Holidays Are Times For Switching Off

These days, we are all attached to our smartphones, whether we use them to text our friends, stay in touch with the world, check our emails or update our social network sites. But when it comes to taking a holiday, it seems many of us need a break from our technology as well – and there is no better place to have a tech-free vacation than the Lake District.

Here in the beautiful north-west of England, you don’t need your tablet, smartphone or laptop, as it is the ideal location to leave your connections behind, especially when it comes to work.

With 3,105 km of walking paths, the largest National Park in the UK has a plethora of natural attractions to visit, from green mountains to ice-cold lakes. So when you leave your Lake District bed and breakfast every morning, the last thing you’ll be thinking about is whether you’ve turned on your phone.

And it seems Brits are keen to switch off from work with 47 per cent turning off their internet when on holiday, according to the latest research from Direct Line Travel Insurance.

It reported that more than a third of holidaymakers disconnect their internet to enjoy a break from social media, while 13 per cent go as far as giving themselves complete ‘tech-free’ time on their trip.

Psychologist Donna Dawson said: “A break from mobile technology is one of the fastest ways to de-stress, as it gives our brains a break from constant demands on our time and attention.”

Indeed, it gives holidaymakers “time where we can calm down, de-clutter our thoughts, and re-prioritise what’s really important in our life”.

For a really relaxing break, consider a holiday in the Lake District today!

Lake District Gallery Showcases Cumbrian Painter’s Work

Cumbria attracts people with a variety of interests, whether you’re a rambler who loves the region’s beautiful mountains and lakes, a food enthusiast who adores its festivals and local fare, or a culture vulture who intends to visit many galleries while staying at a B and B in the Lake District.

Any art fans holidaying in the county during the next few weeks will be interested in heading to Gallery Artemis in Cockermouth, as this is where renowned Cumbrian painter David Sims’ work will be on display.

The exhibition, entitled Revisiting, launched earlier this week (September 13th) and will continue until October 22nd.

Sims’ latest display sees his return to abstract art, after becoming famous for his paintings of Northern landscapes.

The painter, who came on to the scene in the 1960s, learnt all the traditional skills of artistry, including drawing, anatomy, life, composition, use of materials and technique.

According to the gallery: “This depth of study gave David a lifelong foundation that has been invaluable throughout a long career in design and now enables him to easily revisit abstraction.”

His work has long been admired by locals and regular visitors of Cumbria, and his pieces are regularly associated with the Lake District.

Sims’ exhibition takes over from Fliss Watts’ display at Gallery Artemis. The sculptor, painter and printworker showcased her oil and acrylic work here between August 2nd and September 10th.

Visitors heading to the Lake District soon may also be interested in heading to the Old Laundry Theatre in Bowness-on-Windermere to catch the production of Meeting Bea. This play, written by Eric Pringle, is about the life of renowned children’s author Beatrix Potter, and is available to watch until October 9th.

Meeting Bea At The Old Laundry Theatre

There’s no shortage of things to do when you book a stay in a dog-friendly traditional pub in the Lake District, but if you’re in the region from September 16th you really will be in for a treat.

Meeting Bea, a play by Eric Pringle, will be on at the Old Laundry Theatre in Bowness-on-Windermere until October 9th, so if you’re keen to find out more about Beatrix Potter then this is definitely the event for you.

The production is set in Lancashire in 1945 and in the Lake District in 1927 at Hill Top, Castle Cottage, Moss Eccles Tarn, Troutbeck, Hawkshead Village Hall and The Tower Bank Arms… all places close to Miss Potter’s heart.

As the story goes, Beatrix is now Mrs William Heelis, a successful farmer in the Lake District, with her past as a famous children’s author now well behind her. However, her quiet little life away from the weird and wonderful world of writing is turned upside down by the arrival of a young Lancashire girl and an American publisher. Who knows what happens next?

The play itself was originally written for radio and was first broadcast on BBC Radio Four in 1993. Pringle, who lived in Kendal for nearly three decades, told the Westmorland Gazette: “I grew up with Peter Rabbit, Pigling Bland, Squirrel Nutkin, Tabitha Twitchet, Jemima Puddle-Duck and company firmly lodged in my imagination.”

So it’s certainly no surprise in that case that he chose to base a play around the wonderful Miss Potter! Tickets for this production are priced between £7 and £22.50, but if you opt for the Dine Out Ticket Deal you can have a two-course meal before the show for £35 in total.

Holidaying With Grandparents Becomes A New Trend

More and more families are choosing to go on holiday with grandparents these days, with one in seven people over the age of 50 admitting they have been away with their children and grandkids.

There are many reasons why you might choose to go away with grandparents, such as having a babysitter if you want to enjoy a night off and getting assistance with your brood of kids. Of course, it is also time your children can spend with their grandma and granddad and get to know them a bit better.

“Not only can parents recharge their batteries and enjoy some adult time together as their parents are on hand to babysit, but grandparents can create precious memories playing games by the pool with grandchildren,” said Kevin McMullan, head of travel insurance at Saga.

He added that kids are the “real winners” as they can spend time with their “favourite adults”.

Saga Travel Insurance research showed some of the most popular holiday destinations are Spain, USA and France. However, staycations are also incredibly common these days, and many families find it easier and cheaper to book Lake District accommodation to enjoy a holiday that is nearby and hassle-free.

Indeed, according to findings from Direct Line Travel Insurance, 24 million Brits are hoping to enjoy a staycation within the next 12 months, which accounts for almost half of all British holidaymakers.

Ten per cent of these intend on heading to the Lake District, which is unsurprising given the variety of outdoor activities to take part in and beautiful sceneries to explore here.

Spotlight On The Lake District With New Swallows & Amazons Film

Here at The Mortal Man, we really can’t wait for the new film of Arthur Ransome’s brilliant children’s book Swallows & Amazons to come out in the cinemas on August 19th (that’s just a day away!).

Starring Rafe Spall, Kelly Macdonald, Andrew Scott and Harry Enfield, the movie was actually filmed on location in the Lake District and if you’re familiar with this beautiful part of the world then you’re sure to spot a few familiar places. There’s Boon Crag Farm in Coniston, for example, and Derwentwater in Keswick, both of which will be taking starring turns on the silver screen.

We’re absolutely certain that people who go and see the film will be mesmerised by the stunning scenery and inspired to come to the Lake District and Cumbria to have their own Swallows-inspired adventures. There’s so much to do here, from spending hours exploring the ancient woodland to boating about on the lakes, that if you get bored, you’re simply not doing it right.

Director of the film Philippa Lowthorpe said: “It was hugely important to me that we filmed Swallows and Amazons in the Lake District. We filmed on Coniston and Derwentwater, with Herbert Island doubling as the infamous Wildcat Island. The Lake District is more than just a location in the film and Arthur Ransome’s story. It’s as important as any lead character. It was exhilarating to capture its epic beauty on the big screen.”

We’re really looking forward to going to see the film ourselves, although we have to say that we are particularly partial to the original 1974 version starring Simon West, Suzanna Hamilton, Sophie Neville and Stephen Grendon. It’ll be interesting to see how the two compare.

If you’re looking for traditional pubs with a great atmosphere, come and see us at The Mortal Man. We promise you’ll have a lovely holiday away!

6 Top Tips For Great Storytelling

After a day walking and a night relaxing in an old fashioned traditional pub, all of us like to tell some tales of our exploits, fictional or otherwise. We all think we’re great at spinning a yarn, but these suggestions for business leaders make great advice for anyone wanting to leave their listeners rapt and asking for more.

Set the scene. Don’t just say where you were, describe everything about where you were. How did it smell? Was it hot or cold? If it was cold enough to make you shiver then pretend to shiver, it creates atmosphere and helps draw the listener in.

Introduce your hero but manage your ego. Everyone wants to be the hero of their stories, but even if you’re talking about yourself in the story don’t let your ego get the better of you. It’s a good place to add a little self-depreciative humour to win your audience over even more.

The twist. This is the challenge to overcome. So your story is about how you had to dry the dog with your mother-in-law’s coat and everyone has a good laugh. Now you introduce the mother-in-law, looking for her coat and walking straight towards you!

These tips should help you master the art of telling a great fireside story, but for one last advanced tip, try to plant a ‘call-back’ into the story, a reference to something that happened earlier to tie the whole thing together. If you pull that off, you’ll have earned a good night’s sleep!

Is The Lake District The Most Romantic Place For A Proposal?

Over the years, the Lake District has been the chosen location for many an engagement story, with its picturesque location making it an idyllic backdrop to a proposal scene.

And it seems its beauty wasn’t lost upon former US president Bill Clinton either, as he recently admitted he got down on one knee at Ennerdale Water, one of the most beautiful spots in the Lake District.

While, unfortunately, it took three attempts before Hilary said yes to her future husband, the exquisite scenery of Ennerdale Water – a glacial lake 2.5 miles by 0.75 miles big – would have definitely made the proposal hard to turn down.

Situated in the western part of the Lake District National Park, it is one of the most remote lakes of the area. Due to its high altitude, the water is always still and clear whenever you visit, and is one of the cleanest you can find.

