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Things to do in March, in the Lake District!

Jo Spencer - Friday, February 05, 2016


March is one of the finest months in the Lake District. The bleakness of winter is well and truly behind us and the region is a riot of colour from daffodils, snow drops and crocuses. The onset of Spring and new lambs is a real reason to be cheerful! Should you wish to pay us a visit for Easter this year (and quite frankly, why wouldn’t you?), here’s our top tips on what’s going on across the Lakes…

A little opera is good for the soul:

For the ‘culture vulture’s’ amongst you, the glorious ‘La Bohème’ will be playing at ‘Theatre by the Lake’ in Keswick on Tuesday 1st March. Sung in English, it’s a treat for all. The story goes a bit like this: It’s a cold Christmas Eve night in 1940s Paris and a young poet, an artist and a philosopher are enjoying the festivities in their flat, when there is an unexpected knock at the door…and so begins one of the greatest romances ever told in opera. The critically acclaimed Swansea City Opera will be performing Puccini’s spectacle accompanied by a live chamber orchestra.
For further information, see www.theatrebythelake.com

For Beatrix Potter fans…

Beatrix Potter fans are in for a real treat in March. From 3rd, there will be tours around her home, ‘Hill Top’. It comes as part of the National Trust’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations in 2016 and this after-hours tour is perfect for those who’d like to learn more about one of the Lake District’s most famous literary figures. It's a chance to have exclusive access to the house and get up close to items from the collection. There will also be time to browse the shop and a complimentary glass of wine.
For further information, see www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hill-top

The Eden Valley Epic:

The Lake District is an extremely popular part of the world for cyclists – and is becoming even more so. For those who enjoy the sport, the Eden Valley Epic Cycle Sportive is a cycle ride which will take place from Penrith Leisure Centre on Sunday 6 March 2016. The route is just short of 60 miles and heads South towards Orton village before looping north to Appleby in Westmorland for the well-stocked half way food stop! The route then weaves its way through fantastic cycling lanes, via Dufton, Milburn and Langwathby. The roads are very quiet, super scenic and well worth the trip!
For further information, see www.epicevents.co.uk

Kendal Festival of Food:

For food lovers out there, there’s no festival better than the Kendal Festival of Food, which runs from 12th-13th March and is being held for the seventh time! A brand new feature for this year’s festival is a ‘Grow Your Own’ area, complete with its own potting shed, which promises a bumper crop of gardening stalls, informative talks from gardening experts, demonstrations, tips and advice for all those with green-fingered aspirations! Also arriving to the festival this year, is a vibrant celebration of regional artisan distillers… ‘Northern Spirits’ is an evening event, bringing together live music, platters of authentic local food and the very best in local tipples.
There will be more than 80 stalls of regional produce within the England’s North Country Market, cuisine from around the world in the International Food Court, an Ale Trail, the Brewery Arts Centre Beer Festival and a host of activities for families, all complemented by live music and street entertainment. What a treat!
For further information, see www.kendalfestivaloffood.co.uk

 

A friendly welcome for your four legged friend

Jo Spencer - Thursday, January 28, 2016


The British are a dog loving nation. Our pet pooches are a big part of our lives – and our families. That includes holidays, so what a relief that the Lake District is renowned for welcoming our four legged friends with open arms. Enjoying a pint in a cosy pub with a roaring fire is the norm up here and luckily, we have a few recommendations for pubs where you can bring your dog:

The Kings Arms, Hawkshead:

Be transported back in time at the Kings Arms in the charming and historical village of Hawkshead. You will be greeted with original oak beams, an open fire and friendly faces. What more could you ask of this 500 year old inn? The inn is relaxed and informal and welcomes both children and dogs.
For further information, see: http://kingsarmshawkshead.co.uk/

Tower Bank Arms, near Sawrey:

The Tower Bank Arms is located in the heart of Near Sawrey, an attractive hamlet between Hawkshead and the western shore of Lake Windermere. Next door to the pub is ‘Hill Top’, the famous and former home of Mrs Heelis, better known as Beatrix Potter. The Tower Bank Arms will be familiar to generations of children as the small country Inn in ‘The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck’, so a visit is well worth it if you have the time. In addition, they are very doggy friendly, with pooches allowed in both the bar and garden areas.
For further information, see: http://www.towerbankarms.co.uk/

