Welcome to Bank Ground Farm
We hope you are settling in well and are beginning to feel relaxed and at home in these beautiful surroundings.
The following pages are intended to provide information on your accommodation, tell you a little bit about what Bank Ground Farm has to offer and make some suggestions of places to go and things to see and do during your stay.
Every effort has been made to make your stay as comfortable as possible however if there is anything that you think would add to the enjoyment of your stay, or if there are any recommendations for future guests please let us know, whether that be a new light bulb or advice on eating out.
There are no rules…other than we ask you to enjoy yourselves, recharge your batteries, and have a fantastic holiday!
The Bank Ground Farm crew
- General Information
- Laundry / Bins / Recycling / Wood store / Farm Shop
- Departure / Breakages & Faults / Useful Numbers
Eating & Drinking
- on the farm
- Cafe & Tea room
- Dinner - restaurant & catering
- Sample menus - cafe, restaurant and catering
- Meat & BBQ packs
- Picnic / packed lunches
- Meat prices
- local restaurant recommendations
- on the farm
- Mountain Biking - Fishing
- Boating / Kayaking / Paddleboarding - Clay Pigeon Shooting
- other local outdoor activities
- on the farm
- Books, DVD’s and Games
- other local indoor activities
- Spa, Leisure, Cinema and Climbing
- walking distance from Bank Ground Farm
- Gondola / Brantwood / Ruskin Museum
- driving distance from Bank Ground Farm
- Hilltop / Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway
- from Bank Ground Farm
- Coniston Old Man / Tarn Hows
- Grizedale Forest / Hodge Close & Cathedral Cave
We have equipped your cottage with enough basics, refuse sacks, toilet rolls, kitchen rolls, dishwasher tablets, washing up liquid etc… to get you through the first couple of days however if you need any further supplies then the local shops in Coniston and Hawkshead can provide you with these as well as a good selection of foodstuffs and general produce. In an emergency we carry some stock in the farmhouse so please do feel free to come and ask. We can also arrange next/same day deliveries from our local milkman and butcher on your behalf, again please come and ask in the guesthouse.
The nearest newsagents, post office, petrol station and doctors surgery can be found in the village.
To operate the speaker please ensure that the speaker is charged or connected to a power source, the red light will indicate that it is charging. Turn the speaker on via the switch at the rear (blue light will indicate it is on). Place your smart phone on to the speaker with the phone’s speaker aligned with the rear of the speaker platform, volume is managed via the phone handset.
WiFi is available throughout the premises please click on the “Bank Ground Farm” network, there is no password protection.
We have a laundry room for guests to use with a washing machine and dryer. Washing powder can be bought from the Farmhouse and the machines are coin operated. You will need old pound coins, if you do not have any please come and exchange them in the farmhouse.
Extra Linen and Towels can also be provided for a small charge.
There is a dry room for hanging wet/damp clothes next to Beckfoot cottage, please feel free to use it and press the on switch if it is switched off. All items are left at your own risk.
Please help yourself to wood/kindling from the wood store. There is a shovel and bucket in there too, please empty the ashes in the designated ash bin in the bin area in the car park and put it back in the wood store for the other cottages to use.
Please remember to empty your kitchen bins upon check out.
We recycle as much as possible and recycling bins are provided in the bin area next to the car park, we would welcome you to join in our recycling programme and separate accordingly:
- general waste
- glass, plastic and cans
- card board and paper
- compost - the hot composter is next to the green house in the orchard
Please read the rest of this folder and the Lakeland information pack to find out many of the interesting places to visit during your stay and feel free to include any leaflets of places which you visit that you may think will interest our other guests.
We sell meat from our farm, locally made/designed items that make great gifts and souvenirs. Our ethos is to promote local businesses and sustainable tourism. We avoid plastic where possible by selling alternative compostable products, come and have a snoop here !
Unless a late checkout has been arranged please vacate your room/cottage by 10am on the morning of departure. Whilst we do not expect any spring cleaning before checkout we do expect a certain level of cleanliness and respect to avoid excess charges, if you are unsure please feel free to ask.
Please remember to empty your kitchen bins.
Breakages & Faults
Please do not wait until departure to report faults/breakages most can be remedied relatively easily and quickly.
Our primary concern is to replace any broken or faulty items for you immediately if possible. In the hope to ensure you have the best and most relaxing of stays.
