Special events

Love is in the Lakes air



It’s time to put a bit of romance back into your life.

How many couples go through the extravagance of a big wedding and an exotic honeymoon, and then wonder why life seems less than sparkling a year or so later?

Surveys both scientific and light-hearted say that a change of scene is one of the best ways to put some romance back into your life. (Don’t rely on gifts, they say. We all love chocolates and flowers, but if they’re only ever bought as an apology, the gesture wears thin!)

We’re delighted to have been voted no. 7 in the top 25 romantic hotels in the UK on TripAdvisor Travellers Choice for Romance 2019. Over the years we’ve become experts at what our romantic visitors want. These couples might be on a mini-honeymoon, taking an escape with someone special, celebrating an engagement, or even getting engaged here. And they all know that our special treats are very special indeed.

Throughout this year we’re offering a very special package for our Coach House suite, the ultimate in luxury with a private dining area and sitting room, spa bathroom and private parking.

A stay here is one of the most memorable and romantic Lake District breaks you will ever experience. The Coach House is tucked away in the Cedar Manor grounds, just a short distance from Windermere, so it offers you the best of both worlds – the full hotel experience, but with the indulgence of having your own private space.

Thanks to our award-winning interior designers, it’s an elegant and exciting hideaway which is the perfect combination of total privacy, yet with all your luxurious and high-tech home comforts – and more – at your fingertips.

The ground floor provides a super king-sized bedroom, and  a dramatic bathroom. The striking pieces of furniture have been created by skilled local craftsmen, while the generously proportioned bathroom boasts a double spa airbath, double wash-basins and a double wetroom shower area, as well as mood lighting, television and a fantastic sound system.

Upstairs it’s bright, spacious and open plan, with a lounge and dining room, complete with a 42” flat screen TV and state-of-the-art entertainment system and Wi-Fi of course. There’s also a kitchenette – perfect for chilling your champagne and strawberries or satisfying the midnight munchies.

And if you really don’t want to step outside your door, you can eat breakfast or dinner in your own private dining room.

So here’s the deal. We’re offering a 3 night stay (midweek, Sunday to Thursday inclusive) for £999, which is a massive £301 saving on our usual rates.

This includes:

  • a bottle of Prosecco on arrival in the suite
  • room service breakfast every morning
  • dinner for 2 on the night of your choice in the hotel's fine dining restaurant 

And outside, on our doorstep, is the most romantic landscape in the world, our beautiful fells and valleys, lakes and becks. It might be the moment to fall in love all over again.

Share This Post:

Book Directly with us for your Staycation


Wise travellers are realising that the best deals for a staycation are no longer found with the big multi-national booking agencies.

It’s common sense really. How can a web-based system, hosted in another country, know what’s the perfect room for a couple coming to stay for a weekend in Windermere?

How can they explain about our breakfast menu, about the valuable knowledge we have of the local fells, about the attention our staff will pay to their very individual needs, from their choice of peppermint tea at bedtime to the strength of their coffee in the morning?

We have always encouraged prospective guests to book direct with us, and that’s where they will get the very best deal … because we’re not having to pay commission fees.

Here in the Lakes our local Cumbria Tourism has set up a Fair Booking scheme which encourages visitors to book direct with accommodation providers. The campaign aims to help businesses be less dependent on multi-national Online Travel Agents (OTAs), so we can avoid the high commission fees they have to pay when advertising on these channels, and YOU get the best rate available.

There’s much more to it than that. Fair Booking assures customers that with

every direct booking a donation is made to an approved good cause that supports destinations, such as a woodland/wildlife conservation group or a rescue service.

You also get the local welcome, with visitor experiences and added value, while supporting the local economy and environment of your chosen destination.

Here at the Cedar Manor we are very proud of the help we give to the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, to the mountain rescuers and the red squirrel protectors, and to the very critical work being done by our local Fix the Fells team.

All of these are organisations whose work will enhance your visit to Windermere and the Lake District.

And there’s the added flexibility for you by booking direct, if something goes wrong and you have to change your plans.