The Screes Inn, Wasdale:

The Screes Inn is a traditional village local and a great base for walking and climbing. Based in the small hamlet village of Nether Wasdale in the beautiful Wasdale valley, the Screes Inn is a ‘stones throw’ from ‘Britain's Favourite View’, the deepest lake in England, Wast Water, and the highest peak in England, Scafell Pike. The inn offers a relaxed and informal environment, with food cooked using only fresh local produce, a roaring fire, live music and dogs welcomed!
For further information, see: http://www.thescrees.co.uk/

The Priest Hole, Ambleside:

Sit and watch the world go by from the terrace of the 16th Century priest hole in the heart of Ambleside. On a sunny day, there’s no better spot. Part of Kelsick Old Hall, one of the oldest buildings in the village, the Priest Hole has been lovingly restored with oak panelling, floorboards and original fireplaces. The menu is a mix of British and Mediterranean dishes, all of which can be enjoyed in the company of your dog!
For further information, see: http://www.thepriesthole.co.uk/index.html

Our newest venture ‘The Fizzy Tarté’ is taking shape!

Jo Spencer - Friday, January 22, 2016

As you will be aware, we are launching a new venture in March – The Fizzy Tarté – and are delighted to announce that we’re bang on schedule with our latest vision. The Cranleigh brand is constantly evolving –we’re never ones to sit still! So, it’s a very exciting time for us and we’d love you to share the ride with us!


What is the Fizzy Tarté?

For those of you who already love the Cranleigh brand, we know you’re going to love the Fizzy Tarté! It will fill a much needed gap in the local market for an upmarket champagne bar and patisserie that is all about luxury, sophistication and fun. Together with a seated area inside – and furnished to our typically high standards - the Fizzy Tarté will also offer a stunning outside seated area, under cover, where our special guests can enjoy the ambience of the location. Think chic pavement café in Europe…open till late 7 days per week.

So, what’s on offer?

The Fizzy Tarté is all about treating yourself – or someone else! A carefully considered selection of beers, wine, champagne and cocktails will be on offer together with light bites – ideal for long lazy lunches that stretch right into the evening! At night, the Fizzy Tarté will be the place to be seen, totally cool, with great music, lighting and ‘showmanship service’. One thing’s guaranteed: you’ll still be talking about your night out long after you’ve left us!

Want to join our VIP club?

The Fizzy Tarté is one of a kind. We can’t wait for you to see it! If you’d like to join us as a VIP, then sign up for membership now! In addition to being the first to hear about our latest news and developments, you’ll receive two free glasses of champagne when we launch and a free bottle of champagne on your birthday! In fact, we’re giving away £100,000 worth of champagne to our VIP members to celebrate our opening. So, if you’d like to be part of the VIP club, click on the link here: http://www.thefizzytarte.com/

Keeping you updated:

As ever, you’ll be the first to know about everything relating to the Fizzy Tarté and we’ll keep you posted on progress. Check out our photo for a sneak peek at how the building work is coming along!

 

The most exciting restaurants in the Lakes!

Jo Spencer - Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Whilst staying at one of the world’s most romantic hotels – the Cranleigh Boutique of course – you’ll want to visit some of the area’s best restaurants. We’ve got a vast array of superb restaurants in the Lake District – with the views to match! If you’d like to enjoy a romantic break with us over Valentine’s, check out some of these beautiful eateries to accompany your stay. You won’t be disappointed!

