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The Britannia Inn

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18 May 2018

Welcome to the Real Ale Blog!

Hi folks, I hope all is going well?

Guests this week Tiffin Gold from the guys at Kirby Lonsdale Brewery, Golden Fleece form Dent Brewery.....

We have made the decision that with all the micro brewerys we have in Cumbria we are only having Cumbrian guest beer from now on.

Our regular Bluebird Bitter is in fine fettle as always as is Jennins Sneck Lifter.

Happy Drinking........Parker, Chubbs, Steve, Kirk and Trig

By Andrew Parker, 18 May 2018 – 0 comments

14 February 2012

A hop Skip and Jump

Caption: Hop, skip and a Jump

Situated in Bowness on Windermere about 8 miles from the Britannia Inn. This well established attraction is open all year round except Christmas Day.  

"Our attraction includes all 23 Tales by Beatrix Potter, brought to life in a magical indoor recreation of the Lakeland countryside, complete with sights, sounds and even smells. So you can meet Peter Rabbit in Mr. McGregor’s garden, discover Jemima Puddle-duck in the woodland glade and visit Mrs. Tiggy-winkle in her kitchen.

The Miss Potter Room explores the life of Beatrix Potter with a unique Virtual Walks display, short film presentation and innovative exhibits about Beatrix Potter and her pioneering life.

You can also browse through the Beatrix Potter Shop with its comprehensive range of Peter Rabbit gifts.

Perhaps you might also enjoy lunch or afternoon tea in the unique Tailor of Gloucester Tea Room or outdoors on the garden terrace, where you can enjoy The Enchanting World of Beatrix Potter sculpture, unveiled in the presence of Renée Zellweger.

So whoever your favourite characters are, it's only a hop, skip and jump to meet Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-duck, Mrs Tiggy-winkle, Tom Kitten and many more, in the magical World of Beatrix Potter" 

By Paul Fry, 14 February 2012 – 0 comments

14 February 2012

A Steaming Day Train and Boat

If you are looking for a great family days sightseeing in rain or shine then this is an awesoime day out. 

Travel to Ambleside and park at waterhead car park and take a Windermere Lake Steamer from Waterhead Pier to Brockhole and visit the Nation Park Visitors Centre.

Taking to the Steamer again you can sail to Bowness and onto Lakeside travelling over the deep parts of of the Lake at 64m. 

At Lakeside you can join the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway for s steam train ride to Haverthwaite. Returning to Lakeside for a visit to the only Aquarium in the Lakes.

At Haverthwaite you can also visit the Lakeland Motor Museum, just a twenty minute walk along the River Leven, takes you to one of the newest Museums in the Lakes.

Over 30,000 exhibits including cars, motorcycles, and associated parifinalia.  There is a Cambell Bluebird Exhibition and a display of Isle of Man TT bikes.

Before retuning on the 10 mile steamer trip back to Ambleside, stopping off in Bowness on the way back for a beer or some shopping.


By Paul Fry, 14 February 2012 – 0 comments

14 February 2012

John Ruskin & Brantwood

John Ruskin (8 February 1819 – 20 January 1900) was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political economy.

His writing styles and literary forms were equally varied. Ruskin penned essays and treatises, poetry and lectures, travel guides and manuals, letters and even a fairy tale. The elaborate style that characterised his earliest writing on art was later superseded by a preference for plainer language designed to communicate his ideas more effectively. In all of his writing, he emphasised the connections between nature, art and society.

He also made detailed sketches and paintings of rocks, plants, birds, landscapes, and architectural structures and ornamentation. (

From 1872 to 1900 Ruskin lived at Brantwood House, Coniston which is 15 minutes drive from the the Britannia Inn.

The House is filled with Ruskin's treasures: paintings, furniture, objects d'art and his personal memorabilia.

Brantwood is a registered museum, but is still kept very much as a home. The house affords a unique opportunity to look into the daily life of one of England’s most important social and cultural figures. The atmosphere at Brantwood is special, and because so many of Ruskin’s possessions remain, it feels as if the man himself has just stepped out into the garden!

Visitors to the house are introduced to Ruskin’s world by a brief introductory video and are then free to explore the seven historical rooms which he occupied during his lifetime, all of which are filled with his furniture, art and objects. Visitors are given a small printed guide to the rooms, and volunteer stewards are on hand to answer questions. For younger visitors there are a range of quizzes and activity sheets.

The visit to the house also includes the Blue Gallery where there is a changing programme of specially curated exhibitions.

By Paul Fry, 14 February 2012 – 0 comments

14 February 2012

Beatrix Potter Gallery & Hill Top

Helen Beatrix Potter (28 July 1866 – 22 December 1943) was an English author, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist best known for her imaginative children’s books featuring animals such as those in The Tale of Peter Rabbit which celebrated the British landscape and country life.(

In 1905 Beatrix moved to Sawrey using the profits from her books she purchased Hill Top Farm

Beatrix Potter's 17th-century farmhouse: a time-capsule of her life

Enjoy the tale of Beatrix Potter by visiting Hill Top. Full of her favourite things, this house appears as if Beatrix had just stepped out for a walk. Every room contains a reference to a picture in a 'tale'.

The lovely cottage garden is a haphazard mix of flowers, herbs, fruit and vegetables.

Hill Top is a small house and a timed-ticket system is in operation to avoid overcrowding and to protect the interior. Hill Top can be very busy and visitors may sometimes have to wait to enter the house.

Please note: tickets cannot be booked in advance and early sell-outs are possible.

Don't miss
¦Don't miss the children's garden trail
¦Explore the traditional English country garden throughout the seasons
¦Enjoy the views which inspired Beatrix's tales and illustrations
¦See website for details of Beatrix Potter walks and events
¦Downloadable local walks available from the National Trust website
¦Leave the car behind - arrive by boot, bus or boat

By Paul Fry, 14 February 2012 – 0 comments

14 February 2012

Brockhole- Lake District Visitors Centre

Situated six miles from the Britannia on the east coast of Windermere about half way between Ambleside and Windermere.

Vast car park provides ample space to park even on the busiest days. Entrance is Free to exhibitions, gardens and grounds of this late 19th Century ex family home. Built by wealthy silk imports and designed by architect Dan Gibson.

 The gardens are part of this listed site with views over Windermere and back up Langdale over the Britannia to the Langdale Pikes in the distance.

 The cafe serves a variety of hot and cold drinks and meals.

You can reach Brockhole by Car on the Windermere - ambleside road 1.5miles south of Ambleside or via Windermere Lake Crusies


By Paul Fry, 14 February 2012 – 0 comments

10 February 2012

Two Loughriggs Walk

Hand drawn map of the route Illustration of Loughrigg summit with stone built structure

Caption: The triangulation point at the summit of Loughrigg

One of the "7 Walks from Elterwater" by Ian and Jill Rimmington which has been specially customised for guests of the Britannia Inn.

Type: Intermediate fell walk to Loughrigg Fell and Tarn.
Distance: Approximately 6 miles. One section of steep ascent.
Footwear: Stout footwear is essential.
Map needed: Explorer OL6.
Start: Britannia Inn

Fell walking has its risks. Always have suitable footwear, clothing and carry a map. The directions are correct at time of print but cannot be guaranteed at the time of your walk! Please keep to rights of way.


Loughrigg offers the challenge of an intermediate fell walk on one of Lakeland's most popular fells. The summit (1101 feet) is gained early in the walk, and the outstanding views will make the effort well worthwhile.

Suitable clothing, provisions, footwear and map are essential. Remember the weather on the fells can be different to that in the valley bottoms. Local fell top weather forecasts can be obtained on 08700 550575. It is sensible to tell someone where you are going, and when you expect to return.

Point 1-2

Leave the Britannia Inn and take the lane between Maple Tree Corner and the village bowling green, soon joining the main road to Ambleside just outside the village.

Turn right towards Ambleside, cross the cattle grid and then take the first lane on the left. At the first bend take the path on the left by the National Trust sign. Cross the stream over two wooden bridges and ascend gently into Low Wood.

Bear right at a fork in the path, and then continue alongside a metal fence until the corner of the wood is reached. Bear left, staying in the wood, and the path soon joins an old carriageway. Keep on the carriageway through the woods, ascending to reach a gateway. Opposite here, go up some stone steps into the gardens of High Close, which are open to the public through the National Trust.

The path passes by rhododendrons and continues past the rear entrance of the Youth Hostel. Ascend a short grassy bank and take the stone steps on the left leading to a walled terrace. Midway across the terrace, descend some more stone steps and take the path straight ahead that runs parallel to the road. At the end of this path, go through a metal gate and join the road.

If you could look down on Elterwater at this point you would be amazed how much height has been achieved with a minimum of effort!

