The Lake District: star of the screen

The Lake District is renowned worldwide for its exceptionally beautiful scenery, so it comes as no surprise to learn that producers for many films and TV programmes have chosen it as a backdrop for their stories. Our four-star hotel is the ideal location for your stay while you explore some of the Lake District’s most famous parts.

Most recently, the 2015 TV drama Safe House, which stars Christopher Ecclestone, was filmed at Lake Coniston. Also filmed at Coniston, fittingly, was the TV movie Across the Lake, which documents the last few weeks of the racing driver Donald Campbell’s life, winner of many land and water speed records. Other TV programmes that have visited Cumbria for filming include Poirot, which used locations in Middleton and Kirby Lonsdale, and, of course, The Lakes.

The Lake District stars on the silver screen in several movies, including Miss Potter, the biopic of the famous author of children’s books. Starring Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor, the film uses a number of locations, including Grasmere. However, Beatrix Potter’s home, Hill Top Farm, was deemed unsuitable for filming purposes, so another of her homes, Yew Tree Farm, posed as Hill Top for the film. Swallows and Amazons made use of Windermere and Coniston as filming locations. Other films in which the Lake District plays a part include The French Lieutenant’s Woman (Windermere), and Withnail and I (Bampton, Sleddale).

Fans of the Harry Potter series may expect to be able to find one of the locations from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in the Lake District. However, they may be surprised to learn that the cast and crew never actually travelled on location to film here. Instead, the producers chose to have an enormous scenic backdrop created of a magnificent Lake District view, and filmed the scene in the studio.

After following in the footsteps of the stars, return to our hotel and AA Rosette restaurant for some of our famous four-star luxury.

Explore a whisky distillery in the most beautiful setting

There’s a new attraction to the Lakes that we think many of our guests will be paying a visit to: the Lakes Distillery in Bassenthwaite. Renovated from an 1850s Victorian model farm, the distillery brews world-class spirits and provides tours to intrigued members of the public who would like some insight into how delicious whisky, gin and vodka is made.

Although Scotland tends to be synonymous with whisky, the Lake District provides the perfect environment for a distillery: spring water from the famous River Derwent, clean, fresh air, and beautiful rolling hills and mountains. In the past, the area has been infamous for an illicit whisky distilling scene, with one particularly well-known distiller named Lancelet ‘Lanty’ Slee, who notoriously sold his illegal wares to a local magistrate. It seems only natural for the Lakes Distillery to continue making whisky in the area, although unlike Lanty, they are fully licensed and operating within the law!

You can hear more about the history of the area as well as the technical aspects of distilling spirits when you join one of the Lakes Distillery’s tours. You’ll even get to taste some of their produce. The tours are suitable for the whole family, providing that those under 18 are accompanied by an adult.

The Lakes Distillery is just a short 20 minute drive from us here at the Borrowdale Gates Hotel, making it the ideal spot for a trip out or an evening meal in their gorgeous bistro. Due to its gorgeous location, right besides Bassenthwaite Lake, you could make a day of it and go fell-walking through the beautiful rolling hills. Heaven!

3 of the best Lake District drives

During your stay in Borrowdale Gates, what better way to traverse the gorgeous, rolling land of the Lake District than by car? There are dozens of breath-taking driving routes to take in the local area, allowing you to immerse yourself in the surroundings in complete comfort, regardless of the weather. Here are three of our favourites.

From Ambleside to Ullswater

If the words of William Wordsworth fired your imagination and brought you to the Lake District, then this is the route for you. By starting in Ambleside then driving through Keswick, before circling back through Ullswater, you can enjoy many of the legendary poet’s favourite nature spots. At 47 miles, it is a long enough journey, but with numerous lakes and mountain views along the way, there are plenty of places to stop for an enjoyable break along the route.

From Keswick to Buttermere

Our 4 star hotel is the perfect HQ if you want to take this trip, which gives you the best of what the surrounding area has to offer. You begin in Keswick and then head for the rolling Borrowdale valley. After soaking in those breath-taking environs, you can then move out to Buttermere and Newlands.

From Cockermouth to Maryport

If you really feel like going for a spin, this long but very rewarding route takes you through many of West Cumbria’s most beautiful spots. Starting in Lorton Vale and spinning out through the coast, taking in industrial, coastal and lakeside backdrops along the way, it almost like a potted history of this most thrilling of UK landscapes.

As you can see, Borrowdale Gate offers plenty for those who love to drive. To find out more about driving routes in the area, just ask our friendly reception staff.

Top 3 things to do in Keswick

Keswick in the Lake District has so much to offer. Whether you enjoy hiking and fell-walking, taking in the beautiful views, or prefer browsing the local shops and spending time in a quaint English tearoom, there is plenty for you to do at any time of the year.

There are many hotels to choose from, but for a real treat stay at Borrowdale Gates Hotel, a 4 star hotel with AA Rosette-awarded fine dining restaurant.

Find out more about the hotel

If you are going to spend a few days in this lovely part of the country, here are our top three suggestions for really great days out in Keswick.

1. Derwent Water

Derwent Water is the largest and most popular lake in Keswick, and you can walk almost all the way round it. Start at the boating jetty (at the end of the lake closest to the town centre), take the little ferry to the next landing. From there turn left and walk with the lake on your left all the way around. About half way round is a tiny hamlet, a perfect place for afternoon tea.

2. Theatre by the lake

Just off the shore of Derwent Water lies the Theatre by the Lake, a small and intimate venue to see some well loved plays. Cakes in the cafe are not to be missed either!

3. Keswick climbing wall

If the British weather defeats you but you still want to do something active, head to the Keswick Climbing Wall for some serious climbing adventure. Learn how to climb and belay for others.

When planning your visit check out regular annual events and festivals for around the time of your visit. For instance, during June each year the Keswick Beer Festival proves very popular, as does the Keswick Victorian Fayre in December. Enjoy your stay!