The Jumble Room, Grasmere:

 

Tucked away down a small road in the heart of Grasmere is one of the region’s most famous restaurants – The Jumble Room. It’s not on the main thoroughfare, yet diners seem to turn up at the door to enjoy the unique ambience and eclectic menu. Quirky and relaxed with friendly staff, it’s easy to while away the hours here tucking into their infamous fish and chips or coconut and red lentil dahl. It’s small, but perfectly formed. We’d recommend booking if you want to secure a seat at the table…
See the website for further information and opening hours: http://www.thejumbleroom.co.uk/The_Jumble_Room.html
 
Hooked, Windermere:

 

Hooked Seafood Restaurant opened in Windermere in November 2010 with owner Michael Gould serving up the catch of the day. The menu changes daily depending on availability from local Fleetwood, so there’s never any knowing what you’ll get! But, whatever it is, you can rest assured it’s tasty and fresh, with flavours and influences from the Mediterranean, South East Asia and Australasia, courtesy of head chef, Paul White.
For further information, visit: http://www.hookedwindermere.co.uk/index.html

 

The Old Stamp House, Ambleside:

 

The historical Old Stamp House Restaurant is housed in the former work place of one of its most famous and treasured natives; William Wordsworth. Rapidly becoming one of the Lake District’s most refined restaurants, the Old Stamp House draws inspiration from the lesser known ports on the west coast of the county with their rich history of importing spices and alcohol used in many of the local speciality dishes. Their team use their local knowledge to collect and source wild herbs, mushrooms and game from the surrounding woodlands, forests, mountains and coastline. With a raft of awards under their belts, the Old Stamp House was listed in the top 100 restaurants in the UK at the National Restaurant Awards in 2015. Their head chef is also listed in Olive magazine’s 'Chefs who will define 2016'. Booking definitely advised!
For further information, visit: http://www.oldstamphouse.com/

 

Rogan and Company, Cartmel

 

The very talented Simon Rogan’s informal and relaxed bistro is excellent for either lunch or dinner. Located in a beautiful building in the charming village of Cartmel, great food and wine from around the world combine to make an unforgettable experience. Using the very finest ingredients, many from within Cumbria itself, Rogan’s is undoubtedly one of the Lake District’s most exciting restaurants.
For further information, visit http://www.roganandcompany.co.uk/introduction/

 

Famous literary giants inspired by the Lake District

Jo Spencer - Monday, January 18, 2016

The beauty of the Lake District has inspired more than one famous literary figure over the years and continues to move the many writers, painters and artists who choose to visit the area. The magic of the environment has motivated the production of some pretty famous books, paintings and poetry, with some well-known figures having drawn their inspiration from our hills. Can you name more than one?!

William Wordsworth:

Probably one of our most famous literary figures, the very talented Mr Wordsworth was a major romantic poet who helped to launch the ‘romantic age’ in English Literature. Undoubtedly, his most famous piece of work is ‘The Prelude’ – an autobiographical poem based on his early years. Wordsworth lived – amongst other places – at Dove Cottage in Grasmere with his sister Dorothy (also a writer) and wife, Mary. Following his death in 1850, he was buried in the graveyard at St Oswalds, Grasmere, a mecca for Wordsworth fans.

Beatrix Potter:

Today, Beatrix Potter’s works are loved the world over, both by adults and children. Born into a privileged family, Potter holidayed as a child in the Lake District and was inspired by the flora, fauna and landscape, which she observed closely and painted. With the proceeds from her books, Potter bought ‘Hill Top Farm’ in Near Sawrey and over the following decades, purchased additional farms to preserve the unique hill country landscape. Potter wrote 30 books in all, the most famous being ‘The tale of Peter Rabbit’. Following her death in 1943, she left almost all of her property to the National Trust. Beatrix Potter is credited with preserving much of the land that now comprises the Lake District National Park. The World of Beatrix Potter is in Bowness on Windermere. For further information, visit: http://www.hop-skip-jump.com/

Alfred Wainwright:

If walking is your thing, then you’ll definitely know who Alfred Wainwright is! Born in Blackburn in Lancashire, he first visited the Lake District when he was 23 and fell in love with the landscape and environment. Later moving to Kendal, he devoted his life to mapping the area, writing seven guidebooks. His Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells are a unique mixture of beautiful pen-and-ink sketches, maps and musings. Wainwright died in 1991 and there is a memorial to him in the church at Buttermere. His ashes were scattered above the village on his favourite mountain, Haystacks. Visitors flock to the Lake District each year to embark upon Wainwright’s walks.

John Cunliffe:

The children's literary character ‘Postman Pat’ started life in the 1980’s and most of us will remember him! But did you know he was created right here in the Lake District?! Postman Pat’s many adventures were turned into a TV series and shown in more than 50 countries. His friends include Ajay the stationmaster, Mrs Goggins the postmistress and Jess, his black and white cat. His creator, John Cunliffe, lived on Beast Banks in Kendal for six years and much of his inspiration came from the local Cumbrian countryside. As well as the Postman Pat books, Cunliffe has written nearly 200 books for children!

Arthur Ransome:

Born in Leeds, Arthur Ransome – author of the charming children’s book ‘Swallows and Amazons’ - learned to sail on Coniston and went to school in Windermere. He first worked in London as a journalist and writer and reported on the Revolution in Russia. There he met his future wife Eugenia, who had been Trotsky’s secretary. The Ransomes lived in the Winster valley and Haverthwaite where he wrote many of the Swallows and Amazons series, the majority set in the Lake District. The books follow the adventures of the Walker and Blackett children camping on islands, mining for gold, fighting fell fires and conquering mountains.

 

​Book the UK’s most romantic venues for Valentine’s Day

Jo Spencer - Tuesday, January 12, 2016


In 2013, the Cranleigh Boutique was named the most romantic venue in the UK and third in the world by the biggest review site on the planet – Trip Advisor! Following that, our feet didn’t touch the ground and we followed it up with the most romantic venue in the North award in 2014 too! Last year, we were nominated for ‘Most Romantic Venue’ at the Mills and Boon Romance Awards 2015, for the Boutique Church Suites. So, all in all, we think our reputation for romance is pretty great! Where better then, to spend Valentine’s Day?

When it comes to treating the one you love, nothing is too much trouble and that’s exactly our sentiment at the Cranleigh Boutique venues. Whether you choose to stay with us at our first and original accommodation offering, the Cranleigh Boutique, our romantic hideaway for two, the Hideout House, or our mega award winning Boutique Church Suites, you’ll receive five star treatment from the moment you arrive.

Did you know that the Cranleigh Boutique plays host to more than 100 marriage proposals each year? We’re thrilled to be able to provide the romantic setting for some really special moments in our guests lives and of course, we’re happy to help make that day as memorable as possible.

Here at the Cranleigh, we offer a concierge service and are experts at going the extra mile. Want handmade chocolates and chilled champagne waiting in your room? Rose petals on the bed? A romantic helicopter ride across the fells? There are no lengths we won’t go to, to create a memorable experience. Of course, we offer our very own special brand of magic all year round, but Valentine’s Day at the Cranleigh is very special.

If you would like to spend Valentine’s Day at one of the UK’s most romantic venues, get in touch! You can also find a selection of special offers in February, by visiting our website: http://www.thecranleigh.com/special-deals-offers.html

 

Offers, offers, offers! SAVE money when you book with us!

Jo Spencer - Friday, January 08, 2016


At the Cranleigh, we just LOVE to keep our special guests happy and are experts at offering the very best deals around! At this time of year, we’re all desperate to start booking a break, so check out the offers page on our website and don’t delay in booking your luxury holiday! We’re also offering – once again – our voucher sale, which enables you to turn every £100 you spend on accommodation, into £150.00. This was our most successful offer in 2015, so read on…..

 
The Cranleigh Boutique’s 2016 voucher sale:

We are kick starting 2016 with an offer of exceptional value to you! From Monday 11th January, we’re offering you the chance to turn every £100 you spend on accommodation, into £150. So, in effect, we’re giving you a massive 50% off any room or suite at the Cranleigh Boutique. As this offer is exclusive, we can only sell a limited amount of vouchers – to £20,000 infact - so, once they’re gone, they’re gone! Sign up for this extraordinary sale here: http://www.thecranleigh.com/voucher-sale.html
 
We are also offering the following fantastic deals:

Winter Infusion:

