May the force be with you: Borrowdale set to become tourist destination for Star Wars fans

This winter sees the release of one of the most hotly-anticipated films of all time. On 18th December, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens will hit screens across the world, and features many of the original cast, including Mark Hamill as Jedi Luke Skywalker, Harrison Ford as interplanetary smuggler Han Solo and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, as well as a host of up and coming stars.

It’s not just new actors being given a showcase, though – there are a number of landscapes destined to become tourist hotspots as fans of arguably the most popular film franchise of all time will want to flock to the locations where seminal scenes were shot. Borrowdale is one such area.

Out of this world – when the Borrowdale Star Wars scenes were filmed

Suspicions were first aroused that something special was taking place when helicopters, planes and drones were spotted performing unusual manoeuvres over Derwentwater and the Borrowdale area last summer. Filming is thought to have taken place intermittently up until December 2015. A teaser trailer for the movie which showcased the Cumbrian landscape broke online records after it was viewed nearly 89 million times in one day.

Holidays in Borrowdale

Whilst the area around Borrowdale typically attracts people looking to enjoy hiking, trekking and fell-walking holidays, it seems that the demand for a four-star hotel in the area is set to rise amongst sci-fi fans too. Perhaps there’s something about the scenery that facilitates creativity – the area is, of course, where Beatrix Potter’s much-loved creatures came to life. In fact, this year is also the 110th anniversary of Mrs Tiggywinkle – meaning there’s something for fiction fans of all types!

Go red squirrel peeping in the Lake District

Beatrix Potter made Squirrel Nutkin famous, but the Lake District is also renowned for being just one of a few places in England where the native, endangered red squirrel can be found.

When visiting the Lake District, the abundance of wildlife and nature will surely prove a wonderful feast for the eyes, but glimpsing a timid red squirrel can be the icing on the cake for anyone staying in the area.

Much conservation work has been carried out in recent years to ensure the red squirrel population thrives in the Lake District, where it lives under the constant threat of being outstripped by its grey cousin. When out hiking, climbing or cycling in the Lake District, you have every chance of spying one of these national treasures, so make sure to take your camera and binoculars with you at all times.

There are, of course, a few places worth visiting where you can increase your chances of spotting a red squirrel. Whinlatter Forest Park near Keswick is one such place. Red squirrels are actively protected here, so if you are patient, you stand a good chance of seeing a squirrel at a feeder, or moving high up in the trees. Dodd Wood, also near Keswick, is a hotspot for red squirrels, and if you follow the path towards the Osprey viewpoint, you may catch red squirrels on the feeders below the viewing platform. The Keswick to Threlkeld Railway footpath is also a place to head to for red squirrel peeping.

The delights of the Lake District – indoors and out!

The delights of the Lake District can be found both indoors and outside, and it all starts here at Borrowdale Gates Hotel! Begin with a great breakfast in our AA Rosette restaurant, and then head to the great outdoors.

The Lake District is the best place in the UK to feel the freedom that comes with discovering breathtaking scenery, powered by nothing more than your own hands and feet. Wainwright was, of course, the master of the well-known Lakeland fell-walking routes (we recommend purchasing his guides, or looking them up online); but if you feel you would like to try something more challenging than a scramble, a climbing trip could be the thing for you.

We work with a highly experienced climbing instructor – Mandy Granville of climbing company Women Rock – who can visit in-house and advise you on some breathtaking climbs to really get the most from your stay here. For a complete day out, these climbs can be added to some hiking routes. You’ll be able to enjoy the local wildlife, the area is a real treat for birdwatching enthusiasts in particular, and don’t forget your camera, either to record the memorable climbs or to capture the landscape and something of the essence of the Lake District.

And at the end of an adventurous, satisfying day, you can return to the comfort of the hotel and enjoy all that our four-star hotel can offer you, with another wonderful meal. The hotel chef works with local suppliers to create delicious tasting menus so you can discover yet another wonderful aspect of the Lake District – the food!

Supporting the Great North Air Ambulance

Located in Cumbria, the Borrowdale Gates Hotel understands the amazing service provided by the Great North Air Ambulance Service. The service covers the local area in Cumbria as well as the north-east and North Yorkshire. Every day of the year, including Christmas Day, the service operates three air ambulances. It is a little known fact that in addition to the paramedics on board a helicopter, there are doctors who specialise in trauma. This allows critical expertise to be present at the scene, a luxury not afforded to the regular ambulance service.

Borrowdale Gates is a FairBooking hotel in the Lake District. FairBooking is an initiative by the Cumbria Tourist Board that supports local businesses, customers and charities by ensuring that customers get the best deal by booking directly with the accommodation provider. Each time somebody books directly with a participating provider, that provider will make a donation to an approved local charity. Borrowdale Gates hotel has chosen to support the Great North Air Ambulance because of the incredible work they do for the benefit of tourists and locals alike.

In order to keep all of their helicopters flying, the air ambulance service need to raise £4 million every year. The service came about after a fundraising campaign that started in 1991 but it took four years to raise enough money to purchase the first helicopter. Today, the helicopters operate between 8am and 8pm every day. Recently they have dealt with everything from someone being trampled by cows to road traffic accidents and spinal injuries. We are proud to support the amazing work that they do.