Explore The Area
Here are a few suggestions for things to do and places to go during your stay at Halecat. You can find other suggestions and images in our Pinterest gallery.
Close to home
At Halecat House there is enough to do without ever leaving Witherslack. You could spend a whole week exploring our extensive woodlands and the countryside around the village. (see if you can spot our self service coffee bar in the woods!) If you fancy leaving your car in the drive while you are here then you could begin by heading out through the patio doors and through the secret gate in our wild and wonderful gardens.
Morecambe Bay spreads out before you as you stroll through ancient woodland and along muddy track and rocky path. Chase butterlies and spot rare orchids and roses or sit under a tree in the orchard and reinvent your future. Alternatively you can help us gather up damsons for jam (and gin!) in the autumn.
On the Halecat Estate you will also find a thriving woodyard and Tom and Abi’s Garden Plants Centre. Tom and Abi are award winning garden designers and their popular garden centre is a delight. They also run regular courses on site. Next, you should explore the village of Witherslack. Walk down to our local for a pint. The Derby Arms is a cosy Ainscough pub, well known for its food and real ale.
Next door to the pub you'll find a well stocked community shop. There are local riding stables too -book a session on horseback at the Witherslack Hall Equestrian Centre and see more of the surrounding landscape. In the village you’ll find the beautiful church of St Paul’s. You may even catch an art display or wedding going on there.
We are close to the central Lake District fells so there's no shortage of walking (including our favourite Whitbarrow Scar.) Or bring your bike and head off for the day with a picnic.
A little bit further
A short drive from Halecat you’ll find many great attractions and pretty Cumbrian villages. Here are a few of the highlights:
Levens (5 miles)
Levens Hall is a historic Elizabethan House with awe inspiring topiary and a wood panelled tea room. Well worth a visit.Check first for opening hours.
Grange Over Sands (6 miles)
Grange is Cumbria's Victorian gem. Promenade along the sea front or feed the ducks with the kids at the pond. Stunning Netherwood Hotel has fabulous gardens and a private spa that you can hire for the family. Make sure you buy a pie or two from the famous Higginsons Butchers and bring them back here for dinner. Not far from Grange you can also find Holker Hall and Gardens– a great day out.
Sizergh Castle and Barn (7 miles)
Just down the road from Halecat is the National Trust medieval house; Sizergh Castle. The grounds alone are worth the entry fee and there’s a tea shop too. Talking of tea shops, you can have a latte while watching the cows being milked at Low Sizergh Barn tearooms. And that’s not all. Below the tea rooms you’ll find an award winning shop and deli. And just down the road, the Strickland Arms pub offers a cosy bar and restaurant. Try their lunchtime soup and sandwich specials in front of the fire in winter.
Cartmel (7 miles)
Cartmel's nickname is Roganville and foodies will know why. L' Enclume is the flagship Cartmel restaurant for Simon Rogan, in a collection including Rogan and Company and the Pig & Whistle. Its food heritage also extends to the famous sticky toffee pudding. Another reason to visit this village is the Cartmel Races, held on several dates in the year.
Newby Bridge (8 miles)
Newby Bridge doesn't at first glance look like a tourist hub but there are a number of first class attractions. You can have a whole day out at the Lakeland Motor Museum, breaking for lunch at its excellent riverside cafe. Fell Foot Park is a huge National Trust owned space at the southern tip of Windermere offering walks, children's playground, boating and riverside chilling. If you have children they will love the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway and engine shed. And they will probably like the Aquarium at Lakeside too. You can buy a combined Aquarium and boat ticket. While you are there, if you want to splash out on an afternoon tea, then Lakeside Hotel is the business.
Kendal (11 miles)
Kendal is an old and picturesque market town on the River Kent. Stroll up to the ruined castle, see a show at The Brewery Arts Centre, or just wander the riverbank. There are some great restaurants and shops. Check out the 1657 Chocolate House for the best treats in town. Kendal Castle is worth the hike up the hill.
Into The Lakes
Witherslack is located in the heart of the Lake District. Within an hour’s drive you’ll come to the famous Lakeland towns of Grasmere, Ambleside and Bowness-on-Windermere and Windermere itself.
Grasmere (26 miles)
Grasmere is home of the great Romantic Poets and is a Lakeland village that celebrates culture in many forms and takes its energy from the tourists. Explore art at the Heaton Cooper Studio, visit the resting place of William Wordsworth (particularly beautiful in the spring when the daffodils are out in the Daffodil Garden) or see if Taffy Thomas has a storytelling event going on. It is also famous for its Gingerbread which you can buy at the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop
Ambleside (22 miles)
If you aren't out on the fells then you may enjoy Ambleside's busy high street with its plethora of outdoor shops. Zeferellis is a cool cinema and restaurant that also has live music and jazz nights. If you'd like to try open water swimming then the guys at Head to the Hills will be able to instruct, advise, or kit you out with wet suits. For indoor fun, try the climbing wall.
Windermere (16 miles or 13 miles via ferry) and Bowness on Windermere
Windermere and Bowness are studded with shops, cinema, theatre, cafe and restaurant. A cruise on Windermere from Bowness, Lakeside or Waterhead is a 'must do' tourist experience. Windermere Lake Cruises run a range of daily pleasure cruises and offer day Rover tickets. You can also catch a Mountain Goat bus from the town. They run a range of tours from the Lake District to Hadrian's Wall. .
Events and festivals
There are hundreds of festivals in the area. Click here for a local guide.
Here's our pick of a few:
Easter Egg trail, Sizergh.
Words By the Water, Keswick.
Great North Swim, Windermere.
Kendal Mintfest and Kendal Calling.
Muncaster Festival of fools.
Cumbria Steam Gathering, Flookburgh.
World's biggest Liar Festival, Santon Bridge.
Kendal Mountain Film Festival.
Power Boat Records Week, Coniston.
Dickensian Festival, Ulverston.
Christmas Fayre Weekend, Kirkby Lonsdale