Some breakages may incur a charge but we do promise to be very reasonable, we expect the occasional glass/plate to be broken and we also appreciate that sometimes accidents happen so please come and tell us.
We simply ask “please leave your cottage as you would wish to find it” .
Useful Local Numbers
Bank Ground Farm - Reception: Tel. 015394 41264
Doctors Surgery (Coniston): Tel. 015394 41205 / 0845 052 4999
Police: Tel. 0845 33 00 247
Taxi (Coniston): Tel. 015394 41796
Chemist (Hawkshead): Tel. 015394 36201
Cinema (Ambleside – Zefferelli’s): Tel. 015394 33845
Tourist Information Centre (Coniston): Tel. 015394 41533
Eating & Drinking
At Bank Ground Farm
Breakfast is served in the farmhouse for guests staying on a bed and breakfast basis.
If you are staying in the self-catered cottages we can also offer you breakfast, however you must book in advance. Alternatively we can provide you with excellent locally sourced produce and homemade bread so that you can make your own. During peak season we also offer brunch.
- Cafe & tea room - Brunch/Lunch/Afternoon Tea:
Our tea room serves brunch, lunch, homemade cakes, ice creams and local ales, it is located in the farmhouse. For a sample menus and opening times please see over the page.
- Dinner - restaurant & catering:
You can pre-arrange for us to cook a meal for you and all your friends and family to eat either at your cottage or over in the farmhouse. For a sample menu please see over the page.
- Meat & BBQ packs:
We have a range of home reared meat and game available on request. If we do not have any of our home reared meat available then we stock the best quality local produce we can find. We can either provide it as it comes or make up a BBQ pack for you. Please see overleaf for meat prices.
Should you want to have a bite to eat on the go then we can provide packed lunches/picnics, which include sandwiches, crisps, homemade cakes, fruit and a drink. Ideally we need a little notice to guarantee we have everything, so please let us know the afternoon before, prior to 5.30pm.
In an attempt to be environmentally friendly and sustainable our single use packaging is all compostable. We sell compostable kitchen supplies in our farm shop and kitchen/toilet roll is made from recycled paper.
Steam Bistro: Coniston - restaurant, booking essential. Tel. 015394 41928
The Stamp House: Ambleside - fine dining restaurant. Tel. 015394 32775
Zefferellis: Ambleside - vegetarian café/restaurant & cinema. Tel. 015394 33845
The Drunken Duck: Barngates - pub/restaurant. Tel. 015394 36347
Chesters: Skelwith Bridge - cafe & shop. Tel. 015394 34711
The Cuckoo Brow: Sawrey - pub/restaurant. Tel. 015394 43425
The Blacksmith Arms: Broughton Mills - pub/restaurant. Tel. 01229 716824
The White Hart: Bouth - pub/restaurant. Tel. 01229 861229
The Swan Hotel: Newby Bridge - brasserie/pub/restaurant. Tel. 015395 31681
Three Shires Inn: Little Langdale - pub - Tel. 015394 37215
We have mountain bikes of varying sizes (13” to 21” frames) available for guests to hire.
Mountain biking is an ideal way to explore the beautiful surrounding countryside, taking in the views and the country air whilst having the added bonus of getting some exercise!
Bank Ground is an excellent base from which to start your biking adventure, there are miles of bridleways nearby to get you off the beaten track. Grizedale Forest starts just at the top of our lane and is renowned for having some of the best mountain biking in the UK.
Our mountain bikes are Specialized Hardrock Sport with front suspension and front & rear disc brakes. They are suitable for beginners and intermediate mountain bikers as well as more experienced riders and are ideal for most of the trails in the area.
All of our bikes have a full service between each hire and we provide cycle helmets and puncture repair kits. Additionally, we can provide you with information on good local rides and a packed lunch should you want to stop for a little picnic to keep the energy levels up!
- Half day £20
- Full day £25
- Price includes cycle helmet
- Bikes to be returned by 5pm
- Discount of 20% is provided for multiple consecutive days hire.
- We advise booking in advance especially during weekends and school holidays
To book your bike (& picnic) please call reception on 015394 4126
Boating / Kayaking
Bank Ground Farm is an excellent base from which to start your boating adventure, a gentle row on a sunny afternoon a spot of fishing in the morning or evening or a whole day exploring the lake. We can also provide a sumptuous picnic to keep you fueled for the days activities!