Point 2-3

Diagonally left are a wooden gate and a signpost into Deer Bolt Wood. Take this path and descend gently through the trees, through a gateway and then a kissing gate. Here, bear right, crossing a stream to join the Loughrigg Terrace. Below is Grasmere Lake and beyond it the fells of the Fairfield Horseshoe and the Helvellyn range. Take the path that rises steeply up the fell to Loughrigg. The climb is made easier by the many stone steps and cobbles constructed to control footpath erosion.

As height is gained, Rydal Water creeps into sight and all of Grasmere Lake becomes visible in what is a quite stunning view.

Over the lake is Dunmail Rise, the ancient route from Grasmere to Keswick. Here, in the 10th century the Cumbrian King Dunmail was defeated in battle by Edmund the Magnificent, brother of Athelstan. A large cairn at the summit is reputed to mark the scene of his defeat, an event which is said to have been greeted with some pleasure by his subjects. The King is described by historians as being self important and a great lover of liquor. Following his defeat he was exiled to North Wales, his Cumbrian reign having lasted just a few inglorious years.

Later, as the path reaches a cairn, the distinctive shapes of the Langdale Pikes, Bow Fell and Crinkle Crags can be seen over at the head of the Langdale valley. The path becomes less steep as the Triangulation Point marking Loughrigg's summit comes into view.

The triangulation point at the summit of Loughrigg.

At Point 3

If the summit is reached on a clear day, the effort of the ascent is more than repaid with outstanding views in all directions. Here, it is worth taking a moment to check the route down and identifying the general direction in which you will be heading. Looking ahead towards Lake Windermere the route generally follows a line towards its near side, crossing the fell for about ¾ of a mile. In bad conditions the safest, quickest and most straightforward descent is back the way you came.

Point 3-4

From the Triangulation Point continue straight ahead and soon one of Loughrigg's many small tarns appears on the left. Carry straight on. The path is broad, well marked by cairns and soon becomes more pleasant underfoot. Lots of minor paths criss- cross the fell and offer the opportunity to explore, but if you do so remember your general direction line and don’t wander off the main track in mist!

The route keeps to the broad path for approximately ¾ of a mile, passes another tarn on the left and eventually veers left to overlook a small valley. Here the path descends a rocky section and heads towards a stream. Turn right just before the stream and join the path that descends alongside a stone wall.

The path follows the wall around the fell, heading down in the direction of the Langdale Valley. At the bottom, the path reaches a gate. Here turn sharp right through another gate signposted "Loughrigg Tarn and Grasmere".

This then takes you to the carriage way around Loughrigg Tarn.

Point 4 to Elterwater

Follow the carriageway round, past cottages on the right. Then take the path on the right by a wooden bench. Go through a gate, turn left and follow the path up through the trees. The path continues past another gate and across stiles until it ends at a tarmac road. Cross the road and take the public footpath diagonally opposite. Follow the way marks across the field to a wooden gate. Keep close to the wall on the left and head through a gap. With the wall now on the right the path ends at a rather impressive stile, over which is the lane back to Elterwater village.

Turn right down the lane and then shortly fork right, descending to join the main Ambleside to Langdale Road. Turn right again and make your way back through the village to the Britannia Inn.


Why not plan your stay with some of the other "7 Walks from Elterwater" - available from the bar for just £3.00 each!

"High Close" A relaxing 3 mile stroll to the High Close Estate and through the villages of Walthwaite and Chapel Stile.

"Loughrigg Tarn" An excellent 6 mile walk through lanes, woods and meadow to one of Lakeland’s most picturesque tarns.

"Waterfalls" A superb 6 mile walk through Little Langdale to the waterfalls at Colwith and Skelwith Force.

"Slaters Bridge" A delightful 8 mile walk combining the scenic paths of Little Langdale and Slaters Bridge with lesser used paths over the lower fells.

"Great Langdale Valley" An 8 mile walk through the magnificent Great Langdale Valley.

"Lingmoor Fell and Blea Tarn" A 9 mile walk, providing a great opportunity to enjoy the fells away from the main tourist tracks.

By Paul Fry, 10 February 2012 – 0 comments

07 February 2012

Dove Cottage and Wordsworth

Grasmere is centre for Dorothy & William Wordsworth history, their home just outside the village is just a ten minute drive from Elterwater or an hours brisk walk over Red Bank and round Rydal Water.
Take a guided tour of Dove Cottage gives an entertaining insight into life in the Lakes with Wordsworth over 200 years ago.

The Wordsworth Museum is a permanent exhibition that explores the lives of Wordsworth his family and many visitors.

There is a tea room and restaurant to have refreshements prior to a stroll back through Grasmere and over Red Bank to Elterwater.

By Paul Fry, 07 February 2012 – 0 comments


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