Explore the Langdale Valley – The Lake District Cumbria

The Langdale Valley in The Lake District National Park offers some of the finest mountain scenery that Cumbria has to offer.

The Langdale Valley in The Lake District National Park.
The Langdale Valley in The Lake District National Park.

You can reach The Langdale Valley by driving from Ambleside on the A593 towards Skelwith Bridge. Take the B5343 at the junction of the Skelwith Bridge Hotel and follow the road past beautiful Elter Water. You can stop and take the path around Elter Water but parking is limited here on the narrow road. The road will take you past The Langdale Hotel and Spa and Wainwrights’ Inn. It will be hard to find a parking spot until you reach the small public car park in front of the  New Dungeon Ghyll pub. You can either park here or drive further on until you reach The Old Dungeon Ghyll pub, which is famous for the popular Hikers Bar.

If you like walking you can park your car in The New Dungeon Ghyll car park and take the steep, well defined path up to Stickle Tarn. On the way up you will see dramtic scenery and waterfalls. Eventually you will reach the calming waters of Stickle Tarn where you will have close up views of the peaks of Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark which are both over 700 metres high.

The views up The Langdale Valley are stunning so take a camera to record the moment.

The walk to Stickle Tarn will take about 3 hours and is nearly 4 miles in total. Wear good walking boots because this is a fairly challenging walk.

The Dungeon Ghyll pub awaits you on your return and you will have certainly earned that pint. Food is served throughout the day in the Hikers bar from 12pm until 9pm.

There are many other footpaths in the area and this part of  beautiful the Lake District is well worth exploring.

Step back into the 17th Century in Hawkshead

I’m just back from a two night stay in the village of Hawkshead, Cumbria. This Lake District village, famous for the poet William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, lies to the west of Lake Windermere and just north of Esthwaite Water. You can drive to Hawkshead via Newby Bridge or Ambleside but the most interesting route is from just south of Bowness marina to Sawrey on the 18 vehicle ferry that runs every 20 minutes in the summer. There has been a ferry of some description on this route for over 500 years.

Hawkshead is well worth a visit and there are several places to stay and some good restaurants. We stayed at The Queens Head. The rooms are small but comfortable, bathrooms are modern and functional and the breakfasts are good quality and very big! I must say that the staff are excellent too. We also had an evening meal in the restaurant and the fact that the restaurant was packed is testament to its quality and popularity.

Queens Head, Hawkshead
The Queens Head Hawkshead

Walking around the old and narrow cobbled streets of Hawkshead is like going back into the 17th Century. The old grammar school was founded in 1585 by the Archbishop of York and attended by William Wordsworth. The school closed in 1909 but still looks like it’s still taking students.

The magnificent 17th century church of St Michael & All Angels stands at the highest point of the village and is well worth a look. Hawkshead itself is virtually traffic free and there is a large car park and it costs £3 for the first 2 hours. Their are toilets in the car park although there is a 20 pence charge.

Hawkshead is a fine example of the popularity of English tourist attractions as it’s a busy little place and there seems to be a constant bus load of foreign tourists dropping in for a look at the Beatrix Potter museum, which is great for the UK’s foreign currency earnings!

Hawkshead is probably not the best place to stop if you are wanting to climb some of the highest peaks in The Lake District. It took us well over an hour to drive from Hawkshead to Buttermere to climb Haystacks. There are some local walks from Hawkshead and the Grizedale Forest is nearby. We walked from Hawkshead to Tarn Hows, on our 2nd day, which is a pleasant circular walk of just over 5 miles. These are some of my photos that I took on our visit in July 2016.

Hawkshead, The Lake District
Hawkshead village shop

Hawkshead cobbled lane

Hawkshead cobbled lane

England’s largest lake, Lake Windermere is only a short drive away. Here you can watch the boats and go on a sight seeing cruise.

Lake Windermere - Englands largest lake.
Lake Windermere – Englands largest lake.
Lake Windermere pleasure cruise.
Lake Windermere pleasure cruise.

A walk up Haystacks from Buttermere

It was a windy and overcast day with heavy showers as we parked our car in the car park next to The Fish pub Buttermere before walking along the shore of beautiful Lake Buttermere in The Lake District.

