Letting someone else do the driving, what could be better when having a holiday or short break in the Lake District? A high number of people choose to drive to the Lake District but why not let someone else do the driving during the stay and cut down on pollution at the same time?

If you can’t remember the last time you caught a bus what better way to hop back on it than one of the open topped buses which operate on routes such as Bowness to Ambleside and Penrith to Glenridding. Experience fresh air on the top deck and get to enjoy the Lake District before you’ve even arrived at your destination (please note, and of no surprise, these open topped services run in accordance with the weather being fine!).

The roads in the Lake District can get very busy but the very knowledgeable and competent drivers take all the stress out of getting from A to B especially when you’re not used to the roads. In areas in the true heart of the Lake District like the Langdale Valley, it is still possible to travel by bus on the 516 services which operates between Ambleside and Langdale on Saturday’s, Sunday’s, public holidays and 7 days a week during school holidays, a perfect bus trip to take during October half term.

langdale lake district

More bonuses of buses:
They cut down on a significant amount of carbon emissions compared with the same amount of passengers travelling individually by car.
You can have a post walk pint or glass of wine with lunch when taking the bus in one of the many Lake District inns.
Add parking fees into the mix along with fuel and a family ticket or couple take the bus makes better money sense.
You can combine bus with bike travel as backed and promoted the the GoLakes Travel programme. Due to demand, there are now more regular bike bus services in the South Lakes than ever meaning the ultimate and super green combination of cycling and public transport can be enjoyed.

Supporters of green, sustainable tourism as a whole is The Langdale Lake District Hotel & Spa. Contact them for various tips of how to arrive without the need of a car. Rooms start from £135 B&B and save 15% when booking 30 days or more in advance by joining the Fan Club. Visit their website at http://www.langdale.co.uk or call 015394 38014 for more details.

In 2016 Britons are set to spend more on their staycation holiday this year than any other whether it’s for an extra holiday on top of a foreign break or choosing the UK for their main holiday.

The Lake District National Park has been revealed as the third most popular UK destination by Travelodge Holiday Index. Year on year visitor numbers increase proving the tourism industry is buoyant, successful and definitely doing something right. The Lake District really does appeal to so many from families to adventure seekers, romantic couples and group travel.

brimstone luxury lake district hotel

The South and Central Lakes are easily accessible from the M6 making it a quick and easy journey from Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle, the very popular 2 hour radius for short breaks.
But with innovative hotels such as Brimtone at Langdale, the luxury traveller is now extremely well catered for. Sleek and chic hotels matched with the same level of service, Champagne galore and 5 star food is proving a very ppopular market in the Lake District. The region is attracting high profile visitors but also those looking for a real treat, an anniversary, honeymoon or special celebration.

Brimstone Hotel houses 16 suites, each with private balconies, mood lighting, stunning interiors and bathrooms. Relax and unwind in complete comfort, luxury and tranquillity whilst knowing you’re on the doorstep to fells walks, cycle routes and the great outdoors.

Brimstone luxury Lake District hotel suites start from £250 but book 30 days or more in advance and receive 20% off all room rates. Just be aware, you’ll never be able to visit just once!

brooklands hotel in surrey

Brooklands Hotel, Mercedes Benz World & the Surrey Hills

If you’re a wine lover, food lover, a National Trust property lover, looking to take the family on a weekend break, looking to impress a new partner, then Surrey is a delightful place to choose for a weekend or short break.

For those living in the South East of England, with the constant fast pace lifestyle and all too often stressful jobs and long commutes, being able to get away for a couple of days to escape the rat race but without travelling miles is the perfect tonic to modern day life.

Surrey and its excellent climate means there’s a chance of sampling some local wine or even visiting a vineyard such as Denbies Wine Estate, the largest in England and open all year round.
The wonders of leafy Surrey can be enjoyed with a long, leisurely walk in the Surrey Hills or in any one of The National Trust owned and managed parks and gardens. These include Polesden Lacey, an Edwardian house and estate of upmost grandeur.

Although, if you can’t quite let go of the fast pace then a trip to Mercedes-Benz World could be a great compromise, located on the historic Brooklands motor racing circuit. Choose to speed around the circuit or go off road on their terrain course. The Brooklands Museum is also on the site to step back in time to when this iconic circuit was in full swing.

So to where to stay, well an great all rounder is at the Brooklands Hotel in Surrey which handily is right on the site of the historic circuit and next to Mercedes-Benz World. The modern yet art deco inspired interior appeals to both car lovers as well as those seeking sophistication, luxury and relaxation, a great base for exploring Surrey. Visit http://www.brooklandshotelsurrey.com/ for more details.

Gone are the days when a picnic was a soggy sandwich, squashed crisps and some lukewarm tea. Picnics are now luxury, lavish, full of gourmet ingredients and dishes packaged up with not a plastic tub in sight.

