In the North East we are fortunate to live within easy reach of some of the most scenic areas of the country. When the opportunity arose to take a coach holiday with Daish’s to their recently renovated County Hotel in Kendal it brought back memories of my first holiday abroad which also was on a coach.
The beauty of being driven to your destination in comfort and to let someone else do all the driving is one of the many advantages of taking a coach holiday, although you can also drive yourself to Daish’s County Hotel. The hotel is open to guests all year round.
Daish’s County Hotel
The hotel was awarded a TripAdvisor 2022 Travellers Choice Award for the third year running. Within easy walking distance of Kendal’s town centre and the ruins of the old castle the hotel sits in a commanding position opposite the railway station.
Our room on the top floor had sweeping views of the Lakeland fells that overlook Kendal. Furnished in a modern style it came with all the amenities that the modern traveller requires. We couldn’t get the television to work, having tried my best I asked one of the staff to come help. The problem was soon solved – the plug had come loose from the rear of the wall mounted television, though my big hands and failing vision could not see this!
The small staff team were a credit to the hotel, multi tasked they certainly were – if they were not on dinner service they were working behind the bar or helping other guests. Nothing seemed to much trouble to the hard-working staff.
The meals served in the restaurant were on the side of what I would call traditional with a good full English breakfast and a three-course evening meal with coffee or tea. Over the course of four nights, we had a roast beef, roast chicken, roast pork and Cottage Pie. All served meals were served hot and presented stylishly.
The hotel has nightly entertainment with musical acts which were very entertaining. The whole welcoming atmosphere of the hotel was one of like bring part of being part of a big happy family making it easy to understand why guests return back to the hotel. We certainly will.
Daish’s have hotels in Blackpool, Scarborough and Llandudno as well as on the south coast. Their holidays include luxury coach travel with convenient pickup and drop off points across the north. Breakfast and a three- course meal is included every day. Prices based on two people sharing a standard room start from £214pp self-drive or £234pp with coach travel included.
Just a short twenty-minute journey south of Kendal with bring you to Sizergh. The house and gardens are run by the National Trust. The house has been the home of the Stricklands since 1239 and is a fascinating reflectIon of the varying fortunes of the family over the centuries, being full of fascinating things to see.
On a sunny spring or summers day there cannot be anything more idyllic than walking through the Rock Garden, Dutch Garden and Orchard or taking a stroll around the Mirror Lake, where the house is reflected in the water.
There is a cafe with an outdoor terrace and a gift shop. A great afternoon out.
Lakeland Motor Museum
This perfect all weather attraction is located in a purpose built home in the south Cumbrian village of Backbarrow. The museum has a collection of over 150 classic cars and motorcycles. The displays are flanked by faithful recreations of shop windows from different periods. You will fund yourself saying things like “we used to have a car like that” as you walk through the interesting museum.
There is also an exhibition dedicated to Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell’s world record speed attempts with full size replicas of the famous land and water Bluebird craft.
Windermere Lake Cruises
Windermere Lake Cruises depart from either Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere, Brockhole, Ambleside or Lakeside (where you can also combine the cruise with a trip on the Haverthwaite Steam Railway).
The scenic cruises range from 45 minutes to over three hours in length, if you do not fancy sitting outside the liners have heated indoor areas. With a full commentary it was a pleasure to discover facts about Lake Windermere that we never knew – plus the views are stunning especially towards the end of the lake as you approach Ambleside.
Holker Hall and Gardens
Dating back to the early 1600s Holker Hall has been home to the Preston, Lowther and Cavendish families. The estate has passed by inheritance through the family line. The main house is a wonderful example of the neo-Elizabethan Gothic style yet at the same time remains a personal creation of a Victorian stately home.
I particularly liked that there were no ropes or barriers in the hall which allowed you to wander around freely. The knowledge guides were extremely friendly and helpful too.
For me the highlight of the visit was the award-winning gardens which were an oasis of colour and clam. Try to see the Cascade and Burlington Fountain, the Sunken Garden, Pagan Grove and the 400 year old Lime tree. On a sunny spring or summers day there is no better place to be.
With ample free parking and a cafe Holker Hall is the perfect day out.
The hike – The Old Man of Coniston
This is a walk I have attempted three times, the first we only went half way up, the second attempt was more successful but by the time we arrived at the summit it was covered in mist!
Third time we were lucky with the views grin the top stretching over Morecambe Bay and Helvelyn in the other direction. They say you can see the Isle of Man and Blackpool Tower on a clear day but we thought we could see neither on the bright day we walked up.
The best way to attempt the Old Man of Coniston is to drive your car up from Coniston village and park your car in the National Trust car park at the top of Walna Scar Road, it takes around 4-5 hours to do the walk if you are fairly fit. The route is clearly signposted from the car park.