New Year at The Borrowdale Gates

Celebrate this New Years Eve in style at The Borrowdale Gates Hotel with fine dining, good wine and classical music. Our fabulous offer allows you to stay for a minimum of 3 nights arriving on either the 30th December, departing on the 1st January or arriving on the 31st December and departing on the 2nd January. If you decide to arrive on the 30th December you can stay a 4th night for just £75 per person. Rates starting from £445 per person.

Combine your stay at The Borrowdale Gates with some of these events happening over the New Year period.

The Theatre by the Lake
The Emperor and the Nightingale is being performed at the wonderful Theatre by the Lake in Keswick over the Christmas and New Year period. With two performances a day featuring exquisite puppetry from Puppetry Director Jimmy Grimes (The Shepherd’s Life, War Horse), glorious music in an original score, and all the colour, movement and spectacle of Chinese theatre, this joyful adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale is a feast for the senses that will delight the whole family. 26th November to 14th January.

The Keswick Museum and Art Gallery.
Wainwright – A Love Letter to the Lakeland Fells. A major exhibition for all those who love the English Lakes, exploring Wainwright’s world; his walks and unique method of recording them; his enduring challenge to us… as well as celebrating the sheer beauty of the fells! This is a fun and informative exhibition with hands-on exhibits for all and trails for families as well as plenty of original archive material and personal memorabilia. Running until the 4th January 2017.

Savage Arena – The Legacy of Joe Tasker. Joe Tasker’s disappearance on Everest with Pete Boardman in 1982 remains a mystery but his legacy as a pioneering mountaineer, as well as a writer, thinker, photographer and filmmaker lives on. This exhibition explores Joe’s life and achievements from family life, school and early adventures in the Scouts and exploring the Lake District; to expeditions on the world’s highest mountain and Joe’s continued influence as a writer through his books Everest the Cruel Way and Savage Arena. Running through to May 2017.

The Lakes Distillery
Experience the excitement of a working distillery – see ‘behind the scenes’ of the heat, the smell and the buzz of England’s largest award-winning whisky distillery. Take a sensory tour backstage and walk amongst the sleeping spirit in our atmospheric cask warehouse. The Lakes Distillery offers a family friendly atmosphere – stop off in the cafe and say hello to our family of resident alpacas!
Call The Borrowdale Gates on 017687 77204 to book your New Years break.

Dining at The Borrowdale Gates

We have always been proud of the dining experience we offer to guests at The Borrowdale Gates, and never more so than now.
Our Head Chef Chris Standhaven has been entered in the new Chefs of Distinction Book for 2016. Chris has worked at the Borrowdale Gates since 2009 and has brought a wealth of knowledge from working in Michelin – starred kitchens. He manages to combine traditional British dishes with classic French cuisine leading to a fine dining experience in a casual setting. His menu at the Borrowdale Gates caters for everyone, offering a full vegetarian menu alongside the standard a la carte and daily specials.
The emphasis for our menu comes from sourcing local produce from some of the best Cumbrian suppliers. Herdwick lamb comes from Yew Tree Farm, game is sourced from Cartmel Valley and local cheeses from the Cheese Larder in Kendal.
When it comes to Fine Dining with a view and fresh local produce, our culinary expertise and Lakeland setting has earned an enviable reputation, including the AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence. Chris and his team look forward to cooking for you. Panoramic windows in the Restaurant offer captivating fell views to complement our imaginative new menu.
To complement the cuisine, our selection of traditional and new world wines are chosen to delight different palates and we can advise on particular wines that will suit the menu you choose. For those who enjoy specialise wines, we offer a ‘reserve’ selection featuring more exclusive wines made in smaller quantities. These ‘reserve’ wines are available to order in advance of your stay. Kindly inform us when booking whether you would like to enjoy the Reserve Wine List. The stock is held in temperature controlled cellars with our suppliers with only a few days notice prior to delivery.
Some of the delights you can enjoy in our restaurant are King Scallops with Rhubarb Puree, Black Pudding & Salsify or Duck, Chicken and Ham Hock Terrine, served with Cumberland Sauce and Malted toast. Leading on to dishes such as Loin of Cartmel Valleys Venison or Wild Mushroom Wellington. You could finish with a Dark Chocolate Marquise Mini Orange & Lemon Posset, Pistachio Crumb or Orange Panacotta Poached Fresh Fruit, Passion Fruit & Pineapple Sorbet.
“Our menus reflect the diversity and quality of the Cumbrian produce available on our doorstep and we are producing some of the best dishes of my career.” Chris Standhaven, Head Chef at The Borrowdale Gates Hotel
Come and stay at the Borrowdale Gates and enjoy a truly memorable culinary experience in a fabulous setting.

