1. What’s in a Name?
The name ‘Windermere’ is made up of two words, ‘mere’ the Old English word for a body of water and the old Norse name ‘Vinandr’. We do not know who this character Vinandr was, but presumably somebody with a rather large ego who looked out over the lake one day and decided it belonged to him. Guests at Low Wood Bay and Waterhead can readily enjoy Vinandr’s view in a more civilized way over a nice glass of Chardonnay!
2. Fluffy grey sheep
Another inheritance from our Viking forefathers are the grey sheep that you will see dotted around the fells. These are the now native Cumbrian Herdwick sheep prized for their robust health and their ability to live solely on forage. The wool quality has unique qualities relating to durability – thick bristle type fibres forming a protective barrier layer in blizzards. They have been known to survive under a blanket of snow for three days while eating their own wool!
3. Hound Trailing
A local tradition dating back 200 years is the sport of hound trailing. In the months April to October hound trail racing takes place all around Cumbria. The specially trained hounds follow a strong aniseed and paraffin scent around a circular route of up to 10 miles. Each race takes between 25 to 40 minutes.
4. Picture Postcard Cottages
The traditional chocolate box image of the Lake District cottages belies the fact that it was not to look quaint that they were coated in a dazzling white. Traditionally the cottages were coated in red lead and limewashed to keep out the damp. Although for different reasons nowadays, many homeowners continue whitewashing their cottages.
5. Local brew – liquid bread!
Beer has been brewed for at least 4,000 years and likely longer. It was used to honour the dead in ancient Egypt and as an ancestral offering in China. In medieval times in this country it was considered safer to drink than water which was often contaminated. In the middle ages, brewing was largely the preserve of women and many houses in a community would serve their own beer. The use of natural ingredients earned it the reputation as liquid bread.
Fancy a pint? Try Mad Pig, the local ale produced by The Wild Boar Inn, Grill and Smokehouse.
6. How Many?
14.8 million people visit the Lake District every year.
Each person comes with a unique set of expectations. At English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues it is our mission to provide an experience as individual as you are!
7. The Birth of a Trust
Visitors to Low Wood Bay will be able to see the impressive Wray Castle across the lake. This was built in 1840 for a retired Liverpool surgeon. A member of his family, Hardwicke Rawnsley, in a bid to protect the countryside from damaging development, went on to conceive the idea of a National Trust. Beatrix Potter who summered at Wray Castle in 1882, aged 16, was also a keen conservationist and much of her land is today owned by The National Trust.
8. Walking on Water
In 1895 visitors to Windermere would have been able to walk across the lake as it was completely iced over for a total of six weeks!
9. ‘A Heart to Enjoy’
The Lake District National Park was established in 1951, the second of fifteen national parks in the UK. William Wordsworth had previously written about the Lake District that it was “… a sort of national property, in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to hear and a heart to enjoy.”
10. Protected Beauty
Nurture Lakeland, representing 1,200 businesses, works tirelessly to protect the beautiful landscapes of Cumbria and the Lake District so that visitors can enjoy them for centuries to come. English Lakes have contributed over £300,000 through their visitor giving scheme to date and are involved in specific environmental projects in the area.
- Written by +Tina Taylor