Must Have Autumn Outfits

Graham Hadaway - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

We might not be ready to start thinking about the winter months creeping up on us, but with the summer feeling well and truly over, we can’t help but sit and wait for the wintry spell to begin. As the weather turns colder and the sun starts to set earlier by the day, we thought we’d bring you some ideas to inject joy into your wardrobe and remind you that autumn can be just as fun as summer with different styles and colours.


Whether you’re trying to pack for a cosy weekend break or simply just want to keep on trend while you’re out and about, we have some tips straight from the fashion powerhouses to you.


There is no better way to feel protected against the elements than to throw on a statement shearling coat. This essential autumn piece can easily cross over into a variation of styles, from full longline overcoats to shearling trim collars. Update your coat this year by choosing shearling or faux fur for that extra layer of warmth in the unpredictable winter months to come.

70s Boho

A trend reminiscent of times gone by, boho-chic draws on hippie-influenced and bohemian fashion choices. Making a comeback in the form of folksy fringing, bold prints and even flares, accentuate your softer side with this loose, colourful and lightweight trend. Finish your look with a knitted poncho or cape to ensure you’re wrapped up as we descend into autumn..

The High Neck

Whether you’re bundling yourself up for a walk on a blustery day or settling down in a big armchair in front of the fire, this season’s take on jumpers will have you yearning for the cold. Roll necks, polo necks or a funnel neck, it seems the higher the better this year which we may be grateful for as the temperature drops. This knitwear trend is one that can even be incorporated into that perfect winter dress.

Earthy Naturals

Autumn is always an interesting time for colour, with the leaves slowly changing and transforming gardens and parks into a new wonderland. Fashion can often take its inspiration from this, with this year’s colour palette turning to earthy natural shades using shades of khaki, orange-inspired tones and even dusty rose you’re bound to be surrounded by options this autumn that should add some vibrancy to your staple items.


Fashion jewellery is here to make a statement this autumn, with bling being a key accessory this season. The idea that ‘less is more’ is out the window on this particular occasion, with earrings evocative of chandeliers and stacked bracelets as seen on the catwalk. Don’t be afraid to be bold with your choices and incorporate your jewellery into this autumn’s favourite trends.


Why not flaunt your new look round the Lake District and relax in one of our luxury locations?

4 Can't Miss Events in October

Graham Hadaway - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

With winter slowly encroaching on Lake Windermere, transforming Bowness from bustling tourist trap to romantic destination, the scope and type of events on offer throughout the area change too. Here are a variety of unique options available during your stay in October.


Try Rock Climbing 3-4th October

If you want to get out and be active while here with us, an 'introduction to rock climbing' course is being held just ten minutes away in Langdale.


This two day introduction covers the basics of rock climbing such as tying on to rope, movement skills, and abseiling, and is perfect for beginners with lots of enthusiasm to try something new. With some of the best climbing in the country, why not take full advantage of the Lake District while you’re here?


Sample a Taste of Townend 8th October

Townend was the historic home to the Browne’s - a farming family who were a cornerstone of the village of Troutbeck. This traditional stone and slate Lake District farmhouse is much more than meets the eye however, and once inside you’ll find an atmospheric house filled with all kinds of quirks and stories.


Every Thursday, the Townend house comes to life and is filled with smells and tastes direct from Elizabeth Browne’s handwritten 17th century recipe book, giving visitors a unique taste of the past.


Watch Waiting for Godot 14th October

If you want to take in some culture while visiting the Cranleigh, the Brewery Arts Centre in nearby Kendal is showing Waiting for Godot live from the London Classic Theatre. This one off event, shown on the big screen, tells the story of a pair of travellers waiting on a country road for the mysterious man named Godot. Written by Samuel Beckett, the play is held in high regard around the globe and isn’t to be missed.


Visit the Lakes International Comic Festival 16-18th October

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have noticed the extent that comic book adaptations have overrun the world in recent years.


Entering its third year, the Lakes International Comic Festival takes over the nearby town of Kendal and transforms the town into a hub of all things sequential art. Talks are held at the Brewery Arts Centre by some of the biggest names in the industry, while the town’s Clock Tower holds a variety of stalls and competitions. One for the geek in you!

5 Must Visit Events In September

Graham Hadaway - Tuesday, September 08, 2015

With autumn and winter peaking around the corner and a chill coming off Lake Windermere, you may assume that the tourist season dwindles in the Lake District and nothing happens. Wrong! Below we’ve collected 5 of the best events happening over the next month for our guests to enjoy. Which will you be visiting when you come to stay at one of our three luxurious locations?


