Without question the Lake District is special.
We have always loved the area, but then it has a way of finding a place in your heart. A combination of breath-taking scenery, tranquil lakes, friendly locals and charming architecture draw visitors back time and time again. It has been a national park since 1951 and we are proud to say, awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2017.
Slightly off the beaten track are some wonderful places to visit and things to see. Here are our hidden gems; there’s nothing quite like a locals knowledge, so we’ve been putting our heads together to list our favourite ‘hidden gems’ in our beloved Lake District…
1. Stott Park Bobbin Mill – near Newby Bridge (south end of Windermere)
Step back in time to the industrial era! Today it is hard to imagine but hundreds of years ago the Lake District was a hive of industry, and Stott Park Bobbin Mill is a time capsule to that phase in history. Built in 1835 this mill manufactured the wooden bobbins used in the Lancashire Textile Mills, and has been preserved by English heritage in its original working state.
Open 10am to 5pm – guided tours start at 10.30am.
Our Tip. Whilst visiting Stott Park Bobbin Mill take your walking shoes and enjoy a stroll up through the woodland to High Dam.
2. Rydal Fall – Tumbling Waterfalls
The stunning Aira Falls on Ullswater are very well known, but have you heard about the beautiful waterfalls at Rydal? Serene in the summer months, more dramatic in winter Rydal Falls are hidden away in the grounds of Rydal Hall.
Rydal Hall is owned by the Church of England and is run as a conference centre and retreat. The grounds and gardens are open to the public and free of charge to visit (donations welcome)
3. Levens Hall – Oldest Topiary Gardens in the World
Located just outside the National Park, Levens Hall is a striking Elizabethan Mansion. The historic hall is definitely worth visiting and the topiary gardens are an attraction in their own right. There are in excess of 100 living sculptures in the garden, some over 30ft tall and hundreds of years old. They are reported to be the oldest topiary gardens in the world.
Our Tip. Carefully cross the A6 and enjoy a stroll through the deer park, where a herd of rare breed (Bagot) goats roam.
Please note: 2018 season 22nd April to 4th October and the Hall is closed on a Saturday and Sunday. The gardens are open 10am to 5pm and the house 12 noon to 4pm.
4. The Village of Cartmel
The picturesque village of Cartmel is steeped in history, the ancient and stunning Cartmel Priory is a must. From horse racing to monthly local produce markets there is always something happening in the vibrant rural community of Cartmel. And if you have a sweet tooth a visit to the Cartmel Village Shop to sample their famous sticky toffee pudding is a must!
5. Gummer’s How – A Perfect Walk to Enjoy Views of Lake Windermere
Conveniently accessed via the A592, approximately 20 minutes drive from Storrs Hall, Gummer’s How is one of the lesser know fells in the Lake District. However, we love this walk because it offers great views of Windermere and is relatively quiet. It is also not unusual to encounter wild deer on this walk and see birds such the greater spotted woodpecker.
Want to visit? Just ask at Reception for help planning your route.
6. Temple Of Heroes – A Hidden Gem in the Grounds of Storrs Hall
Hidden away the grounds of Storrs Hall is an amazing building called the Temple of Heroes. When we say in the grounds it is actually built out into the lake and is the perfect spot to take stunning photographs of Lake Windermere!
It was built in the late 1700s to commemorate four navy admirals, hence the name Temple of Heroes and is now in the ownership of the National Trust.
We would love to hear about your adventures in the Lake District. If you plan to explore any of our hidden gems or are enjoying any of the other many wonderful places to explore in the Lake District, please let us know and share your images on our Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram.