Towns and VillagesThere is a wealth of interests and activities in the immediate vicinity of Blandswath Cottage.
Listed below are just some examples.
The nearest market town to Blandswath Cottage is Kirkby Stephen, about 2 miles away, where there are a variety of pubs and restaurants offering good dining. There are also ample shops supplying groceries, gifts and antiques. There is a Tourist Information Centre at Kirkby Stephen.
The picturesque village of Ravenstonedale lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty. While the surroundings are idyllic and offer visitors peace and tranquility Ravenstonedale is an ideal location from which to explore the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales national parks.
Newbiggin-on-Lune is a small Cumbrian village nestling in a valley at the foot of the Howgill fells. It lies in the parish of Ravenstonedale about five miles from the market town of Kirkby Stephen. The region is classed as an area of outstanding natural beauty. Newbiggin-on-Lune lies between the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales national parks.
The Howgill fells are nearby and offer excellent opportunities for walking. The Howgills are less crowded than the central Lake District fells and gradients are not usually as steep. One of Wainwright's books is dedicated to the Howgills. A little further afield are the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks which offer walking amid spectacular scenery. The local Rotary Club also organise an annual Yomp over the nearby Cumbrian Fells.
|River fishing on the Eden, Belah and Lune
The rivers Eden and Belah are near Kirkby Stephen for which permits are available locally from Kirkby Stephen and District Angling Association. The Lake District is within easy driving distance where a wealth of fishing in rivers and lakes is available. Day permits are available to fish lower stretches of the Lune from Tebay Anglers.
Beck Trout Fishery
Bessy Beck Trout Fishery is located at Newbiggin-on-Lune. It offers bank fishing for rainbow trout in a country setting. There are 3 lakes offering both fly and bait fishing. There is a well stocked fishing tackle shop on site and a farm shop offering an extensive range of local produce.
The Riverside Golf Course, a short 9/18 hole course, lies within the village of Ravenstonedale. The course is open all year round and visitors are welcome to play for a modest fee. A more extensive 9/18 hole golf course, which also welcomes visitors, can be found in Sedbergh approximately 15 miles away. Other golf courses can be found at Appleby, Kirkby Stephen and Penrith.
There is an outdoor tennis court in Ravenstonedale controlled by Ravenstonedale Tennis Club. The court is open to visitors for a modest fee. Details of how to book the court are posted on the entrance to the court.
There are miles and miles of gently undulating country lanes awaiting cyclists who wish to explore the region by this method.
Buzzards, curlews, woodpeckers and thrush are but just a few of the species regularly sighted nearby. Within a short walk bird-watchers can be well off the beaten track with the possibility of sighting many species and the certainty of enjoying the wonderful countryside.
There is a bowling green in nearby Kirkby Stephen which is open to visitors. It is located close to the River Eden near Frank's Bridge.
The Settle-Carlisle railway, reputedly the most attactive line in the UK, winding its way through some of the finest scenery in Britain, is just a few miles away. There is no ticket office at Kirkby Stephen but tickets can be booked on the train.
|Smardale Nature Reserve
A short distance away, near the village of Newbiggin-on-Lune is Smardale Nature Reserve. The reserve embraces the former railway line that linked Tebay with the North East and therefore offers easy walking if desired. The countryside within the reserve is idyllic and wildlife is prolific. The reserve is only one of 2 locations in England where the rare Scotch Argus butterfly (Eribia aethiops) is found.
The locality has much to offer those interested in local history. For church enthusiasts, St. Oswald's church in Ravenstonedale, rebuilt in 1744, is famous for it's three-decker pulpit and its collegiate, in-facing pews. In the grounds of the present church the foundations of an earlier Gilbertine monastry have been excavated. The first Lord Wharton cleared much of the land around Ravenstonedale for a deer park and compelled local men to build the enclosing wall, the remains of which can still be viewed in the vicinity.
|Classic Coach Tours
Cumbria Classic Coaches offers a programme of trips around the area on vintage coaches. The company operates a small fleet and the sight of a vintage coach on the roads around Ravenstonedale and Kirkby Stephen is now a frequent occurrence.
The Lake District National Park with its wealth of mountain and lakeland scenery and associated activities is within easy driving distance.
Only a short drive away the Yorkshire Dales offer undulating hills and dales featuring endless limestone walls and field houses so characteristic of the area. There are several possibilities for circular drives which take in many villages with their small shops, galleries and hostelries.
The Coast-to-Coast walk passes nearby.