Lake District walks with tearooms….
What could be more relaxing on a visit to the Lake District than a scenic walk followed by lunch or a traditional cream tea in an enchanting tearoom?! Taking the weight off your feet, and enjoying scones, jam and cream within picturesque surroundings - it's our idea of heaven! Here we've chosen some of our favourite walks with tearooms to help you plan your perfect day out...
The Ambleside to Grasmere Coffin Route and The Old School Room Tea Shop, Rydal Hall Rydal Hall provides the perfect stop-and-refresh point on the Ambleside to Grasmere coffin route. As the name hints, this trail follows the path taken by those in days gone by who carried the coffins to St Oswald's Church, and passes by both of Wordsworth's former homes, Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount. If you only want to walk in one direction, no problem - why not catch the bus back to Ambleside when you reach the end of the route?! Whilst at Rydal Hall, you should take time to visit The Grot, a fascinating and little-known viewing station built in 1668 which looks out onto the lower Rydal waterfalls. 015394 32050, rydalhall.org
The western shore of Windermere and the Courtyard in the Café, Claife Station Claife Viewing Station is a relatively new addition to our list of Lake District must-sees, after its restoration was completed by the National Trust last year. The viewing station dates back to the 1790s, and was even used for dances in the 1800s! There's a super little pop-up café in the courtyard below, which means that you can walk from Wray Castle to Claife Station along the western shore of Windermere, and complete the rest of the circuit by boat using the ferry and a Walker's Ticket on Windermere Lake Cruises (starting points include Ambleside, Brockhole and Bowness so see windermere-lakecruises.co.uk for details). nationaltrust.org.uk/claife-viewing-station-and-windermere-west-shore
Aira Force and National Trust Tea Room, Ullswater This atmospheric walk takes you initially through ancient yews and tall conifers, and on to a woodland path leading to the breathtaking Aira Force, a twenty one-metre waterfall that thunders into the pools below. Keep going, and you'll also pass a series of smaller cascades and the lesser known and smaller High force, further upstream - you'll find more route ideas on the National Trust website. The tea room at Aira Force is run by the National Trust, so you know that profits are going straight back into their conservation work in the area. 01768 482067, nationaltrust.org.uk/aira-force-and-ullswater
Coniston lakeshore and the Bluebird and Brantwood Cafés Coniston Water provides infinite walking possibilities, both long and short. A lakeshore walk along the western shore of Coniston has to be one of the most relaxing of Lake District experiences, and when you have walked far enough, you can simply hop on board the Coniston launch at one of the marked jetties (Torver and Sunny Bank), and enjoy afternoon tea at either the Bluebird Café (western shore) or the Brantwood Café, which also welcomes dogs. 01768 775753, conistonlaunch.co.uk