So please, before you go ahead and book online, just pick up the phone and give us a call. If you’ve been before, you’ll know how approachable we are. If you’ve not, then of course you might want to check what others have been saying about us on review sites. But use them as a guide, and then book direct with us.

All the travel experts will now advise that the best room, rate, service and stay come from booking with the hotel directly. There’s the issue of accountability: when the reservation relationship is between the guest and the hotel only, it's clean and easy because there are only two parties involved: the customer and the business. So give us a call. We will talk about our rooms, about which one will suit you best, about how to get here easily by train so you can relax and leave the car at home. We can even tell you what the weather’s doing right now! We’re really looking forward to meeting you.

Share This Post:

Backgammon in the Lake District


Board champion takes Lakes and Cumbria title

The Lake District backgammon championship title went to David Gallagher from Silloth in West Cumbria.

In the sixth annual tournament here at the Cedar Manor Hotel, Gallagher defeated Zohrab Yoncali in the final.

The event attracted 16 top players from across the UK. Another Cumbrian, Alan Farrell, beat Martin Barkwill in the consolation final. Farrell, who comes from Whitehaven, lived for many years in Windermere.

The winner took a cash prize and a two night stay at the hotel. There was also a cash prize for the runner up.

The championship, which has the backing of the UK Backgammon Federation and the British Isles Backgammon Association, was launched by Cedar Manor owner Jonathan Kaye who said: “It was a great day with some thrilling matches.”

He added: “We are now recognised as one of the major tournaments on the UK calendar.”

Share This Post:

5 Things to do over Easter in the Lake District


What’s on this Easter in the Lake District

Visitors staying with us at Easter will find that the Lake District has the country’s best range of tourist attractions, indoor and out, to suit every kind of holiday break.

We’ve picked out some of the lesser-known places to go, including a couple of visits to the theatre.

1: Our favourite garden of all is just a mile away, along the main road towards Ambleside and then right at the mini roundabout. It’s Holehird Gardens, the home of the Lakeland Horticultural Society which is marking its 50th anniversary this year.

This wonderful estate is run entirely by enthusiastic volunteers, and they open up every day from dawn till dusk.

In the walled gardens, display houses and glass houses you’ll find national collections of astilbe,  meconopsis, daboecia, and polystichum (hardy ferns). Holehird also has the Lakeland collection of hydrangeas, and stunning early flowering rhododendrons, which you’ll see as you set off up the drive.

There’s no admission charge but a recommended donation of £5. You will certainly think this is worthwhile.


2. Another lovely garden can be found just a little further along the road towards Ambleside, at Stagshaw. This is a small National Trust estate with a woodland garden that bursts into colour and life in the spring. Following rambling paths you’ll come across unusual combinations of shrubs, trees and plants, with splendid native oaks, and a wonderful display of bluebells. The views across Windermere are special, too.

There’s no admission charge, and just a small car park. So why not walk along the back road from Ambleside through Skelghyll Wood.


3.The new season at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick gets under way with a co-production by David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers of the Willy Russell comedy Educating Rita. You may remember the film version with Michael Caine and Julie Walters, but here we have a more recent star favourite in the lead, Stephen Tompkinson.

His television credits include ITV’s Torvill & Dean, BBC’s The Split, five series of DCI Banks, four series of Trollied, seven series of Wild at Heart, six series of Drop the Dead Donkey (British Comedy Award Winner for Best TV Comedy Actor) and three series of Ballykissangel, and his films include Brassed Off.  

The play won the Olivier award in the West End when it was first produced by the RSC. We have every faith that this will be as brilliant as everything we’ve seen over the last few years at the Theatre by the Lake.


4. On the other hand, we have absolutely no idea what to expect from the latest production by Ambleside Players – although it will be hilarious. This talented amateur group puts on a play every Easter, and this time it’s a crime comedy, Death by Fatal Murder.  We understand it features the hapless and hopeless Inspector Pratt whose record of crime detection at Bagshot House is not impressive. There are bodies piling up as usual, and once again it promises to be a chaotic experience. The shows by the Players are VERY popular and it’s advised you book in advice, either online or at Fred Holdsworth’s Bookshop in Ambleside. Venue is the town’s Kelsick Centre.


5. If you’re new to the Lakes, or don’t have much experience of walking in the fells, why not try one of the guided walks organised by the Lake District National Park. They are organised to suit different levels of ability and experience, with some lovely seasonal themes. It might be just too late for the famous daffodils walk, but what about trying a bit of industrial history with a walk into Coniston’s fascinating Coppermines Valley. You’ll learn about the history and archaeology of this beautiful part of Lakeland and hear stories of the many men, women and children who lived and worked here. There’s a full programme over the Easter holiday on the website.


Share This Post:

Top 5 Boating Experiences in the Lake District


Launch of the boating season in the Lakes

Easter sees the launch of the boating season in the Lakes, and the best reminder of why we’re called the “Lake” District.

And with Easter being later than usual this year, there’s a really good chance of some good boating weather to enjoy being out on the water, or next to it.

So here’s our top five boating experiences in the Lakes:

  1. 1) We have to start with our brand new Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories. It’s been a long time in the planning and building, but we’re really excited by what we’ve seen so far. The whole place is a celebration of Windermere’s importance in the Lake District, one of the world’s most important collections of boats related to a single location. There’s working steamers, a conservation workshop, exhibitions, regular events and, of course, a Lakeside café. See the website to plan your whole day there. 


    Windermere Lake Cruises will also be calling at the Jetty on the regular service from Bowness to Ambleside.  You should also look at all the cruises on Windermere including our favourite the Walkers Ticket.

    Cruises connect to some of the most famous and iconic walking routes in the National Park, and if you are lucky you might still catch a glimpse of Wordsworth's Daffodils on the west shore of the lake.

  2. 2) If we were forced to name our favourite Lake, it would be hard to ignore Ullswater. Its serpentine shape and stunning position with high ranges of fells on either side make this an artist’s dream location, and a great place for dreamers, too. The Ullswater steamers provide the best way to see the lake itself, and the best view of the surrounding mountains. They have been operating for more than 150 years with one of the largest heritage vessel fleets in the world.

    Onboard there are open and covered deck seating areas, licensed bars and toilets. The steamers actually operate an all year service with varying timetable connections between Glenridding, Howtown, Pooley Bridge Piers and between Glenridding and National Trust Aira Force Pier. Cruise times vary from 20 – 120 minutes.


  3. 3) After a winter out of the water for maintenance, the historic steam yacht Gondola is back sailing on Coniston now. It’s a re-built Victorian vessel that offers the chance of an experience that takes you back to a more leisurely era, riding in style in the opulent saloons or relaxing in the sun on the open deck. We love Coniston for its connections with Donald Campbell, the hero of the Lake District who died here attempting the world water speed record. And for the stories of Arthur Ransome in the Swallows and Amazons series which are set on the lake itself, and on the fell territory all around. The “Wild Cat Island” of the stories lies at the foot of the lake, while the majestic Old Man of Coniston (which the children in the books rename Kanchenchunga) can be seen at its best from the water.



  4. 4) On Derwentwater the Keswick Launch Company offers the best way to see the fabulous hills of the northern Lake District. Derwentwater, which is three miles long, can be cruised in a 50 minute round boat trip from Keswick. But you can also use the boats as a water-bus service, disembarking at one of the eight jetties en-route and walk back via well-marked paths to famous landmarks such as Ashness BridgeLodore FallsGrange in BorrowdaleBrandelhow and Lingholm, the holiday home of Beatrix Potter. The cruises sail past four islands, now owned by the National Trust and each with its own special history: Derwent IslandLord’s IslandRampsholme and St Herbert’s Island.

    The four launches have open and covered decks and operate on a regular timetable throughout the year. Rowing boats and motor cruisers are also available for hire so you can explore the lake at your own pace.