In fact, walkers staying in accommodation in the Lake District who love nothing more than crisp, fresh air should definitely pay a visit to this lake, as it is the only one in the region without a road next to it.

There are 16 lakes in total in the national park, including the famous Lake Windermere, which measures an impressive 10.5 miles long and one mile wide. No visit to the Lake District is complete without coming here, not least because it is the largest natural lake in England.

Or, you could head to Buttermere Lake, a mere 1.5 by 0.75 miles large, where you can experience total seclusion and peacefulness.

Now, if Clinton had proposed here, who knows what Hilary might have said?

Lake District Triathlon Voted ‘Toughest In The World’

Now, while we know everything there is to know about offering the best value bed and breakfast the Lake District has to offer, our knowledge of triathlons is not so encyclopaedic. However, we do meet hundreds of runners, cyclists and swimmers a year, so we’ve heard time and time again what the area has to offer to them.

However, what we didn’t quite realise was how tough a terrain the Lakes really provided. That’s all changed now that Triathlon 220 has crowned the Triathlon X, which was recently held in Ambleside, as not only the UK’s toughest triathlon, but the world’s toughest triathlon.

It was the first time Triathlon X has featured in the magazine’s charts, but it shot straight to the number one spot based on rankings of feature including the elevation, average finishing time and even the psychological effect it has on the competitors.

Of the 11 Ironman triathlon’s featured, Triathlon saw off competition from the likes of Snowdonia and Norway to claim its title. Triathlon 220’s editor, Helen Webster, said: “A bike route on the legendary Fred Whitton cyclo-sportive route and a run up Scafell Pike and down again makes the new-entry Triathlon X the world’s toughest triathlon,” according to The Westmorland Gazette.

As well as providing tough terrain for the competitors, many of them found that the route carved out by organisers YHA Ambleside was actually a pleasure in some respects. There are no laps involved and the course takes in some of the most iconic areas of natural beauty you’ll find in the Lakes.

You can sign up for next year’s event here.

Discover Beatrix Potter In The Lake District

There are many good reasons for booking accommodation in the Lake District – but one of the most enduringly popular ones has to be to discover Beatrix Potter and her wonderful tales in a new and exciting way.

No doubt you all remember her amazing stories of Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny and Mrs TiggyWinkle from your childhood, but there’s nothing quite like finding out all about the inspirations behind these tales as an adult – and bringing your own youngsters along for the ride as well.

Beatrix Potter herself spent much of her childhood holidaying in the Lake District before she became a hugely celebrated children’s author. With the money she made from her books, she bought some local hill farms and estates in the region, and did an awful lot for conservation in the area – even saving the traditional Herdwick sheep from extinction!

To find out more about her and her wonderful life, head to Bowness-on-Windermere where you’ll find The World of Beatrix Potter. This is incredibly popular and is open all year round, with different shows and themed days put on – so fun for all the family!

However, a new £1 million tourist attraction has just opened up on the Lingholm Estate near Keswick (where Beatrix Potter wrote some of her most famous books, including Squirrel Nutkin and the first manuscript of Mrs TiggyWinkle) that certainly sounds like it’ll be worth a visit.

There’s a beautiful Victorian walled garden to discover, built on the exact same spot of the old kitchen gardens, which Beatrix Potter used as inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. There’s also a café and an art wall for local artists to display their works – so you’ll be kept very busy indeed.

Take Care When Walking In The Lakes

We’ve been enjoying something of a heatwave here in the UK over the last week or so, with temperatures reaching an impressive 35 degrees C in some parts of the country – which has no doubt inspired many of you out there to explore the countryside from your Lake District hotels.

However, we here at The Mortal Man would urge you all to be as careful as you can when out walking in this beautiful part of the country when the weather is as hot as it has been. Make sure you leave your Lake District B&B with plenty of water and some food for energy, as well as your phone so you can call for help if need be. Always tell someone where you’re going and what time you expect to be back as well.

According to a report in the News & Star, a 23-year-old walker who had been enjoying a hike near Scafell Pike with her boyfriend suffered from severe dehydration and heat exhaustion because of the soaring temperatures.

As a result, the Great North Air Ambulance Service’s Pride of Cumbria helicopter was called out, with a doctor and paramedic on board, before the young woman was airlifted to Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital.

We were relieved to hear that the woman arrived at the hospital in a stable condition but this incident just goes to show how jolly careful you have to be when out walking, particularly if the weather is hot and you’re in an unfamiliar environment. Even experienced walkers can run into trouble, which is certainly worth bearing in mind.