The winter infusion offer enables you to indulge in a 2, 3 or 4 night length of stay and the longer you stay the less you pay! Enjoy autumn and winter evenings in your room or suite at the Cranleigh Boutique*, with sumptuous furnishings. Kick back and enjoy a glass (or two) of complimentary bubbly. You can also enjoy a cruise on beautiful Lake Windermere, with two lakes cruise tickets, to take in the stunning autumn and winter landscape.
* Available on any of our rooms and suites at the Cranleigh Boutique Hotel, when you stay Sunday to Thursday from October till the end of March. For further information, visit: http://www.thecranleigh.com/cranleigh-boutique-promotion.html

 

Pure Imagination:

Our stunning ‘Boutique Church Suites* were named the ‘best suites in the UK and second in the world’ this year by design-et-al and are the ultimate in luxury accommodation. Spend 2 nights in one of our 4 individually designed suites which offer the very latest in technology and guest experience. With mood lighting, iPad controls, luxurious bathrooms with huge baths, hidden TVs, complimentary bubbly and more comforts than you could possibly wish to indulge in, they’re one of our most exciting accommodation experiences!
* Stay Sunday to Thursday in one of our four Boutique Church suites from October to March and experience the unimaginable. For further information, visit: http://www.thecranleigh.com/churchsuite-promotion.html

 

Hideout Hibernation:

The Hideout House* is the ultimate ‘secret escape’! Tucked away in the very heart of Bowness-on-Windermere, it offers 3 floors of fabulous features and luxury – so much so, that you simply won’t want to leave! Soak in the luxurious air jet spa bath, unwind and relax in front of the 65" cinema and enjoy your favourite tipple from the complementary mini bar. With its very own kitchen, it’s a 5 star home from home.

 

Things to do in February – in glorious Cumbria!

Jo Spencer - Wednesday, January 06, 2016


There’s no shortage of things to do in the Lake District – and that extends to all year round! Visitors now grace the shores of our lakes and climb our beautiful mountains from January right through to December and we never let a little rainfall put us off! With February now only weeks away, we’ve rounded up the very best events and activities taking place here, to guide you in your decisions:

We haven’t been awarded the most romantic venue in the UK and 3rd in the world for nothing, you know! The Cranleigh Boutique brand has earned a very well-deserved reputation for its romantic venues and there’s simply no better place to enjoy a romantic break for two, than with us. Let us treat you to the little extra’s – plush accommodation, state of the art technology, champagne, chocolates and an unforgettable experience.
The Big Chill Swim!

From 5th – 7th February, the very famous International Winter Swimming World Cup takes place on Lake Windermere, with more than 1000 swimmers from across the UK, taking part in an outdoor winter swimming gala. Swimmers compete from as far afield as the USA, Finland, Russia, Germany and across the UK, to win a ‘World Open Water Swimming Award’. To add to the drama, no wetsuits are allowed – challenging in a lake as cold as Windermere! For further information, see www.chillswim.com

Trotters World of Animals:

If animals are your ‘thing’, then this extremely popular animal park is right up your street! It’s not just about exotic species, but also has great all-weather facilities for families with a play area, cafe and gift shop. So, if the weather holds, you can hunt for the Celtic roundhouse in the woods. Perfect for filling the days in half term!
For further information, see www.trottersworld.com

A spot of fishing on Esthwaite!

There’s no better place to be than bobbing around on Hawkshead’s stunning Esthwaite Water, trying to catch a fish! Esthwaite is a first class, well managed Trout fishery: a natural 280 acre water with excellent facilities for boat or bank fishing. It is regularly stocked with quality trout throughout the season and whether you are an expert or beginner, their friendly, knowledgeable staff offer a warm welcome to ensure your visit is a memorable one!
For further information, see http://www.hawksheadtrout.com/

Horse Racing at Carlisle!

Who doesn’t love a day out at the races? Catching the first fixture at Carlisle is on our list of things we’d love to do this February. 10th February is their first fixture in the 2016 racing calendar and everyone’s welcome! There will be 7 great national hunt jumps races on the day.
For further information, see www.carlisle.thejockeyclub.co.uk

 

​ Merry Christmas to all of our customers

Jo Spencer - Friday, December 25, 2015

 


With the festive period now upon us, we would like to wish all of our new, existing and potential customers a very Merry Christmas! In addition, we’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ for continuing to support our brand by coming to stay with us and supporting us on facebook and twitter. If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t be here, so ‘thank you’!