  5. 5) This is the smallest, and quirkiest of all boating experiences, a visit to the magical Faeryland at Grasmere. It’s a tiny bay on the north shore of the lake, a five minute walk from the village centre, which has a handful of pretty rowing boats for hire. There’s a tea garden, with a vast range of teas on offer (try their Faery blend) and a basic menu of scones and cakes. And there are fairies galore in the garden if you go looking for them.


    By the way, want to know why Easter is so much later this year? Well, the holiday, in the Christian church celebrating Christ’s resurrection, can actually occur on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25.

    It's set to coincide with the vernal equinox, a day when the sun shines directly on the equator and the majority of the earth experiences nearly equal hours of sunlight and night-time, which signals the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere

    Because Christ's death and resurrection happened after the Jewish Passover, which is celebrated on the first full moon after the equinox, early Christians wanted Easter to always take place following Passover, so Easter falls on a different date each year because it, like Passover, is tied to solar and lunar cycles.

Share This Post:

Sunday Lunch at Cedar Manor


Sunday  Lunch

We now serve lunch instead on Sundays, starting at midday with last orders at 2pm.  The menu includes a delicious Roast of the Day along with fish and vegetarian options.  We like to think this will tempt those that are checking out to stick around for a while to enjoy lunch before travelling home, and we hope also to attract those that are checking in to come a little earlier and enjoy a traditional roast before heading out to explore.  And of course, any locals and visitors in the area will be most welcome to come and enjoy our Sunday lunch at Cedar Manor.


Sample Sunday Lunch Menu


Ham Hock and Mustard Terrine
with homemade piccalilli

Beetroot, Pink Grapefruit and Pomegranate Salad
with labneh

Soup of the Day


Fillet of Cod
with a green chilli, ginger and coconut cream, sugar snaps, samphire, asparagus and Jasmine rice

Roast Rib of Beef, Yorkshire Pudding
with roast potatoes and market vegetables

Tagine of Aubergine, Sweet Potatoes and Chestnuts
with couscous and naan bread


Hot Fudge Sundae

Rhubarb & Apple Crumble with Custard

Home–made Ice Cream

Coffee or Tea with Shortbread £3.95

2 courses £19.95
3 courses £24.95                                                                                          

For those arriving after 2pm, we will be serving dinner as usual from 6.30pm.

Share This Post:

Aphrodisiacs and Valentines


Valentines Day is fast approaching and here at Cedar Manor we take care to research what's in season for the restaurant but equally important are the Aphrodisiacs found in food.
Chocolate, Asparagus and Avocado are commonly associated with love and their aphrodisiac properties.  We dig a little deeper and have found dozens of ingredients that are also regarded as Aphrodisiacs.

Have a look at this - 

Almond: Throughout the ages, the almond has been a symbol of fertility. Some believe that the aroma stimulates passion in a female.

Avocado: The vitamin B6 contained in the avocado is said to increase male hormone production. The avocado also contains potassium which aids in regulating the female thyroid gland. A note about the avocado: the Aztecs called the avocado tree a “testicle tree” because they thought the fruit hanging in pairs on the tree looked like male testicles.

Asparagus: The phallic shape of some foods is a consideration in the selection of aphrodisiac foods. However, asparagus has more to offer than suggestive form. It contains vitamin E, believed to stimulate sex hormones which contribute to a healthy sex life and increased sexual powers.

Aniseed: The Greeks and Romans believed that aniseed had special sexual powers. There are many uses for this aphrodisiac food and some people believe that sucking on the seeds will increase your libido.

Bananas: Bananas have a wonderful, suggestive phallic shape, and are considered one of the most popular aphrodisiac foods used to stimulate sexual desire and increase sexual powers. Bananas also contain potassium and B vitamins which are essential for sex hormone production.

Chilli peppers: “Capsaicin,” a chemical that stimulates our nerve endings and raises our pulse, is responsible for the “heat” in chilli peppers. This aphrodisiac food is also thought to release endorphins, which give our bodies a natural high. Some researchers believe that is the case with all “hot” foods. Garlic is another example of these aphrodisiac foods.

Sweet basil: Some people believe that basil stimulates the sex drive and boosts fertility. It is also believed to create a sense of wellbeing in our bodies and minds.