Holker Hall Chilli Festival – Saturday 12th-13th September

Set in the extravagant surroundings of nearby Holker Hall, the Chilli Festival sees specialist chilli companies from all over the UK convene on the gardens for a weekend of entertainment, eating, and cookery demonstrations. If you’re feeling extra brave, and have a tongue of steel, there’s even a chilli eating competition for you to enter.

Sky Ride: Ambleside World Heritage Ride To Grasmere – Sunday 13th September

Sky Ride’s have been taking place all over the UK for the past few years in celebration of cycling and community, and this one has been launched to also coincide with the Lake District’s bid to become a World Heritage Site. With a comfortable pace and a distance of 10 miles, this Sky Ride runs from Ambleside to Grasmere via Rydal and allows you to take in the relaxing sights and sounds.

Watch the Waterbird and Enjoy Afternoon Tea at Brockhole – 17th September

An oft-forgotten part of the Lake District’s history was Captain Edward Wakefield - three times mayor of Kendal, Army officer, barrister and landowner – and his attempt to take off from Lake Windermere in Britain’s first hydro-electric plane in 1911.

In a recreation of this historic event, RAF Serviceman Gerry Cooper will be at the controls of a £160,000 replica of the Waterbird hydro-aeroplane, due for take-off from Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club at about 6.45pm. What better place to enjoy the daring flight than from the splendid surroundings of Brockhole, with a delicious Afternoon Tea?

'Abandon Normal Devices' Festival at Grizedale Forest – 18th-20th September

Turning Grizedale Forest into a temporary haven for all manner of creative types – from film makers and artists to philosophers and scientists – Abandon Normal Devices (AND) is aiming to create a space where audiences can experience the forest anew through the creation of new art works at the historical site.


Artworks have been situated throughout the sculpture park and can be discovered via trails and treks which look at everything from the biological resonance in technology to the simulation of nature.

Kendal Farmers Market – 25th September

Organised by Made In Cumbria, Kendal Farmers Market allows you to shop for some of the most delicious delicacies the vibrant market town has to offer – from Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding to Cumberland Sausage – allowing you to stock up on all the treats exclusive to the area.

The Rise and Rise of Prosecco

Graham Hadaway - Tuesday, September 01, 2015


From bottomless brunches to wedding receptions, Prosecco has proven to be the drink of 2015 - growing in popularity and availability to the extent that it has been shown that shoppers in Britain spent more on Prosecco (£181million) than Champagne (£141million) last year.


The rise in popularity of prosecco over champagne has been put down to a mixture of its light, crisp, sweeter taste and its cheaper price. Couple this with its sophisticated appearance and usability for a variety of occasions, it’s no wonder that this sparkling and refreshing wine has moved from simple champagne substitute to overtaking it in terms of popularity across all walks of life.


In fact, in a recent report, Laithwaites Wine Club announced that 63% of couples now use the wine as the toast of choice during their nuptials. This is just one of the many reasons that sales of the wine have grown by over 25% over the last year and a half. In the report, Beth Willard, one of Laithwaites expert wine buyers, said:

“It seems inevitable that with the meteoric rise of Prosecco in the last few years, we would start to see a shift from Britain’s traditional bubbles of choice. The average wedding requires 44 bottles of sparkling wine and not only is Prosecco far better value for money, we also find our customers say it’s easier to drink than Champagne.”


Farmed from Glera grapes in the north east of Italy, Prosecco has become renowned for its dry and sparkling white wine taste and has long been the key ingredient to popular cocktails such as Bellini’s and Sbagliato’s. This has no doubt also played a part in its rise in popularity from cheap champagne alternative to drink of the masses, with the UK becoming one of the biggest importers of the sparkling wine in 2014 - so much so that a shortage is being predicted due to high demand coupled with a poor harvest blamed on poor weather last year. So enjoy it while you can!

Romantic Venues Around the Lakes

Graham Hadaway - Tuesday, August 25, 2015


If you and your partner are visiting the Cranleigh for a romantic getaway and want to make the most of some of the most breath taking scenery the UK has to offer, check out our ideas for romantic things to do around the area:


Take a Romantic Boat Ride

In our opinion there is no better way to see the majesty of Lake Windermere than by steamer. With trips running between Waterhead, Bowness, Windermere, and Lakeside, you can hop on and hop off as you please with a day ticket and see the best of what the Lakes has to offer.