We have a small fleet of our own boats available for guests to hire, and in conjunction with Coniston Boating Centre we offer a wide range of hire craft delivered to Bank Ground Farm for no extra charge, saving you from driving over to the the boating centre and paying for parking.
Our own boats include a traditional 19th century clinker built Windermere char boat which is ideal for rowing and fishing. Two simulated clinker Irish loch boats, similar in construction to the Windermere char boat but slightly wider in the beam and more stable, suitable for fishing and rowing but also capable of having an outboard motor for those not so keen to row or looking to explore the Southern end of the Lake and Wildcat Island.
We can also arrange sailing dinghies for those with experience or kayaks and canoes as well as stand up paddle boards for those looking for a more strenuous work out or for those who don’t mind getting a bit wet!
- Boats to be returned by 5pm
- A discount of 20% is provided for multiple consecutive days hire.
- Price includes buoyancy aid
- We advise booking in advance especially during weekends and school holidays
To book your boat (& picnic) please call reception on 015394 41264
There is approximately half a mile of lake shore at Bank Ground Farm from which to fish.
By prior arrangement we may be able to offer fishing trips for one or two people on the lake.
A permit is necessary on Coniston Water and the local bailiffs keep a beady eye out so please come and ask at reception for more details.
We have boats for hire and occasionally have fishing equipment and a guest permit for use at a local fishery also available for hire.
By prior arrangement, we offer clay pigeon shooting for any guests hoping to give it a go or keep their eye in.
We will be restricting this to a maximum of 28 sessions throughout the year and a minimum spend will be applicable. If you are interested please come and ask at reception for more information.
Other local recommendations
Golf : Windermere Golf Club - Windermere, LA23 3NB Tel. 015394 43123 www.windermeregolfclub.co.uk
Segway : Lakeland Segway - Cartmel, LA11 6QB Tel. 0845 619 3456 www.lakelandsegway.co.uk
Hot air ballooning : Virgin Balloon flights take off from the Southern End of Coniston Water or Windermere. Tel. 0844 844 8080 www.virginballoonflights.co.uk
Off road driving : Kankku - Off road driving experiences all over the Lake District Tel. 015394 47414 www.kankku.co.uk
Go Ape : Grizedale Forest - LA22 0QJ Tel. 0845 643 9215 www.goape.co.uk/days-out/north/grizedale
Brockhole : Adventure playground to soft play - Windermere - LA23 1AJ Tel. 015394 46601 www.brockhole.co.uk
We can put you in touch with a number of activity centers in the local area that offer activities of all kinds from climbing, abseiling and gorge walking to kayaking, sailing, open water swimming (1-2-1) and raft building.
Alternatively you may prefer a local guide or an instructor that will come to Bank Ground Farm and carry out the activities from here.
Should you want advise then please do not hesitate to ask at reception.
On the farm
Apart from eating and drinking in our Swallows and Amazons cafe and tearoom or Bar?!
There are a number of books scattered around in both the farmhouse and our cottages please feel free to help yourselves and if you haven’t finished when it is time to go home please feel free to take them with you, all we ask in return is that you leave another book of similar or better quality for others to enjoy! This of course does not include our private collection of Swallows and Amazons / Arthur Ransome related books.
We sell copies of Swallows and Amazons books and DVDs in the tearoom should you want a keepsake from your stay here at “Holly Howe”.
We have a small collection of DVD’s in the office, however for copyright reasons we are not allowed to rent them out so should you want to borrow one we would very much appreciate a donation so we can expand our collection. Last but not least we have lots of board games, cards, domino’s and jigsaws to keep you busy on those rainy days!
Should you fancy a little indulgence, we can book a beauty therapist to come to Bank Ground Farm.
A short drive away
SPA and swimming pool in the Langdale Valley. We have reduced day passes should you want to buy them in advance. Langdale, LA22 9JD
Tel. 015394 38053
Alternatively you could relax with a big box of popcorn at our local cinema in Ambleside. Zefferelli’s has a vegetarian restaurant as part of it’s offering and do great cinema & meal deals - booking advised. Zefferelli’s, Ambleside LA22 9AD
Tel. 015394 33845 - www.zeffirellis.com
For the climbers amongst you there are various climbing walls in the area our most local one is in Ambleside (aged 6 and above) they do taster and experienced sessions. Ambleside Adventure, Ambleside, LA22 0DB
Tel. 015394 33794 - www.amblesideadventure.co.uk
Steam Yacht Gondola - enjoy Coniston Water as wealthy Victorians once did in the Gondola’s opulent saloons. Embark at the head of the lake, Brantwood, or Coniston pier.
