HomeAway travel expert
For me, one of the greatest pleasures of being on holiday is being able to leave the car alone for a week or two. Here in the Lake District we are blessed with excellent public transport routes, as well as a myriad of cycling routes so going “car free” really doesn’t present too many problems. The other thing about being on holiday is that I don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen preparing meals, especially packed lunches, so it’s good to know that the Lake District is also chock full of excellent cafés and bakeries providing locally sourced food for hungry holiday makers.
Keswick and Ambleside are two of the most popular Lake District destinations for those looking to get out and about, so here is a quick guide to the best places to pick up fabulous local goodies for your trip.
Sustainable local provisions for exploring the Lake District
Pies and pastries
The area around Keswick is criss-crossed by a number of dedicated cycling routes taking you around the local fells and lakes. It also sits at the top end of the 555 bus route, the Lake District’s most famous public transport route, and is a hub for other local services including the Honister Rambler. When it comes to stocking up on provisions you are spoilt for choice, as a walk along the high street will soon demonstrate. One of my favourite places to pick up pies for my journey is Thomason’s on Station Street (near WH Smith); this family run butchers bake all of their own pies and pasties on the premises and will do their best to cater to specific requirements if you order the day before. All the meat is responsibly sourced from local farmers and they make a cracking bit of pastry too.
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Veggie options and cakes
If meat isn’t your thing, then Bryson’s on Main Street and Laura in the Lakes (directly opposite) are the places to head. As well as a spectacular range of cakes, flapjacks and other energy-laden goodies (all sourced locally) they can also make sandwiches and salad boxes to order – perfect when you’re trying to put together a family picnic. And if you’re on your bike then head for The Pedlar café next to the main car park. There’s plenty of space to chain up your bike if you want to enjoy a post-ride cuppa and cake.
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Ambleside really is one of the central hubs of the Lake District. From here most of the start points for the major fells are but a bus ride away; I can highly recommend the 516 which leaves from central Ambleside and takes you out to Dungeon Ghyll. From here you can enjoy a gentle stroll along the Langdale Valley, a slightly more energetic walk up to Stickle Tarn, or a full on hike to Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.
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Bakeries and breads
Peggy’s bakery on Compston Road has been providing sustenance for hikers since 1947. If you’re looking for good traditional fare then this is the place to head; everything is freshly prepared each day and all sourced from local suppliers. If you’re heading out on the bus, then directly opposite the bus stop is the Fresh Bread Shop; an artisan baker who bakes all his own speciality breads and will be happy to provide sandwiches to order. I should warn you though, the place smells divine and it’s almost impossible to resist the freshly baked flapjacks warm out of the oven.
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When the day is done and your legs are tired, there is nowhere better than Bilbo’s Café just behind Barclay’s Bank to crash out with a pint of tea and a sticky treat. With cookies the size of saucers there are no small portions here, and you can enjoy them in comfort as you sink deeply into their sofas and armchairs. I guarantee you will leave there feeling refreshed, revived and ready for your next Lake District adventure.
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Lae District Holiday Cottages
Park Lodge Apartment (sleeps up to 8 adults):
Entrance hall leading to stairs up to a double bedroom with 5ft. bed with separate adjoining cloakroom. Stairs leading up to:
First Floor: Kitchen/breakfast room, reception room and separate dining-r...
Situated within the wing of a stone built, end terrace Victorian House, Dukesbury is a first floor apartment in Grange-over-Sands which has its own private entrance. A wonderful apartment, Dukesbury has a delightful open plan living room with fabu...
2 double beds (1 with en suite) and 1 single, lounge with TV, DVD and wood burner, fully equipped kitchen, 2nd shower room with shower cubicle, hand basin and WC, large conservatory with amazing views out over Morecambe Bay, lobby with wash machin...
The Coach House at Arnside has been totally refurbished in a contemporary style to create a stunning holiday home for 2013. Our home is perfect for a family holiday or a short break all year round as the beach, lakes and mountains are only a short...
Cove Cottage is a terraced cottage in the coastal village of Allonby, overlooking the Solway Firth. There is a four poster double, a further double and a twin. There is a bathroom with bath, shower over, basin and WC. The living accommodation comp...