Tag Archives: fell-running

A winning haven for guests in Ambleside

An Ambleside guest house has won the coveted Visit England ROSE Award in just the second year under new management.

Haven Cottage was taken over by Allie and Chris Hodgson in spring last year, and they are thrilled to be one of just 100 recipients across the country – and just three in Cumbria.

allie an chris

The ROSE Awards – Recognition of Service Excellence – put the spotlight on those accommodation providers who give visitors the warmest of welcomes.  They recognise the owners, management and employees of establishments that go above and beyond, making customers’ experiences extra special, irrespective of star rating, style or accommodation type.

Suite 8 balcony & seating

Haven Cottage, which has three double bedrooms and two luxury suites, holds four-star gold accreditation from Visit England. With a reputation for excellent breakfasts, for which they have also received an award, the guest house is currently number one in Ambleside in the Trip Advisor ratings.

Breakfast Special

Visit England Director Patricia Yates said that the ROSE awards recognised outstanding accommodation providers. “It is the human touch that these people provide that make visitors’ experiences memorable, ensuring repeat business and helping the industry thrive. The awards celebrate the teams and owners whose efforts surpass expectations.”

Allie and Chris moved back to the UK after running ski-chalet accommodation in the French Alps, in Morzine and then Samoens, and now run Haven Cottage with the help of housekeeper Cristina Dumitrascu. They make a point of using local suppliers in and around the Ambleside area.  Chris is a member of Ambleside AC and was one of the organisers of the recent British Fell Relay races at Grasmere.

Allie said: “We are delighted to receive this award. It is all the more rewarding because it’s based on visitors’ experiences and confidential nomination. We do go out of our way to ensure guests are having a great stay. What’s the point in having all this knowledge and love for the lakes if we don’t share it with our guests? t’s a lovely surprise to be recognised this way.”

Haven cottage

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First woman at the helm of traditional Lakeland sports

 

A new chair has taken the helm of the committee which organises England’s oldest traditional sports event.

Marjorie Blackburn is the first woman to lead Ambleside Sports, now in its 132nd year. Mrs Blackburn takes over from Jak Hirst who is stepping down after 13 years. He will keep an advisory role, and retain responsibility for attracting sponsorship.

Marj and Jak

Mrs Blackburn, who lives in Ambleside, has been a member of the organising committee for 18 years, alongside her husband, Mike, himself a former chairman.  Her professional career includes teaching and training, personnel and business, and she is a keen golfer, walker, and member of a local singing group.

Many tributes were paid to Mr Hirst’s “total dedication” to the Sports and he was described as a great team leader.

Ambleside Sports is run entirely by volunteers who spend months in planning and organising, and then a full week of setting up and taking down the sports field equipment. One of the highlights on the Cumbrian calendar, the event includes fell racing (with a new category for under-9s in the popular Guides race this year), hound trails, track cycling, Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling and many stalls and sideshows.

The committee has also given £14,000 in the last five years in sporting scholarships to young people in the area, to help them develop their sporting potential.

Also stepping down from the committee was Tom Harrington MBE, the Cumberland and Westmorland wrestler who won 44 world championships.

This year’s event will be held at Rydal Park on Thursday July 26. Space is still available for anyone wanting to book a trade stall in the “craft” marquee to sell local produce, art, jewellery etc, and these can be booked for £35, including table,  via the website http://amblesidesports.co.uk/

 

 

Great base for runners in the footsteps of legend Joss

tribute to joss picp128

An exhibition about fell-running legend Joss Naylor has opened the eyes of running clubs to a great place to stay in the Lakes.

Runners flocked to the exhibition at the Old School Room tea shop at Rydal Hall near Ambleside, which featured the work of Elizabeth Shorrock .

The Hall’s grounds are familiar to everyone who’s run the Fairfield Horseshoe, but now they learn that the building itself would be an ideal base for races and for training weekends.

Rydal Hall with its 34 acres of gardens and woodland and built by the Le Fleming family is now a Christian conference, holiday and retreat centre. The hall has 30 bedrooms which can be let for conference use or on a daily bed and breakfast basis by holidaymakers – and runners or walkers –  who want a real escape. There’s no TV in the rooms, but no religious expectation either; the team say that the ethos is of hospitality and welcome.

“It’s a wonderful location” was the verdict of a running group from the Midlands who were doing a “recce” of the popular mountain race.

“We knew there was a camp site, and we’ve seen the camping pods, but the Hall itself will be a perfect place to stay when we need a bit more comfort at the end of the day.”

One of the most magnificent buildings in the Lakes, Rydal Hall overlooks the formal Edwardian gardens designed by the garden designer, landscape architect and town planner Thomas Hayton Mawson (1861-1933) in 1911. The Italianate terracing includes herbaceous borders and lawns set against the imposing architecture of the Hall.

More details: http://www.rydalhall.org/stay/stay-rydal-hall/