Keswick Events this Spring

Combine a stay at the Borrowdale Lakes Hotel with one of the fantastic events that are happening in the North Lakes this month. See below for just a few of the many things happening in and around Keswick.

Keswick Mountain Festival will take place on 19th – 22nd May 2016 in the heart of the Lake District. The Festival programme is made up of guided activities including MTB biking, hiking, canoeing, navigation training, ghyll scrambling, climbing and so much more, to be enjoyed with friends and family. There is also a fantastic line-up of challenging sporting events including Triathlons, Trail Races, Open water swims and a Sportive. But it’s not over there, we have an incredible selection of kids activities, local food stalls, exhibitors, camping, live music and the views from Crow Park! And if you’re looking for something to do in the evenings we have a speaker programme at the lovely Theatre by the Lake on the shores of Derwentwater. Tickets for the Keswick Mountain Festival will be on sale February 2016 – so you can create your perfect KMF weekend. Listen up for updates and announcements via or Twitter

Wartime Weekend – Friday 6th and Saturday 7th May – period vehicle displays & dress, Homefront display, 1940’s re-enactors, wartime memorabilia, music and dancing. Plus the opportunity to have hair & makeup in 1940’s style and learn to dance.
Friday 6th May (evening) 1940’s Music Event with Fish ‘n’ Chips £7.00
Saturday 7th May (evening) Misdemeanours perform live music & swing dancing with Pie ‘n’ Peas £8.00
Bookings for evening entertainment in advance, please.

Keswick Market: 740 Years Celebration Family Fun at Keswick – Saturday 28th May
Love your Local Market Special to celebrate 740 years in Keswick. Pirate parade, children dressing up as pirates ,competitions,face painting ,utube sensation Jeff Ollerhead, magicians, stilt walkers, local kids, dance group dancing.
Contact – Charlotte [email protected]

Borrowdale Gates’ baking buddies

60 years ago, a local family’s flour mill started using its own flour to produce loaves of bread from their premises in Keswick. Thanks to the family’s high standards, the bread was a big hit with the locals, and Bryson’s of Keswick was born.

Over time, Bryson’s bakery started to diversify into cakes and confectionery, employing bakers and confectioners who could bring a few delicious sweet snacks into the Bryson repertoire. Their reputation soon spread, and Bryson’s were welcomed as a member of the renowned Association of Master Bakers. It didn’t take time for local businesses like Borrowdale Gates to discover the tasty treats on offer, and we were pleased to welcome Bryson’s as one of our suppliers at our four-star hotel so that our visitors could get to sample their delicious offerings just as we had.

Bryson’s love to bake for their customers, and their dedication is obvious. Seven days a week, the highly skilled Bryson’s team start work before dawn, baking everything from scratch. With no genetically modified ingredients, and free from artificial preservatives, colours and flavours, they’re as natural as the Lake District itself.

If you like the Bryson’s products on offer at Borrowdale Gates, you can visit one of their popular tea rooms at Bowness, Keswick or Cockermouth, which offer the full range of products. You can even choose a few items to take away with you for a little taste of the Lake District when you get home. We’d recommend the Borrowdale tea bread, but we’re obviously a little biased!

Driving trips to the Lake District

Driving holidays are coming back into vogue, as people are rediscovering their love of taking their car to some of the finest countryside in the UK to enjoy the views and get closer to nature.

The Lake District and Cumbria are famous for having some of the finest roads in the country and there are a number of routes that are simply perfect for a spirited drive, a family trip or a day out. They’re between 30 and 50 miles long, they take you round the lakes and they give you a stunning view of the countryside.

One of the finest drives through the Lake District is the road from Keswick to Ambleside, which then goes back to Keswick via Ullswater and the Kirkstone Pass. It takes in several of the world famous lakes and has a Wordsworth theme, as the famous poet left his mark all across this region. It’s 47 miles long and can start and finish at the Borrowdale Gates hotel, where you can finish with a perfect lamb dinner in the AA rosette restaurant.

There is also a shorter trip that takes in Keswick and Derwent Water, the Honister Pass and Buttermere before returning through the valley. It’s a 35-mile trip that will give you a beautiful view and several stunning spots to stop off at and take pictures.

For a driving holiday with a difference that will prove truly memorable, try the Lake District.

Are you game for some quality local food?

