Christmas lights return to Ambleside

FOR many visitors to Ambleside, the highlight of the year is the switching on of the Christmas lights.

Unlike in many towns and cities, this is much more than just about flicking a switch. Although last year’s post-pandemic event meant that’s all it could be.

But the organisers are thrilled that this year the festivities are back in full swing. It’s a whole day dedicated to fun, music, Christmas preparation, and lots of light being brought into our winter darkness. The date is Saturday November 19.

The town’s business folk will be thrilled too, because for many of them it’s their all-time busiest day of the year. Crowds pour into the town and line the streets to watch the spectacular parade.

There’s a whole day of street entertainment and fun and games for children. There’s special sailings across the lake to find Father Christmas, and bring him back to town. And there’s an evening of spectacular fireworks in Rothay Park.

The best part for many people is the lantern parade. This begins near the Gables Hotel and White Platts recreation ground, and is joined by several hundred walkers carrying the most wonderfully imaginative home made paper and willow lanterns.

The inventiveness of design has become truly phenomenal over the years. Along with the lantern bearers, in previous years there have been carnival characters including the Snow Queen, bands, stilt-walkers, and Father Christmas himself who stops occasionally to thrown magic dust into the air – and the lights come on.

There are, inevitably, changes after a two-year absence. There have been no lantern-making workshops in the town this year, although kits have been available at our lovely local toy shop. And this time, due to safety concerns, the lanterns will contain LED lights, not real candles.

If you want to watch the parade, you’ll need to find a roadside place from about 3.30; the parade starts after 4.15. And remember that the roads into and through the town will be closed with the parade is happening.

For full details see

And if you don’t have anywhere to stay yet, call us as soon as possible! 015394 33208

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Five best parkruns in the Lake District

WE are used to having tourists visit us in the Lake District. But now we’re getting a new kind of visitor: the parkrun tourist. So just for you, here’s our choice of the five best parkruns here in the Lakes.

But we don’t want to be controversial and say which is our favourite! Instead, we’re going to use an alphabetical list, because we know that YOU will have your own favourite.

Fell Foot parkrun. Spectacular location at this National Trust park right on the shore of Windermere, at the southern end of the lake near Newby Bridge. The summer route is two laps of a big meadow, with one loop in between them, which features the notorious Cafe Hill. The winter route is a fun and slightly crazy four lapper with lots of out and back sociability, but alas, four ascents of Cafe Hill. Winter route isn’t suitable for dogs or pushchairs; you’ll see why. Plenty of parking – it’s just £1 for parkrunners, though free if you’re a member of the National Trust. Not easy to reach by public transport. There’s a cafe in the boathouse right by the lake. Very strong tradition of going for a swim after your run – or even before your run! Always lots of tourists here. Course record is 15.26.

Ford parkrun. This is a delightful community event in the bottom left hand corner of the Lakes, in the pretty town of Ulverston. It’s 3.5 laps around the park, on paths and grass, with not much in the way of hills. The cafe here is super, and on site in the park itself. There’s plenty of nearby parking (see their website regarding special arrangements) and it has a nice homely feel, with seldom more than 100 runners. Course record is 17.11, but as with all parkruns, you’re just as welcome if you are walking round the route.

Keswick parkrun. A really interesting out and back route on the line of an old railway, including a long (and stunningly constructed) tunnel, in which men and boys can’t help hooting and whistling. Feel free! It’s relatively flat, with just a bit of a rise in the middle. The volunteer team is led by a comedy genius who said once, on a very wet day: “Do you really want to run? Or shall we just wait here (under a shelter) and I’ll tell you funny stories for half an hour?” Very nice cafe across the road in Fitz Park (where the junior parkrun is staged on Sundays). Limited parking on the approach road but lots of car parks in the town centre. Portaloo on site. Course record: 15.07.

Rothay parkrun. This is our local parkrun in Ambleside, just a ten minute jog from our front door and yes, we will arrange an early or late breakfast for you! It’s a real community event with a host of friendly and encouraging volunteers. The route is three laps of the park and the adjoining Miller Field, on a mixture of grass and tarmac (so one road shoe and one trail shoe will be ideal 😉). It’s surprisingly flat, for the Lake District, but not all that fast because of a few out and back sections. There’s no cafe in the park, but a super coffee van just outside, and umpteen cafes just a short walk away in the town centre. Plenty of nearby parking. Course record: 15.57.

