Christmas Markets in the Lake District


I love Christmas Markets and I love the Lake District.  I’m over the moon that there are now lots of wonderful Christmas Markets coming to the Lake District ( my home) this year.

If you’re visiting the Lakes before Christmas keep an eye on our Special Offers by checking our “Winter Breaks” page for any new deals. Click here to see our latest offers.

Why you should visit a Lake District Christmas Market.

A Christmas Market is a great place to do your Christmas shopping. The Lake District is renowned for it’s wonderful local food, ales and crafts. Craft fairs and Christmas markets offer great  Christmas presents that are authentic, different, great value and much appreciated by the lucky recipient. Do your Christmas shopping in the Lake District. Combine your Christmas shopping with a visit to the Lake District and you have a holiday, a reviving winter break, and a shopping opportunity all rolled into one.

Be honest, would you prefer to shop on Oxford Street, London

christmas shopping

Christmas london


or Windermere’s “German” Christmas Market?( Actually, they’ve changed the name this year as some thought that the emphasis should be more on the “local” nature of this event.)

Christmas markets Lake District

Christmas Market Windermere

With a new name for Christmas 2017,now called “Windermere’s Christmas Celebration”  this fun event takes place on the weekend of 9th and 10th December 2017. For lots more information click through this link. Come along and enjoy the beauty of the Lakes and get your Christmas shopping done as well.

Where to stay for your Christmas shopping visit to the Lake District?

You can stay at Brockstone Cottage for the weekend of Windermere Christmas Celebration. A three night stay is just £330. Our cottage gets 5 star reveiws and lots of repeat bookings, but we do still have availability for November and December 2017.

The weekend of Windermere’s Christmas Celebrations also happens to be the weekend when Ambleside Choral Society are giving their Christmas concert. Therefore you can shop by day and enjoy a wonderful concert in the evening.Find out more about this on our winter breaks page.

More Christmas Markets and Craft Fairs in the Lake District

There are lots more Christmas Markets and craft fairs in the Lake District in 2017. Here are links to a few of them. I’ll add more in the next few days.

Holker Winter Market takes place on 4 and 5 November 2017.( Brockstone Cottage is fully booked that weekend, sorry )

Conistons’s Winter Craft Fair takes place at Brantwood, John Ruskin’s House, on 11 and 12 November 2017. You can arrive at Brockstone Grasmere Cottage on the Saturday, and visit the craft fair on the Sunday.

coniston Christmas markets

Coniston Craft Fair

Hawkshead’s Christmas Fair takes place on 2 and 3 December 2017. Read all about it on their Facebook page here.

Christmas markets hawkshead

Hawkshead Christmas Fair

Christmas in the Lake District is a very special time. Here’s an article I wrote some years ago on Christmas in the Lake District.  Brockstone Grasmere Cottage is already fully booked for Christmas and New Year 2017-2018, but you can still sample the Christmas spirit and fun by taking a November or December break in the Lake District and going out in the fresh air, sampling local food and drink at these wonderful Christmas markets and craft fairs.

All these events are in easy reach of lovely Brockstone Grasmere Cottage with it’s stunning views.We’d love to welcome you.

October break special offer

October Break special offer

-We have just let the week 7-14 October 2017. Just the one October week now available, AND WE’VE REDUCED THE RATE EVEN FURTHER! The half term week of 28 October to 4 November is now only £690. It’s a bargain! Please contact us telling us where you’ve seen this special offer.

We have a special 4 night November break for arrival on Saturday 11 November, leaving Wednesday 15 November. Usual weekend rate is £330 for 3 nights, but this 4 night break give you a FREE NIGHT! The 4 night long weekend from Saturday 11 November is just £330.

If you’re interested in visiting over the winter, please take a look at our Winter Breaks page.

Autumn in the Lake District.

Autumn is a superb time to visit the Lakes. You can read one of my previous blogs about Autumn in the Lake District here  

October break special offer

Autumn in Penny Rock Woods, a few minute walk from Brockstone

October is a wonderful time for walking in the Lake District.

If you can take advantage of our October break offer you’ll find that it’s a wonderful time for walking. The air is crisp, the leaves are turning many colours of gold, red and brown, and the summer crowds have gone. From Brockstone Grasmere cottage you can walk from the door. Click on this link to read about circular walks from Brockstone Cottage, White Moss .

october break special offer

October colours Grasmere

Brockstone Grasmere cottage is so cosy in Autumn for your October break special offer

The great thing about staying at Brockstone Grasmere Cottage in autumn for your October break, is that it’s just so wonderfully cosy. At the end of the day, soak yourself in the bubble of the spa bath, then snuggle down on the comfy sofas by the woodburning stove.

stove brockstone recent photo

Log burning stove in our Grasmere cottage

October break

Cosy sofas and log burning stove

Entertainment in October in the Lakes

Did you know that there are 5 cinema screens in nearby Ambleside showing all the latest movies and live broadcasts? Find out more at the Zeffirelli’s website 

There are also live theatre performances at the Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, the Old Laundry Theatre Bowness, and the Brewery Arts Centre , Kendal. The Brewery also hosts music and comedy.

In the old days, restaurants used to close outside the peak holiday season. Now they stay open all year round, and you’ll be able to enjoy fabulous meals out at all price ranges, from lovely little cafes to top rates Michelin star restaurants such as Forest Side, Grasmere, just minutes from Brockstone Grasmere Cottage.

Breaks in November and December

Can you fit in a sneaky get away break in November or December? If so, you can check our offers here on our other blog.  There are some lovely photos here.

Stay 3 nights at the weekend or 4 nights midweek for just £330. For a full week, the rate is only £495. We can be flexible about changeover days. The booking button at the bottom of this page may not reflect these special offers, so do please contact us direct via email.

When we post a special offer, we find that it often gets booked up pretty quickly. Don’t leave it too long if you want to book.


Lowther Show – a great Lakeland day out

Lowther Show is a great Lakeland day out

Lowther Show takes place on the weekend of 12 and 13 August 2017. This is a great Lakeland day out, set in the grounds of the magnificent Lowther Estate.

This great event is a traditional country show, with emphasis on the country skills traditionally an essential part of life in Britain’s Countryside.

Watch horse driving trials. These are a great show of skill, and in previous years HRH The Duke of Edinburgh always took part in these trials.

Horse driving Lowther

Lowther Show Horse Driving Trials

What else can I see at Lowther Show?

You can watch amazing , Falconry Displays by Ye Olde Redtails Falconry, and see entertaining Pony Club UK events and games.

Marvel at the hugely popular Lowther Hound Show, and enjoy seeing the talents of gundogs- such good behaviour!  If you’re wondering what a hound show is, you can see an article I’ve written here about Rydal Hound Show. This year Rydal Hound show takes place on Thursday 17 August. For more information use this link. to Rydal Show 2017. 

Lowther show hounds

Hounds at Lowther Show

Try your hand at Fishing or Clay Pigeon shooting.

Lowther show poster

Lowther Show 2017

Lowther show

The beautiful Lowther Estate


Things to do  for children ( under 16s go FREE!)

Take the children- they’ll love the outdoor space,,animal displays, trampolines and much more. For more information take a look here to see What’s on at the Lowther Show 2017. 

Lakeland Food and Drink Festival

You might like to take a picnic, but why not travel light and take the chance to sample local Lakeland food and drink? See more about the Lowther Food and Beer festival on Vimeo here.

Lakeland food lowther show

Food and Beer Festival Lowther

Live music

Enjoy live music throughout the weekend with the Lowther Folk Roots Festival .

Lowther Show

Music Lowther

Are you tempted to visit Lowther Show?

If you’re anywhere near Lowther, why not visit this year? You’ve had a taster of some of the great Lakeland countryside events in the words and pictures above. The nearest town is Penrith, and access is easy from the A66 and the M6. Buy your tickets online ahead of your visit via this link.

I might see you there!

Lake District now UNESCO World Heritage Site


The Lake District is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

I’ve written about the UNESCO World Heritage award on my other blog, White Moss House and Brockstone Cottage. Please take a look by clicking here.

Lake District UNESCO

Sunday Times article about UNESCO world heritage

There’s an article in the Telegraph too.

Lake District telegraph

Telegraph article on Lake District

Here’s a more detailed extract from the Sunday Times.

Grasmere UNESCO

Grasmere rated as the best village in the Lake District

Grasmere Sports and Grasmere Guzzler Beer Festival 2017

Grasmere Sports and Grasmere Guzzler Beer Festival 2017

Grasmere Sports takes place on Sunday 27 August 2917, and the Grasmere Guzzler Beer Festival starts on Friday 1 September. This means that you can stay at our Grasmere Cottage for the week starting Saturday 26 August and take in both of these great Lake District events.

*Edited to say that this week has now been booked- sorry! .Next available weeks now in October.


sports field grasmere sports

Looking down on Grasmere Sports Field, 10 minutes walk from Brockstone Cottage

In 2017 the week of Grasmere Sports is available due to a cancellation, and we have  reduced the rate by £100, from £890 to £790. The guests who stayed last year were absolutely delighted to be able to join in such a wonderful local event as Grasmere Sports.

What happens at Grasmere Sports?

In 2017 Grasmere Lakeland Sports, celebrates 167 years of existence. The Sports have been a regular annual event since 1868, unbroken except for the two periods of the First and Second World Wars. Many Lakeland villages have Sports and Show days, but Grasmere Sports are probably the most famous.The are lots of traditional sports which people can participate in, including Cumberland Wrestling, Fell Running and Hound Trails.

Over the years other fun events ave been added, such as children’s races and dogs shows.

rasmere sports dogs

Dog show Grasmere Sports

Children Grasmere Sports

Children’s 3 legged race

Why not stay at Brockstone Cottage and walk down the hill to the Sportsfield? You can take part if you like! Runners come from all over the country to compete in the “Guides Race” which goes up the fellside ( hill side)

Grasmere Sports race

Off they go- the Guides Race

You can buy a drink in the Beer Tent, and you can buy a variety of great food from the food tent. You can also pick up local craft items and browse the many stalls showing their wares. It’s a great day out, just a short walk from your own Grasmere Holiday Cottage , Brockstone. For news about Brockstone Cottage you can follow our Facebook Page.

What Happens at the Grasmere Guzzler Beer Festival?

It won’t surprise you to know that there are lots of beers at the Grasmere Guzzler Beer Festival. In 2017 this 3 day event starts on Friday 1 September. Book the week of 26 August to 2 September in Brockstone Grasmere Cottage and spend your last day enjoying live music and sampling a huge variety of craft beers. I’m a cider fan myself, and love the huge choice of craft cider and perry on offer.

Grasmere Guzzler

Beers lined up ready Grasmere Guzzler

Grasmere Guzzler sun

A sunny day at Grasmere Guzzler

Friday is possibly the best day to go, as some beers get drunk dry by the time Sunday comes, and the choices go down.

The Festival takes place at Tweedies’ Bar, at the Dale Lodge Hotel in the centre of Grasmere. The Official Facebook Event Page for the Grasmere Guzzler 2017 is here.

The page is being updated as the time gets closer, with band details and timings being added. You can stroll down to Grasmere from Brockstone Cottage and spend a few happy hours sampling great beers and listening to live music. What a great way to spend the last day of your week’s holiday at our Grasmere Cottage. At the end of the day, wander back up the hill to your holiday home and take in the amazing views.

Cottage Grasmere view

Evening view Brockstone Grasmere Cottage

For availability and prices for any stay at our Grasmere Cottage with amazing views please use the search button at the bottom of the page.

Rushbearing in the Lake District

Rushbearing in the Lake District.

Rushbearing is an ancient Lake District custom. The custom dates back to the times when the floors of churches were simply made of mud and earth. Every year, when the rushes were at their greenest, they were picked and taken to the church to cover the floor with new, sweet smelling grasses.

For families taking part in the Ambleside event, this means going out to the lake shores and picking lovely fresh green rushes. The rushes are then decorated and threaded though with flowers. This is the only time in their lives that our sons were happy to walk around carrying flowers!

In Grasmere too, everyone in the procession carries flowers and rushes. Even babies’ prams are decorated for the occasion.

Where and when do these events  take place?

Ambleside- first Saturday in July.

Where and when can you see a Ceremony in 2017? Well, Ambleside Rushbearing takes place on Saturday, 1 July 2017. Traditionally Ambleside’s big day is the first Saturday in July . For more information you can read Ambleside Online’s website  .    

black and white Rushbearing

Rushbearing Ambleside some years ago

The traditional  processesion in Ambleside assembles outside the school, and wends its way around the village, stopping at the Market Cross to sing the Rushbearing Hymn. Our children attended Ambleside Junior School, and the annual Rushbearing  day was an important event in the calendar every year. All children carry rushes (reeds) decorated with flowers. There are also large set piece “bearings”, the frames which are stored every year and redecorated freshly each July. They are quite heavy, and need strong arms. There is a harp, a cross, and a crown among the large traditional pieces.

After the Rushbearing procession, sports were held in the park, and all the children got a big piece of sticky gingerbread.. possibly their favourite part of the whole event.

harp rushbearing

The Harp, Ambleside Rushbearing

The band plays, the children and their families parade through the village- lovely! How wonderful that the old customs are still in full swing today.

Grasmere, 2nd Saturday in July (usually-)

Grasmere Rushbearing 2017 takes place this year on Saturday 8 July. You can read an excellent description of the 2016 event on Chris Shaw’s  Grasmere Village Blog here. 

2016 was wet! On her Grasmere Village Blog, Chris also has photos and news from a very sunny 2015 – click here to see it.

The customs of the Grasmere Rushbearing vary from those of Ambleside. In Grasmere the Rushbearing Maidens dress in their green dresses and carry the cloth. The large bearings are similar but not quite the same as those in Grasmere. The bearings are decorated in a different style.

Winding the rushes round frames takes place in St Oswald’s church Grasmere on the two days before the event. Helpers are always welcome.

The old hymns are sung and gingerbread is shared out. There is usually tea in St Oswald’s Church grounds, run by the WI.This year, due to the fact that a large chunk of the church yard is closed due to the Tower repairs, the after parade get together will take place in St Oswald’s, with musical accompaniment.

old grasmere rushbearing

Rushbearing in Grasmere many years ago

Here’s an old photo of Grasmere Rushbearing. The maidens today still wear the same outfits, but the clothing of the onlookers and other participants is much changed.

maidens grasmere

Grasmere Rushbearing Maidens 2015

modern rushbearing

Grasmere Rushbearing 2015

You can easily see either event if you are staying at Brockstone Grasmere Cottage.

Fingers crossed that the weather will stay dry this year.

For information about other villages with a similar events, click through here.

Further update on available weeks.

Here’s a further update on available weeks.

Further update- our next available week is in August. We’ve now filled all the weeks in June and July in our Lake District Cottage near Grasmere. Last weeks’ guests called Brockstone Cottage “stunning”

We now have one week that has become available in August. It’s the week commencing Saturday 26 August, leaving Saturday 2 September. The rate for this week was £890, for up to four guests, but we’ve now reduced that to a special last minute offer of £790. You dog is welcome too. All linen, towels provided.

The guests who left today have just booked for next year- for two weeks! They loved the cottage so much they didn’t want to leave, and want to get their break at our “very special cottage” fixed in their 2018 diary..

I have to confess that I have not filled out the rates for next year on my booking charts, but if you want to get ahead and make a booking we would be happy to accept it! Just contact us and we’ll quote you the rates. I’ll be putting them on the calendar very soon.

Please remember that to get the best rates from any holiday cottage that you are booking, go directly to the owner. The sites that claim to get you the best rates charge you and the owner. Book Direct!

There are lots of us on Facebook very unhappy with the new booking policies of Owners Direct and HomeAway, .

You might like to take a look at Book Holidays Direct with the Owner  

and also Book Holidays Direct including Dog Friendly Holidays

These are both Facebook Groups. We’re owners trying to save our guests from the clutches of the letting sites that , in our opinion, charge our guests unjustifiable fees.

Here’s a picture for you- this could be you….

Available for you in August

Update on availability

Further Availabilty Update

The remaining July weeks are now all fully booked.

The week we had at the end of August ( due to a cancellation) has now been rebooked.

Our next available weeks are in October. It’s a really beautiful time of year in the Lake District. Take a look at my Pinterest board for some lovely Autumn In the Lake District photos.

autumn lake district

October colours Grasmere

Availability Update

Just a quick update on our availability at Brockstone Grasmere Cottage.

the view

Brockstone view on an April evening


We did have two weeks available in June, but these have both now been booked. Our next availability is for the week commencing Saturday 8 July, leaving Saturday 15 July. We have reduced the rate for that week from £790 to £690 for a last minute booking. That’s a great price! We’ve just been away on a cottage break ourselves, and have returned thinking that we are offering really attractive rates at Brockstone.

view and boots

Boots off at the end of a walk

After that, our next weeks are in September and October. You can now book for Christmas and New year, and if you would like to book for 2018 just email us with youir dates and we’ll give you our best offer.

window seat brockstone

Window seat with a view

That’s the update! Thank you.


Rydal Hall and Rydal Church

Rydal Hall gardens and Rydal Church were the stars of our walk yesterday. Setting off from White Moss, just down the path from Brockstone Cottage, this wonderful walk always offers something new. Yesterday, the Rhododendrons at St Mary’s Rydal Church were splendid. Here’s Rydal Church outlined against a clear blue Lake District sky yesterday.

Rydal Church

St Mary’s Rydal , May

You can find more lovely May  flower photos on the gardens and flowers page of our website .of our Onwards through the lovely church yard to Rydal Hall Gardens, where the tulips in the formal garden are coming to an end but still looking good. The gardens were designed by celebrated Lake District gardener Thomas Mawson. Here’s an interesting article about Thomas Mawson, who was responsible for many great Gardens in the Lakes and elsewhere in the early 20th Century.

Rydal hall formal garden

Tulips in Rydal Hall garden


The herbaceous border is ready to burst into life. The gardener has cleverly planted patches of vibrant tulips at intervals to give early interest. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks to see how this border has burst into life.

Rydal Hall border

Herbaceous Border early May

For more information about this beautiful walk around Rydal Water you can read a description of  “A circular Walk Round Rydal Water” that I wrote as a guide. You can also find more about circular walks from Brockstone Grasmere Cottage and from White Moss by clicking here .

We paused at the delightful Old School Tearoom for a tasty sandwich and a cuppa. We resisted the cakes- hard to do!

We’ve had lots of sun and no rain lately. Our cottage guests are having a great time! If you would like to stay in Brockstone, our Grasmere Holiday Cottage with amazing views, we’d love to welcome you. Here’s how to make a booking.

If you could visit , share and like our Facebook page that would be lovely.

Recent photos taken at Brockstone Cottage Grasmere

Here are some recent photos I’ve taken at Brockstone Cottage, Grasmere The view is the thing that immediately strikes visitors on arrival, so here are a few new recent photos showing the view. Here you can see Rydal Water in the background from the terrace.

view and boots

Boots off at the end of a walk

Now time to relax looking over the Grasmere Fells. The hazy hill you can see on the horizon is Wetherlam, part of the Coniston Fell range.

the view

Brockstone view on an April evening

From the inside looking out – a window seat with a view

window seat brockstone

Window seat with a view

Inside, Brockstone cottage is cosy and warm. With the log fire blazing it’s easy to unwind and relax, curled up with a book, and maybe a glass of wine , or a local Lake District beer or specialist Lake District gin. (You might like to go on a distillery tour to The Lakes Distillery  during your stay)

stove brockstone recent photos

Log burning stove in our Grasmere cottage

recent photos brockstone lounge

Cosy lounge at Brockstone Cottage

The weather this spring in the Lakes has been wonderful. Our guests are having a great time walking and relaxing. If you would like to treat yourself to a stay at our Grasmere Cottage, we have two weeks in June available- 10-17 and 17 – 24. We have reduced the rate to £690 for last minute bookings ( was £790)  The beds will be made up for you with lovely fine cotton bedding, we provide lots of fluffy towels. Just bring yourself and a loved one ( though we can sleep 4 in two bedrooms if you want to bring friends). Bring your dog too- dogs love Brockstone Cottage. No extra charge for your dog.

The week of 8-15 July is also available,  and so is 16-23 September. Check the form at the bottom of the page for details.