Sleeps 10 | Friday Changeover | No Pets | VE 5 Star
Garden Hot Tub
For me, Bracken Howe offers guests one of the finest Lakeland holiday experiences. A large house of quality, it is recognised by Visit England as a five star award: a perfect location in Ambleside, set in a quiet crescent where, a few steps from the front door, you have the centre of town. To the rear, there are views across Rothay Park to Loughrigg Fell and the Fairfield Horseshoe, giving access to some great walks. All this, and the added pleasure of a garden hot tub spa to relax in after a day’s exploration.
As mentioned, Bracken Howe is set in a quiet location, the sought-after crescent of Millans Park. Once the home of Miss Thompson, a much loved and respected head mistress of Ambleside School, it was always considered a grand Victorian residence, and the current owners have fully restored the house, keeping faith with the period elegance whilst including all that is needed for modern living.
From the front door you step into the hall, with a fine tessellated floor, wood panelling and a grand staircase. The kitchen is very well equipped to cater for large parties, including a super range cooker, along with an American style fridge/freezer delivering ice on tap for your drinks. To the rear of the kitchen is the utility room with laundry facilities, and adjoining this is a downstairs WC.
From the kitchen you step through into the dining room. Beautifully decorated and furnished, you have a long table, perfect for sitting and chatting over lazy suppers, where the view from the French doors looks out across the park to the fells, and spills out onto a raised deck for evening drinks.
The sitting room is large and light, again with super views. Big, plump sofas and a roaring fire, along with rich décor, make this room perfect to gather and relax, chat and play games or take in a movie on the TV. Finally, on the ground floor there is the snug with a wide screen TV along with a Wii console and small selection of games provided for guests’ use.
Up the grand stairway to a half landing and the master bathroom. Delightful, with a period feel yet thoroughly modern, there is a super roll top bath, separate shower cubicle, basin and WC.
A few steps further take you onto the main landing and hall and, from there, through to the five bedrooms all newly decorated for 2011. There are three double bedrooms, including a lovely four-poster. Each is beautifully decorated, furnished and comfortable, and each has an en-suite bathroom or shower. In addition, there is a twin bedded room and a bunk bedded room, the latter small but with full sized single beds.
The garden is lawned with shrubs and a raised deck leading into the dining room. Special is the view across the park, where you can step out for a stroll or let children play. Equally special is the hot tub where you can relax in bubble heaven.
To summarise, this house has it all for me. A place where I could go for local walks and explore easily much of the greater National Park, step out in the evening for a meal or take in a movie, or simply gather with my friends and family for reunion or celebration. All in all perfect, so come, enjoy and congratulate yourself on your excellent choice.
Ambleside is one of our most popular towns, set right at the heart of central Lake District. There are plenty of shops for day to day needs, along with a few galleries and plenty of pubs, restaurants and cafes. Sheila's Cottage on The Slack is very good for the evening as is either Lucy's Wine Bar or restaurant. A must is the Apple Pie Eating House for either lunch or tea, where you can munch your way through a host of delightful sweet confections.
For entertainment and recreation you have the boats at Waterhead, where you can board a steamer for a trip on the lake, or hire rowing, sailing and low-powered motorboats and, at risk of knotting me metaphors, set sail under your own steam. Last, but not least, you can take in a movie at Zefferelli's cinema followed by great pizza at their own restaurant.
There are many nearby walks around Ambleside. The Fairfield Horseshoe is a much-loved and classic walk across stunning fells, taking in the high-level circuit around the tops of the Fairfield group, the height granting wonderful views of the other mountains and lake.
Loughrigg fell, behind Bracken Howe, is the beginning of a great day’s walk that takes in Rydal Water and Grasmere. This is one of my favourite days out, easy for all and where along the way you will find perfect photo opportunities.
A twenty minute drive west takes you to Coniston Water and the village sheltered in the lea of the Coniston mountain range. Radiating from the stone bridge, spanning Church Beck, the four main streets are a bustling community with a fine church, shops, a post office, cafes, a local brewery and four good pubs, and there much to do, the location perfect for outdoor pursuits; climbing, walking, cycling and water sport holidays. On all points of the compass there are trails, leafy forest paths, tracks and lake shores to explore, and you need travel very little to find a new and exciting landscape.
Coniston Water is one the most people friendly lakes, with much of the shore and the whole lake open to the public. Famous as the backdrop and inspiration for Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons and Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbells's world speed attempts, its wooded and grassy banks, along with the craggy coves and the deep clear water offer a habitat to a rich variety of flora and fauna. At the boating center you can hire rowing boats, sailing dinghies, kayaks and canoes or my favorite, the small motorboats, perfect for a day out exploring the hidden bays and wooded coves. The Center also hires mountain bikes and electric bikes to help get you around the lanes and up onto the fells.