Take a walk around Derwent Water.

Autumn and Winter are surely the best times of the year to appreciate beautiful Derwent Water and its surrounding scenery. Visitors to Derwent Water tend to find it still, its surface broken only by the occasional yacht, canoe or launch that links the east and west shores. Brandelhow, on the lake’s secluded south-western shores, is the quietest part of all. This is a magical place to take in much of what the Lake District has to offer.
It is a landscape of water, yes, but also of woods, high fells, valleys and an extraordinary history. The woods you go through on this walk were among the first acquired by the National Trust in 1902, making Brandelhow the birthplace of the trust in the Lake District.
Look out for the striking wood carving of a pair of hands, created to mark the 100 anniversary of the National Trust. Keep your eyes peeled and you may glimpse a roe deer or red squirrels, and, perhaps, otters which have bred here for 13 years.
“It is just beautiful and it is not as busy as the south lakes,” said Rory Henderson, a ranger with the National Trust who has worked in Borrowdale since he was 16. “Even though it is man-made it has an unspoilt feel to it. The western shores of Derwent Water are even quieter but you have lots of opportunities for walking for all levels and abilities.”
Brandelhow comprises mixed woodland, a mixture of semi-ancient trees above which rise Douglas firs, 150 years old, which are the result of the exotic tastes of some of the woods’ many historic owners. Above the woods stands Cat Bells, among the most popular of walks in the Lakes.
The geology at Brandelhow is mindboggling: what you are looking at is a huge and deeply ancient collision of major valleys. Two kinds of rock bump up against one another here, with a dividing line half-way up Derwent Water, where a hanging valley ploughs through from the east.
To the south are the softer Skiddaw slates, which are most conspicuous in the form of Cat Bells and Skiddaw itself. Then, further up the valley are the much harder Borrowdale volcanic rocks. As the glaciers retreated after the last ice age, they scraped and gouged the landscape. In the case of the more malleable Skiddaw slates, the retreating ice moulded softer, smoother shapes such as Cat Bells.
But south, through the jaws of Borrowdale, it’s clear that the harder volcanic rocks were more resistant, and the jagged, angled landscape was formed when the glaciers knocked off random chunks of the rocks.
In his tour journals, the artist and writer William Gilpin, an 18th-Century native of Cumberland, depicted the jaws of Borrowdale as guarding the lair of the devil, where evil lurked. “It is very forbidding but the overall panorama is phenomenal,” said Maurice Pankhurst, the Trust’s head ranger for the Lakes.
This landscape is also home, a little further up the valley from this walk, to the Borrowdale yews, dating back 1,700 years. They inspired Wordsworth’s poem “Yew Trees”, in which he wrote of the “fraternal four”, though there are now just three remaining. They are thought to be the only yew trees marked on an OS map (they lie five miles up the Borrowdale valley from this walk).

As Autumn draws in take the opportunity to escape to beautiful Keswick with a 4 night stay at the Borrowdale Gates Hotel for the price of 3, based on 2 people sharing a twin/double room, subject to availability. From Sunday 13th November until Thursday 1st December 2016 for direct bookings only, subject to availability. We have many more offers which will run through to January and February, not forgetting our Christmas Party night on December 10th. Call 017687 77204 or email [email protected] for more details

Visit Lingholm Estate by boat.