It’s been another very exciting year for us here at the Cranleigh Boutique. The launch of the new Boutique Church Suites in January kick-started the year in such a positive way and the feedback that we are continuing to receive on our newest venture has been fantastic! The new Church Suites have also been attracting the attention of the press and the industry, and as a result of our efforts, they have been nominated for no less than nine national and international awards this year, with ‘design et al’ naming them the ‘best hotel suites in the UK and second in the world’ at the ‘International Hotel & Property Awards 2015’ in July! It’s no surprise that after such a year, our heads are spinning!

Looking to the year ahead, we are undertaking a very exciting project, details of which, we’d love to share with you! Our next venture will be an upmarket bar/café in Bowness called The Fizzy Tarté! Work is currently underway for a March opening – and you’re all invited! There is nothing like this in the Lake District and as ever, we’ll be putting our very own individual stamp on the venue! To become a VIP member and for further information, visit www.thefizzytarte.com

We would also like to take a moment to pay tribute to our fellow Cumbrians, who have shown extraordinary resilience in these past weeks. We are happy to say that the Lake District is open for business and we look forward to your visit.

We look ahead to 2016 with great excitement as we embark on expansion and being able to offer our guests new and exciting products. Hopefully, they will excite you as much as they do us!

Merry Christmas to you all!

Stephen Hargreaves and the team at the Cranleigh Boutique

 

January in the Lake District – why we love it!

Jo Spencer - Tuesday, December 22, 2015

 


January is a great time to visit the Lake District! Following the excess of the Christmas season, all of our thoughts turn to New Year resolutions, getting fit and healthy, and invariably, spending more time in the great outdoors. Enter: the Lake District! We do ‘outdoors’ better than anywhere else in the country. In addition, January to March are by far, the quietest times in the Lakes, as you might expect. So, less crowds and you may even pick up a bargain at the Cranleigh!
In terms of things to do, the Lake District never stops. Here are our picks of January activities:

 

Visit one of the many farmers markets:

 

Houghton Farmers Market takes place on the second Saturday of the month at Houghton village hall from 9am-130pm. There is a wide selection of meat, cheese, bread, cakes, hot food, preserves and lots of craft stalls too. Brampton Farmer's Market runs from 9.00 to 1.30 on the last Saturday of every month, except December, when it is the third Saturday. Orton Farmers' Market is held on the second Saturday of every month, with more than 35 local farmers, growers, producers and artisan craftsmen offering a tremendous variety of high quality and speciality local produce and crafts. And, Kendal Farmers Market offers the very best in local foods. This event is held on the last Friday of each month and is organised by ‘Made in Cumbria’.

 

Festive Helter Skelter!

 

Rheged will be turned into a Christmas wonderland this year, with a giant 9 metre high Helter Skelter, inside their Mountain Hall! Festooned with festive lights and surrounded by giant decorations, giant Christmas present ’huts’ offering festive treats and activities, and real Christmas trees, adults and children alike will love whizzing down our vintage Helter Skelter. Open until 5th January.

 

The Snow Queen – Theatre by the Lake:

 

The beautiful production of Hans Christian Andersen's magical tale of a young girl's quest to rescue her brother from the icy grip of the heartless Snow Queen can be seen at The Theatre by the Lake, until Saturday 16th January. A delightful story for all the family!

 

Kendal, Canaletto and Cake!

 

What a perfect way to spend a Sunday morning, with a walk and talk around Kendal, starting from Abbot Hall. Commence with a private early bird viewing of the exhibition, followed by a fabulous walk around Kendal to look at the architectural gems on offer. This is followed by tea and cake in the coffee house. You can even pop back to the exhibition afterwards if you fancy it!

 

Walk, walk, walk!

 

That’s why people come and what the Lake District is most renowned for! Walking is the very best way to see all that the area has to offer – it’s enjoyable, good for you and – it’s free! Just like all the best things in life!

 


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