Monthly Archives: January 2023

Art competition for Lake District schools

CHILDREN in South Lakes schools are being given the chance to paint or draw their way into literary history with a new competition.

The Burn How Garden House Hotel at Bowness is asking youngsters to paint or draw their own vision of the characters from the children’s classic Swallows and Amazons, still a favourite more than 90 years after it was published.

The story, along with several sequels, was set in and around the Windermere area by the author Arthur Ransome and features two families of children who are allowed to sail to an island in a lake and camp there.

The Burn How team are organising a special weekend for fans of Swallows and Amazons, with tours of locations thought to be the settings in the book. Guests will also be taken to the Old Laundry Theatre at Bowness where a new stage production of another of Ransome’s books, Winter Holiday, is being performed.

“We know that every generation brings new fans to read the stories that Ransome set here in the Lakes,” said hotel proprietor Michael Robinson. “Here where we are based, Bowness is referred to as Rio by the characters in the books, and when a film version was made, locations here and at Coniston were chosen.

Bowness Bay

“So we decided to see how today’s children picture the Swallows and the Amazons in their adventures on the lake and on the island.”

Paintings or drawings  should be delivered to the hotel no later than Friday March 3, when guests will arrive for the special weekend. Each should be clearly marked with the child’s name, age and school, and a prize – a giant Easter egg and a book token – will be awarded to the best one. The competition is open to all pupils in South Lakes primary and secondary schools.

Meanwhile, a marathon reading of another Ransome book featuring the Swallows and the Amazons, Swallowdale, will take place at the Windermere Jetty Museum on the weekend of June 24/25.

Further information:

For more information about the contest, please call Nicolle Evans at the Burn How Hotel, 015394 46226


The real meaning of escape to the Lakes

Getting back in touch with nature is the theme of a new series of well-being breaks at a luxury Lake District hotel.

The Burn How Garden House Hotel at Bowness is offering a complete escape from routine and stress with the short holidays which can include forest bathing and lake swimming.

Guests can also choose to try Pilates or yoga, have a massage, hire a bike, take a guided walk …or just sit in the garden and do nothing for a few days.

“When visitors come for just a few days, they don’t always have the time to find out what’s available if they want to be pampered or take some exercise,” says proprietor Michael Robinson.

“We have wonderful hills to walk in, and we are the nearest independent hotel to Bowness pier, from where you can explore Windermere, England’s largest lake, by boat. But today, guests want something more, and something different, and that’s where we can help.”

The hotel is set in beautiful grounds, surrounded by mature trees, and most of the accommodation is in garden rooms, each with its own outside space or balcony. In the main building is the breakfast dining room, a well stocked bar, and comfortable lounge areas where guests are offered complimentary tea or coffee and cake every afternoon.

It’s also just a few minutes’ walk into the centre of Bowness where there are now more than 50 restaurants to choose from for dinner.

The team works with experts who can take visitors on local walks, or go swimming in Windermere or Rydal, or hire a bike to explore the bridleways and quieter roads. Pilates and yoga teachers will arrange sessions on request, and there’s the chance to book a luxury massage in the comfort of your own suite with therapist Penny Irvine.*

“The Lake District is a very special place, and here at the Burn How  our guests enjoy a very special experience,” says Michael. “It’s a unique opportunity to enjoy peace and tranquility in the heart of this tourist hot-spot in the most beautiful corner of England, close to the landing stage for cruises on the lake, close to cafes and bars, and the town’s individual shops, but set apart in its own lovely, private grounds and our prize-winning gardens.”

*Penny Irvine holds a VTCT  qualification in Swedish Massage and Sports Massage Therapy, and also offers No Hands Massage.   She is fully insured with the FHT (Federation  of Holistic Therapists. Treatments Include:

  • Swedish Massage: Back Neck and shoulders/full body massage
  • Deep Tissue Massage – aimed at the deeper tissues of the muscles
  • Aromatherapy Massage – blending essential oils to suit the client
  • Sports Massage Therapy

For more information:

All aboard for Swallows and Amazons weekend in the Lakes

A SPECIAL weekend dedicated to the Swallows and Amazons world of Arthur Ransome is to be staged in Bowness this spring.

The Burn How Garden House Hotel will welcome fans of the timeless classic children’s stories written by Ransome and set in the Lake District.

Visitors for the weekend will be taken on a bus tour of some of the sites on which Ransome based his locations in the stories. This will take them past Wild Cat Island, otherwise known as Coniston’s Peel Island, and the farmhouse which was the model for Holly Howe in the novels, as well as glimpses of the ‘North Pole’ and ‘Kangchenjunga’.

The hotel has also arranged for visitors to attend a new stage production of Ransome’s Winter Holiday, which is being performed that weekend at the Old Laundry Theatre in Bowness.

Swallows and Amazons Boathouse, Coniston

“We know that the stories are still very popular with new generations of readers,” said hotel proprietor Michael Robinson. “We are based in the heart of Bowness which was re-named ‘Rio’ by the children in the books. And we have experts who will lead the guided tour around our lovely Lake District which was Ransome’s inspiration.”

First published in 1930, Swallows and Amazons tells of two families of children who sail to an island in a lake and have many adventures. It was followed by others set in the Lakes: Swallowdale, Pigeon Post, Winter Holiday, and The Picts and the Martyrs. The first story has been made into a film (twice), a TV series, and there have been stage and musical productions.

More details and booking: