If there’s one thing we’ve discovered talking to our customers, it’s that everyone wants to get the best out of their holiday. In order to help people achieve that, we started asking around some of our property owners and experts on the ground to see if they could help us get to the heart of the regions where they lived and worked – and our authentic local guides were born!
Tell us a bit about yourself! What do you do, how long have you lived where you are and what makes you an expert in the region? Do you have any special connection there?
My husband and I own Derwent Garden Estate in the Lake District, where we also run our own translation and transcription service. I actually grew up in the area so I know it very well.
And what makes people come back time and time again?
The fact it has everything a holiday abroad can offer – amazing views, lovely beaches, beautiful scenery, lots to do and great food – but as it’s in England, it’s a lot cheaper and ecologically sound to visit. We just need to work on the weather a bit!
Summarize the region for us in three words.
“Unforgettable English Countryside”
Time for some travel inspiration – can you give us your recommendations on:
The first thing to do – you should drop your bags and… Go up a Wainwright. ‘Wainwrights’ is the name given to 214 fells (hills and mountains) in the Lake District which are described in Alfred Wainwright’s famous Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, and climbing them provides a bit of a challenge to the body and the reward of some beautiful views!
Your favourite restaurant and/or bar, and why – is there something served there that visitors should really try? The Kirkstile Inn serves excellent food and is at the foot of Melbreak, one of the more famous Wainwrights. Sticky toffee pudding was invented in the Lake District and The Kirkstile do a brilliant one!
An activity that really takes in the best the area has to offer? Climbing the Wainwrights is the best way to get the most out of the Lake District as the views from the top are pretty spectacular.
The best activities and things to do for families? Here are all the outdoor activities can think of, though there’s probably a couple I’m missing out on: Walking, climbing, canoeing, horse riding, fishing, cycling and going to the beach. Wood Hall is also very close to Trotter’s World of Animals (an amazing wildlife park) and Mire House, a stately home and gardens that’s got a brilliant playground for kids.
Your best-kept secret of the region? The well-named ‘Surprise View’ near Keswick. To say any more would ruin the surprise!
Have you had any famous visitors or well-known events (historical or otherwise) take place in the region?
Yes, we’ve got a couple of literary connections! Beatrix Potter lived in the Lake District and even used her house as the backdrop for her Peter Rabbit books. William Wordsworth was born in the town of Cockermouth which is 2 miles from Wood Hall. Cockermouth also hosts an annual local food festival called Taste Cumbria which shows off all the best local produce.
Why should people travel to your region at least once in their life? What might they find surprising on their first visit?
We honestly think the Lake District is the most beautiful area of the UK – people who come to visit always comment on how they can’t believe they’ve never been before, mainly because they had no idea how incredible the landscape is.
What would your perfect day in the area comprise of?
In the morning, taking the whole family and the dogs on a long walk up one of the Wainwrights to admire the beautiful views. That would have to be followed by lunch at one of the area’s many wonderful pubs to warm up by the fire and enjoy a pint of local beer (my personal favourite is Loweswater Gold). After that, we’d all head to Bassenthwaite Lake to canoe down the River Derwent, jumping back onto land after reaching the bottom of Derwent Garden Estate (did I tell you the estate is really handily placed?). Then it would be a brief pit stop before dinner out at one of the many Michelin starred restaurants in the area, seeing as all that exercise definitely deserves a treat afterwards!
Feeling tempted? Take a relaxing browse through our portfolio of luxury cottages and holiday homes in the Lake District.