Whinlatter Forest parkrun. Here’s the big daddy of them all, the wonderful and scary forest run which has (allegedly) more climbing than any other parkrun in the world. The start is lower than the finish. The first half mile is all steeply downhill. The last 400 metres are downhill. So you can imagine what the rest is like. (Actually, you can’t! But it is wonderful.) We love the forest paths, good running surface. We love the mountain views as you climb above the trees. We love the friendly volunteers, and the gorgeous cafe (where they do a parkrun special deal). The course record is an amazing 16.19; he must be a fellrunner – or a bird – in another life.

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The best walks from Rydal

HERE at Rydal Lodge we believe we have the best location for walkers in the whole of the Lake District. We can cater for walkers of every ability, experience and level of ambition. So if you are new to the Lake District, want an easy few days strolling, or a hike to the high tops, we can share the routes from our door.

But first: please get a map! We have some basic route maps here at Rydal Lodge, but there’s so much fun in learning how to read a map, to plan where you’re going, and better still,to relive the memories afterwards. Don’t rely on your phone. Google Maps is great at ground level, but what happens when your signal disappears in the mountains?  We have friends in the local mountain rescue team and we don’t want to make their lives any busier!

And make sure you have the right kit. Full waterproof and windproof cover if you’re going on the high tops, and decent walking boots. At lower level you’ll manage with trainers, as long as they have a good grip. Take extra layers; it can get very cool even on a summer day. Take plenty of water, and energy-giving snacks. Please, tell us where you’re heading. It’s just a safety net in case anything goes wrong.

But we’ll start with the easier walks, where you won’t be far from civilisation, and yet still in the loveliest countryside in the world.

