Category Archives: North West England

Westmorland County Agricultural Show on Today

Today is the 213th Westmorland County Show until 5.30pm. The Westmorland County Show is one of the largest one day Shows in the Country and certainly one of the oldest, given that the Society was founded in 1799.  In fact, it was voted by the Farmers Guardian readers as the 5th top Show and the only one-day show in the top 12!

It also attracts over 30,000 people to see the major livestock Show, with its heart firmly in agriculture. Sections include cattle, sheep, goats, horses, pigs, heavy horses, alpacas, dogs and poultry, as well as marquees for The Women’s Institute, Learning for Life, Crafts from Cumbria, local produce Food Hall, Rural Crafts and over 350 trade stands. Not forgetting the very popular Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling. A colourful event, with many competitors competing in traditional costumes.

So if you are in Cumbria and have some hours free then head over to the Show ground.  See more details about Westmorland Show

Day Out at the Cycling Tour of Britain in September

Whether you’re a cycling enthusiast or just looking for a day out in September it is worth checking out the Tour of Britain, cycling’s premier road race in Britain.

In 2012 the event has attracted Team Sky with both Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish taking part, so its a great chance to see a current cycling World Champion, Tour de France winner and an Olympic gold medalist.

The 2012 Tour kicked off from Ipswich yesterday finishing at the Royal Norfolk Showground.  There were a number of crashes, one of which unfortunately  accounted for Mark Cavendish, but the stage saw a British winner in the form of Luke Wroe from Team Sky.

Here is what is in store over the next few days and where you can see some of the action.

The second stage today is from Nottingham to Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside passing through Cheshire’s Peak District.  So it will be taking in some wonderful British countryside and the Safari Park finishes promises some great excitement.

The third stage heads to Scotland, moving from Jedburgh to Dumfries and taking in Scotland’s stunning landscapes which provide the perfect backdrop to Britain’s biggest race and an undulating stage route.

Stage four is the half way point of the Tour of Britain and takes place in the North West of England from Carlisle and Penrith to Blackpool Promenade.

It is certainly an exciting few days in store, if you go along make sure you take some great pictures and how about posting some here or on our Facebook page.

Dig out the Wellies, Umbrellas, and Windproof Jackets… it’s time for the British Golf Open

British Open Golf ChampionshipThis week sees yet another major British sporting event with The Open, golf’s only major held outside of America, beginning at Lytham St Anne’s in Lancashire.

The British Open is traditionally played on links golf courses which means they are coastal, tend to be open and exposed, and are therefore subject to variable winds which will give even the world’s best players a challenge.  This year will be no exception as the Royal Lytham St Anne’s course in North West England is going to play really tough after all the wet weather in recent weeks.

However, on the bright side this could well favour the British golfers who should be more used to the ‘British Summer’!  Let’s hope so, we are due to a British winner, so come on Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and the rest.

If you are heading to The Open for a weekend break or short break then wrap up warm and have a great time.

See more details out the British Golf Open

Top five hiking routes in the Lake District

Scafell Pike, Lake District

Few people leave the Lake District without having done some hiking. From gentle walks around its lakes to strenuous mountain hikes, hiking is accessible to all. For keen hikers, the most popular attractions in the Lake District include Helvellyn, Skiddaw and Scafell Pike, Lake District hotels are available in the area to suit all budgets.

Known as Munros because they are over 3000 feet, they attract thousands of people every year. Helvellyn is the UK’s third-highest mountain and is home to Red Tarn Lake, named for the colour of its surrounding scree (rock fragments).

The Striding Edge route is a popular ascent for Helvellyn. The route is very well-marked but has some narrow ridges and steep sections. This route is dangerous in bad weather and is not suitable for those who dislike heights.

The hike usually commences from Glenridding at the southern end of Ullswater, or there is a shorter route from Patterdale. Starting from Glenridding, it is a 9.5-mile loop, taking around seven hours to complete.

