Things to see and do

There is so much to see and do during your stay at South Stonethwaite Cottage in Troutbeck especially when it comes to the choice of walking routes. Below you will find a taste of what is available within easy reach of the cottage.

Places to visit if you like arts and crafts
  • Blackwell Arts and Crafts House, just outside Bowness-on-Windermere
    Internationally significant Arts and Craft house designed by Baillie Scott with a lovely gift shop and tea room and stunning views over Windermere. Former holiday home of a wealthy Manchester brewery owner Sir Edward Holt.
  • Brantwood, Coniston
    Former home of eminent Victorian John Ruskin. Includes contemporary art in Seven studio, the house and gardens and a cafe and bookshop
  • Grizedale Forest, near Hawkshead
    Where paths take in outdoor sculptures
  • Rheged, near Penrith but you get there by travelling over Kirkstone Pass
    For its Gallery with 5 changing exhibitions a year, each of which links back to Cumbria and an Imax style cinema which live screens opera, ballet and theatre as well as showing daily films
  • Abbot Hall, Kendal
    Art gallery with exhibitions showcasing international artists with the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry next door
  • Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum, Grasmere
    Take a tour of the charming cottage where Wordsworth lived and stroll through the hillside garden before exploring the riches of the collection in the Museum.
  • Zeffirelli’s, Ambleside
    Voted the best independent cinema in the UK with 7 screens scattered around traditional building in Ambleside. It is also famous for its vegetarian restaurants at both Zeffirelli’s in the centre of Ambleside and nearby Fellini’s. For around £20 you can enjoy a two course meal and a ticket to the cinema.
  • The Armitt Museum
    Interesting local history and rare collection of Beatrix Potter paintings, near the central car park in Ambleside.
  • The Heaton Cooper Studio, Gallery and Art Shop
    Iconic landscapes, books and fine art materials by the famous Heaton Cooper family. Now with a cafe in the heart of Grasmere.

Places to visit if you like Gardens
  • Holehird, Troutbeck
    Just a very short drive from the Cottage in the direction of Windermere, you will see a sign for Cheshire Homes and up the drive you will discover Holehird Gardens. From April – October they are open every day. Run by the volunteer members of the Lakeland Horticultural society, this 12 acre garden is in a beautiful setting and a joy to explore.
  • Levens Hall and gardens, 5 miles south of Kendal
    Elizabethan family home with exceptional interiors and the finest quality furniture, clocks and paintings. World famous gardens dating from 1694 with topiary, giant beech hedges and herbaceous borders. Closed on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Lowther Castle and Gardens, 5 miles south of Penrith
    One of the Lake District’s hidden gems, 130 acres of lost gardens, enchanting woodlands and a romantic castle ruin. Museum opens in mid June to reveal the interesting lives of the Lowther family.
  • Holker Hall and Gardens, near Cartmel
    A fascinating historic house with stunning gardens and deer park, plus shop and cafe. On your way home, look out for Halecat on the A590 near Witherslack, home to Tom and Abi’s garden plants where you can explore their nursery and maybe find a plant to take home to remind you of your holidays.
  • Sizergh Castle. Just south of Kendal and near Levens Hall
    Has a rich and beautiful garden with a pond, a lake, a national collection of ferns and a superb limestone rock garden.
  • Beetham Nurseries are one mile south of Milnthorpe
    Beautiful garden centre with nursery, gift shop and a very good cafe.
  • Hayes Garden World, Ambleside
    An extensive garden centre.

Places to visit if the weather is bothering you
  • The World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness in Windermere
    See all the author’s famous characters in amazing 3d displays from Peter Rabbit to Mrs Tiggywinkle and learn about the author’s life through a couple of special films.
  • Townend cottage, Troutbeck
    The Brownes of Townend Troutbeck were just an ordinary farming family but their home and their belonging bring to life more than 400 years of extraordinary stories and as you approach the farm house only a short drive or walk from this cottage you will understand why Beatrix Potter described the Troutbeck valley as her favourite.
  • Lakes Distillery
    Interactive tour of the England’s largest distillery and learn how their world class spirits are made. There is also a Bistro serving lunch and afternoon tea and you can also stroll along the nearby River Derwent.
  • Aira force 
    Drive over Kirkstone Pass and half way along Ullswater you will find Aira Force. From here it’s a short walk through the woods to the tumbling waterfall which drops an impressive 65ft. The National Trust manage Aira Force and there is a great café for a snack or light lunch.
  • Keswick
    From Keswick Museum with its stories of British Climbing whose birthplace was in the Lake District to the Puzzling Place a world of optical illusions to the Theatre by the Lake and George Fisher for the best in outdoor gear, there is a lot to see and do in Keswick.

Places to visit if you like interesting independent shops
  • Lakeland, Windermere
    The flagship 12000 foot store is here for thousands of state of the art kitchen products, plus a lovely place for lunch.
  • Chesters by the River
    Lovely shop with lots of interesting gifts and home ware plus a smart modernised cafe in a prime riverside location, good locally sourced food is genuinely good value. It’s an easy river side walk from here to Elterwater.
  • Rheged
    independent shops in one of the biggest grass covered building in Europe include a farm shop, outdoor and leisure clothing, toys, a British wool shop and skincare products – all of which are not on the high street brands which are ethical, british made and beautifully designed.
  • Sizergh Barn shop
    Award winning farm shop, plus craft and gift galleries, watch the cows being milked while enjoying afternoon tea or lunch.
  • Ambleside
    If you need any outdoor clothing – Ambleside has some 20 plus shops specialising in everything from boots and fleeces to waterproofs and gadgets.

Places to visit with children
  • Brockhole National Park Visitor Centre and Tree Top Treks and Nets
  • Lakeland Maize Maze
  • Rheged, Penrith – films, crafts and play areas.
  • Lowther Castle, near Penrith – an amazing ruin and a first class adventure playground
  • The World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness on Windermere
  • Wray castle via boat from Brockhole National Park Centre.
  • Cruise on a lake – e.g. Windermere, Ullswater, Coniston, and Derwentwater.
  • Grizedale Forest with Go Ape and Mountain Bike Hire, Forest Sculpture Trails.
  • Kendal climbing wall, there’s also one in Keswick and Ambleside.,
  • Honister Slate Mine and Via Ferrata, at the top of Borrowdale, Keswick.
  • Rookin House Equestrian and Activity Centre – pony trekking, quad bikes, go karting, clay pigeon shooting and archery.
  • Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway – magical 7 mile railway journey with spectacular views and great to combine with walking and cycling.