  • To Ambleside and back via Rydal Park. This is an ideal introduction on your first day here, especially if you’re new to the Lake District, want to get your local bearings, and maybe call in some shops midway. Head south along the main road for 100m and then turn right over Pelter Bridge and walk ahead on the road known as Under Loughrigg. There might be a few cars, but you’re more likely to see hikers, robins, and perhaps a heron on the River Rothay on your left. Just over a mile along here, take the left turn over the old packhorse bridge, Miller Bridge, and then right through Rothay Park into Ambleside town centre. Time for some shopping, a coffee at Zeffirellis, maybe book a cinema ticket for later in the day. Then head up to the main road, turn left (opposite Fred Holdsworth’s bookshop) and walk along as far as a mini roundabout, where you turn right, and soon sharp left onto Nook Lane. Follow this through the yard at Nook End Farm, over historic Low Sweden Bridge, and then downhill with Scandale Beck on your left until you reach a bigger track. Turn right here, and head along towards Rydal Hall. (The field on your left is the venue for the annual Ambleside Sports, held on the last Thursday of July each year.) In the grounds of Rydal Hall, take a small detour into a quiet garden, and round underneath a bridge to the wonderful surprise view at the Grotto. (No explanation: that would spoil the surprise!). Then through the exit, down to the main road, and you’ll be directly opposite Rydal Lodge. 4 miles, easy.
Rydal water
  • Around Rydal Water. Another relatively easy four mile walk, but almost all off-road this time, apart from having to cross the A591. And that’s how you set off, from our door, across the road and up the hill towards Rydal Mount. This was the long-time home of the poet William Wordsworth, and the house and grounds are well worth visiting. Go behind the house, and take the signposted track on the left known as the Coffin Trail (because along here coffins were once carried for burial in Grasmere).  This path follows the lower slopes of Nab Scar, with lovely views of Rydal Water and Heron Island down to your left. Take the first available (steep) track on your left which brings you down to the A591; cross here carefully, and head for the interesting footbridge and a path through the woods. As you leave the trees, take the upper path and follow it round to the left; this is the track known as Loughrigg Terrace, after the fell above you. Down below are more lovely views of Rydal Water. Eventually you will reach one of our seven wonders, the magnificent Rydal Cave which you must go inside; after the entrance stepping stones, it’s all easy going. Back in the daylight, take the rocky path downhill and through the woods to Dipper Bridge, but don’t go all the way to the main road (unless you fancy a pint in the Badger Bar); the secret gate into our garden is here on your right.
Secret gate
  • To Grasmere and back. Here’s a longer walk which starts from our secret garden gate, and heads up to the Terrace and Rydal Cave. But this time, when you reach the end of Rydal Water, continue heading west to the weir that marks the beginning of the next lake, Grasmere. If it’s a fine day, there will be plenty of people paddling and picnicking here at Penny Rock. Follow the lake shore path until it winds steeply uphill to meet the road below Red Bank. This leads down into Grasmere village (do stop off at the delightful Faeryland tea room, where you can take a rowing boat out on the lake).  There’s plenty to see and do in Grasmere, including the lovely Heaton Cooper Studio and art gallery, and another of our favourite bookshops, Sam Read. Then take the road past the church to the junction with the A591, cross over, and take the minor road that leads past Dove Cottage, another home of Wordsworth, and heads above White Moss Common to join the coffin trail route back to Rydal Mount. Where you’ll be glad to stop for a pot of tea on the garden cafe, before heading home to Rydal lodge.
Faeryland at Grasmere
  • Our favourite small mountain, Loughrigg. It may be low in stature, just over 1000ft, but this a sprawling mass of a fell, which many hidden valleys, small tarns, and surprise views. From here at Rydal Lodge, the shortest way to the summit is via our garden gate, over Dipper Bridge, towards Rydal Cave and then take the path behind the cave that heads upwards. Loughrigg is criss-crossed with many paths, but as long as you keep climbing UP, you’ll reach the summit cairn, an OS trig point column, and wonderful views. For variety on the way back, take the path that leads north-west from the summit and will bring you via some newly-built steps down to Loughrigg Terrace, for a scenic stroll back home. It’s a round trip of about 5 miles, but allow around three hours because of the climbing – and the need to stop and admire views.
  • The Fairfield Horseshoe. This is the giant of all the walks from our doorstep, a magnificent and famous circular route taking in eight mountain summits and offering the very best of Lakeland terrain. (Please do ask to take Gnigel, our gnome, with you. He’ll fit in your pocket, and he’s trying to tick off all the Wainwright fells.) Which is a good reminder to take along a copy of Wainwright’s Guide to the Eastern Fells along with a map, for entertainment and education as much as route finding. We recommend doing this route anti-clockwise, so that you’ll finish by descending Nab Scar very close to home. So cross the road, go through the Rydal Hall grounds and along by Rydal Park until a gap on the left takes you towards Low Sweden Bridge. But bear off left before the bridge is reached and follow this path first over Low Pike and then High Pike to the summit of Dove Crag. The route then takes you north west over Hart Crag on very steep and rock ground to the highest point of the walk, Fairfield, at 2860ft (873m). Please be aware that the top of Fairfield can be confusing in mist, so do have a compass with you. The main path leads south west to Great Rigg and then over Heron Pike to Nab Scar. The descent this way is easier terrain, until the final drop down to Rydal on seemingly-never-ending stone steps. Then it’s a short stroll down the lane to the main road and Rydal Lodge – though you deserve a tiny detour north to call at the Badger Bar for a pint. This is a serious undertaking, and although it’s only nine miles, it takes strong walkers around six hours to complete.

Five reasons why cyclists love Rydal Lodge

We have a lot of cyclists staying here, for many reasons, but we’ve whittled down the top five reasons why they love Rydal Lodge.

For starters

There are easy routes for beginners and for families with young children. Literally just around the corner is the start of the road under Loughrigg, a flat stretch of almost two miles where many a youngster has learned to ride.

At the far end, Clappersgate, there’s a short stretch onto the A593, but very soon a left turn onto the quieter Hawkshead road, then loops via Outgate, Barngates (and the famous Drunken Duck) and Brathay, or further afield to Skelwith Bridge, Elterwater or Tarn Hows.

Tarn Hows

Challenging routes

From Rydal Lodge there are some terrific challenging road routes for cyclists. For example, you might want to head out to Langdale and beyond, maybe over Blea Tarn Road, and then perhaps over Wrynose Pass. Or you might want to head in the other direction, in the east, up and over the road known as “The Struggle” to the top of Kirkstone Pass and then down to Patterdale. The views will spectacular; the brakes will be tested!

Lakeland Loop

This is a challenge for the serious cyclists. The Lakeland Loop, at 69 miles, with 2284 ft elevation, is one of the top cycling sportives
and passes within half a mile of our guest house. We watch it go by. Everyone seems to be smiling!

Photo: Mick Hall

The big daddy of them all

The Fred Whitton Challenge, known locally as The Fred, is the toughest one-day event in the UK. At 180k, the route goes over all the Lakeland passes (one of them 30% gradient) , and that means Hardknott, Wrynose, Honister, of course. And then goes past our front door!