Chocolate: Who doesn’t know about chocolate as an aphrodisiac food? On Valentines Day, the day to express your love, more chocolate is sold than at any other time during the year. Chocolate is given at the holidays, for anniversaries, and just to say, “I love you.” Chocolate contains a stimulant called phenylethylamine, which gives you a sense of well being and excitement similar to the natural high that endorphins give us. Researchers believe that chocolate contains chemicals that affect neurotransmitters in the brain, and a substance related to caffeine called theobromine. There are more antioxidants in chocolate than in red wine. Combining the two can be the secret to passion.

Coffee: Coffee in moderation is a stimulant, but too much causes it to become a depressant. The caffeine in coffee stimulates both mind and body and is sometimes used in preparation for staying up all night.

Figs: An open fig is believed to imitate the female sex organs and is traditionally considered to be a sexual stimulant. Some say that a man opening a fig and eating it in front of his lover can be a powerful aphrodisiac.

Raw oysters: Oysters have been a favourite aphrodisiac food since the time of Aphrodite during the Greek age. Oysters are a rich source of zinc, a mineral required for testosterone production. This male hormone is believed to increase the female libido as well. Oysters are high in protein and very nutritious.

Arugula: Arugula is also called “rocket seed” and has been documented as an aphrodisiac food as far back as the first century A.D. Arugula was combined with grated orchid bulbs and parsnips. Many salads and pastas contain arugula. Sometimes arugula is combined with pine nuts and pistachios.

Ginger: Ginger root can be eaten raw, cooked, or crystallized. Ginger is a circulatory system stimulant which can increase sexual powers and desire.

Raspberries and strawberries: These are perfect aphrodisiac foods to hand feed your lover. They are red, which is the colour associated with love and passion, and are high in vitamin C.

Nutmeg: Chinese women believed that nutmeg was an aphrodisiac food and that it increased sexual desire, thereby contributing to procreation during fertility. A hallucinogenic effect can be produced by a large quantity of nutmeg.

Pine Nuts: Pine nuts are also high in zinc (like oysters), which helps produce sperm and increases libido. Sprinkle some on to a salad as a starter when having a romantic meal for two.

Coriander: The book of The Arabian nights tells a tale of a merchant who had been childless for 40 years and but was cured by a concoction that included coriander. That book is over 1000 years old so the history of coriander as an aphrodisiac dates back far into history. Cilantro was also known to be used as an "appetite" stimulant.

Fennel: In the 1930's fennel was found to be a source of natural plant estrogens. Use of fennel as an aphrodisiac dates back to the Egyptian times where it was used as "libido enhancement".

Garlic: The 'heat' in garlic is said to stir sexual desires. Make sure you and your partner share it together. Garlic has been used for centuries to cure everything from the common cold to heart ailments. This is a good time for moderation. Enjoy a pasta with a lightly garlicky sauce and it and lead up to something spicy in the bedroom later.

Ginger: Ginger root raw, cooked or crystallized is a stimulant to the circulatory system. Perhaps a stir-fry with freshly grated ginger can stir something spicy

Honey: Many medicines in Egyptian times were based on honey including cures for sterility and impotence. Medieval seducers plied their partners with Mead, a fermented drink made from honey. Lovers on their "Honeymoon" drank mead and it was thought to "sweeten" the marriage.

Liquorice: The Chinese have used liquorice for medicinal purposes since ancient times. The essence of the Glycyrrhiza glabra (liquorice) plan, glycrrhizin, is 50 time sweeter than sugar. Chewing on bits of liquorice root is said to enhance love and lust. It is particularly stimulating to woman.

Mustard: Believed to stimulate the sexual glands and increase desire.

Vanilla: The scent and flavour of vanilla is believed to increase lust. According to the Australian Orchid Society, "Old Totonac lore has it that Xanat, the young daughter of the Mexican fertility goddess, loved a Totonac youth. Unable to marry him due to her divine nature, she transformed herself into a plant that would provide pleasure and happiness

Saffron: Crocus Sativus can be used as a stimulant or inebriant depending on dosage. Sun dried filaments ingested stimulates sexual desires for women. Essential oil evokes long, distinctive orgasms.

