Sykehouse Cottage

A beautiful C17th Holiday Cottage in the Lake District

Easter Holiday Ideas

Here at Sykehouse Cottage we have some favourite Easter activities.  These include:

  • A trip on thratty2e 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 Easter Weekend, muncaster2they are running a Teddies Go Free promotion – free entry for every child with a teddy and there’s the
    Muncaster Giant Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday and Monday.  Click here for more details.
  • And of course if anyone needs anymore chocolate, you could always find a Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt at various NT venues including: the Coniston Steam 1152337Gondola (are they floating?); Fell Foot at Newby Bridge; Claife Viewing Station on the west bank on Windermere; and Wray Castle at Ambleside.  Click here for more details and opening times.

Dorothy’s Christmas Birthday


“Up, rapt at her gate,
Dorothy Wordsworth ages
one year in an hour;

her Christmas birthday
inventoried by an owl,
clock-eyed, time-keeper.”

It was published as a small hardback book by panmacmillan in 2014 and is a perfect Lake District Christmas present.

Townend: A Quiet Jewel

townendTownend : A Quiet Jewel.

East of Windermere is an historical treasure that we have a special interest in – for it was built around about the same time as Sykehouse Cottage.  It’s attached to no famous name and therefore doesn’t attract the crowds – like that other farm on the west of the Lake, Hill Top, does – but for a delightful insight into 400 years of Lakeland life, Townsend is perfect.  The Browne family was an ordinary farming family but their home at Troutbeck is a beautiful evocation of a past life and well worth a detour to visit.  The place is crammed full of quirky household objects from c17th onwards.  There are excellent, informative guided tours and often they put on an afternoon of cooking where they recreate some of the recipes from the Brownes’ family recipe books.

Townend is a National Trust property and is open from March to October.  It’s about 20 miles from the Cottage and for further details on opening times and prices, follow this link.

Samuel Whiskers at Hill Top Farm

Tom KittenI have read all the Beatrix Potter stories to the children at bedtime.  Some more often than others.  Certain tales were as delightful and easy to read as well paced poems (Jeremy Fisher); others were a vicious, verbal obstacle course for a very tired reader to stumble over and I used to hide them behind other books (The Pie and the Patty Pan, anyone?)  So the boys and I absolutely charmed when we visited Potter’s Hill Top Farm run by the National Trust for, instead of a worthy guide book, we were given copies of “The Tale of Samuel Whiskers”.  (This was the boys’ favourite though I found Tom Kitten’s close shave quite unnerving.)  We were instructed to search the house for the exact places Potter had drawn for the book.  Well done the National Trust for thinking of such a thing!  The boys were entranced to find the VERY skirting board, the stairs etc from her watercolours and trace the story of the enormous, old, thieving rat, and the ever resourceful Maria, around the house.

Be warned Hill Top Farm is extremely popular and entry is by timed ticket only.  Allow plenty of time of park – because there’s not much of it and it’s a walk from the site.  Click here for the official site.

Wallowbarrow Round Walk

Stepping Stones across the DuddonAt Easter, we tramped through the snow around Wallowbarrow.  This is one of our very favourite walks: a beautiful, quiet river and woodland walk along the Duddon in National Trust land.   It can be as long or as short as you want and has the added bonus of starting/ending at the wonderful Newfield Inn.

In the Summer, we often picnic on a river beach and sometimes even take a dip at Watersmeet where the Tarn Beck meets the river Duddon.  But today we were just grateful that someone had been around before us to tamp down the snow – which in places was higher than our wellies!Memorial Bridge

CawWe wandered about for an hour and finished with lunch at the Newfield.  Run by Paul, this c17th inn at Seathwaite has great, hearty food for walkers, a log fire and a fine selection of local beer.  This lunchtime we ate their famous steak pie and Cumberland sausage and sampled Barngates’ Catnap and Cumberland’s Corby Ale.  Click here for their website.