As you approach the end of the lake you will see a path that leads up at 45 degrees and then it’s a fairly steep slog up over fairly rough terrain and boulders. Carry on following the path and you will eventually walk through Scarth Gap. Haystacks involves some scrambling up rocks. Going up is fairly easy but coming down these bits can be slippery underfoot especially when it’s been raining.

The walk took longer than we anticipated because there were heavy showers and we didn’t set a scorching pace! There are several ways you can climb Haystacks. We walked from Buttermere village but you can also park in the car park near Gatesgarth Farm, and you save about 1 mile each way along the lake if you start here. It’s also possible to start the walk at the car park at the Honister Slate Mine and the round trip from Honister is about 5 miles.

Here are some photos I took of our walk including some crazy mountain bikers carrying their bikes up Haystacks.

Buttermere, Lake District
Fleetwith Pike, Buttermere
Buttermere, Lake District and Fleetwith Pike.
Path along Buttermere leading to Haystacks
Mountain bikes being carried up Haystacks.
Mountain bikes being carried up Haystacks.
View over Buttermre from top of Haystacks.
View over Buttermre from top of Haystacks.

Cauldron Falls, West Burton

Cauldron Falls in the tiny beautiful village of West Burton in North Yorkshire is a stunning waterfall that is not that well known. It’s near to the more visited Aysgarth Falls but I think Cauldron Falls is better. There is plenty of nearby parking available and the waterfall is only 50 yards from the road making access very easy. I took this photo with a shutter speed of 1/4 using a tripod on my Nikon D3300.

Cauldron Falls, West Burton
Cauldron Falls, West Burton

The Shard visitor experience to be latest London attraction.

The Shard viewing platform is due to open on 1 February 2013 and will become one of London’s “must see” attractions. The Shard is the highest building in the EU and will be twice as high as any other London vantage point. The viewing levels will be between levels 68 and 72 and it is claimed you will be able to see 40 miles on a clear day.

Visitors will travel up to level 33 first where a giant map of London will be seen, before visitors take another lift to level 68. The lifts travel at over 6 metres a second.

400 people at a time will be able to access the viewing areas but the cost will be £29.95 per person with a £6 reduction for children so a family of 2 adults and 2 children taking a trip to the top will be expensive. There are reductions of £5 per person if you book in advance online, but at nearly £90 for a family of 4 it is not going to be a cheap visitor experience.

If you can afford the cost of  the trip to the top of The Shard  then it does promise to be a memorable visitor experience, especially on a clear day.

Take a look at this video about The Shard and what visitors can expect from February 2013.

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXctjoGP58o?rel=0]

Yorkshire – When are you coming ?

I have lived in Yorkshire all my life and I think that it is one of the best places to live. The people are friendly, the scenery is amazing and it’s a mix of contemporary modern cities like Leeds and Sheffield and historic buildings like Castle Howard and Fountains Abbey.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of people who live in the south of England have never been to Yorkshire. If that’s the case they are missing a treat !

Visitors can come for the nightlife as well with several great music venues. There are museums like The Royal Armouries, art galleries like the newly opened Hepworth in Wakefield and theatres such as The Leeds Playhouse, Grand Theatre Leeds and The Alhambra in Bradford.

Food in Yorkshire is also excellent. Yorkshire has the best fish and chips in the UK, is famous for Yorkshire puddings and it has top restaurants offering the finest food.

Yorkshire also has a great choice of hotels and other accommodation to choose from. Whether it’s a mobile home on the Yorkshire coast or a top 5 star hotel in one of Yorkshire’s cities or a romantic hideaway there is plenty of choice.

For a holiday in Yorkshire call 0800 433 2300.

If you are not convinced about what Yorkshire has to offer please watch this amazing video made by Welcome to Yorkshire.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-nH3DN-ubE]

 Have a hotel in Yorkshire that you want to advertise using video? See our video production service page here or call us FREE on 03333-44-2820 (option 1)

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Where is this? Tourist Attraction Quiz

How is your geography knowledge ? Are you familiar with tourist attractions around the world?

Here is a test for you. Get the answer right and get  mentioned on the Global Holidays travel blog and read by 20,000 readers every week.

Here are a  few hints for you about the picture below.

1. Construction took place between 2900 and 2600 BC.

2. Local tradition says that giants who lived on the island refused to be converted to Christianity by Saint Kieran and were turned into stone as a punishment.