Cardamom: This deliciously exotic little spice has a reputation in its home country of India for being an aphrodisiac. I just think it’s got a wonderful, sensual taste. But there may be some science behind it too: cardamom is high in cineole, which stimulates the nervous system.

Pumpkin Seeds: High in zinc, which is needed for testosterone production, pumpkin seeds are essential for the libido in both men and women. Toast some up, pop in a movie, oh, forget the movie…

Pomegranate Juice: A very sensual juice and luscious juice (surely Nigella Lawson would approve), many think that pomegranate’s high antioxidant content keeps free radicals from interfering with circulation.

Roquefort cheese: Was often eaten by Casanova before his famous conquests.

With all these ingredients to play with our Chef; Roger and his team have produced a wonderful menu for Valentines Day; 

See if you can spot the aphrodisiacs!!


with tomato sauce and olive tapenade

with vanilla seed butter sauce, spinach and orange cardamom syrup

Salad of Pink Grapefruit and Beetroot
with pomegranate and labneh

Pumpkin Mousse
with toasted almonds, pumpkin seeds and a basil cream sauce

Main Courses

Fillet of Sea Bass
in coconut milk with garlic and chillies

Rump of Lamb
served pink with a honey and za’atar glaze, dauphinoise potatoes and baby vegetables

Rib Eye Steak
in soy and spices, confit tomatoes, spinach and straw potatoes

Sweet Potato and Aubergine Subji v
a traditional vegetable curry sauce with basmati rice, a red onion and coriander raita and popadom


Something Chocolatey!
with vanilla ice cream

Rhubarb and Ginger Crumble
with custard

Vanilla Panna Cotta
with pineapple and stem ginger salsa

Hand-Made Ice Cream
3 scoops of delicious ice cream

a selection of 4 cheese from the North, with grapes, celery, chutney and crackers

Coffee & Petit Fours

Cafetiere of Penningtos Coffee, Cappuccino, Americano, Latte, Espresso or Tea

Table d’Hote £45.00 for your choice of 3 courses

All you need to do now is book! heart

Share This Post:

Five Top Races in the Lake District


Five top races in the Lakes

We love to go for a run…and so do many of our guests. So when you’re staying here, how about entering a race?

The Lake District has something for everyone, of all abilities.

Here’s our favourite five.

Lakeside to Gummers How

A great event for spectators as well as competitors. This one involves individuals or teams rowing across the lake, jumping out at the other side, running up – and down – the tough little hill known as Gummers How, and then rowing back to the landing stage at the Lakeside Hotel at Newby Bridge.

We’ve seen champion fell racers who proved to be less than competent in a boat heading in the wrong direction. And great oarsmen and women who took it steady and came out in front. It’s great fun. Running distance is 5k, with a climb of 260m.

Starts at 5.30. Take a picnic and watch the action unfold.

Sat 15th Jun 2019

Further details:   www.helmhill.co.uk

Heart of the Lakes Rydal Round

This is one of the Lake District’s classic fell races, taking in the route of the Fairfield Horseshoe. It’s staged as the flagship opening event of Ambleside Sports, which takes place on the last Thursday in July at Rydal Park just north of Ambleside. You need some experience – and navigational skills – to take part in this one. It’s 14.5k, and you’ll be climbing some 915 m over several fell summits.

But on the same day there’s the short and sharp Guides Race. No entry fees…the races are free to those who pay to enter the showground. Lots of events throughout the day including Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, and track cycling. A really great day out for all the family, as well as the runners.

July 25th  12.05pm

More details:



Lakeland Trails, Ullswater

A really unusual race, along one of our favourite routes. You start by taking a half hour cruise aboard the Ullswater Steamer "Raven", which takes you to the start in the hamlet of Howtown, while being serenaded by a folk singer. There are three separate events -  10K Ullswater Trail Run, 14K Ullswater Trail Challenge and 14K Ullswater Trail Race  - and they follow well marked and marshalled footpaths and bridleways along the lake shore. There are panoramic views of Helvellyn and the surrounding peaks, and the routes finish in Jenkins Field, next to the Ullswater Pier. Underfoot conditions can be tricky at times, especially if wet.