If you want something a bit more adventurous, try hiring a row boat or private boat for some added privacy.


Picnic on the Shores of Windermere

Visiting Windermere in the warmer months has its perks, one of which is being able to take a picnic down onto the shores of the lake for a relaxing and chilled out couple of hours. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of tourism though, why not take a picnic out on one of the area’s most scenic walks instead. Just make sure you pack some of our delicious delicacies to take with you.


Relax on a Steam Train

If you’re taking the steamer from Bowness to Lakeside, why not continue your journey by taking a step into the luxury and elegance of the wonderful Lakeside and Haverthwaite steam train?


Running from the southern tip of Lake Windermere into the South Lakes via the picturesque Leven Valley, you’ll see some wonderful rural sights as you step back on time aboard the train.


Sip Champagne in a Hot Air Balloon

If you’re sick of seeing the Lake District from the ground, why not rise above everything and view it from on high? Romantic hot air balloon flights are available from a variety of sights around the area and can often be tailor-made to your specific requests – whether you want to sip champagne in the noon sun or see the sunrise or sunset from up in the clouds.

Sumptuous Summer Cocktails

Graham Hadaway - Tuesday, August 18, 2015


With summer in full swing and the sun shining down, now is the perfect time to chill out and cool off with a few refreshing cocktails.


Below we’ve listed a some mixes that will not only quench your thirst but keep the party rolling all night long, whether you’re at a barbeque, garden party, or visiting the sights and sounds of the Lake District.


Limoncello Collins

The Tom Collins is a gin cocktail famous all over the world, but when gin is combined with the refreshing aperitif limoncello, you get an extra refreshing zing that is not only thirst quenching but enlivening.


It is the perfect after-dinner cocktail and your guests will go wild at the taste when served at your garden party.


To make a pitcher, simply combine 16oz of limoncello, 12oz of gin and 8oz of fresh lemon juice. Stir and cover the mix, refrigerate for a few hours, and enjoy the ‘Ahh!’ your guests audibly say in unison when they take a sip.

Caribbean Rum Punch

A staple of many a cocktail bar’s menu, the Caribbean Rum Punch is one of the most refreshing drinks out there and is a perfect accompaniment for a summer day.


Strong but easy to drink, to create a pitcher for you and your friends you will need 17oz of white rum, 17oz fresh pineapple juice, 17oz fresh orange juice, a splash of bitters, and slices of fresh pineapple to garnish. Combine all of these with plenty of ice and enjoy.


Berry Mojito

Everyone loves a traditional mint mojito, but with the sun shining down you might want to make the cocktail a bit more thirst quenching.


The Berry Mojito doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it merely involves the addition of a lot of flavours. You want to grab a handful of mint leaves and crush them in your glass with a fork, adding a teaspoon of sugar and a squeeze of lime to the blend. Then mix the base with 2oz of white rum, ¼oz of raspberry liqueur and ¼oz of blue curacao liqueur. Top up with soda water and enjoy the lip-smackingly great zing!


Mango-Peach Fizz

This pureed cocktail is bubbling with all kinds of tropical flavours, and will send your taste buds into overdrive!


Use a blender to puree a ripe melon and a ripe peach before adding 0.50c of pure orange juice to the mix. Add a tablespoon of sugar to the puree to suit your taste and then store the mix in the fridge. For each individual cocktail add two scoops of the puree with a shot or two of peach schnapps and ice. Yum!


Esmeralda Slushy

The Esmeralda cocktail is one with a thousand different variations to its mix and a rarity on a lot of cocktail menus, but trust us – with its zingy taste, your guests will be coming back again and again for a top up.


Mix 2oz of tequila with a dash of bitters, 1oz of fresh orange juice and a squeeze of lime juice. Add the mix with 8oz of ice and throw it all in the blender on a high speed until the ice is completely crushed and blended to your desired slushy consistency. Don’t forget the straws and novelty umbrellas!

5 Delicious Delicacies from the Lake District

Graham Hadaway - Friday, August 07, 2015



The Lake District is home to some of the UK’s best and most beloved cafes, gastro-pubs and restaurants, and part of the secret behind our award winning eateries is an insistence on the use of local produce and traditional cooking methods.


Below we’ve picked some of our favourite delicious delicacies for you to sample when you come to stay at the Cranleigh.


Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding

It’s hard to believe that Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding is only just celebrating its 25th anniversary it has become such a popular mainstay of the area. One for those of you with the sweetest of sweet tooth’s, Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding is made using traditional Cumbrian baking methods and has fans coming from all over to pick up some samples – in fact rumour has it that Johnny Depp puts orders in for it to be delivered to his home in London.

Cumberland Sausage

Much like Parma Ham, Feta Cheese, and Champagne, Cumberland Sausage is so synonymous that it has protected status ensuring that it can only be produced in the area. Available from butchers, restaurants, and pubs all over the area, Cumberland Sausage is famed for its distinctive coil, high meat content, intense seasoning and rough-cut texture to the meat. Due to the size and consistency, the Cumberland Sausage is one for those of you with the heartiest of appetites.


Grasmere Gingerbread

Not a biscuit and not a cake but somewhere in between, Grasmere Gingerbread can trace its roots all the way back to 1854 when Sarah Nelson perfected her recipe for this spicy-sweet sensation. Since then the popularity of the confectionary has grown and grown and her legacy lives on in the Grasmere Gingerbread Home, with Andrew and Joanne Hunter continuing to make one of our areas best kept secrets.

Jennings Brewery

The Lake District has become more and more famous for its variety of microbreweries over recent years, but Jennings remains one of the oldest and most well-known. Based in Cockermouth, Jennings regard themselves as a truly traditional Lake District brewer from top to bottom – they use pure Lakeland water for brewing, and only the finest natural ingredients are added to their award winning ales. If you have a designated driver with you, we recommend a tour of the brewery.

Hawkshead Relish

With a shop in Hawkshead village, Hawkshead Relish stock over 120 relishes, pickles and preserves which are all handmade using traditional open pans and locally sourced ingredients – this means no artificial flavourings, colourings or preservatives - to make some of the most truly lip-smackingly great condiments. Having just recently won big at the Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste Awards, the shop is going from strength to strength.


A Literature Lovers Guide to the Lakes

Graham Hadaway - Thursday, July 30, 2015


When you come to visit us in Bowness, you’ll find it hard not to be impressed, awed, and filled with inspiration from the beautiful surroundings you’ll find yourself in.


From Lake Windermere itself to the majestic landscapes and soaring peaks, the Lake District has a long history of inspiring some of our most well known and loved literary giants. If you want to take in some of this rich history and heritage during your stay we’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit:


Wordsworth Museum

The famed Romanticism poet kick-started mass tourism to the Lake District in the 19th Century with the publication of his ‘Guide through the District of the Lakes’ as well as his famous poem Daffodils. With this in mind, a trip to nearby Grasmere is a must to see why the area was such an inspiration.


The museum, along with Dove Cottage (the poet’s home for many years), provides a fascinating glimpse into the man and his work via letters, journals and poems as well as special attractions and events throughout the year.


Scafell Pike

A huge inspiration for another Romanticism poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge looked to the peaks of Scafell Pike to remedy his dark and troubled persona. In fact, on describing a descent from the Pike, Coleridge commented that it produced in him ‘a state of almost prophetic trance and delight’.


As England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike is one of the most dramatic and rugged regions of the Lake District and its ascent provides a great challenge during your stay. We promise that the panoramic views from the top are worth the hardship!


Hill Top Farm

Though the Beatrix Potter Museum located just around the corner from the Cranleigh might be perfect for the child in you, Hill Top Farm provides all the calm and inspiration you will need.


Beatrix Potter used her 4,300 acres of property to accurately paint and write the places and animals of her homestead – including the Tower Bank Arms featured in Jemima Puddleduck – before leaving the area for National Trust preservation on her death.


Hill Top Farm’s garden are always open to the public, but because it is a small house a timed-ticket system is in operation to avoid overcrowding and to protect the interior.


Haweswater Reservoir

A source of inspiration for Haweswater, a 2002 novel by Sarah Hall, this reservoir and its creation is steeped in controversy.


Originally a 4km natural lake, and one of the most picturesque valley’s in Westmorland, in 1929 the Haweswater dam was constructed by the Manchester Corporation to supply water for the city. This saw the farming villages of Measand and Mardale Green flooded and lost in 1935, with the population rehomed and the creation of one of the largest lakes at 4 miles long.


Today, the remains of the submerged village of Mardale Green can still be seen as stone walls and the village bridge becomes visible as the water level drops. A chilling and spooky site to behold.