Some More Clues –

3. The stones are on a Scottish island

4.  Stornaway is the capital of the island where you can find these fascinating collection of ancient stones

Where is this and what are the stones called? Answers in the comments please.

Information about Leeds

As we are a travel agent based in Leeds we thought that we would offer our readers some information about Leeds. After all, we are experts on Leeds as we live in Leeds !

Leeds has become a popular city over recent years. It is very cosmopolitan and it has a massive number of bars, restaurants, pubs, clubs and great shopping. It has a large student population which makes for a very lively night out.

There is live music, plenty of hotels and also plenty to see and do just outside the city. I’m forgetting, of course, that Leeds is home to the famous Elland Road and you can take a tour around the ground if your are a football fan.Leeds is situated on the River Aire and is also at one end of the longest canal in England – The Leeds/Liverpool Canal.Leeds is actually a very compact city.

The city centre is easily walkable and is mostly pedestrianised. Leeds has all the shops you will find in most big cities but it also has the fascinating and historic Victoria Quarter, the Corn Exchange and the amazing Kirkgate Market.

The Victoria Quarter has quaint little shops and they are all situated in Victorian arcades, the most famous of which is the Queens Arcade. The Leeds branch of Harvey Nichols is close to here. Leeds also has plenty of shopping malls such as The Light which also has a multi screen cinema complex.

Headingley is the home of Yorkshire Cricket and is only about 3 miles from Leeds city centre. Headingley has a large student population and a lively social scene, especially around The Original Oak area.Leeds has some very nice suburbs, especially to the north and north west of the city.

The nicest areas are probably Adel, Moortown, West Park, Cookridge and Horsforth. Horsforth for example has plenty of restaurants, pubs and bars and is only 4.5 miles from Leeds city centre.Leeds has lots of municipal parks. The largest and most well know park in Leeds is Roundhay Park.

You will also find large expanses of greenery, woodland and interesting walks at Temple Newsam and Golden Acre Park. Another interesting area which is only about 10 miles from Leeds center is Otley Chevin and the famous market towns of Otley and Ilkley.

Leeds has plenty of hotel beds to choose from. The Queens Hotel is in City Square and there are plenty of other upmarket hotels in the centre like the Radisson Blu and Malmaison to more economical hotels like the Ibis or Holiday Inn Express.

In recent years the area south of the River Aire has undergone massive redevelopment and areas such as Clarence Dock and The Calls have seen offices, apartments and shops spring up along the river. Clarence Dock is where you will find The Armouries Museum.Leeds is a good place to live. It has everything you need and a mixture of affordable housing. The bonus is that Leeds is not far from beautiful countryside and only a few minutes drive takes you to the outskirts of the Yorkshire Dales.

To book a hotel in Leeds visit our website by clicking this link hotels in Leeds

The Western Isles – A World Away from anywhere else !

I’m just back from a week in Stornaway.

If you don’t know, Stornaway is on the Isle of Lewis which is part of the Outer Hebrides which are also known as The Western Isles. This is only my second holiday break away this year.

 In April I had a short holiday in Norway and because my daughter is working in Stornaway for 2 months we decided it would be a good idea to spend a week there as it’s somewhere we have never been before.I didn’t know what to expect from this holiday apart from people  telling me that there would be nothing but midges to contend with !

The ferry to Stornaway goes from Ullapool which is in the far north west of Scotland. The drive to get to Ullapool is amazing although its a long way from Leeds. The map said it was just over 400 miles and an 8 hour drive so we set off at 07.30 and hoped to arrive at our Bed & Breakfast in Ullapool by 7pm. The drive north up the M6 is very good but it was nowhere near as spectacular as what was to come. Once past Perth the excellent A9 runs north to Inverness through the spectacular Cairngorms National Park.

This road is incredible and at its highest point reaches over 1,500 feet above sea level. All you can see is mountains, very few houses and just mile after mile of wilderness.We didn’t stop in Inverness but it looks like a place worth staying. Once over the spectacular bridge over the Moray Firth it’s about an hour or so to Ullapool. The town is isolated but very picturesque, but we were in for a bit of a shock as road signs were warning us that due to bad weather the ferry had been cancelled !

