Lake District Self-Catering Holidays

by David Murray on 1 February 2012

in Accommodation, Cottages, Cumbria, Lake District General, Self-catering

Loweswater - Cumbria Lake District
Loweswater – One of the less-visited lakes

Many people today choose to look after themselves on holiday rather than stay in an hotel. There is an extensive supply of self-catering accommodation in Cumbria. Lake District cottages for rent are to be found throughout the region and provide excellent bases from which to go out and explore this beautiful part of the country which consists of far more than the traditional tourist “honeypot” towns and major lakes. The West Cumbria coastal region and the Eden Valley are just two examples of areas of both interest and beauty to which the majority of Lake District visitors never travel.

A Self-Catering Lake District Holiday? – Why?

Coachmans Cottage WitherslackWhy rent a cottage rather than pay for a hotel? For some it might be cost. Even if the accommodation is not much different in price, you can control eating costs more closely – far fewer expensive meals out – and that can make a big difference to the total outlay for a week away. Yes, there is the downside of having to do the cooking and the washing up, and some would prefer to stretch the wallet to have that done for them, but there are other points to consider. With a holiday cottage there is much greater flexibility, especially if you want to bring along your children or your dog. Click here for details of the example above, Coachman’s Cottage, Witherslack.

Family Friendly Cottages

If you have children with you on holiday a cottage gives the benefits of more space, greater flexibility of timings (no need to worry about restaurant opening/closing times), choice and style of food, and no worries about noise or dress code. Most cottages come with a washing machine, so laundry is not a big issue if it’s needed. There’s no trailing a gaggle of muddy youngsters through a spotless hotel foyer to reach your room. Yes, provided you leave the accommodation as you found it on arrival you’re under your own control and don’t have to worry. So click here to see details of family friendly lake district cottages

Dog-Friendly Lake District Cottages

Dog friendly holiday cottages in the Lake DistrictAnother notable feature of Cumbria is the number of pet-friendly cottages. Lake District walks along the rivers and over the fells give wonderful opportunities to enjoy the company of your dog. Certainly there are many dog friendly hotels, and for some people these will be the preference, but self-catering accommodation gives much greater flexibility with no need to worry about the impact of your dog on other guests. The following link will take you to information on pet-friendly accommodation (because pet-friendliness is not limited to dogs).

Luxury Lake District Cottages

If you’re looking for luxury cottages Lake District villages have them. Cumbrian cottages are available in many different types, including for people who want that extra degree of luxury. Whether you’re spending your days looking at museums and historic houses or energetically clambering up the hills and over the fells, to return to a soak in a hot tub or to lounge in a comfortable armchair can put a nice finishing touch to a glorious day … or a wet one!

Bay View Ulverston - Sykes CottagesAs elsewhere, Lake District cottage rentals vary widely. In addition to quality which is often indicated by a star rating (from one to five) location is a significant factor. The time of year also makes a big difference. An August holiday in a well-appointed property convenient for major places of interest is going to cost more than basic accommodation intended primarily for walkers at a remote location away from the main Cumbrian holiday centres out of season. Click here or on the picture for details of Bay View, Ulverston, or at this link you can browse through more luxury cottages in the Lake District.

Cheap Cottages in Lake District and Nearby Locations

In these days of financial constraints you might be asking, “Are there any cheap cottages?”. Lake District towns and villages do, yes, have accommodation lower down the price range. “Cheap cottages“, though, should not in any sense be taken to imply “substandard”. It is simply that the properties may not have all the facilities and decor that you could expect from a higher priced cottage. In some cases they may also be a little further away from the major tourist centres.

More Examples of Lake District Holiday Cottages

Waters Edge - Garnett Bridge - LongsleddaleThe photograph here shows a cottage (Water’s Edge – single bedroom first-floor apartment) in the small hamlet of Garnett Bridge at the foot of the Longsleddale valley. Although only a few miles from Kendal you might as well be on a different planet. This is wonderful secluded countryside with splendid walking opportunities away from the busy streets of the tourist towns.

Self-Catering for the Larger Group

Ptarmigan House Keswick cottage self-cateringIn marked contrast is this Keswick “cottage” (Ptarmigan House) with six bedrooms on three floors and close to the popular centre of one of the busiest Lake District towns by the shore of Derwentwater. This kind of self-catering accommodation is ideal for a large or extended family holiday. Keswick is very convenient for the Western areas of the Lake District (including Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater), for the West Cumbria coast and for Ullswater and the Eden Valley to the east.

There is tremedous variety in Lake District self-catering cottages. Short breaks can be booked at many of them as well as full weeks, although these will often be easier to find outside the peak season.

Kitchen - Milkmaids Parlour CartmelRenting a self-catering cottage implies the wish for a kitchen, and today’s holiday cottages are usually well-provided for in this respect. Most advertised cottage details include a photo of the kitchen. This example is at one known as “Milkmaid’s Parlour” at Cartmel near Grange-over-Sands, which is just outside the boundary of the National Park.

An Oft-Forgotten Aspect of Responsible Visiting

In closing we must mention a practical point about self-catering supplies, such as food and household incidentals. In some areas of Cumbria there is now a problem with the high proportion of holiday cottages. Lake District visitors tend to be concentrated into the middle of the year and local families who would be there all year round often cannot afford the inflated property prices. As a consequence local businesses close. On this site we frequently appeal to visitors renting Lake District cottages to please patronise the village shops and other local businesses rather than driving miles to a supermarket, or they may no longer be there on a later visit.

Bassenthwaite Lake from the Whinlatter road - Cumbria Lake District

More Lake District Accommodation

For pages on other types of accommodation in the Lake District. Hotels, B&B, camping, already are or will shortly be covered in our Lake District Directory. Click here for Lake District Accommodation.

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