Summer Adventure in the Lakes

Graham Hadaway - Monday, July 27, 2015



Summer time is when the Lakes really come alive, with all kinds of action and adventure on offer around the area that take full advantage of the fantastic scenery. Below we’ve listed some of our favourite activities to make the most of your summer adventure in the Lakes.

Go Ape

Situated nearby, in the picturesque Grizedale Forest, this adventure is perfect for the inner-Tarzan in you as you find yourself crossing obstacles from high in the tree-tops, flying down huge zip wires, and taking the leap off Tarzan swings.


Whether you’re an adventurer at heart or not, the thrill and excitement from each challenge will be enough to keep driving you on to the next obstacle, encapsulating some breath-taking views across one of the Lakes most awe inspiring areas.

Ghyll Scrambling

One of the Lake District’s premier summer time activities, Ghyll Scrambling (or Gorge Walking) is the perfect way to take advantage of the many mountain streams the area has to offer to cool off in an exciting and active way.


Starting at the foot of a gorge, you’ll follow that stream all the way up by climbing the waterfalls, jumping into pools of water, and sliding down the streams.


Various companies around the Lakes offer Ghyll Scrambling experiences in some of the area’s most picturesque becks and crofts, with safety equipment and waterproofs provided.


Off-Road Driving

If you want to discover the Lake District from a different angle, why not see it from a Jeep 4x4 as you traverse rough and rocky off-road terrain on some of the most exciting and challenging routes available.


Kankku offer a variety of experiences – from guided tours and self-drives to bring your own 4x4 and challenge expeditions. Slow and steady is the name of the game with this activity, allowing you to soak in some of the peace and tranquillity of the Lake District’s fells while you drive up and over steep trails.

Honister Slate Mine

The Lake District is home to the UK’s only Via Ferrata - a climbing experience utilising a series of metal cables, rungs and ladders - which follows the Honister’s old slate mining route from top to bottom.


This process of traversing the old mining route is at once a great history lesson but also gives you the opportunity to see some of the most amazing vistas the Lakes has to offer, topped off by one of the most breathtaking views at the top.


The ascent is fully guided and is perfect for people of all climbing abilities. Truly one of the Lake District’s biggest thrills.

​ Cute Quaint Cafes Perfect for Afternoon Tea

Graham Hadaway - Monday, July 20, 2015

If there’s one thing the Lake District does well it is boutique. Whether you’re in Windermere, Bowness, Ambleside or any of our other picturesque towns, you’ll see a great variety of sole traders, unique shops, and organic food markets.


The centrepiece of any town or high street is a great place to rest and relax for afternoon tea, and the Lake District has some of the best around.


Below we’ve listed some of our favourites from around the local area to check out when you come to the Cranleigh.


Low Sizergh Barn

This family run farm, based in Kendal, is the epitome of home grown – their delicious cheeses are all produced from the farms cows. In fact, Windermere Ice Cream Company make all their flavours using the farms milk so chances are you’ve tasted their produce without even realising it!

The jewel of the shop however is their tea room. Situated on the top floor of the farm, the tea room seats 75 and has a delicious menu filled with locally sourced treats – everything from Low Sizergh Farm free range egg mayonnaise to homemade cakes and pots of Lakeland loose leaf tea.

Blackwell Tea Room

Situated on the road into Bowness, the Blackwell Tea Room is part of the Blackwell Arts and Crafts House – a unique and historic part of the Lake District’s art scene.

Although the Blackwell Tea Room is a bit on the small side and can fill up very quickly, their selection of gourmet open sandwiches and cakes are to die for. With the grounds overlooking both Lake Windermere and Coniston’s fells, it is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty the Lake District has to offer.

Hazelmere Café and Bakery

Located at the opposite end of the Lake District, the Hazelmere Café can be found in the quaint Victorian seaside resort of Grange-Over-Sands - one of the areas true hidden gems.

Hazelmere emphasise locally sourced and seasonal foods made from scratch and to their original recipes, offering over 40 types of tea, artisan breads, a variety of mouth-watering cakes and sweets, as well as savouries such as steak and kidney pie and Cumberland sausage rolls. You are truly spoiled for choice so luckily they offer a takeaway service if you can’t make your mind up.

St Martins Tea Room

Based just a stone’s throw from the Cranleigh, St Martins Tea Room is one of Bowness’s true hidden gems.

Offering delicious cream tea’s, mouth-watering scones, an ever-changing special’s menu, and a warm and friendly staff, the tea room is a great place to stop for a relaxing break from the sights and sounds of the town.

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