THE LAKE District is a magnet for walkers – and with very good reason.
The many wonderful walks the area has to offer have been quieter than usual over the past couple of years due to Covid.
But now, with hotels, guest houses and hostels welcoming guests once again, the splendours of the region’s great outdoors can be enjoyed by seasoned walkers and those who may only have discovered the health and well-being benefits of walking during lockdown.
The Wild Boar is one of the oldest hotels in the Lake District.
The former coaching inn – named after Richard de Gilpin, who legend has it bravely fought a wild boar nearby – has been welcoming guests since the 18th century.
Situated between Lake Windermere and Kendal and just a short drive from the M6, it’s the perfect base to discover the many treasures of the region.
Part of the English Lakes group, the Wild Boar offers guests a true sense of history coupled with 21st century comfort and all the necessary mod cons that entails – but not at the expense of the building’s character.
Guests are greeted by beams and flag-stoned floor bar, comfy leather armchairs and open fires.
The 34 individually-styled rooms – classic, feature and luxury – provide everything needed for the perfect stay, from big comfortable beds to luxury bathrooms.
Boasting its own grill and smokehouse, the restaurant is nothing short of meat eater’s heaven, from its range of smoked/unsmoked steaks to char-grill sweet cure bacon chops.
But there’s a lot more to this kitchen than just meat, from the salt baked beetroot and ewes milk feta salad starter to the The Balvenie single malt whiskey baba dessert.
The Wild Boar delivers country style cooking at its best – using only the finest and freshest ingredients, many of them local, and making them sing.
And the Alternative Afternoon Tea should not to be missed – featuring savoury delights such as mini fish & chips, pork scratchings and pigs in blankets alongside the more traditional scones and cakes.
For nature-lovers the inn boasts another prize asset in its own 72 acres semi-ancient woodland, complete with tarn. It includes a number of wonderful walking trails where you can truly get away from the crowds and be at one with nature.
Or for the more energetic there’s the ‘wild gym trail’ or the opportunity to enjoy a spot of clay pigeon shooting or archery.
Visit englishlakes.co.uk/the-wild-boar for further details.
It’s time to pull on the boots. Here we offer a taster of some of the best walks the Lake District has to offer.
* Buttermere – For an easy stroll, look no further than Buttermere Valley. The tranquil area offers dramatic fells, farms and woodland, encompassing three lakes. Buttermere (the lake) offers one of the best round-the-lake walks in the Lake District and at around four miles and with no hills it makes the perfect intoduction to the area for the whole family.
* Catbells, Keswick – This offers slightly more of a challenge, but again the various – roughly three miles – climbs to the top are very popular with families. The reason is the reward of specacular views across Derwent from Borrowdale.
* Coffin Route, Ambleside – Starting in the village of Ambleside the route of around four miles is so named as it was formerly used to carry coffins on their final journey to St Oswald’s Church in Grasmere. In addition to beautiful views and tumbling streams, it also takes in two former homes of poet William Wordsworth.
* Helvellyn – A more challenging ten mile walk is offered by England’s third highest peak. The infamous ‘Striding Edge’ is a challenging ridge walk but this route leaves from the village of Glenridding before ascending the summit – and its spectacular views – via the Keppel Cove approach.
* Old Man of Coniston – Those wanting something slightly less challenging may do well to tlook at the 7.5 mile walk on one of the best known mountains in the Lake District. The hike to the summit starts and ends from the village of Coniston below and is well worth the effort to reach the top for some stunning views.
* Scafell Pike – Those who fancy standing on the top of England may consider a seven mile hike to the top of the country’s highest mountain. One for the more experienced walker, it provides those braving the summit with spectacular views of the surrounding fells. It also forms part of the national Three Peaks Challenge.
Don’t expect to be alone on any of these walks. They’re popular for a reason. But the Lake District has thousands of miles of walks and trails where it’s easy to escape the crowds and the pressures of everyday life (which just seem to be mounting!) and to enjoy some of the most breath-taking scenary England has to offer.
Visit www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/ for further details.