The Striding Edge route incorporates a stony climb and at 850m there is a rock tower overlooking a ridge. This stretch of the walk is quite easy in good weather, although there is some scrambling required at the rock tower known as ‘The Chimney’.

Another Munro, Skiddaw is just north of Keswick in the northern Lake District. There are a number of routes up Skiddaw, including Ullock Pike Ridge, which follows a narrow ridge. Other hikers may choose Slade’s Beck as it offers a gentler ascent.

Skiddaw is also a popular choice for families as it can be less challenging than other mountain hikes in the Lakes. Starting from Ormathwaite, the climb up Jenkin Hill offers hikers a stunning view of Derwentwater.

From here, the route heads up towards Skiddaw Little Man and then continues on to the summit of Skiddaw. As with all summit ascents, the weather is often much cooler at the top and hikers should be prepared for changeable weather.

Those seeking more of a challenge should consider Scafell Pike. There are a number of routes up it and hikers should take time to plan their hike beforehand, as it is particularly easy to wander off a path.

Starting from Wasdale Head, the route is slightly less strenuous than starting from Seathwaite in Borrowdale. For less experienced hikers, this route can take around eight hours to complete. The landscape is quite steep in places and there are plenty of boulders strewn around.

Much of the ascent is up a rock staircase and to reach the summit hikers have to go up and down a number of other peaks. Those who reach the top of Scafell Pike will find that they are on top of the highest peak in England.

For those staying near Seathwaite, there is an opportunity to take a hike of around 5.5 miles that offers some interesting sights. Stockley Bridge near Seathwaite is unique in that it is actually a Grade 1 listed building. This area also holds the record for having had the most rainfall in 24 hours and is home to the vendace, a rare fish that survived from the last glacial period.

Although there is some climbing on this hike, there are great picnic spots and the shorter walk means that it is more attractive for families on their holidays. For those looking for shorter family walks, Hawkshead to Lake Windermere is another popular option.

There are some easy climbs on this walk and just one sharp descent to Lake Windermere at the end. Hawkshead is a village that retains a quaint charm and is a popular with visitors. The walk to Lake Windermere takes in woodlands and fells and because it finishes at the ferry house, it is easy to catch a ferry back.

For those who want to add a challenge to this walk, there is the option to take a steep descent to Claife Station. Built in the 1790s, this was a viewpoint for Lake Windermere and was a popular attraction with visitors in the 1830s and 1840s. Although its windows and roof are long gone, it is still a fantastic way to take in the vista.

Hikers should always be aware that the weather can change very quickly in the Lakes and novice hikers especially should take care when considering mountain ascents or other challenging routes. With many more hiking routes available, everyone has the opportunity to make the most of their visit to the Lake District.

Golf British Open Championship Weekend Breaks Short Breaks Cottage Breaks

There is no doubt that this summer is going to be a wonderful sporting festival with 2012 seeing the world’s best sports people heading to these shores for an amazing selection of sporting events.

Of course  headlining the summer sporting events is the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, but in addition to that there is Royal Ascot (kicking off this week), Wimbledon, Cowes Week, the British Grand Prix and The Open Golf Championship.

The British Open, known as The Open, is one of golf’s 4 majors and the only one held outside of the United States.  Played on Links courses in England and Scotland (courses are on rotation) the Championship in 2012 will be at Royal Lytham and St Anne’s Golf Club which is in Lancashire, North West England.  Practice rounds start from the 15th July with the Championship concluding on the 22nd July.

Lytham St Anne’s is on the northwest coast of England, not far from Blackpool and within reach of the popular holiday locations of the Lake District/Cumbria, Yorkshire Dales/West Yorkshire and the Peak District.

It is not often that you have the opportunity to see the world’s top golfers up close and get a chance to explore this wonderful part of England and so why not make a weekend break, short break or holiday of it in a holiday cottage, apartment or holiday lodge?

Find out more about the British Open Golf Championship cottage breaks