Sunday 27th October 2019


Langdale Christmas pudding 10k

Here’s our favourite road race, a 10K course through the beautiful Great Langdale valley. The Christmas Pudding has become a popular event to start the festive season. With 1,000 runners entered in 2018, the race appeals to all who enjoy the fun side of running. Every finisher gets a Christmas Pudding and many runners dress in festive costumes - all adding to the party atmosphere.

Starts at noon at the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, December 7.



FellFoot parkrun

Not a race, of course, but a timed run that takes place every Saturday at 9am at FellFoot park near Newby Bridge. It’s free, and part of the popular worldwide parkrun series. This route is a beauty, with stunning views of the distant hills and a finish alongside the shore of Windermere. You need to register online first and download a barcode which you carry with you. Everything else will be explained on the day. No experience needed, no navigational skills, no age limits. You can walk, jog or run your socks off.


Share This Post:

Sustainable Tourism in the Lake District


It’s our world, it’s our responsibility to look after it.

That’s always been our philosophy, and we know that as hoteliers we are in a strong position to set a good example.

That’s why we invited a group of travel writers to join us here to look at some of the issues around sustainable tourism.

It was just serendipity that, one week before the event, we were awarded the Sustainable Hotel of the Year title at the Hotel Cateys - the Oscars of the hospitality world. So we had a very smart new trophy to show our guests.

It was also serendipity that our forum coincided with the opening of the UN summit on climate change in Katowice, Poland, so we were able to keep tabs on THEIR debates…and hope that, via social media, they were aware of what we were doing.

We invited Gill Haigh, the managing director of Cumbria Tourism, to talk about how the Lake District is working towards moving visitors around the area – and to the area – more sustainably. The figures are encouraging; more visitors are making fewer car journeys around the Lakes.

She was joined by Sarah Swindley of the Lake District Foundation, the charity which looks after the environment, and helps fix the fells, through visitor-giving programmes. Here at the Cedar Manor we’ve raised more than £15,000 towards this in recent years.

The bigger picture was painted by Andrea Nicholas of Green Tourism UK who talked about how businesses generally CAN change to operate in a greener way, and that travel decisions in the UK ARE getting greener.

The keynote presentations came from two of our local activists who really are DOING something to try and save the environment.

Ashley Cooper is the award-winning photographer who spent 13 years travelling around the entire world documenting the impact of climate change. His book, Global Warming Images, doesn’t warn us what might happen if we don’t act soon. It shows, graphically and brutally, what HAS ALREADY happened. Deforestation, homes and even islands lost to flooding, the melting of the ice fields, Ashley has seen them all and photographed them all, and his images shocked our audience of hardened travel writers and academics.

But he does point to those actions – big and small – which are having an impact. Our Walney off-shore windfarm, for example, the world’s largest; and the solar panels on his own roof at home. Along with his own favourite, the world’s first solar-powered crematorium in India! And he tackles the myths about renewable energy: “For every pound the world's governments spend on subsidising renewable energy, they spend six pounds on fossil fuels."

Our other keynote speaker was Kate Rawles, known as Carbon Cycle Kate, the adventurer who has just travelled the length of South America on her home-made bamboo bicycle: “The world’s first home grown bike”.  Kate’s travels are not self indulgent. She travels frugally, and while enjoying her adventures, she was studying the impact of the loss of biodiversity, and believes that if we all go out there and have adventures in wild places, we will understand all the better why change is essential.

And her journeys have a low carbon impact; she travelled by freight ship, before beginning her epic cycle ride. Our current relationship with nature and biodiversity is completely dysfunctional, says Kate. “Pollution, mining and intensive agriculture all have a deeply harmful effects in nature. The Inca at Macchu Picchu valued seeds more highly than gold.”