A brand new 200 foot long jetty on Derwentwater has welcomed its first passengers on board, following the introduction of new daily services linking Keswick with the Lingholm estate. It is the first new landing stage on the lake for more than 50 years and has been built to co-incide with the newly opened Lingholm Kitchen and Victorian Walled Garden.
Keswick Launch will now run up to seven daily sailings until the end of October, before switching to three return trips per day during the winter months.
It is the first time people have been able to hop on a boat at Keswick for the short trip across Derwentwater to the Lingholm estate. It is here where Beatrix Potter spent many summers in the late 19thcentury and famously penned some of her most famous stories, including Squirrel Nutkin and the first manuscript of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.
When it came to storytelling, the Lingholm woods and the lakeshore were the setting for Squirrel Nutkin which Beatrix wrote and illustrated whilst staying at the house in 1901. The story which was originally written as a picture letter was a follow up to one she had written at Lingholm four years earlier in 1897 that she sent to Noel Moore, the eldest son of her former governess, about some American squirrels who set sail using their tails as sails. She expanded on the story and sent the longer version to Noel again in 1901, and the book was finally published in 1903.
Arriving at Lingholm for the first time, one can imagine that the 19 year old Beatrix would have found great inspiration from the lakeside setting, woods filled with red squirrels, insects and animals, the wide variety of flora and fauna and the landscape which would have been the perfect environment for her interest in illustrating so many aspects of nature.
The now famous Squirrel Nutkin illustrations below were all drawn by Beatrix while she was staying at Lingholm and are all set in the Lingholm woods, or the nearby shoreline, we still have a population of Red Squirrels at Lingholm and are actively working on increasing their numbers with help from the National Trust.
A new footpath has also been created from the lakeshore so visitors arriving at Lingholm by boat can enjoy previously private views from the estate across to Skiddaw – one of the highest mountains in England. The more adventurous can continue up to the heady heights of Catbells, or make a pitstop at the Lingholm’s new café, shop and Victorian Walled Garden.
Lingholm Estate Director Jenny Seymour, says, “Travelling by boat is the quintessential way to explore the Lake District, so it seems fitting that people can now arrive at Lingholm on a traditional Lakeland launch. It’s exciting to think that this is the first new landing stage on Derwentwater for more than half a century and we hope it will enhance the overall experience for anyone visiting this iconic landscape and our new café and garden development here at Lingholm.”

Keswick Welcomes Tour of Britain.

On Monday 5th September Stage two of Britains biggest professional cycle race will see the Tour of Britain return to Cumbria once again as the county emphatically declares itself ‘open for business’ after this winters devastating flooding with a stage from Carlisle city centre to the tough finishing climb of Beast Banks in Kendal, via Cockermouth, Keswick and Ambleside.
From Carlisle the riders will immediately head South to Penrith before turning West and tackling the hills of the Lake District including Whinlatter Pass. The sternest of these tests is likely to come in Ambleside as the peleton take on the climb notoriously known as ‘The Struggle’ to cap a stage with 3,779m of climbing. The subsequent descent will take them down to Windermere before the run in to the finish in Kendal with the 200m, 11% average climb of Beast Banks awaiting riders in the finale.
A huge television screen in Keswicks Market Square will broadcast the Cumbrian stage of this year’s Tour of Britain, which is due to pass through the centre of the town mid-stage on Monday 5th September.
The all day event which will see a range of great activities taking place in addition to the screen has been organised by Keswick Tourism working closely with Keswick bikes, Rather be Cycling, Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre and Allerdale Borough Council.
The race is expected to pass through the centre of Keswick between 1.46pm and 2.22pm after 127 kilometres of racing, although activities will get underway in Keswick from 11am. Having already completed the SKODA King of the Mountains climb of Whinlatter Pass they will then head out of town with riders tackling the days penultimate climb of Chestnut Hill within Keswick.
Vanessa Metcalfe, Tourism Manager for Keswick Tourism Association said
‘Keswick is at the heart of the action for The Tour of Britain’s Cumbrian stage this year and the town has really embraced the event. Many people have entered our ‘Decorate a Bike’ competition and we are expecting a real party atmosphere. Anyone thinking of coming to see the Cumbrian stage will be well placed to see the action by coming to Keswick where you’ll be able to see your cycling heroes in the flesh, then settle down and watch the rest of the stage on our massive 25 metres square television screen’
The 2013 event was a huge success and the organisers are confident that this year will be no different. As well as the live footage, visitors will be able to watch the evening highlights and there will also be a family movie, showing at around 4.30pm to keep the kids entertained.
Come and stay at The Borrowdale Gates Hotel and experience the thrill of The Tour of Britain.

