Three unmissable Keswick festival highlights for 2016

If you’re a culture vulture, you might want to plan your stay at our fantastic 4-star Hotel around one of Keswick’s fantastic festivals.

The 17th Keswick Film Festival

Fancy watching some of the world’s finest films surrounded by stunning scenery? The 17th Keswick Film Festival is Cumbria’s answer to Sundance. Set across four days in February, the festival will showcase an exciting roster of little-known movies. Highlights from this year’s programme include critically acclaimed Icelandic drama Life in a Fishbowl and award winning British documentary The Closer We Get.

Words by the Water Literature Festival

4 – 13 March 2016

Cumbria’s unique landscape has inspired celebrated writers and poets such as Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth for centuries, making the Lake District a mecca for literature lovers. Resting at the foot of the lakes, the Words by the Water Literature Festival is a unique event for writers and readers. Escape your routine this March and share the pleasure of books, words and ideas with other bibliophiles.

Keswick Jazz Festival

12 – 15 May 2016

Did you know the Lake District is home to the UK’s largest and most popular jazz festival? Every May, a horde of international and UK musicians grab their saxophones and flock to Keswick for a celebration of Creole culture. This music festival puts traditional, swing and mainstream jazz in the spotlight. Why not get down to New Orleans classics on the dance floor or attend one of the fascinating jazz history talks?

FairBooking initiative – a win-win situation!

We are delighted to say that Borrowdale Gates is now part of the fantastic FairBooking scheme. This means that you can now stay with us in our four-star hotel, and enjoy a great meal in our AA Rosette awarded restaurant, while knowing that you are making a real difference to the local economy, and supporting local businesses!

Cumbria Tourism are supporting the FairBooking initiative, which is a win-win arrangement, enabling you to find the best deals on accommodation in the local area, while ensuring that the profits go directly to the area you are staying in, supporting the local tourism industry. By booking direct with the accommodation themselves, either in person or online, or using the local tourism destination website (, you will benefit from receiving the best rates available.

As well as getting the best deal available, by booking through Cumbria Tourism you will ensure that the money you spend is being redistributed in the area, helping a variety of businesses to remain viable. Cumbria Tourism is a partnership organisation dedicated to supporting and sustaining tourism in the area, with over 2,800 local businesses as well as public sector partners on board. And 1% of commission income that is earned via is given to local good causes.

So why not treat yourself to a little break and discover all the great things the area has to offer – golfing, trekking, cycling, mountain walking, museums and culture – knowing that you are supporting the local economy and doing a good thing at the same time? Look out for the scheme on social media and you might even win a prize!

Walking your canine companion around the Lake District

At Borrowdale Gates, we understand that your dog is part of your family, and a family holiday isn’t the same without your four-legged friend. It’s, even more, important if your pet is an assistance dog. You’ll be pleased to hear that we have four dog-friendly rooms, all situated on the ground floor, and with doors that open onto our garden.

Once you and your canine companion have arrived, you’ll probably want to explore the beautiful national park, which is right on our doorstep, and perfect for a dog walk.

The Lake District National Park Authority organises regular guided walks, many of which welcome dogs, as well as their owners. Check their website regularly for the updated calendar of planned walks.

If you’re not a big fan of long walks, or your dog’s health restricts what you can do, please don’t think that walking within the Lake District is out of the question. Have a look at the Miles Without Stiles programme. This group, with 42 individual routes located all over the National Park, is ideal for novice or less active walkers, wheelchair or pushchair users, and the visually impaired.

All the walks on the Lake District National Park’s website are graded by difficulty. Routes For All are generally the easiest, Routes For Many may have some tricky gradients or rocky paths, while Routes for Some are intended for confident walkers who don’t mind rough terrain.

Whatever you and your dog prefer, there’s plenty to do together in the area around Borrowdale Gates!

May the force be with you in Borrowdale!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the fastest movie ever to gross over $1bn, and continues to smash box office records all over the world.

But you may not realise that the hyped–up, widely anticipated seventh instalment in the epic Star Wars series was filmed partly in the Lake District.

Cumbria was used as the backdrop for an alien, new landscape for the film, and a crew was based in Borrowdale last summer.

And the movie makers may have tried to keep things under wraps, but, inevitably, filming caused quite a stir locally.

Equally, with a helicopter used for some of the aerial shots, it wasn’t that easy to keep it completely secret.

A manager of a local business told a Cumbria paper: “They were filming here and some of the crew stayed locally last July, as did the head of the special effects team, although I don’t think any of the stars did.”

The movie stars Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill, alongside newcomers Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, and opened in the UK a week before Christmas.

Footage from the beautiful Lakes was also included in one of the trailers for the movie.

But you don’t have to be from Hollywood to love the Lakes and enjoy all that stunning scenery. At Borrowdale Gates Hotel, in the heart of Beatrix Potter country, we’re a four-star hotel offering access to a wide range of activities from hiking and fell-walking to climbing, golfing, cycling, photography and classic cars breaks. And we serve only the best, locally sourced food.

We welcome visitors from all galaxies, so plan your next Lakes break here and see where some of Star Wars 7 was shot.

FairBooking seeks to cut out the tourism middlemen

Hotels in the Lake District are looking to cut out the middleman and give the best possible deal to the customer in a bid to boost tourism.

The Lake District is one of Britain’s favourite holiday destinations, and the area of natural beauty has a wealth of activities for tourists who flock from around the world to enjoy hiking, cycling, golfing, bird watching and a whole host of other outdoor activities.

The hotels themselves, though, feel that room prices are being pushed up by a whole host of travel sites and agents charging a commission on the room rates. By doing business directly with the end user, the hotels feel they will be in a better position to offer more competitive rates that will attract even more people to the region.

FairBooking is a new initiative that will use its website to put tourists into contact with the hotel directly and also give them impartial and trustworthy advice on local areas, including Keswick.

Participating hotels will pledge to give the customers the best possible deal and also to offer other incentives such as free breakfasts and other perks that will ensure this method of booking gains traction and the whole process becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

FairBooking has attracted many boutique hotels, including the 4-star Hotel, Borrowdale Gates, which has an AA Rosette restaurant and it is ideally located for holidays in the Lake District.