Our guests, influential travel writers, bloggers and academics who were with us to hear all this, spent the rest of the evening taking the conversation further.

The next day they tested our local sustainable transport: a ride on the Mountain Goat bus, and a sail with Windermere Lake Cruises. All just on our doorstep.

At Cedar Manor we will help you find your way about on foot and by public transport.  We know where to hire electric bikes too.  We will publish another blog soon telling you about our Green journey and how we can all do our bit to help.

We all have to DO something. We will keep on reminding you all. It’s a wonderful, beautiful world, and no one else will take care of it for us.

Share This Post:

The Best Pre-Christmas Festivities in the Lake District


Let there be light

The best pre-Christmas festivities in the Lake District

The Winter Droving is a magical festival in Penrith that celebrates all things rural, traditional and fun. The event highlight is a torch lit procession through the town featuring fire, lanterns, masquerade and music and mayhem.

The event is a celebration of Penrith and its age old role as the market place for the local area, a place where for centuries livestock and produce has been brought for sale. There’s live music and street performers across five stages, a vintage funfair, the local food and craft market, and a Dog Fancy Dress Competition.

The Winter Droving ends with the spectacular torch and lantern procession. Want to be part of it?  Register to carry a fire torch (over 16 year olds only) or wear a mask and join in the procession. http://www.winterdroving.uk/

A day-long festival bringing light into the winter darkness, with Christmas cruises across the head of Windermere, the arrival of Father Christmas to switch on the town’s lights, and a huge parade, at dusk, when hundreds of home-made Chinese paper lanterns are carried through the town centre.

Tickets for the cruises are ONLY available from F.W.Tyson (The Mephisto Shop), Market Place Ambleside, but can be ordered by post. From noon there are stalls and music in the Market Cross and Market Place areas of the town. Mince pies and mulled wine are on sale.

The lantern parade assembles near the White Platts mini-golf centre at the foot of Compston Road at 4pm. The festival ends with a firework display in Rothay Park at 5.30.


The centre of Ulverston is no place for Ebeneezer Scrooge when the entire market town goes back to the Dickensian era for a weekend of joy and generosity. Along with the town’s cosy cafes and pubs, independent shops and the Christmas lights switch on, there’s the chance to get dressed up in Victoria costume, ride a Victorian Helter- Skelter, and listen to a brass band playing carols. Street food stalls sell roast chestnuts and there’s a hog roast. Lots of free entertainment and music, and there might be an appearance by Queen Victoria and Mr Bumble as well as Father Christmas.


The entire centre of this small village is taken over for one of the best Christmas fairs in the country, with stalls all along the village streets and indoor markets as well. Lots of crafts and gifts, and a big emphasis on locally-produced street food and drink; with a mini beer festival in village pubs. There’s also a lantern parade, live music and streets performances, including circus acts, and of course Santa is in his grotto. https://www.facebook.com/hawksheadchristmasfair/

Family entertainment in and around the town centre, with Victorian costumes, a nativity scene, the arrival or Santa and Mrs Claus in a reindeer-drawn sleigh, a children’s fun fair, live music and dance performances.  Lots of charity stalls selling a selection of Christmas homemade crafts, produce, festive food and drink.  The day ends with a traditional carol service. https://www.keswick.org/whats-on/festivals/keswick-victorian-fayre

Formerly known as Windermere Christmas Market, this is a family friendly event on the streets of the town with market stalls, crafts and gifts, street food, singers and performers. There will be snow cannons, Santa’s Grotto, live music and a shuttle bus provided for the event running from Windermere Lake Cruises Pier 1 in Bowness.


  1. Penrith Winter Droving, Saturday October 27.
  2. Ambleside lights and lantern parade, Saturday November 17.
  3. Ulverston Dickensian Festival, Saturday and Sunday, November 24/25
  4. Hawkshead village Christmas fair, Saturday and Sunday Dec 1/ 2
  5. Keswick Victorian Fayre, Sunday  December 2.
  6. Windermere Christmas Celebration Saturday and Sunday December 8/9.
Share This Post:


Subscribe to RSS - Special events