The beautiful valleys of the Lake District aren’t just home to the best scenery in the area; they’re the home of some of the best local game produce that England has to offer. To the south of the Lake District, you’ll find Cartmel Valley Game Supplies, run by husband and wife team Jonathan and Susan Stott.

Established in 1994, Cartmel Valley has a great reputation throughout the Lake District for their locally sourced game, which can be cured and smoked in their very own on-site smokehouse, where they produce smoked salmon, trout and pigeon. They can even smoke butter, if you’re looking for something a bit different.

Traditional game, such as grouse, pheasant, venison, partridge, hare and rabbit, is also on the menu at Borrowdale Gates, thanks to the skilled Cartmel Valley team. A customer favourite, loin of Cartmel Valley’s venison with red cabbage purée, sweet potato, kale and smoked bacon, features on this year’s Borrowdale Gates dinner menu, and you’ll spot a delicious Cartmel Valley starter on our lunch menu – Cartmel Valley crab and spring onion cake with avocado salsa and tomato salad. With Cartmel Valley’s fish caught fresh from Morecambe Bay.

Cartmel Valley also offer old favourites with a bit of a twist. Pheasant burgers, venison grill sticks, and boar and damson sausages are big hits for Cartmel Valley which you definitely won’t find in the supermarkets.

If you’re looking for a real taste of Lake District nature, come and enjoy a warm welcome at Borrowdale Gates, where we’re delighted to serve Cartmel Valley produce in our AA Rosette restaurant.

Fantastic fishing in the Lake District

Cumbria has the highest number of lakes in the UK, so why not bring your fishing road with you to Borrowdale Gates for a spot of fishing in one of the most picturesque parts of the world? Not only do we have an absolute wealth of places for you to practise your techniques, fishing in the north of England is much cheaper, and considerably quieter, than in the south.

The Lakes are well known for their stocks of high quality salmon, brown trout and sea trout, with our larger lakes popular for coarse and pike fishing opportunities. The River Eden, which is the biggest river in Cumbria, is known to be the best source of trout in the country.

If you’re looking for specialist angling settings, you’ll find that angling associations are in charge of a lot of the fishing inside the National Park. You’ll find a warm welcome, and a choice of daily or weekly permits.

Looking for something more informal? Fishing is free at Ullswater, Coniston Water and Windermere. You can pick up perch, trout and pike. Peak season here is March to June, and if you’ve got a silver tongue, you might be able to charm one of the local anglers into taking you out on their boats. It’s not easy, but the rewards of having a local guide will make it well worth it.

Disabled anglers will also find something for them. Pop down to Coniston Boating Centre, with its adapted boat, accessible for wheelchairs.

As with all fishing activities, it’s important to make sure that you have a valid Environment Agency Rod Licence before casting your line in the Lake District, and that you don’t use live bait, which might introduce diseases into our beautiful lakes.

Cumbrian fishing may not be the most well known activity, but once you’ve sampled this hidden gem, you’re sure to be back, and Borrowdale Gates will have a room waiting for your return.

Have you heard of Herdwick?

Merino, Charollais, Cheviot, Hebridean, Manchega – all these are breeds of sheep which you may have heard of, but have you heard of the Herdwick? They’re our native sheep here in the Lake District. They’re a really hardy variety, capable of surviving on the highest hills and mountains of England, eating heather and grass, which is why you’ll see them when you visit the Lake District.

Farmed in traditional ways by generations of local farmers, you can trace Herdwick sheep back to the 12th Century, when they get a mention in the documents of the time, grazing 3000 feet up in the dales.

These days, farmers looking after Herdwicks tend to keep their flocks on the lower levels for easier access, rather than climbing thousands of feet into the hills. They can also keep a better eye on their livestock and what they’re eating if they’re closer to home. The farmers don’t worry too much if they can’t see their flock, as Herdwicks appear to have a keen instinct, knowing exactly which land is theirs to graze upon. Especially important since much of the Lake District isn’t accessible by conventional farm vehicles, and a farmer could end up making quite a journey to collect his lost sheep.

Herdwicks produce delicious lamb, hogget (Sheep 1 – 2 years old) and mutton (2 or more years old), and TV chef Hugh Fernley Whittingstall said that it was among the finest he’d ever tasted. If you’d like to see what impressed Hugh so much, visit us at Borrowdale Gates. We’re delighted to be able to serve this local delicacy to our guests.

