Category Archives: Ambleside

New cycling initiative launched in the Lake District

TV presenter Helen Skelton, of Blue Peter fame, has become one of the first people to experience an innovative new cycling initiative in the the Lake District.

Skyride cycling initiative
The initiative aims to encourage people to experience the Lake District in a healthier, greener way

The event was the first in a series of 30 free guided group bike rides led by British Cycling trained Ride Leaders planned for the Lake District this summer.

Aimed at all age groups and experience levels, the Sky Ride Local rides encourage people to experience the Lake District in a healthier, greener way.

It is the first time Sky Ride Local has come to a National Park, and the GoLakes Travel programme has teamed up with British Cycling to bring the initiative to the region.

Between now and the end of September, Sky Ride Local rides will also take place around scenic spots such as Hawkshead, Coniston Bowness, Elterwater and Ambleside.

Starting points for the routes will also make the most of traffic-free cycle routes being enhanced through the GoLakes Travel programme, with many getting underway close to bike hire points. For some routes, there is even the option of hiring an electric bike.

Helen Skelton said: “I’m delighted to be one of the first to experience this new cycling initiative in what is probably one of the most perfect locations in the country to cycle. I love to leave the car at home and get out on my bike. Cycling is such an important sport for all ages to get involved in and this ride will bring cycling fans together from all different backgrounds and abilities to enjoy riding in such a stunning landscape”.

Claire Maclaine, GoLakes Travel Programme Manager added: “Sky Ride Local rides are a really exciting, way for people of all ages and abilities to explore experience and enjoy cycling in a unique natural setting. Go Lakes Travel is proud to be part of a fantastic year for cycling in Cumbria, with the county hosting the longest leg of the Tour of Britain in September. As part of this, we want to show that cycling is for everyone and what’s great about Sky Ride Local is that it’s free, accessible and genuinely aimed at building people’s confidence whether they’re a regular cyclist or not.”

To see the full list of Sky Ride Local rides in the Lake District, or to book a free place, visit:

Catamaran aids Windermere ranger work

A catamaran will be used by rangers to patrol England’s longest lake, to reflect a shift in leisure activities.

Lake Windermere launch and boat hire area
Lake Windermere Launch Area

The Lake District National Park Authority said it would provide a more stable platform for their work on Windermere than the inflatable and motorboat currently used.

The Cheetah catamaran is similar to vessels used by police and the Environment Agency.

Rangers enforce by-laws, offer safety advice and carry out conservation work.

Park management ranger Sara Spicer said: “We are encouraging a shift from fast watersports towards sailing, paddle craft and open water swimming.

“As the emphasis alters, so does our role.

“These days an important part of our work is watching out for the ever-growing number of swimmers, advising them to be visible and boat users to be on the look-out for them.”

Lake District National Park – Going weekend wild

An invitation to get wild in a weekend of Bank Holiday action at a leading national park attraction has gone out.

The free event at Lake District Visitor Centre, Brockhole, on the shores of Windermere, is calling on pond dippers, all-age adventurers, live show buffs and even primitive tool throwers to get stuck in.

Two days of heady fun and entertainment are on offer on Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5, in Get Wild at Brockhole.

Whether it is taster canoeing sessions, sharing walks and wisdom, bushcraft and survival skills, or street shows courtesy of the Fairly Famous Family, this is the place to be.

Lake District National Park’s events co-ordinator Andrea Hills urged visitors and locals to turn up and experience the expected – and unexpected.

She explained: “This really is a fantastic, free programme with widespread appeal. Irrespective of age or interests, the all-weather itinerary promises a lot of fun for everyone.

“It was hugely successful last year and we’re expecting bumper crowds again. We’re all set for a fantastic day, rain or shine. If people want to chill out and listen to stories, go on to the lake, or a whole lot in between, come and join us.”

via Lake District National Park – Going weekend wild.

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Bull rescued from slurry pit in Lake District farm (From The Westmorland Gazette)

Bull rescued from slurry pit in Lake District farm

11:53am Sunday 31st March 2013 in News

FIREFIGHTERS spent four hours rescuing a young bull from a slurry pit at a Lake District farm yesterday.

Teams from Kendal and Ambleside were called to the Grasmere farm, at around 11am on Saturday, after receiving a report that a bull, weighing around one tonne, had ‘fallen through a hole in the floor’.

A Cumbria Fire spokesman said: “It was a hard lift because of the dangers of slurry pits.

“The hole was only about two metres by one metre wide, but we had to make it bigger to get the bull out.

“Crews had to take the safety of the animal, which was obviously distressed, and themselves into account.”

The roof of the barn had to be removed so crews could lift the bull vertically using strops and the farmer’s tractor. Attempts to winch the animal were unsuccessful.

via Bull rescued from slurry pit in Lake District farm (From The Westmorland Gazette).

