• 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.

  • What a busy month it’s been! We’re still bursting with pride of our recently gained World Heritage status, we had a fabulous weekend at the Festival of the Fells and now of course we can’t wait for the wintry nights and the festive season to roll in!

    Now we know we, (and our lovely readers) love the Lake District… but there are several misconceptions we often hear. So we thought we’d dispel the myths with our celebration of all things Lake District in this months blog...

    "There's lots of rain."

    It is true that we are used to an occasional shower or two, but it is not always raining in The Lake District. We share the four glorious seasons with the rest of the county. Scoring sun on the shores of Windermere, the gentle breezes of Spring, the falling leaves and fresh air of Autumn… and yes, some rain.

    As Wainwright said, ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing’. Well we couldn’t agree more.

    "It’s just hills."

    First off we call them fells and mountains, and proudly so. The Lake District is filled with glorious fells indeed, the mighty greats like Scarfell, Helvelyn and Skiddaw tower over us. But there’s plenty more to the landscape here in The Lake District. The forests of Grizedale, the stunning waterfalls at Aira Force and of course, our many beautiful lakes!

    Of course we love our fells, but don’t be fooled, there’s plenty of other stunning landscapes ready to take your breath away.

    "People just go walking."

    We do indeed welcome many guests who are set for a long weekend break exploring the stunning walks and mountains on our doorstep. But don’t be fooled!

    If walking's not your thing there are SO many other things to do and places to explore. World class festivals, cinema, art and entertainment fill our theatres and streets all year around. There’s a huge range of outdoor pursuits to suit all tastes including sailing, pony trekking, scrambling and rock climbing to name but a few. And of course if you’re looking for something indulgent the Lakes offer the most luxurious spas and a range of fine dining options.

    So there you have it. Our top three Lake District myths dispelled! Here’s to a fabulous Winter here in the Lake District!

  • 22 August 2017

    Afternoon Tea anyone?

    Regent Hotel Afternoon Tea

    Where does the tradition of Afternoon Tea come from? We are a nation renowned for our love of tea and tea breaks and there is nothing us Brits like more after a hard day or holiday abroad (where they don’t have your favourite PG or Tetley) than a big steaming cup of tea. It’s a staple in our diet, you can cure any problem with a cup of tea (or at least you feel better to tackle the world after a cuppa) and we drink 165 million cups of the stuff each day in the UK.

    Back in the 1800’s the seventh Duchess of Bedford had a marvellous idea, which would not only enable more tea drinking but also involved a snack to keep you going until dinner - she introduced the first Afternoon Tea.

    To celebrate National Afternoon Tea Week, which ran from Monday 14th to Sunday 20th August, a whole week dedicated to Afternoon Tea and all great things related to it, we have put together some top facts about one of the nation’s favourite past-times.

    How did it start?

    Back in the 1800’s people only had two meals a day - breakfast and dinner - so to fill the long break between Anna, Duchess of Bedford, came up with the idea of a cup of tea and a snack in her private bedroom. The tradition soon formed and once it became respectable, taking Afternoon Tea was moved to the dining room and was then established as the fashionable thing to do.

    A formal affair

    Queen Victoria can be credited for officially adopting the habit into our culture after she used to hold ‘tea receptions’. These would be held between 4pm and 7pm and could sometimes involve up to 200 guests visiting at random times to take tea and refreshments with her.

    Upper class Afternoon Tea

    Traditionally their tea would be at 4pm, just before their daily walk through Hyde Park. It was named ‘low tea’ as their tea, cakes and sandwiches would be served on a low type coffee table.

    Middle and lower class Afternoon Tea

    A variation of the upper class offering, the middle and lower classes took their tea between 5pm and 6pm, however it was much more substantial as it usually replaced dinner. This was called ‘high tea’ as it was served at the dinner table.

    A ‘traditional’ Afternoon Tea menu might include the following

    A selection of finger sandwiches (always with the crusts removed)
    Scones with clotted cream and jam
    A selection of cakes and pastries
    Range of teas

    Here at The Regent Hotel we have maintained tradition with our Afternoon Tea but added a touch of luxury and indulgence to make it extra special. Why not treat yourself, sit back, enjoy the view and savour our home-baked warm fruit scones with damson jam and clotted cream. See our full menu here and join us for an afternoon of relaxation and great British tradition.

  • Ambleside view

    In the last few weeks UNESCO has awarded World Heritage Status to The Lake District, joining an elite group of just over 1000 other sites worldwide. Here at The Regent Hotel we are very proud, and lucky, to live and work in such a beautiful area and our hotel has just been listed by the Independent as one of the 10 best hotels in the Lake District. What better time for you to visit us and share everything this amazing location has to offer.

    There are so many reasons to come and explore our corner of the Lake District so we have put together a few suggestions. If you want any more ideas chat to us when you arrive, we are always happy to share our local knowledge.


    If the rain arrives.....

    If you need an indoor activity then the ‘Where is Peter Rabbit?’ stage show is the perfect choice. Inspired by Beatrix Potter this spectacular stage show brings her favourite characters to life. Using puppetry, singing and dancing, your imagination will be transported on a magical adventure. You can then explore the World of Beatrix Potter. meeting all your favourite characters along the way. Wander through Jemima Puddle-Duck’s woodland glade, into Mrs Tiggy-winkle’s kitchen or see if you can spot Mr Jeremy Fisher on his lily-pad boat. A fantastic experience, taking you into a world of imagination and the chance to re-live childhood memories.

    When the sun comes out

    When the sun is shining there is no better place to be than in the great outdoors, so why not do some exploring by bike. Guided family cycle rides leave from Brockhole and start with a boat ride across Windermere. You will then pedal your way to Claife Viewing Station where you can learn about its history and the role it played attracting tourists to the area over 200 years ago.

    If Music is more your thing then we have a Lake District Summer Music Festival which takes place between 29th July and 11th August. This year will be the 33rd festival and will include 40 different events at locations throughout the Lake District. These include an Ella Fitzgerald tribute concert, piano duets, sitar music and a Cello and Chamber Masterclass. We are nothing if not diverse!

    For some Lake District culture then a trip to Dove Cottage in Grasmere is a must. A special exhibition - Lakes Mountains & Waterfalls - explores how William Wordsworth, Britain’s best loved poet, attracted people to the Lake District landscape. Spend some time on a tour around Dove Cottage and learn about the day-to-day life of Wordsworth and his family, or take a stroll in the garden he created and wrote some of his most famous poetry in.

    When you are ready to put your feet up and relax we will welcome you back to enjoy afternoon tea overlooking a beautiful lakeside view.

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