The importance of eating local

We’re so lucky in the United Kingdom to be able to produce some of the best tasting produce in the world. We have rich soil for delicious vegetables and high quality grass for grazing livestock, and our island status means that you’re never far away from fresh seafood.

In the Lake District, you’ll find some of the best produce that the UK has to offer. Here’s why we think it’s so important that we utilise what can be found locally.

Local business

It’s important to support independent businesses. They keep our local economies booming and encourage tourists to the area. Not only that, but independent shops add character to a village or town and those that run them offer expert knowledge that larger chains lack.


It’s far better for the planet to buy local (and to buy in season, as well!), as it means that no extra travel miles need to be used in order to get those carrots on to your plate.


When you buy local, you’re purchasing the freshest produce around. Not only is to better for you when it hasn’t been sat on a supermarket shelf for days on end, but it tastes much better as well.

At Borrowdale Gates, we source our produce locally wherever we can in order to deliver you the best tasting food possible. From your morning toast to the roast beef we serve up on a Sunday, our menu is filled with delicious and sustainable food. To taste it for yourself, book your stay with us today.

The finer things in life – indulge in gourmet dining

Indulge in a stay at our beautiful four-star hotel with unbelievable meals at the AA Rosette Awarded Restaurant, regarded as one of the best service establishments throughout Cumbria. With ingredients sourced from 16 of the best farms, bakers and suppliers throughout the Lake District, Borrowdale Gates Hotel has garnered a fantastic reputation for providing only the highest standards in exquisite cuisine.

We love Cumbria and dedicate ourselves to nurturing only the best of the natural produce of this untouched region. Our enticing menu features delicacies such as venison, sea bass, and the renowned Hardwick lamb, exclusive to Borrowdale. Using only the freshest of ingredients, we take advantage of the best of the sumptuous seasonal ingredients to ensure sustainability in the lifestyle of our service, as well as the natural flavours of fresh, natural and organic food.

Our passions truly lie in desserts, as our extensive menu of homemade treats displays through variety as well as the ingenuity of our modern twists on timeless classics. Making exceptional use of fresh fruits, creams and the finest chocolate, the craftsmanship of these unbelievable courses will draw you back to the hotel time and time again.

An escape to Borrowdale Gates Hotel is truly Cumbrian throughout all experiences and we are sure that our food reflects this in the best way possible. So why not organise a retreat from modern life into picturesque Cumbria, indulging in the finer things in life at our restaurant as well as spending time in the natural surroundings whether that be hiking, trekking or bird-watching?

Birdwatchers welcome at Borrowdale Gates

Cumbria remains one of England’s most rural and unspoilt counties, with far less human traffic than many places in the UK. Because of this, nature flourishes, and the Lake District area is a haven for spotting all sorts of species which you might not see in other locations.

Keen bird watchers are just starting to discover the Lake District. Because the wildlife seems to outnumber the humans, there are lots of birds to be seen, and we’ve had some exciting finds reported on bird watching websites as more bird watchers arrive.

If you’re interested in watching the avian world, the Lake District has plenty of places to visit. Depending on your level of skill, there’s a bird watching spot perfect for you. Obviously, we have rivers and lakes, but you can also spot birds on the valleys and hill side ridges. A lot of our county is classed as high ground, over 400 m from sea level, so expect to see some unusual sights.

You can get to the Solway Firth from Borrowdale Gates in about an hour, where you’ll find Campfield Marsh RSPB reserve. Barnacles, avocets and oyster catchers are regular sights, while birds of prey like falcons and harriers circle the marshes. If you don’t mind bird watching off the beaten track, head east to Herdhill Scar, where you’ll be rewarded with views of the Solway Skua.

If you’re keen to stay within the boundaries of the Lake District, another RSPB site, Haweswater, is home to colonies of eagles, buzzards and peregrine falcons. It’s also Britain’s only recognised breeding colony of golden eagles.

Hodbarrow is Cumbria’s largest coastal lagoon, and at just over 90 minutes from Borrowdale Gates, it may seem a bit of a trek, but it’ll be worth it because not only are you promised views of glebes, terns and warblers, there’s also a high likelihood of spotting a few seals in the estuary.

Round off your day with one of our delicious meals and a comfy bed at Borrowdale Gates, and enjoy memories of the wonderful wildlife that the Lake District has to offer.

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!