Theatre by the Lake

Come and stay at Borrowdale Gates over the the last week of July and August and combine a relaxing stay with seeing one of these amazing plays at our very own Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.
A sparkling comedy and an intense psychological drama are about to open at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick to complete the 2016 Summer Season of six contrasting plays.
The Rivals, which was written in just six weeks when Richard Brinsley Sheridan was only 24, soon became one of the great classics of English theatre and opens in the Main House on Sat 30 July. Iron by Rona Munro follows in the Studio a week later on Sat 6 August.

The Rivals will be Ian Forrest’s penultimate production before he moves on early next year after 17 years as Theatre by the Lake’s Artistic Director.

It tells a swaggering story of love, intrigue and deception and features the word-mangling Mrs Malaprop (“he is the very pineapple of politeness”), one of the great characters of English drama. In true Theatre by the Lake tradition, the play is given a stunning set and elegant costumes designed by Resident Designer Martin Johns.

The Rivals is set in Bath, where Sheridan moved with his father when he was 17. He knew about the members of fashionable society who flocked to the city to promenade, take the waters, dance at balls – and indulge in a flirtation or two.

As jokes fly, the plot twists and turns, taking in an elopement and a duel – and Sheridan knew about both. He had eloped in France with the 16-year-old singer Elizabeth Linley to save her from the clutches of a lecherous army officer. The major challenged Sheridan to a duel, which the playwright won, and then demanded a rematch, in which Sheridan was seriously wounded. He recovered and in The Rivalsmade farcical use of his near fatal experience on the duelling field.

There could not be a bigger contrast with Iron by Rona Munro. It’s a perfect play for the Studio, telling of a woman jailed for life for murder. After 15 years, her 25-year-old daughter makes her first visit and the two circle cautiously round each other, catching up on their stories and trying to understand what each feels for the other.

The Guardian’s Michael Billington described Iron as “emotionally honest and socially resonant” and said it transcended “the melodramatic clichés of prison drama to explore the relationship between a mother and daughter and the corrosive nature of the penal system”.

In a passionate programme note, Eric Allison, the Guardian’s prisons correspondent, reports that “to visit a women’s jail is to witness sights and sounds that would make a drystone wall weep”.

Playwright Rona Munro has written extensively for the stage, film and television (including Dr Who and Casualty). Her recent work includes The James Plays, a modern cycle of history plays spanning three generations of Stewart kings who ruled Scotland in the tumultuous 15th century.

They were first staged by the National Theatre of Scotland, moved on to the National Theatre in London and have since toured widely, earning Munro the reputation as one of the most admired playwrights in Britain today.

Season Tickets are available if you want to see more than one play – they start from as little as £16 per show. Individual tickets are priced from £34.50 – £10. You can book online at or by calling Box Office on 017687 74411.

Derwentwater Regatta

Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th July 2016  10am – 4pm Crow Park, Derwentwater, Keswick

The first Derwentwater Regatta for 200 years was held on the lake last year and was such a success that the National Trust has organised another weekend of stone-skimming, boating and bathtub racing.

There’s a huge range of outdoor activities on offer, so there’s bound to be something you’ll want to try. Whether it’s family taster sessions in kayaks, a chance to build your own coracle or a motorised trip in a group around the lake, there are lots of ways to dip your toes into having fun on the lake. If you fancy a little more adventure you could have a go sailing a catamaran, a Viking Long Boat or sailing dingy.

The BBC’s forthcoming adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, to be released on August 19 was filmed on Derwentwater. The book first published in 1930, tells the nautical adventures of the Walker children, John, Susan, Titty and Roger, their chums, Nancy and Peggy Blackett, and the Blacketts’ Uncle Jim, known as Captain Flint.

The sailing boats ‘Swallow’ and ‘Amazon’ that are featured in the film will be coming to the regatta on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July, promoting the new film which is coming to cinemas across the UK from 19 August.

