High Borrans lives up to its name – high above Windermere and the A591 – just 3 miles or so off the busy main road, where you arrive in a little piece of heaven: a working Lakeland hill farm, with a flock of Swaledale sheep, 25 suckler cows and a couple of horses for company.
On your arrival at High Borrans farm, you drive through the farmyard, to a separate entrance at the back, where you’ll find 7 Nordic-style luxury lodges – and a quirky Shepherd’s Hut. Run by the Hodgson farming family, the farmhouse and lodges are separate and you definitely get the countryside feel.
3 Of the lodges are dog-friendly, all sleep two in a king-size bed and are adults only. Perfect for peace and quiet.
You’ll step out of your car to the sound of lambs bleating in the field, bird song and utter peace and tranquillity just through the farmstead that is High Borrans. There’s a gate just above the lodges, and you’re straight out onto the cycle and bike trail path. A ten-minute drive back down the hill takes you to the bustling town of Windermere, perfect for a few drinks and a bite to eat.
The deck goes all the way around the lodges, and your patio doors open straight out onto it, so plenty of room to sit out with a drink of course, and listen to the birdsong, watch the swallows swooping, listen to the mooing of the cattle and the baaing of the sheep. Come dusk you may get to see red and roe deer, tawny and barn owls and bats flitting around.
Here are a few ideas for your short break at High Borrans
Fell walking and Electric Bike Hire
Electreks have 8 e-bikes for hire and are based at the High Borrans. They drop them off at your lodge and explain how they work. As they say – make molehills out of those mountains. There are many fantastic bike trails and walks right from the farm gate, and you can head over towards Kentmere, Staveley or up towards the tracks at High Street and the Garburn Pass.
Orrest Head Walk: the famous walk that gave AW Wainwright his first experience of the views of Lakeland and began his life-long love affair with the fells. An easy but steep path winds right the way up for fantastic views and a couple of benches.
Food and Drink
Windermere is literally a 10-minute drive away from High Borrans, with lots of great options for coffee, cake as well as full hearty meals. Staveley is a 10-minute drive in the direction of Kendal with the town centre full of independent bakeries, breweries and cafés.
Visit Windermere: the bustling town of Windermere is a great place for browsing, eating and drinking
Try Homeground. for some of the best coffee and cakes in town. (currently under refurb, so make sure to check out their Facebook page first for re-opening)
The Smith is a trendy pizza bar, with cocktails and tapas up near Windermere Station (park at Booths or the station itself)
The Crafty Baa is a small atmospheric bar, with craft beers and music. Quirky fun and friendly.
The Lamplighter Dining Rooms & Pub – a traditional British eatery, with a large dining room and modern bar.
Visit Staveley: The small village of Staveley is a mecca for cyclists with cafes, pubs and a really friendly vibe.
Try Hawkshead Brewery for craft beer brewed right on site and Cumbrian tapas, live music.
Wilf’s Cafe – vegetarian laid-back atmosphere at its best.
More! Bakery – artisan bread and cakes made here, with passion. And great coffee.
Get out on the Lake
A mile from Windermere town centre – either a 5-minute drive or a good walk down the hill is Bowness – the beating heart of Windermere with more cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants and home to the world-famous Windermere Lake Cruises.
Currently operating to be Covid-safe, Windermere Lake Cruises are asking guests to pre-book online for their circular cruises. A great way to circumnavigate the Lake, and learn more about its beauty and surrounding history. They also have self-drive powerboats and rowing boats for hire.
Drive a bit further north from High Borrans and you’ll find beautiful Ullswater, with steamers offering regular lake cruises.
The Pool at Choices Leisure Club, Troutbeck Bridge.
If you have a rainy day – (they do happen occasionally here!) why not make use of your free membership during your stay to Choices Leisure Club at Troutbeck bridge. Its 15 minutes drive from High Borrans, and has pool, sauna, gym. (Please check direct on reopening policy at the moment).
Adventure at Brockhole Visitor Centre
Though Brockhole is great for families, you may both fancy having a go at Treetop Trek. If you’re visiting outside the school holidays Brockhole will be a lot quieter. It also has the rather gorgeous Gaddum Restaurant for lunches and early evening dining.
Food shopping for Cumbrian delicacies
You may have bagged some locally made bread, cheese and ale on your travels earlier, but two great options for a bit more local shopping are Booths at Windermere – for all the staples but also classic Cumbrian food and goodies. Plumgarths Food village at the roundabout on the way in on the A591 (and probably 15 minutes from High Borrans) has great meats, cheeses, is home to Ginger Bakers cakes, and lots more to stock up on for your home-cooking. Why not pick up your shopping on your journey in?
Visit a Garden
Holehird Gardens is a short drive from High Borrans, with 12 acres of stunning gardens and partner to the RHS.
Back home to the lodge and perhaps some al fresco dining or a nightcap with views over the fields…you’re guaranteed a good nights sleep after a power shower or bath, and then collapsing gently into a luxury King-Size bed. Sleep well!