Cycling in Whinlatter Forest, Bassenthwaite

Peace of mind

Last but certainly not least, here at Rydal Lodge we offer cyclists security and peace of mind. Your bike is worth a lot to you. If you’ve driven here
with a bike rack, we have plenty of car parking space safely off the road. But most importantly we have a lock-up shed so your bike is safe and secure when you’re not out riding. And dry. (Not that it rains much in the Lakes).

Murder on the Lakeland fells

THERE will be murder on the Lakeland fells this autumn, and guests at a Rydal hotel will be helping to solve it.

A murder mystery weekend will be staged at the Rydal Lodge County House B&B near Ambleside in November.  But there are no actors involved. Guests will be playing character parts for the entire weekend until the murderer is revealed on the Sunday.

Nearby Rydal cave: could this be where the murderer is found?

Helena Tendall, who runs Rydal Lodge with husband Mark, has created the themed weekend in which the fictional owner of a Bowness guest house is found dead in a septic tank.

“No one is above suspicion as dark secrets emerge,” says Helena. “Illicit affairs, fraud, suspect sausages, plots for revenge and drug addiction are all intertwined in the life and death of our victim.”

Helena Tendall: writing murder plots

It’s an elaborate plot, but Helena has form; she used to run a business called To Die For…Murder Mystery, writing her own plots, and providing every guest with a separate booklet with their script for each scene.

A member of Ambleside Players and a woman of great imagination, Helena’s previous “murders” have included entire days with ramblers searching for clues in the countryside, a poisonous blowfish dropped into a coffee cup, words written in blood on the floor, riddles that provide clues, and a top chef imprisoned for poisoning wedding guests at the Ritz.

This time, along with clue hunts in the countryside around Rydal, there will also be a pub lunch included, a wine tasting game on arrival, and dinner at Rydal Lodge during which Acts 3 and 4 will be revealed.

Secret gate at Rydal Lodge garden: follow the clues

“It’s great escapist fun, and we have a fantastic location here for our guests to do some sleuthing in the countryside,” says Helena.

The event will be staged over the weekend of Nov 4 – 6, and the price includes the murder mystery, all meals, and two nights b&b. For details see Themed Weekend Breaks (; for more information and to book, email or call 015394 33208.

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World champion gets children ready for Ambleside Sports

Children at our local primary schools are learning the skills of traditional wrestling from a world champion.

Connie Hodgson, the Ladies All Weights world champion at Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, was invited to do some coaching at Ambleside, Grasmere, Coniston and Langdale Schools.

It’s part of the build-up to Ambleside Sports when the Junior Schools Tournament is the first event on the wrestling programme.

“It’s not a haphazard attempt to get youngsters to have a go,” said Ambleside Sports president Jak Hirst. “The children are taking part in training which takes them through the basic holds, moves and etiquette used in traditional wrestling.”

Now mini tournaments will take place in the individual schools and ultimately a team of four will be selected from each school to take part at Ambleside Sports. 

Said Ambleside Primary School teacher Megan Rimmer: “The children can’t believe they’re allowed to wrestle each other in school! They also like the fact that the smaller children with a good technique can bring the bigger children down. Now they are all looking forward to seeing the experts in action at Ambleside Sports.”

The Junior Wrestling Tournament is sponsored by the Ambleside Freemasons Lodge.

Ambleside Sports will be held on Thursday July 28 at Rydal Park. Tickets are available online at

We are a few minutes’ walk away from the sports ground so call us now if you’d like to stay close to the action. Go here to return to our website

The best themed weekends in the Lake District

We have the best themed weekends in the Lake District for you. And they are all right here at Rydal Lodge for you to enjoy.

So whether your interest is art, photography, the outdoors, or just a weekend to die for, we have it all covered.

Learning to paint in our garden

Watercolour painting

One of the best themed weekends in the Lake District offers the chance to capture the remarkable landscape on your own canvas. Accomplished watercolour artist Ron Bailey will run a two-day course here  (September 30 – October 2) giving you instruction, and giving you confidence, to create your own work of Lakeland art. Ron finds this to be such an inspirational place to paint. He’s a talented artist and we were thrilled when he offered to come and share his skills with our visitors. He’s run several weekend sessions already. Book yours here:

Roe deer near Rydal. Photo by Ashley Cooper

Wildlife photography

Here’s a chance to explore the area around Rydal, Grasmere and beyond with the award-winning wildlife and landscape photographer, Ashley Cooper. He’s been all around the world, taking photos on every continent, and focussing especially on the impact and effects of climate change. His work was published in a lavish and much sought-after book, Images from a Warming Planet. And you can see his work on his website

Here in the Lakes he will take out both beginners and those with some experience who want to hone their skills. October 28-30. More details:

Murder Mystery

This is a weekend break to die for, where you will all be playing character parts in a murder plot. You’ll go out on a countryside search hunting for clues, and work as a team to decide who dunnit. Then you’ll get together over dinner to carry on detecting. There will be a prize for the winning team, and we’re starting the weekend with a wine tasting game to get you in the mood. Further details here then email when you’re ready to book.

