Here at Sykehouse Cottage we have some favourite holiday activities. These include:
- A trip on the Eskdale and Ravenglass Railway. Also known as “La’al Ratty”, this is one of the oldest narrow gauge railways in the country. They start running daily from mid March, through some beautiful countryside. Click here for their website. It’s about an half an hour from Sykehouse Cottage either across Corney Fell or taking the A 595.
- This can be combined with a ramble around Muncaster Castle and Gardens where for this Half Term, they are holding their Muncaster Festival (28-30 May) with lots of family activities including circus skills and a climbing wall – complete with the International Jesters’ Tournament on the final day. Click here for more details.
- Closer to home, we can walk across the fields from Sykehouse Cottage for a gorgeous pub lunch at the Blacksmiths Arms, Broughton Mills. Click here for details of opening hours on their website.
The window seats in the sunroom of Sykehouse Cottage is made from some truly beautiful and very local slate.
The Broughton Moor Quarry, half way between Broughton and Coniston, has been worked since the mid 19th century. It gives a wonderfully rich mid-green stone with a beautiful tone and pale veins which give a distinctive and very pleasing range of irregular markings. This makes it a favourite for stylish interiors (like ours, obviously …) and can be seen in our local merchant’s showrooms, Burlington Slate. Their main website is www.burlingtonstone.co.uk
Held at West Park, known locally as the “Show Ground”, Millom & Broughton Show is on the last Saturday in August every year. The field is easy to find: the first on the right running along the Coniston road and is a short walk from the holiday cottage. If you are lucky enough to be in the area, it’s a lovely way to spend a day.
The Show is relatively small – contained in the one field – but has lots to look at and enjoy. There are usually dog agility displays, fell racing, Cumberland wrestling and hound trailing, as well as all the livestock entrants, poultry tent and the fiercely competitive vegetable and flower competitions.
The tribe has variously entered edible necklaces, animals made out of vegetables, best handwriting of a poem and decorated wellies. More senior members of the tribe enter marmalade, bread and photographs.
Other local shows in August 2015 are:
Walk : Duddon, Bleansey, Lickle.
This short stroll down to the river and back up again is now called Uncle David’s Walk as we rambled around it after his funeral one fine September.
Turn right out of Sykehouse cottage and up the hill to the High Cross Inn. Cross the busy A595 to the pavement beyond and walk down to find the signpost and gateway off to the left. Leaving the traffic madness behind, stroll along the footpath across the River Lickle and fields down to the Duddon at a spot called The Sheep Dip. Good bathing in the Summer. At the river bank turn right and stroll along past the wild garlic and trees to the bridge. Stopping for the obligatory skimming stones contest.
Then cross the road by the traffic lights at the bridge and climb up the Ulpha Road, pass the first set of houses at Bank End. Look out for a rough track and signpost on the right leading up through some woods and out down the bottom of gorse covered Bleansley Bank.
At Lower Bleansley, a collection of farmhouses, turn right through the barns, down across the marshy pasturelands by the Lickle again, heading for Manor Farm. Follow the farm road up to the Coniston Road. Cross over to the White Gates of West Park, known by locals as the Show Field. Stop and admire the newly dredged pond, before making you way back across the field and into Broughton Square by the Coniston Road.
Takes about 2 hrs. One short steep climb through the woods at Bleansley Bank.
Local Broughton artist, McGrath, is having her first solo exhibition at Brantwood starting 11 January and going on until 9 March 2014. Focusing on farm animals, her lively and affectionate style really brings out the character of her subjects and it is wonderful that she has landed this exhibition which hopefully will bring her wider recognition.
For guests at Sykehouse Cottage, her work can also be seen, and is for sale, at the Broughton Village Bakery. (Look out for team Riggs’ favourite sketch of a Guinea Pig.)
For further information about Jo’s work. Please click on the link to her website or the Brantwood exhibition go to their website here.
Why not stay at Sykehouse Cottage in early October and sample the wonderful selection of beer on offer at the same time? The Lake District has many small independent breweries and every October there’s a beer festival centring on Broughton town mini buses taking people further afield. There are usually over 90 real ales available during the event and the pubs will be open all day. Cumberland sausage tends to feature quite heavily in the festival as well.
Broughton’s Festival of Beer runs from Friday 4 to Sunday 6 October 2013 and includes:
The Manor Arms in Broughton’s town square which always has a great selection of local beer
The Prince of Wales, Foxfield : a pub with its own brewery
The High Cross Inn : there’ll be live music on Saturday night
and up the Duddon Valley at Seathwaite, The Newfield Inn.
More details can be found on the local website here.
Cat Nap is a favourite local ale of mine. From Barngates Brewery, Ambleside. They describe it as: “A straw coloured hoppy beer with a hint of grapefruit. Well balanced bitterness leads to a long dry finish. A fruity, zesty character.”
The distinctive look of Lake District fells, ribbons of stone walls and treeless slopes, has largely been created by Herdwick sheep.
The animal has been part of the landscape for centuries and there are now many products you can take home with you to celebrate this hardy breed and to remember your stay at our cottage.
If you pop into Melville’s in Broughton-in-Furness, you can pick up one of our favourite local products: a beautiful Original Cumbrian Wool throw. These are woven from undyed Duddon valley fleeces and would be a unique memento of your holiday.
A link to the Original Cumbrian Wool website is here if you would like further details. If you are handy with a needle, they sell yarn and fabric as well as finished products.