There are few places in England more beautiful than the Lake District. Here jagged mountain tops replace sky scrapers, and glittering lakes take the place of concrete courtyards. Nestled just beneath the Scottish border on the North West coast of England this is the place to come if you are looking to get away from it all. The countryside is dotted with quaint Lake District cottages, which make the perfect base for exploring all that the area has to offer.
The Lake District is well-known as being a walkers’ delight. There are endless walking paths, ranging from leisurely countryside rambles, to epic cross country treks. The beauty of spending your time walking on holiday is that there is no guilt in indulging in all of the local delicacies – of which the Lake District has many!
Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread
In a small cottage in the picturesque town of Grasmere you will find the home of the world’s most delicious gingerbread, in my opinion at least. This isn’t your standard ginger nut or snap. The cookies are made from a well guarded recipe that was first made by Mrs. Nelson in the 1850s and are heavily spiced and studded with candied citrus peel. The tiny cottage could be easily missed were it not for the scent wafting from the ovens and the ever present line-up to be seen outside the shop. Pop in to grab yourself a packet and sit down by the lake with a cup of tea to enjoy. Pure holiday bliss.
Kendal Mint Cake
Natives of the Lake District aren’t afraid of food with a bit of punch, and Kendal Mint Cake is another local speciality that definitely has that! It is really more a sweet than a cake, made from nothing more than sugar, glucose, water, and peppermint oil, and has been made in the same way since 1869. Today, Kendal Mint Cake is primarily known as a sort of energy bar for walkers and hikers, and was given this reputation by being included in the provisions of the 1914-1917 Transarctic Expedition under the command of Sir E Shackleton, as well as the first Everest expedition of Sir Edmund Hilary and Sirdar Tensing. If it’s good enough for them then it’s good enough for me!
Lake District Breweries
If you’re looking for the best way to quench your thirst after a long walk there is no better option than a locally brewed Lake District beer. There have been breweries in the area for centuries, but the industry has seen a boom in the last few years and today at least 24 breweries and 2 cider makers call the Lake District home. Many of the breweries offer guided tours of their facilities, offering you a unique opportunity to learn about the local area and the brewing process in a wonderfully relaxed environment. Some of my favourites include the Hawkshead Brewery in Stavely, Jennings in Cockermouth, and the Windermere Brewing Co. at the Watermill Inn, Windermere.
There are few better ways to spend a holiday than stuffing yourself silly with all of the delicious delicacies of the region. The Lake District has some of the best produce of the country and a foodie holiday spent here is sure to be memorable. Just make sure you fit in at least a couple of the Lake Districts famous walks or you’re sure to come home quite a bit plumper than when you left!
If you’re looking for great holiday accommodation in the Lake District and Cumbria then visit Sykes Cottages, the UK’s leading independent holiday cottage rental agency.
Sarah Nelson’s Cottage: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ennor/4357027/
Kendal Mint Cake: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jessehull/163503219/
Mug of beer: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wv/6854574940/