Tel. 01539 432733
Brantwood House - the former home of John Ruskin a leading English art critic of the Victorian era also an art patron, draughtsman, water colourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, mythology to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political economy. Brantwood is both a house of historical importance and a lively centre of contemporary arts and the environment.
Tel. 015394 41396 LA21 8AD
Ruskin Museum - founded in 1901, when W.G. Collingwood, a local artist and antiquarian who had been Ruskin's secretary, set it up both as a memorial to Ruskin and a celebration of the area's heritage. Therefore, although the museum has a Ruskin collection, there are also exhibits relating to the copper mines, slate, geology, lace, farming and Donald Campbell. The museum was extended in 1999 with the help of a Heritage Lottery grant; additional building with modern design-work, computer displays, and hands-on exhibits have transformed the look of the two galleries.
Tel . 015394 41164 LA21 8DU
Hill Top - Beatrix Potter's 17th-century farmhouse. A time-capsule of her life
Enjoy the tale of Beatrix Potter by visiting Hill Top. Full of her favourite things, this house appears as if Beatrix had just stepped out for a walk. Every room contains a reference to a picture in a 'tale'. The lovely cottage garden is a haphazard mix of flowers, herbs, fruit and vegetables. Hill Top is a small house and a timed-ticket system is in operation to avoid overcrowding and to protect the interior. Hill Top can be very busy and visitors may sometimes have to wait to enter the house.
Tel. 015394 36269 LA22 0LF
The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway - A narrow gauge steam railway that meanders from Ravenglass, the only coastal village in the Lake District National Park, across the estuary, through the hills, past seven request stops with a 1:55 gradient at times, en route to a final destination some seven miles up the line to Dalegarth for Boot Station. The journey itself was one of Wainwright’s favorites, crossing seven miles of spectacular scenery to the foot of England’s highest mountains, the Scafell Range (3,209ft) at their peak.
Tel. 01229 717171 CA18 1SW
There are literally hundreds of walks that can be started from the doorstep at Bank Ground Farm, too many to list but here are a couple of popular ones for you to try.
The Old Man of Coniston
It's hard to imagine visiting Coniston without climbing Coniston Old Man. It hangs over the village like the Matterhorn hangs over Zermatt. Smaller of course, but in the same way it is an integral part of the landscape. Most people attempt it via the Tourist Path which climbs a short and direct route up its eastern side. This is OK and not without interest as it climbs through old quarries and passes the dramatically positioned tarn of Low Water. But in terms of what Coniston Old Man has to offer, it is not the best route and is best left for descent after exploring other routes first.
A far better choice is to head up around the back of Coniston Old Man and tackle it via The Cove and Goat's Water. This route is a little bit longer but is much superior because, on one hand the gradients are easier being in a series of manageable steps, and on the other hand the scenery is breathtaking. Access is via the ancient packhorse route of the 'Walna Scar Road' which heads from the village onto the raised moorland of Banishead on the southern flanks. From here the route turns into the very heart of the hills and climbs through the wild stepped corries of The Cove and Goat's Water. These corries are seriously impressive and are as dramatic a location as you could find amongst any British mountains. The tall buttresses and dark gullies of Dow Crag towering over the restless surface of Goat's Water is the scene that really steals the show, but along the way there is a lot to do and see so pick a clear day and get your monies worth from Coniston's grand old peak.
Walk from Bank Ground to Tarn Hows via this picturesque route created by 19th-century industrialist J G Marshall to wow guests at his country estate. Pass through iconic Lake District farm and woodland, as well as the walled garden and tree collection of Monk Coniston Hall. Look out for lots of interesting wildlife while enjoying some of Lakeland’s most stunning views.
Leaving Bank Ground, take the path through the fields and then along the road to the Monk Coniston Car Park, Opposite is a footpath into the field. Walk up the field to the black gates at the entrance to Monk Coniston grounds. Entering the grounds walk up through the woods and into the Walled Garden which is currently being renovated. Look out for the small stone Gazebo which has information panels inside.
Leaving Monk Coniston grounds, take care crossing the road, as you enter the woodland. You'll soon cross a narrow bridge. As you walk through the woods many forestry tracks and paths adjoin but ignore these and stick to the main path, following signposts towards Tarn Hows car park.
