Local attractions

The Lake District is full of stately homes, beautiful gardens, country pubs and cafés and quaint villages.  Here are just a few close to Sunny Bank:

Brantwood – The world of John Ruskin

Brantwood offers a fascinating insight into the world of John Ruskin and the last 28 years of his life spent at Coniston. Filled with many fine paintings, beautiful furniture and Ruskin’s personal treasures, the house retains the character of its famous resident.

Famous as a writer, artist and social reformer, many great thinkers have been influenced by Ruskin’s ideas. Brantwood remains a place of inspiration. Displays and activities in the house, gardens and estate reflect the wealth of cultural associations with Ruskin’s legacy – from the Pre Raphaelites and the Arts and Crafts Movement to the founding of the National Trust and the Welfare State.

With its many contemporary exhibitions, concerts, courses and special events, together with its education work in the wider community, Brantwood continues in the Ruskin tradition today.

www.brantwood.org.uk

Coniston launches

These electric launches run all year round stopping off at various jetties around the lake.  In the summer, they normally call at Sunny Bank jetty which is immediately North of Sunny Bank Farm and accessed via the Cumbria way footpath.

They are a great way to see the lake and, with careful timing, can be used to facilitate one-way walks.

They are available for private hire if you want a special evening cruise.

www.conistonlaunch.co.uk

The Gondola

This beautifully restored Victorian steam boat is owned by the National Trust and offers a variety of lake cruises.  It does not call at Sunny Bank jetty.  It is quite an experience to cruise silently down the lake.  The commentary is excellent and includes quite a bit about Donald Campbell and his water speed record attempts and fatal crash.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/steam-yacht-gondola

Hill Top

Beatrix Potter bought Hill Top with the royalties from the first of her little books, The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Her cottage with its lovely garden make for a fascinating visit for young and old.  The village of Hawkshead is close by and is well worth combining into the same outing.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hill-top

Hodbarrow Nature Reserve

The RSPB owns this coastal lagoon and grasslands, located on the site of a former iron ore mine.  It supports breeding terns, ringed plovers, redshanks and oystercatchers. You'll also find great crested grebes nesting on the island here. There is a spectacular 3 mile circular walk which offers a refreshement stop at HerdwickS coffee house/bar/pizzeria.

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/hodbarrow

Harry's CafeBar at Yew Tree Barn

The café serves fantastic home-cooked food and is a brilliant place to stop if you are likely to arrive too early at Sunny Bank.  The barn is home to Wilson Reclamation Services where owner Clive Wilson has been preserving the history of days gone by with his architectural reclamation service since 1986. Over the years he has seen an incredibly diverse range of antiques come and go through the doors at Yew Tree Barn, Low Newton.

There are also artisan studios and the Gallery.  It is a great place to browse and buy something you never knew you wanted.

www.yewtreebarn.co.uk

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