Today me and Alice took a trip to Keswick, my favourite Lake District town. Keswick is only 40 minutes drive from Carlisle, I never experience traffic when visiting and it’s simply stunning. A great secret is to park by the the swimming pool https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/allerdale/keswick-leisure-pool there is a car park there that you will always get space in (coin or app pay) and even better there are some roadside spaces that are free!We arrived at lunchtime, parked up on the roadside (free! :)) and headed on a regular walk to get lunch at Lingholme. As we approached the town via Station Road it seemed a little busier than normal and there were people lining the street, there was a policeman that I asked what was going on. He let me know that there was a Royal Visit and that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be arriving any minute, by total chance we timed our arrival literally 2 minutes before Kate and William arrived by car and got out right in front of us. No I am absolutely not one to have planned the trip to see them but happening upon them in such a way was pretty special I love that little Alice has been within feet of the future King, I don’t care what that makes me sound like.
Anyway after that little bit of excitement and some terrible picture taking, we then had to navigate through the crowds that had gathered in the town onto our normal route to Lingholme. What I like about this walk is that it’s just long enough to feel like you’ve earned your lunch but not too long, around 40 minutes / 2 miles each way.
From the Swimming pool you head to the town via Station Street, past a Costa Coffee (great toilet stop), you carry on down the Main Street pass Kats Kitchen https://kats-kitchen.business.site/ (a vegan restaurant, I’ve never tried but always looks busy) then take a left onto Cumbria Way heading to Portinscale. At the end of Cumbria Way you take a left up the hill, turn left again at the Derwentwater Hotel and carry on passed The Chalet Tearoom http://thechaletportinscale.co.uk (again I’ve never tried either but always looks busy and I’ve heard good things). You carry on the road passed the Marina, edging around the Lake until you see a sign for Nichol End Marina, there you take a left on a wooded path which you carry on for 10/15 minuets until you reach Lingholme https://thelingholmestate.co.uk/the-estate/kitchen-walled-garden/.
I am really fussy when it comes to eating out, in my opinion Lingholme is just perfect. I’m a veggie that eats fish (can’t bring myself to say pescatarian…) I choose to eat only real food, and that is what you get at Lingholme. Everything is fresh, they do great salads, soups, the sourdough bread is amazing (they sell loaves you can take home), my husband who is an extremely fussy Avocado and Eggs lover said it’s by far the best place he’s had the dish and although I’m not a cake eater they look incredible! I’ve included the menu within todays pictures for food and prices there are regular specials and also an afternoon tea menu.
Today I had the soup Carrot and Cannellini bean, which sounds weird but in my experience Lingholme never do a bad soup no matter how strange the concoction sounds and the bread is as always just incredible.
I love taking Alice to Lingholme, the Estate has a link to Beatirix Potter, she used to holiday there seemingly and so there are characters in the grounds, lots of books and toys in the gift shop, etc. The gorgeous walled garden was apparently the inspiration for Mr McGregors garden in the Peter Rabbit stories which is lovely for little ones.
In the cafe it’s anything goes, there are baby showers and hen party groups in amongst elderly walkers, lots of dogs and young families its always busy no matter what day it is. You can sit inside or out and even on a grey day the outside area is packed but in a nice buzzy way, you can sometimes wait a while in the queue to order but the food is always served super fast. It’s one of the first places I took Alice as a newborn, I remember sitting looking out of the huge windows out at the hills whilst breast feeding (it feels absolutely comfortable) and just feeling so very lucky to be alive!
This walk is great at any time of year, just dress appropriately and you will have a nice time, Cumbria Way is a little exposed but other than that it’s quite sheltered. The walk through the town centre at the start and the end is lovely, you can have a wander in some of the shops which include a nice quantity of local independents in amongst high street stores such as Joules, The North Face, Fat Face, etc.