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South Lakes
Your guide to the region immortalised by Beatrix Potter & Arthur Ransome
Telephone: +44 (0)1539 531 258
Email: travel@beyondtheforest.com
LAST UPDATED
4 / 12 / 2008

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Low Parkamoor Farm with the Old Man of Coniston
South Lakeland is probably the most familiar region of Cumbria. It is certainly, the most easily accessible, for it is within easy reach of the M6 motorway and there are direct rail connections to Windermere. This is the tame side of the Lake District, the familiar landcapes of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck that have been nurtured since childhood, the setting for the adventures of the Swallows & Amazons, and even the backdrop to Postman Pat and the original Thomas the Tank Engine Books! It is the landscape that has inspired great artists and poets, and more recently, generations of travellers lured here by picture postcard images of Tarn Hows or the Bridge House, adorning millions of chocolate boxes and calendars, and by Grasmere Gingerbread, and Kendal Mintcake.

But there is so much more to this region: historic houses and dazzling gardens such as Holker Hall, Sizergh Castle, Blackwell Arts & Crafts House, Levens Hall, Brantwood, Holehird, and so on. Eccesiatic and historic treasures from Cartmel Priory to the great sandstone ruins of Furness Abbey, ancient parish churches such as Cartmel Fell, or Bowness, and ruined castles at Kendal. Gleaston and Piel Island ... the latter still ruled by its own King! And don't forget the popular attractions associated with Beatrix Potter such as Hill Top at High Sawrey, or Yew Tree Farm.

The South Lakes region is also a magnet for anybody who loves the great outdoors and adventure - the mountain bike trails of Grizedale Forest, sailing and watersports on Coniston and Windermere, fishing at Esthwaite, or of course, that favourite pastime, fellwalking: from the high and rugged peaks of the Langdales, Conison Old Man, Wetherlam and the Troutbeck valley, to the easier slopes of Orrest Head or Gummers How, hills which nevertheless command spectacular views over the Lake District and Morecambe Bay. And when you are too tired to walk you can take a steamer from one end of Windermere to the other, or nose round the bays and islands on a more modest launch, board the Victorian Gondola steam yacht for a stylish cruise on Coniston Water or take a ride on a steam train or a steam boat, or even a steam bus! Or you can take one of the many excursions with the experienced drivers and guides of the Mountain Goat - to discover the real Lake District - our Lake District.

South Lakeland, a region rich in flora and fauna, harbours many excellent nature reserves - the spectacular seabird colony at South Walney, the rare flora of Whitbarrow, herds of red deer in, and around, Grizedale Forest, and the unusual mires of Roudsea Woods for example. South Lakeland is also a shoppers paradise with may, traditional local stores providing a huge diversity of quality produce from gifts to fashions, art to delicatessens: Ambleside, Bowness, Windermere, Kendal, Kirby Lonsdale and Ulverston. There are also renowned restaurants, tearooms, traditional pubs, successful micro-breweries, and wealth of excellent accommodation from simple B&Bs to 5-star rooms with a view. This is also a region which has an appeal throughout the year - and the calendar is busy with shows and festivals, for example: Grasmere Country Sports, Cartmel Races, Flookburgh Steam Fair, Ulverston's Dickenisan Christmas Festival, the Old Laundry theatre festival at Bowness, and the Windermere Airshow to name just a few.

Other regions of Cumbria:

North Cumbria with Lakeland Beyond
West Cumbria
Eastern Fells of Cumbria with Beyond the Lake
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