and enjoy the countdown to Christmas with us, we have rooms available and are the ideal location for easily getting to all the events. Happy nearly Christmas!

  • 08 November 2017

    Come in from the cold

    The Lake District looks beautiful any time of year but autumn and winter can be especially stunning as there is such an array of colours everywhere from the highest hills to the leafy woodlands. There is much more to the Lakes though than just outdoor adventures so if you don’t feel like braving the cold then here are some great ideas for places to visit where you won’t need your hat and scarf.

    Wray Castle

    Owned by the National Trust this mock-Gothic castle sits on the shores of Windermere and is far from a ‘typical’ National Trust house full of old paintings, furniture and antiques. It is a truly fascinating building with turrets and towers and a real sense of historical grandeur and some pretty amazing views too!

    If you have children to entertain then this is the perfect place to let their imaginations run wild. With dressing up, castle building, adventure play area with den building and rope swings they will be kept busy all day and if they, or you, run out of energy there is a lovely little cafe to take a break in. For a bit of added adventure you can even arrive by boat direct to Wray Castle’s jetty.

    Blackwell Arts & Craft House

    One of the most enchanting historic houses in the Lake District and one that encourages you to relax and immerse yourself within the atmosphere. The inviting window seats allow you to gaze out over the stunning surrounding scenery and you are free to wander around the house without restrictive roped-off areas. Retaining many of its original decorative features including a rare hessian wall-hanging, stained glass and carved wooden panelling, the rooms also contain historical exhibitions and furniture and objects from many leading designers from the Arts & Craft Movement.

    Dove Cottage and Wordsworth Museum

    A visit to the Lake District wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the home of the very famous William Wordsworth. Take a tour around this traditional Lakeland cottage to discover what life was like for Wordsworth and his family then take a stroll around the garden he created with his sister that provided the inspiration for some of his greatest poetry.

    The museum, just next door, is dedicated to Wordsworth’s life, where he travelled and what he saw, in addition to various exhibitions of historic artefacts, original manuscripts and wonderful pictures by artists ranging from the famous to the obscure.

    Hill Top - home of Beatrix Potter

    On everyone’s list, not just the children, you can explore this time capsule of what life was like when Beatrix Potter lived at Hill Top more than 70 years ago. The house is maintained to reflect exactly how it would have been when this famous writer lived there, every room containing a reference to a picture in one of her stories. You will even recognise the rhubarb patch where Jemima Puddle-Duck laid her egg and the garden where Tom Kitten and his sisters played.

    Take a leisurely amble around her garden which even in autumn is buzzing with colours of pink and white Anemones and Michaelmas Daisies. The vegetable garden is brimming over with pumpkins, raspberries and apples from the ancient tree in the paddock.

    There are so many more places to visit and things to do in the Lake District, many just a short walk or drive away from us here in Ambleside. Our team love to share their favourite places to go and might even give you some insider local top tips. Come and enjoy a warm welcome from our lovely Lake District.

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