When one thinks of the Lake District, the images conjured up in one’s mind are of gorgeous landscapes featuring softly rounded mountains and sparkling waters. Hilly fells would be dotted by Herdwicks, the hardy native sheep of Lakeland. There would be pristine nature reserves and woods to roam and a tranquillity to bring peace to the soul.
However, Cumbria is also very much a place peopled by many individuals gifted in the arts. The famous Blackwell House, ‘is one of Britain’s finest houses from the turn of the last century. Designed by M H Baillie Scott, as a holiday retreat for Sir Edward Holt, a wealthy Manchester brewery owner, Blackwell survives in a truly remarkable state of preservation retaining many original decorative features. The period rooms are carefully furnished with the blend of Arts and Crafts furniture and early country-made pieces advocated by Baillie Scott, containing furniture and objects by many of the leading Arts & Crafts designers and studios – furniture by Morris & Co and Voysey, metalwork by W A S Benson and ceramics by Ruskin Pottery and William de Morgan.’ (www.blackwell.org.uk)
The legacy of Blackwell continues today with the work of local artistes who create exquisite artisan pieces and artwork influenced by the beautiful surroundings of their Lakeland homes.
Now in its second year, C-Art Open Studios is Cumbria’s biggest visual arts event, celebrating the breadth of contemporary and traditional visual art, craft and design to be found in the Lake District and across Cumbria. 134 artist studios and galleries open their doors to the public from 1-16 September 2012, alongside an exciting programme of specially selected events and workshops [where you can buy] unique artwork and design pieces direct from the makers.
Use C-Art’s Trail map to help you plan your arts and crafts days. (http://c-art.org.uk/trail-map)
One of the more famous art galleries in the Lake District is Heaton Cooper Gallery in Grasmere, only 10 miles from Blenheim Lodge. ‘The gallery and art shop is a family business first established by artist Alfred Heaton Cooper [1863-1929] in 1905. His artist son William Heaton Cooper [1903-1995] built the present gallery in Grasmere in 1938. For generations their paintings and books have influenced the way the landscape of the Lake District has been viewed.’ (www.heatoncooper.co.uk)
Finally, for guests who are simply aching to buy handmade crafts to take home with them, why not enjoy the Loweswater Show and have a great day out at an agricultural event reminiscent of old-time community days out in the Lake District? According to http://loweswatershow.com, ‘this year is our 136th Agricultural Show, on Sunday 2nd of September 2012. The format hasn’t changed much over the years: Livestock, Classes, Industrial Classes, Fell Races and the Beer Tent!’
The Loweswater Show is ‘situated in the beautiful Vale of Lorton near Cockermouth . . . with [an] emphasis on livestock and farming and including the ever popular Cumbrian sporting traditions of Cumberland & Westmorland Wrestling, fell racing and hound trailing plus displays of local arts and crafts, horticulture, homemade produce and children’s entertainments.’ (www.wordsworthcountry.com/events.htm) So, come and enjoy the day and purchase a little – or large – arts or crafts keepsake (or more) as a reminder or your lovely day out at Loweswater. It is not far from Blenheim Lodge, where we offer peaceful bed and breakfast accommodation in pretty bedrooms that boast Lake Windermere views.
‘Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’
Visit our website: www.blenheim-lodge.com
Phone: 00 44 (0)15394 43440