Ending the weekend on a thrilling high, adventurers can cheer on their favourite team, including one featuring the film’s producer Nick Barton, in the Swallows and Amazons Boat Race – a race using the real boats.

The regatta takes place at Crow Park, just beside Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake, and there are spectator sports for those who’d rather keep their feet dry. There’s a free family activity zone with miniature raft-making, stone skimming, catch a water minibeast, wild art and Jemima Puddleduck’s water play to mark Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday. There are free sports and games to play including badminton, volleyball, frisbee golf and strider-bike races.

There’s also a traditional fairground, live music and drama from local community choirs and youth groups, a craft fair and living history demonstrations where children can become a ‘powder monkey’ in King George III’s navy, and have a go at loading and firing a mock ship’s gun.

The event is supported by many local businesses who are offering fabulous free and low cost watersport activities over the weekend. Some of the activities on offer are rowing, catamaran sailing and kayaking offered by the following businesses. , and

Derwent Water Regatta was created by the eccentric landowner Joseph Pocklington (alias King Pocky) in the 1790s after he bought Derwent Island in 1778, and built a grand mansion and several follies.

He devised a series of madcap regatta activities on Derwent Water, with a fair on Crow Park for spectators to watch teams of people rowing, sailing and swimming around the island. The festivities would reach their climax with a mock attack of the island, when Pocklington fired a cannon towards the local invaders.

Over 200 years later, the National Trust revived this regatta last year, for locals and visitors alike to enjoy, by recreating the spirit of King Pocky’s vision for the lake.


We’re going Electric!

To mark the upcoming installation of electric car charging sockets at the Borrowdale Gates, during August we are offering our guests an exclusive 1/3rd off Twizy car rental (one half day or one full day) from Keswick Brewing Company.

Book Directly with The Borrowdale Gates for August and you could find yourselves enjoying a 1/3rd off the hire of a Twizy car and enjoying the sights and sounds of the Lake District. You can drive your Twizy without having to worry about driving your car around cyclists and walkers and all the stresses of parking a larger vehicle in high season.

With a range of 100km, the Twizy is a 2 seat electric vehicle, perfect for navigating our narrow country lanes during the busy summer season. Easy to park in a tight spot too!

If you have never driven a Twizy you will not want to miss this opportunity. If you have already driven one you will know what fun they are. Tethera is an electric Twizy and looks just like a sheep. He is part of a flock of 10 which are part of the See More project which help people to enjoy our great landscapes with a reduced environmental impact. You can hear the sounds of your lovely surroundings as you do not get the normal car noises.

Tethera’s name comes from the Cumbrian dialect for counting sheep. Yan, Tyan, Tethera, Methera, Pip, Sethera, Lethera, Hovera, Dovera and Dec are the numbers from 1 to 10. Tethera is number 3. Tethera can take 2 people for a day of fun (the driver at the front and the passenger sat behind)

Do your bit to look after the beautiful Lake District with a drive in a stress free, low carbon car.

Early Reservation is Essential! Please contact reception at The Borrowdale Gates on 017687 77204 for more information

This offer is valid for direct bookings only and subject to availability.

Red Pandas and Ospreys!

According to BBC Wildlife ‘When it comes to variety, beauty and abundance of wildlife, Cumbria is the county with everything’.

If it’s the best place to live, it’s also the best place to visit.

The Lake District Wildlife Park has welcomed a new arrival, a young male Red Panda called Charu who arrived from Dublin Zoo on 25th May.

Keepers at the Lake District Wildlife Park are hoping that Charu will breed with their existing Red Panda Meili (meaning beautiful one in Chinese).
Meili arrived from Whipsnade Zoo in autumn 2013. Since arriving, she has become quite a star, creeping down her Oak tree for treats during the Red Panda Talk, while keepers explain how they live how they are becoming more vulnerable in the wild.

Charu is getting used to his new surroundings and is quietly being introduced to Meili. For the first few days he will be in his own space, but when they get used to seeing each other, they will then share the oak tree and the enclosure. Visitors will be able to watch progress and how they are getting on.