As we were not sailing until the next morning we hoped that the storm force winds would pass by.Our ferry was to be the MV Isle of Lewis and part of the Caledonian Macbrayne fleet. Taking 114 cars and 970 passengers it’s a big boat !The ferry sailing from Ullapool to Stornaway is spectacular. The crossing takes nearly 3 hours and it takes an hour before you reach the open sea as you sail past steep sided mountains and tiny islands.Our home for the week was to be a small, whitewashed, 2 bedroomed cottage standing about 10 feet from the beach. Ours was the only cottage in the bay and I think it is safe to describe the location as secluded ! There wasn’t even a mobile phone signal, no TV and certainly no internet !

The scenery on the Isle of Lewis is spectacular, especially so if you travel south onto Harris. Here you will find high mountains and deserted beaches better than you will find in the Caribbean !As far as things to do and places to see on Lewis I can recommend visiting the Callanish Standing Stones. These are similar to Stonehenge but smaller and older. They say that the Callanish Stones date back over 4,000 years. Also, you can explore the many sandy beaches such as Uist. The best thing to do is just drive on the deserted roads and see where you come to.

Although Lewis is the largest of the Western Isles there aren’t many roads so you won’t get lost.Taking a holiday in the UK has plenty to offer although I won’t be missing my cheap holidays abroad next year.

Here are some of my photos that I took whilst I was on holiday on the Isle of Lewis. I hope you like them.

Calmac Ferry ready for sailing from Ullapool to StornawayOur cottage on the Isle of LewisGorgeous Beach on the Isle of LewisThe Callanish Stones – Isle of Lewis – Over 4,000 years old ! There are more sheep that people on Lewis. Sheep need busses too !Related Articles about holidays in the UK

A Day Trip to MorecambeStaycation- Forget it

A Day Trip to Morecambe – The Good Bits !

It’s only a few weeks since I last visited an English seaside town and after that not so good experience I was again going to sample the delights of Morecambe this Bank Holiday weekend.

I have a soft spot for Morecambe as I have spent quite a few weekends and short holidays there so I was interested to see if there had been any improvements. As we drove through the town centre I hardly recognised the place as many of the tacky shops have gone and a big supermarket seems to have sprung up instead. Also gone is Frontierland !

All the wild west style rides have gone and the place has been flattened. After a bit of research I discovered that Frontierland was demolished in 2007 and there are plans for some housing but I couldn’t see any signs of new development.The best part about Morecambe is it’s fantastic promenade and views out towards the Lake District. The promenade stretches from the far northern end of Morecambe to the very quaint village of Heysham.

 Heysham is famous for the ferry to the Isle of Man and its nuclear power station but you wouldn’t know about these as you stroll up the narrow lane that leads up from the rocky beach to the village itself. There isn’t much in Heysham apart from a pub and a cafe and about two shops but it’s still worth a visit especially if you take the path into St Peters Church and wonder through the grave stones to the wall at the bottom where you can look out onto Morecambe Bay.

When the tide is in it is a spectacular sight.Many English seaside towns are in decline and Morecambe is no exception. In fact Morecambe has been in decline for many years even though the council have promised investment it does not appear to have materialised in great amounts, but at least some of the tacky promenade shops have disappeared and the fun park has been demolished – so that’s a start.Morecambe along with many other English seaside towns are great for weekends or short breaks but that’s about it. T

here are so many cheap holidays available abroad and with virtually guaranteed hot and sunny weather it is difficult to compete with that.

Here are some of the photographs that I took on my day trip to Morecambe.

This first photograph is taken from the promenade at Morecambe. Huge boulders stretch along the seafront to help prevent erosion. As you can see, the tide is in and the area is popular with fishermen.Heysham village is a world away from nearby Morecambe and is well worth a visit. This is a picture of the road and houses in Heysham.This is a picture I took of St Peter’s Church in Heysham. The church dates from the Saxon period (8th century) but the original church was probably Celtic (6th century). The church is right beside the sea with views across Morecambe Bay to the mountains of Cumbria. The church contains many important artifacts including the world-famous ‘Hog Back Stone’ (Viking grave stone).The view from St Peter’s Church is great, especially when the tide is in and the sea is rough like it was when I took this photograph on 30 May 2010. This is the view looking out towards Morecambe.