Pass through a mixture of broadleaf and coniferous woodland. Look out for the huge redwoods and other exotic conifers on the way. You can also find wood sorrel, one of the many woodland wild flowers you may see on this walk. It's found in old, undisturbed woodland. Arriving at Tarn Hows you can walk around the Tarn on a circular loop where there's a good path with seats. The 19th-century landowner, James Garth Marshall, created the Tarn and planted the many trees that shape this landscape. Return to the main Tarn Hows car park and follow the one-way exit road towards Coniston. Take the first footpath on your right to Tarn Hows Cottage. Before you reach the cottage, take the first footpath on the left, this winds down the hill through fields to Boon Crag Farm. Enjoy the views out over Coniston Water as you go. Look out for Herdwick sheep (lambs have dark brown bodies and white faces, becoming greyer in colour as they get older), roe deer and hares. Red squirrel are in danger of local extinction but make their home here, as do otter. Common lizards and adders live on the heathland, while adders spend more time basking in the sun than most snakes, so you may see one, especially in early spring when they emerge from hibernation. They have a distinctive dark zig-zag pattern on their backs. When you reach the farm track at the bottom of the hill, turn left and continue past the farm and sawmill. At the road, turn right to join an off-road foot path which leads you back to Coniston Water. When you get to the lake, cross the road and retrace your steps back to Bank Ground Farm.
Explore over 2000 hectares of beautiful woodland and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Lake District fells. Situated between the lakes of Coniston and Windermere, Grizedale is a lovely place to go walking, with views of the lakes and mountains, the shelter of the trees and the sculptures in the forest to explore.
There are way marked trails of different lengths and grades to suit all abilities. The trails vary in length from the 1 mile all-ability Ridding Wood trail, to the 10 mile Siluarian Way which gives you a grand tour of the forest. To download pdf of the cycle and walk trails please go to our website (bankground.com/activities/cycling.html)
If you would like to plan your walk to take in specific artworks along the way, they are marked on the walking trail map and you can buy a sculpture guide from the Grizedale shop.
Hodge Close and Cathedral Cave
Hodge Close Quarry is just one of many slate workings in the Tilberthwaite Valley, between Langdale and Coniston. This was worked on a large scale from the 19th century to small scale in the early 1960s. Hodge Close Quarry is a massive excavation of light green coloured slate, sheer-sided and unfenced, with an original worked depth from ground level of about 100m (300 feet). The 150 feet deep face is a favourite with abseilers, while the 150 feet deep flooded workings which extend below the surface are popular with divers.
Leave Coniston by the lane between Black Bull and Co-op store. Walk until the tarmac disappears and a gravel road is reached. Turn right uphill through the gate onto the footpath to Yewdale. Observing the White Lady waterfall on your left follow the footpath until the lane to High Tilberthwaite is reached on your left. Cross over this lane following the footpath beside the main road until the lane to Hodge Close is reached.
Turn left, follow this lane for about a mile to Hodge Close quarries. Observe the very deep water filled quarry on your right taking the greatest of care. Follow the tarmac lane pass the quarries through a group of houses until it becomes an unmade road beside a large slate built detached house on your left. Follow the unmade road to a five barred wooden gate, turn left following the road beside a wall through two five barred gates to Stang End. Turn left observing the old spinning gallery on your left and follow the tarmac lane over a cattle grid until you reach the bridge and ford at Little Langdale beck.
Turn left along the unmade road for about 100yds until stone steps are reached sticking out of the wall on your left. Climb these onto the old slate quarry tip and when it levels out walk straight ahead bearing left slightly to find the entrance to Cathedral cave marked National Trust.
Explore Cathedral cave by walking along the slightly wet tunnel into the cave where a shaft of light descends from the roof. Retrace your steps to the tunnel entrance, turn left and walk down the quarry track to a five barred gate. Go through and follow the lane ahead for 300yds until a gap in the wall on your right. Turn right following the footpath to Slaters Bridge. Cross over and follow the footpath through the right onto the tarmac lane to a T junction. Turn right and the Three Shires Inn for lunch is 300yds on your left.
After lunch retrace your steps turning right then left at the T junction down to the Little Langdale beck at the bridge and ford. Follow the unmade lane straight ahead through Moss Rigg wood to High Tilberthwaite. Then follow the tarmac lane back to Yewdale and the footpath back to Coniston.