The writing hut, Rydal Mount

Poetry please

We work closely with Rydal Mount, the home of William Wordsworth, which is only a couple of minutes’ walk from here. So it seems perfect to share our love of Wordsworth’s poetry with you. This themed weekend will include a tour that follows in the footsteps of Wordsworth, across the Lake District. Among other places, this will take you to Dora’s Field, and to Ullswater, the two best places in the Lakes to see the daffodils that inspired Wordsworth. And of course there will be the chance to enjoy some of Wordsworth’s poetry in the house or gardens at Rydal Mount.  This one will be from March 31-April 2, next year, 2023, but we know it will be popular so email us now to book. info@outandaboutaroundrydallodgebandb


Pied wagtail: photo by Ashley Cooper

For this, one of the best themed weekends in the Lake District, we welcome back Ashley Cooper. He will take you out on a gentle stroll of around four miles to look for birds in the local woodland, and along the shores of the rivers and lakes. Ashley is out every day in this area with his camera and binoculars, so he really is the true expert. This break is aimed at novice birdwatchers who would like to learn more and improve their identification skills. It’s from April 21-23 next year, 2023. Email for more information and booking: info@outandaboutaroundrydallodgebandb

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Top wildlife photographer to run course at Rydal Lodge

An award-winning wildlife photographer is to lead a special weekend of tuition at our hotel in the autumn.

The Rydal Lodge Country House B&B near Ambleside has teamed up with the internationally acclaimed Ashley Cooper who will take guests to explore the landscape of the Lakes with their cameras.

Participants will have the opportunity to quiz Ashley on what he thinks makes a stunning and marketable image, as well as having their own work critiqued with many tips and hints on how to improve their photography.

Ashley filming on location

Ambleside-based Ashley is best known as the only living photographer to have documented the impacts of climate change and the rise of renewable energy on every continent on the planet. His climate change work can be seen on his agency site

His epic book, Images from a Warming Planet, was published in 2016, containing 500 of the best images from his global project. The book won the Gold Award in the Green Apple Awards, and copies are owned by Pope Francis, Al Gore, Prince Charles, Emmanuel Macron, Sir Tim Smit, Sir David Attenborough, Chris Packham, Emma Thompson, Chris Bonington and many more.

“We will start with a discussion of what type of imagery people are interested in capturing and what they hope to achieve,” said Ashley.  “Then we will go out into the fields, the local woodland, rivers and lakes to see what catches the eye, whether that be majestic sweeping landscapes, or the smallest leaf detail.”

The photographers will be provided with a picnic lunch, and return late afternoon for a further opportunity to discuss equipment and techniques. After dinner at Rydal Lodge, Ashley will present a slideshow of some of his Lakes-based landscapes and other work, and all participants be given a copy of his book.

On the Sunday, guests can spend the time testing their new skills, with a late checkout of 2pm to give them time to explore more areas around Rydal and beyond.

Helena Tendall, co-owner of Rydal Lodge, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Ashley. His images are used on TV and in books, newspapers and magazines all around the world, and have appeared on the front covers of most UK national newspapers.”

Ashley Cooper’s success as a photographer often lies in seeing what many others don’t, in capturing the smallest details. This paid off when an American pharmaceutical company paid $45,000 for a backlit shot of aerial pollen grains.

For five years Ashley has been the lead judge on the global Environmental Photographer of the Year competition. He also works for a Chilean company on board small, specialist expedition ships taking clients to the Antarctic peninsula, where he has worked as lecturer and expedition photographer.

When not indulging his passion for photography, Ashley is a keen birdwatcher and has also been a member of Langdale/Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team for 30 years.

The dates are October 28-30. For details of how to book, and details of other themed weekends at the Rydal Lodge, see

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The real world of Swallows and Amazons

ON the shelves of our library here at Rydal Lodge, there are books which get picked up time and time again by visitors from all over the world.

The Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome, set in a world that seems very old fashioned, with scarcely-recognisable habits and attitudes, nevertheless seems as popular now as they were almost one hundred years ago.

It was in 1930 that the original story was published, telling the adventures of the Walker children – the Swallows – who meet Nancy and Peggy Blackett – the Amazons – sailing together to an island in a lake which bears similarities to both Coniston Water and Windermere.

Photo by REX/Moviestore Collection Swallows And Amazons 1974, Stephen Grendon Film and Television

They were allowed to spend nights camping on the island, unsupervised. They sailed without lifejackets. They made camp-fires, on the lake shore and on the island. And they went off together – unsupervised – to climb a mountain named otherwise but clearly Coniston Old Man.

Is it the nostalgia for a simpler time when children really were given much more freedom, were told – in a telegram from their father – “Better drowned than duffers, if not duffers won’t drown”? Or is it the exquisite artistry of Ransome as a writer, a master storyteller? Probably a combination of both.

Young fan on board Swallow in the harbour of Wild Cat Island

When we took part earlier this year in a marathon reading of one of the books in the series, Winter Holiday, at the Windermere Jetty Museum, we were joined by people much younger, and much older, than us. A well-known radio broadcaster read a chapter, and so did her teenage daughter. We had an ultra-distance runner, an artist, a university lecturer, a couple of journalists, and a woman who had travelled all the way from Cornwall to take part.

Gallery of readers at the Winter Holiday marathon

Visitors to the Lake District try to find locations from the books. The island the children call Wild Cat is actually Peel Island on Coniston. The lakeside town they call Rio has to be Bowness. The tumble-down hut used as a refuge by Dick and Dorothea in The Picts and the Martyrs can be found on the hillside above the eastern shore of Coniston.

Artist Liz Wakelin was in action at the Winter Holiday reading: here’s one of her sketches

Many books have been written about Ransome, his storytelling, and the search for locations; our favourite is Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint’s Truck by Christina Hardyment.

There are many members of The Arthur Ransome Society, a multi-generational community of like-minded people who enjoy Ransome’s  writing  and “the philosophy of self-reliance”.

But the stories themselves are read and re-read time and again, here in our library, and around the world. When you come to stay, take a little time out to sit and enjoy one of the books. Ask us if you want to know more, or to visit locations from the books, or from the still-popular 1974 film version. It’s a perfect way to immerse yourself in the world of the Lake District.

Swallows and Amazons: Pride of place in our display of the Literature of the Lakes

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Lakes painting weekend to be held again

Aspiring artists are learning to paint in watercolour this coming weekend in the heart of the Lake District. And our tuition package has proved so popular that we plan to run it again in the autumn.

Artist Ron Bailey is treating his weekend pupils to his expert advice and guidance here at the Rydal Lodge Country House B&B near Ambleside.

It’s a perfect setting in the heart of Romantic Lakeland which has been inspiring artists for centuries.

Ron has been involved in teaching art to adults for more than 40 years, using watercolour, oil and acrylic, pen and wash. He paints mainly landscapes in a traditional style but also enjoys doing more contemporary work. He currently has work on display at a gallery in the north Lakes.

Ron finds this to be such an inspirational place to paint. He’s such a talented artist and we were thrilled when he offered to come and share his skills with our visitors. He’s run several weekend sessions already, and this one has been so popular we’ve already invited him to come back again in the autumn.

Our Rydal Lodge, just north of Ambleside, is a riverside B&B set in beautiful grounds at the epicentre of the Romantic movement in the Lakes. Just across the road is Rydal Mount, once the home of the poet William Wordsworth. And also nearby is the picturesque Grotto, in the grounds of Rydal Hall, which was built specially for artists with a window onto a spectacular waterfall. It was designed so that painters could sit in comfort while they captured the view.

But we are also surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the whole of the UK, from the tranquillity of Rydal Water and Grasmere to the majestic heights of Loughrigg fell and the Fairfield horseshoe range of mountains. It’s a dream setting for artists.

The next painting weekend will run from Friday 30th September to Sunday 2nd October 2022 and includes two days’ painting tuition, two days’ bed and breakfast accommodation and light lunches, and a non-painting partner can stay in the same room for a £40 supplement. Prices range from £302.50 for sole occupancy.

Bookings by phone or email only: or 015394 33208

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Exploring the area, things to do and see.