Cumbria is rich in birdlife. Over 200 species of bird are recorded in Cumbria in any one year. Many visitors to the Lake District in recent years have shared in the excitement of ospreys breeding near Bassenthwaite Lake, the only actual Lake in the Lake District, the others are meres or waters.
The Osprey Project has made viewing Osprey accessible, through telescopes in Dodd Wood and via the webcam display at the Whinlatter Visitor Centre.
Between April and August the Ospreys put on their annual aerial display between Whinlatter and Bassenthwaite. They have an impressive five feet wingspan – if they’re flying about you can’t miss them. They first nested beside Bassenthwaite in 2001 – the first wild osprey to breed in the Lake District for 150 years.
The birds were encouraged to stay with the help of a purpose built nest provided by the Forestry Commission and the Lake District National Park. This was the culmination of several years of hard work. Ospreys had been summering in the Lake District since the mid 1990’s and in 2001 they started breeding, immediately adding sticks to the nest.
Once the breeding pair lay their eggs, wardens keep a round the clock watch on the nest to prevent thieves stealing the eggs. Ospreys usually lay three eggs which take about six weeks to hatch. The young stay in the nest for six or seven weeks. In late summer the female will migrate south leaving the male to teach the youngsters the art of fishing.
Ospreys are not the only big birds to be seen circling the Lakeland fells. Look out for buzzards, peregrines and Kestrels.

Beatrix Potter Anniversary

A major road which collapsed during Storm Desmond has re-opened ahead of schedule and opens up the 3 mile section of the A591 between Dunmail Raise, North of Grasmere and Thirlmere.

This is fantastic news for the area and opens up the opportunity to visit all the wonderful attractions in this part of the Lake District.

Come and stay at the Borrowdale Gates this summer and see what the North Lakes has to offer.

One of the biggest events of this year is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter. The National Trust will be hosting a year-long celebration of her life and her contribution to The Lake District. Her legacy continues with conservation.

The Borrowdale Gates Hotel is situated very close to her beloved Derwent Water, the home of Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Benjamin Bunny.

Beatrix Potter spent many long summers at the holiday homes her family rented on the western shores of Derwent Water for ten years between 1885 and 1907. Her Derwent Water sketchbook dates from 1903 and is filled with drawings and water colour sketches. Her illustrations are close observations of the landscapes she adored and were a great inspiration for three of her most famous books.

What Beatrix Potter found to enjoy in the North Lakes can still be enjoyed today from Derwentwater’s lakeshore, in the woodland around Lingholm and Fawe Park and in the shadow of Catbells in the beautiful Newlands Valley.
Beatrix Potters legacy has given more to the Lake Distrct than just her books. In later life she became a substantial landowner and farmer of Herdwick sheep. She was a lifelong friend of the Rawnsley family. It was Canon Hardwick Rawnsley, vicar of Wray and Crosthwaite, who helped establish the National Trust and found in Beatrix Potter a supporter.

When she died in 1943 her 14 farms, 4,000 acres of land and livestock were left to the National Trust. She stipulated in her will that the farms she left to the Trust should be let at a moderate rent, and that the landlords flocks of sheep should be pure Herdwick in breed. She was the first woman to be elected president – designate of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association which continues to flourish.

Lovers of her books will enjoy a visit to her house for 30 years, Hill Top near Sawrey. Sawrey is about 25 miles from Keswick and can be combined with a visit to The World of Beatrix Potter at Bowness on Windermere, a 45 minute drive from Keswick.
An exclusive after hours tour of hill Top is perfect for Beatrix Potter Fans. A chance to have exclusive access to the house and see items from the collection. Booking essential. 2nd June, 1st September and 6th October from 5 – 6.30pm.

Peter Rabbit and Friends, 17 Lake Road, Keswick, CA12 5BS – Keswick shop, which trades as Peter Rabbit and Friends™, can be found on Lake Road, one of the busiest pedestrianised streets in the town. Keswick stocks the largest range of Thomas the Tank products in the Lake District and beyond, many gifts from The Gruffalo range and popular Peppa Pig products, as well Peter Rabbit presents and collectables.