Bawd Hall is situated in the Newlands valley in the heart of the North-West Lake District, inside the National Park 750ft up on the fell-side above the delightful Keskadale beck, with views of Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Hindscarth, Robinson and the Buttermere fells. There are many excellent walks and cycle rides to be had without needing to drive anywhere.
Although the location is secluded, and the adjacent road is very quiet, yet it provides easy access to the Lakeland fells and mountains, as well as major towns.
The nearest town is Keswick which is about 6 miles (15 minutes drive) away and has an excellent range of shops catering for the walker's every need, as well as stocking local produce, There is a good supermarket (Booths) and there are many pubs and restaurants. There are several taxi firms. 20 minutes away is Cockermouth - a prosperous market town, famous for being the birthplace of Wordsworth, and the site of Jennings - Cumbria's best known brewery. It has a good range of general shops, several good antique shops, pubs and restaurants, and a Sainsbury's supermarket.
To save time, Tesco.com, Asda.com and Sainsburys.co.uk will deliver groceries to the door. If arriving from the south via the M6, then try the Westmorland (Tebay) Services farm shop just north of junction 38. Penrith has a large Morrisons and Booths, plus a Sainsbury's, and Rheged (1st roundabout on A66 after Penrith) stocks local specialities. Also, there is a well-stocked village shop at Braithwaite, where you turn off the A66 to go to Bawd Hall. Buttermere has good pubs in a lovely setting. Please support the local businesses and producers wherever possible.
Keswick, at the head of Derwent Water, derives its name from old English meaning cheese farm. The K at the beginning of the name signifies a Norse influence, as do local names ending in 'thwaite', 'seat', and 'dale'. The history of the area around the town goes back to Neolithic times as witnessed by the existence of the nearby Castlerigg Stone Circle where primitive man made stone weapons and implements. The circle is in fact slightly oval with an entrance on the north side, composed of 38 outside stones and ten inner stones. It lies directly between the summits of Skiddaw and Helvellyn. There is also some sketchy evidence for a Roman camp having been established nearby, guarding the northern extremities of the Roman Empire.
In 1563 Queen Elizabeth first brought skilled German miners to the area to work in Keswick to dig for copper ore in the Newlands Valley. The later discovery in Seathwaite of graphite in the sixteenth century started the pencil making tradition in Keswick. This continues until today: a visit to the Pencil Museum is a must for many visitors, where you can see the world's longest colour pencil. Tourism started in the late 1800s with visitors following in the footsteps of the Romantic Poets, Coleridge, Southey (Robert Southey 1774-1843, Poet Laureate, 1813) and Wordsworth.
The arrival of train travel and the opening of Keswick Station in the mid 1800s boosted the reputation of the town far and wide. Ever increasing numbers of tourists from this time have ensured that Keswick has remained at the forefront of Lake District popularity. The timeless beauty of the surrounding fells reflected on the surface of Derwent Water, gave it the nickname 'Queen of the Lakes'.
The driest months are usually April to July and the warmest are May to September. Spring and Autumn are often the best times for serious walking, whereas the warmer Summer months are best for boating. Winter usually brings stunning views of snow-topped mountains and often there are beautifully crisp and clear days. It is generally mild and some fine days can be had even in the depths of winter. The weather can be changeable, so it is advisable to get the local forecast before setting off (0844 846 2444).
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