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

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.

Things to do around Brockstone Cottage in June

June is a busy month in the Lake District. There’s an amazing choice of things to do. Of course, there is always walking, climbing, sailing, boating on the Lakes, visiting gardens and museums, taking in the views……etc…etc….. However, there are also many special events and things to do.

For a comprehensive list you can visit the official website of Cumbria Tourism, GoLakes, by clicking through this link. You can refine your search by dates, or by choosing your area of interest. For example, if you search “Fairs, Festivals and Markets”, you’ll find that the exiting and wonderful Keswick Mountain Festival takes place 8-11 June 2017. Outdoor activities, speakers, music, all in the beautiful setting of Keswick and Derwent Water. Find out more by clicking here. Keswick is a delightful 30 minute drive from Brockstone Grasmere Cottage. The photos below are from the website gallery of Keswick Mountain Festival 2016.

things to do

Fell runners Keswick Mountain Festival 2016

keswick music

Music, Keswick Festival 2016

If cycling is your thing, then you’ll love the Adventure Cycling Festival at Brathay Hall, Ambleside, just 10 minutes from Brockstone Holiday Cottage. For more information you can click through this link. Actually, even if you don’t cycle, take a look. The website is spectacular.

Please bookmark this page and come back- more events will be added soon.

Still time to book our last minute offer

There’s still time to book our last minute offer for our Lake District cottage. Arrive Saturday 22 April and enjoy week relaxing and unwinding in our unique cottage. Now only £590 for the week. Sleeps up to 4 guests ( though very romantic for just the two of you). Bring your dog if you like. Dogs love walking from the door without having to get into the car.

cottage offer


Last minute special offer 22-29 April

LAST MINUTE SPECIAL OFFER . Week from Saturday 22 April to Saturday 29 April now only £590 ( was £790). Short breaks available this week from £350 for 3 nights. Please contact us directly for a quote via our contact form.

What’s happening in the Lake District this Easter?

Here are some pointers as to what’s happening in the Lake District this Easter and for the rest of April. There is so much to do that I’ve just given you a flavour of some of my favourite things ( there’s a song there somewhere!)

If you’re in Ambleside this week please come along to the Ambleside Choral Society Coffee Morning on Wednesday 12 April. This is being held at Lucy’s on a Plate on Church Street. Thanks to Lucy for providing the venue. Whilst spending the morning in Ambleside you can take in a round of crazy golf at White Platts by St Mary’s Church, where there is currently a huge inflatable slide for the children. You really can’t miss it.

easter ambleside

Crazy golf Ambleside

From there you could walk around the church into Rothay Park where a fantastic new play area has just been opened following the damage caused by Storm Desmond.

There are lots of Peter Rabbit related events this Easter.The Beatrix Potter Attraction in Bowness has a Peter Rabbit Trail and many more events which you can find here.

Peter Rabbit

Easter fun in Bowness

In the North of the Lake District near Penrith the Lowther Estate is organising  a special Easter event called “Dragons and Chocolate” which sounds fun. For more information please click here.

At Allan Bank in Grasmere the National Trust are organising Easter Eggs Hunts, Easter crafts and lots of other spring events. Click here for details.

easter events grasmere

Allan Bank Grasmere


Also in Grasmere, on Tuesday 18 April the Grasmere WI and the Buffs are jointly hosting a coffee morning. Proceeds go to fund local events. Here’s a little poster I’ve just made. I’m pretty pleased with my first attempts! As a member of Grasmere WI I’ll be baking cakes and helping. Please come along.


The Forestry Commission have two superb forests in the Lake District, Grizedale in the South and Whinlatter in the North. There are lots of activites, including Go Ape at both forests, bike trails, and all sorts of adventures. One that has especially caught my eye is the Gruffalo Spotters Trail at Grizedale. There is also one at Whinlatter.

forest easter event

Grizedale Gruffalo Trail

For a comprehensive list of all events in the Lake District at Easter ( and all year round) you can visit the Official Cumbria Tourism website Go Lakes by clicking here.

The weather in the Lakes this Easter looks like being mostly dry, though a little more chilly than of late. We assume that you will want to put your boots on and do some walking. You need to work off some of the Easter chocolate, and what better way than getting out and about in the Lake District? Do check the weather forecast if you’re planning a days’s walking, especially if you are going up high, where the conditions can be very different to down in the valleys. For fell top weather the Mountain Weather Information Service is the best. Find it via this link.

We wish everyone visiting the Lake District this Easter a very happy holiday.