Whether it’s during a walk, a family day out or simply just a drive out to a scenic location, the backdrop of the Lake District with its fells and lakes is the perfect setting to picnic perfection.
Where to choose? The Langdale Valley and surrounding area has both dramatic vistas as well secluded locations and pretty tarns. Take Loughrigg and Blea Tarn, often seen in pictures but tucked away and pure picnic heaven. Sit on the edge of either tarn and be treated to an uninterrupted view of the famous Langdale Pikes. Cosy up together if it’s cool or take the boots off and dip your feet into the tarn in the summer.
luxury lake district picnic
The Brimstone Hotel at Langdale have picnic perfection hampered up. Guests at this innovative boutique hotel in the Lake District can choose to order a gourmet picnic handmade by the Brimstone chefs. This picnic can then be transported along with the guests to a super scenic spot in Brimstone’s own Land Rover Defender after all, what gourmet picnic is complete without some Champagne?!). Choose a time and Brimstone will return to collect the guests and their empty hamper after this no doubt very special afternoon. Our top tip is for anyone thinking of popping the big question in the Lakes, the combination of the stay at Brimstone and a perfect picnic has to be ultimate and most memorable of ideas and locations. For more information visit https://www.brimstonehotel.co.uk

In the Chinese Zodiac this year is the year of the Monkey but for the Lake District it is the year of Beatrix Potter.

150 years ago this year, one of England’s most famous writers, illustrators and naturalists was born. Her love of the Lake District eventually brought her to live in the region and so the famous tales an stories were began with the delightful and enticing characters she created in connection with the landscape and her beloved gardens at Hill Top, her home.

The National Trust now own and manage Hill Top and it is now open for the 2016 season welcoming visitors from all over the world. With news of this 150 year mile stone being published across Europe to Japan, Australia and the USA, the tiny villages of Near and Far Sawrey where Hill Top is located will be firmly on the international map.

beatrix potter lake district

There will be one particularly special and exciting event taking place to honour this very talented lady on two dates during July 2016 at Castle Cottage at Near Sawrey, her marital home for 30 years. This is now lived in by private tenants which have agreed to open the cottage up on two dates for this special year, July 8th and July 28th, Beatrix Potter’s Birthday.
7th July also marks 70 years since Hill Top opened to the public so July is even more pertinent for celebrations and is set to be extremely busy.

Booking is essential for all of these tours as well as the general visiting of Hill Top and gardens. Booking accommodation in the area during July is advisable right away too. Cuckoo Brow Inn at Far Sawrey, just a 5 minute walk from Hill Top and Castle Cottage has 14 rooms and being an inn, serves local food and drinks daily. Family rooms are available and the inn is also dog friendly which Beatrix Potter would have very much approved of being such a dog lover herself. Visit http://www.cuckoobrow.co.uk to book and for more information.

Although the burger revolution is taking over the high street, street food, pub and restaurant menus up and down the country, the humble pie is still a firm favourite and luckily, doesn’t look to be falling out of favour at all.

The UK is a nation of pastry lovers. A pie is a handy snack and warming and comforting main and often a real treat. A pie is satisfying and tasty filled with meat, fish or vegetables but the most important thing is not to over complicate this dish, simple and tradition are both fantastic flavours.

lake district pub

A pint and pie, pure post walk perfection!

So it’s no wonder that amongst all of the food appreciation and celebration days and weeks, British Pie Week is one of the most popular. Taking place from March 7 to the 13, British Pie Week
It could almost be said, a pub is only as good as its pies. Well and its pints as well of course but the both go hand in hand and a spot of the good pint is often found in the good pie.
Take the Lake District, full of great country pubs and inns and post walk what better than a home made pie to revitalise after a long walk on the fells? Set in the Langdale Valley is Wainwright’s Inn, a traditional pub on the Langdale Estate and post walk heaven. Famous for the range of local ales, it is also famous for its pies and throughout its seasonal menu changes the steak & ale and chicken, ham & leek pies are 365 day a year fixtures.

Open daily from 12 noon until 11pm for drinks and until 9.30pm for food. Come straight off the fells into Wainwright’s Inn, walker friendly, woodburning range to warm up against in the winter, scenic outdoor seating for the summer, regular changes, local real ales. Visit http://www.langdale.co.uk/wainwrights-inn.html for more information.

dog friendly devon campsite

Dog friendly Stowford campsite and Woolacombe beach

Beach holidays are mostly commonly associated with summer, the annual pilgramige to the coast to enjoy the sea, sand and fingers crossed, the sun.

But beaches are open 365 days a year, are accessible to all and are beautiful even in the winter months, Woolacombe on the North Devon coast is no exception. This beach, continually voted one of the UK’s best, is stunning whatever the weather or time of the year. Summer however this Blue Flag beach is packed but choose to visit this 3 mile stretch of golden sands in the off season and have the space to take in the views, walk and blow the cobwebs away and enjoy popular winter pastimes such as kite surfing.

Winter and the quieter months are also fantastic for dog friendly holidays. Dogs love beaches, sand to roll around in and the sea to leap through. Humans love it as apart from some grains of sand, a beach is mud free!

Woolacombe is a dog friendly beach, you’ll have it practically to yourselves and there’s places for refreshments in the village that allow dogs too. Where to stay, well nearby Stowford North Devon Caravan and Campsite is very dog friendly and even has private woodland and waymarked walks and paths in it’s 70 acre estate that are ideal for morning and evening walkies. The on-site dog kennels provide a handy service if there’s a particular none dog friendly activity to do on one of the days.

So remember, Woolacombe and North Devon aren’t just for summer, they are for all year round.

Visit the Stowford Farm Meadows dog friendly section of the website here for more information on facilities and services.