Duchess mucks in around campfire | National News & World News Headlines | Latest UK News Stories & International News

Duchess mucks in around campfire

The Duchess of Cambridge stayed true to the Scout motto of “Be Prepared” as she mucked in around the campfire at an activity centre for youngsters in the snow-bound Lake District.

Wrapped up against the biting cold, Kate arrived wearing a fleece, green parka-style jacket, dark blue jeans and wellies with a Scout’s red, white and blue neckerchief, tied in a friendship knot.

As snowflakes were blown around the fells above Lake Windermere at the Great Tower activity centre near Newby Bridge, the temperature was estimated to have plummeted to minus five with the wind chill factor.

Kate, five months pregnant, spent about an hour outside with adult scout volunteers and youngsters.

Sporting a jaunty, Chelsea-style, green woollen hat, the Duchess was undeterred by the conditions, plunging her hands into a doughy mixture of flour, water and sugar as she learned how to make “dampers” or “twists” – a campfire treat for children.

Kate, said to be “passionate” about volunteering, helps out occasionally at a Scout group close to her home in North Wales and she joined 24 other adults on a training day to learn scouting skills to pass on to children at their own groups.

The royal sat around an unlit campfire with the other volunteers listening to tips on how to create fire using a flint and cotton wool. There were cheers and claps as the instructor, despite the wind and snow, managed to create a flame.

Lesson over, the volunteers split into groups of five, with Kate learning how to make “twisters” or “dampers”. In the freezing temperatures the Duchess plunged her hands, still wearing her sparkling wedding and engagement rings, into a squidgy mixture of flour, water, oil and sugar.

She kneaded the dough in a bowl for several minutes before they made elongated twists out of the pastry by rubbing blobs of the mixture between their hands. After washing the dough mix off her hands Kate wrapped a twist of the messy mixture around a twig stripped of bark which was placed over the open fire ready to toast.

The volunteers’ efforts had mixed results, with the Duchess laughing and giggling with the others as some of the twisters dropped into the flames. “I’m not sure if these are going to look particularly edible,” Kate laughed.

via Duchess mucks in around campfire | National News & World News Headlines | Latest UK News Stories & International News.

North West Evening Mail | Home | Lifestyle | Baby friendly walk in the Lake District

Baby friendly walk in the Lake District

LIFE as a new parent can be tough. Sleepless nights, 24-hour responsibility and a whole new identity as ‘mum’ or ‘dad’ can leave your head spinning.

EASY GOING The buggy-friendly walk from Skelwith Bridge submitted

NEW mum NICOLA PARK shares her passion for exploring the outdoors with her daughter in a monthly column detailing baby-friendly walks.

When my daughter Rowan was born six months ago I quickly realised one of the most restful and refreshing things to do with her was head out for a walk.

Even a tiny baby can be wrapped up well and tucked in a sling or pram to enjoy a breath of fresh air. At only a few days old Rowan had already explored the ‘twin peaks’ of Ulverston – Flan Fell and the Hoad, safely strapped to daddy’s chest.

At a couple of months old she even made a winter ascent of Wansfell in Ambleside, though we were questioned on our parenting skills by walkers on the way up.

But as long as the route is well within your own capabilities and baby is well protected from the elements, walking is beneficial to the whole family.

In fact, a study carried out by Liverpool John Moores University in 2004 found babies exposed to plenty of daylight are more likely to sleep better at night.

As a fell runner and climber, an unexpected bonus of parenthood has been that I am now exploring areas of South Cumbria I had previously overlooked.

Valley walks previously shunned as dull have opened up new vistas, and even the smallest hill becomes a soaring mountain when viewed through the eyes of a child.

To share my passion for exploring the outdoors with Rowan I have launched a blog – I will be writing about our exploits and sharing my tips and routes for others to try.

To start with, why not try this easy yet stunning walk in Langdale, which is suitable for pushchairs?

Pushchair walk: Skelwith Bridge to Elterwater 2.5 miles

A flat, easy walk by the River Brathay on a largely metalled track with no obstacles.

This walk is out-and-back, so can either be started in Skelwith Bridge or Elterwater. Some on-road parking is available just by the Skelwith Bridge Hotel, or park in the car park around 200m further up the road.

Cross the road and head through the trees to the track that runs by the river. Turn right to follow the track towards Elterwater. The track follows the river, before opening up into a field with stunning views of Elterwater and the Langdale fells. The path at this point can be wet and boggy, so be prepared to get your buggy wheels wet.

The path then meets the lake, an ideal picnic spot and photo opportunity. It then continues into the village of Elterwater.

I stopped for a drink at the Britannia Inn, a friendly pub that serves an excellent range of real ales and food. There was room to change baby in the ladies.

Simply reverse your steps to return to Skelwith Bridge.

North West Evening Mail | Home | Lifestyle | Baby friendly walk in the Lake District.