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 (rydallodge.co.uk); for more information and to book, email info@rydallodge.co.uk 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 https://amblesidesports.co.uk/

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: https://www.rydallodge.co.uk/themed-weekend-breaks/

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  http://www.globalwarmingimages.net.

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: https://www.rydallodge.co.uk/themed-weekend-breaks/

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 https://www.rydallodge.co.uk/themed-weekend-breaks/ then email info@rydallodge.co.uk 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

Birdwatching

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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