On your doorstep
Quite literally on your doorstep is the Matson Ground Estate, over 1000 acres of stunning Lake District countryside boasting some of the region’s finest views of Lake Windermere and the Lake District fells.
A short walk from the front door brings you to the summit of Brantfell. At just 192m high, it’s a relatively easy walk, but well worth the rewards when you reach the top. Stretched out below you will be able to see almost the entire length of Lake Windermere (hopefully glistening in the sunlight). Beyond the Lake, the Langdale Pikes, the Coniston range and, in the distance, the Scafell Massif provide a rugged backdrop. A similar view can also be found at the Biskey Howe viewpoint, a five minute walk from Birkdale House.
The town of Bowness-on-Windermere is a five-minute stroll from Birkdale House, where you will find an array of bars, restaurants and shops. From Italian to Chinese, Thai to traditional English, there are restaurants to suit all palates. A number of pubs, bars and coffee-shops provide the perfect excuse to sit and watch the world go by, while the high street and the cobbled backstreets offer an abundance of independent, boutique stores.
Of course, you cannot visit Bowness without taking a stroll along the shores of Lake Windermere. At just under eleven-miles long, Windermere is the largest natural lake not only in the Lake District, but also in England. If you want to explore the lake in more detail, Windermere Lake Cruises regularly set off from the jetties in Bowness Bay to Waterhead in Ambleside to the north, and to Lakeside to the south. Or if you fancy being the captain of your own boat, rowing boats and self-drive motor-boats are available to hire, allowing you to explore the lake at your own pace. If you fancy something a little more challenging on the water, there are a number of specialists in canoe, kayak and stand-up paddle-boarding in Bowness, as well as qualified sailing instructors.
For those with children, you will no doubt find yourself in the very popular family attraction, The World of Beatrix Potter or the accompanying musical spectacle, Where is Peter Rabbit? Children will be thrilled to meet their favourite Beatrix Potter characters, such as Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck and Mrs Tiggywinkle. Why not pop into the café in the World of Beatrix Potter – much of the food on offer is grown right here on the Matson Ground Estate.
If your interests are of a more cultural persuasion, a visit to Blackwell – The Arts and Crafts House is a must. Designed by Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott, Blackwell was built in 1901 as a Lake District holiday retreat for Manchester brewery owner, Sir Edward Holt, somewhere he and his wife, Elizabeth, could bring their five children. Today, Blackwell retains many of its original decorative features, making it one of England’s most important surviving examples of the Arts and Crafts movement.
There really is something for everyone in Bowness. The only issue will be fitting it all into your stay at Birkdale House.