Still at the Boating Center, you can hop aboard one of the Coniston Launches with regular trips down the lake, stopping at various landing points including Brantwood, home of John Ruskin where, along with the Jumping Jenny restaurant, it makes for a good day out discovering the culture and work of the Pre Raphaelites and the Art Crafts Movement.
For romantic trip on the water you can board the famous Steam yacht ‘Gondola’. A beautiful rebuilt steam powered craft that will transport you back to an era of greater peace and tranquility. Finally, the lake offers more simple pursuits: fishing, swimming or simply finding a nice spot for a picnic and enjoying a magnificent view.
For walking, climbing and mountain biking the choice is huge, with the whole of the mountain range to explore. The Old Man of Coniston stands at 2635 feet and is very popular, offering various well-marked paths to the summit. If you only go part way the view will be spectacular, the pint in the pub on your return all the more delicious.
South of Hawkshead, on the east side of Coniston water lies the Gizedale Forest. A massive working woodland, it is crisscrossed with paths and tracks for walking and mountain biking. The Forest is big into arts, commissioning fabulous statues and installations throughout. It is well worth driving, via Hawkshead, around to the visitor center for a forest map and information to get the best from your day out.
"We have had the best of holidays. The house is great as is the location. Plenty to do and some great walks. Thank you."
Mr R - Harrogate
"Could not have been better, Thank you for allowing us to stay in your beautiful house. We loved the Rydal to Grasmere walk and had a great night out a Lucy4. Once again many thanks, we will be back.
Mr & Mrs H - York
"One of the best holiday homes we have stayed in. The owners have provided the very best accommodation. Thank you."
R & J - Manchester
"The agent was right, a rare combination of town to one side, fells the other, everybody happy. Great walks, great nights out and some great nights in as well. We will recommend you to all our friends."
G & S - London
“From the minute we walked in we felt at home. The house is comfortable, well furnished and everything you need is supplied. The hot tub was great, views wonderful and we all loved the kitchen. We had a fantastic family celebration in the perfect place and hope to return again.”
“We all agree that this is the best house we have ever rented – great location, views and well-equipped. And the hot tub – well, wonderful after a walk in the hills!”
Nana & Grandad G, Bristol
“Your attention to detail is truly remarkable. We all want to live here! What a beautiful house, kitted out so perfectly. Feels like a true home. We will definitely recommend it to others. Thank you for a wonderful break.”
The University Girls, London, Belfast, Harrogate & Hong Kong
“A big thank you to Mark and Elaine for opening their gorgeous home to us. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and absolutely loved Bracken Howe and the surrounding towns. Fantastic views and majestic landscapes – you are so very blessed to live here! Much appreciation from all 3 generations who visited Ambleside.”
“Lovely, restful location – beautiful countryside. Fabulous! My daughter loved the Wii and we all loved the hot tub! The house is wonderful!”
DB, Chevy Chase USA
“Wow, what a stunning, beautiful, practical and very comfortable home!!”
“Cannot express strongly enough how much we have enjoyed staying in your beautiful home – so well equipped and very comfortable. It was perfect for each of our three generations! We will highly recommend the house for both quality and location.”
Local Areas Of InterestConiston Water & Mountain
Bracken Howe Inventory
Ambleside for -
Museums & Galleries & Attractions
Armitt Collection & Public Library
Adrian Sankey Glass makers
Hayes Garden World
Bike - Boat Hire - Boat Trips
Easyriders Warterhead - Mountain Bikes & Yamaha Electric Assisted
Windermere Lake Cruises & Boat Hire
Waterhead Marina Lauch Site Tel 015394 32424
Cinema & Theatre
Pubs & Inns
Coniston Village for -
Coniston Tourist Information Centre - All you need for info on the area.
Grocers, Co-op, Butcher.
Coniston Boating Center – For boat and bike hire, launch and steamer trips. The Bluebird Cafe.
Summit Treks for outdoor adventure, courses, kit and hire.
Ruskin Museum – For info on Ruskin and Coniston including Donald Campbell.
East of Coniston Lake Road for -
Plenty of bays and coves to swim, fish and picnic
Brantwood and Jumping Jennys - Explore Ruskins house and gardens combined with a good lunch on the terrace overlooking the lake.
Grizedale Forest - great day out for hiking or mountan biking - Maps and bike hire available at the visitor center.
Go-Ape - At the Grizedale Forest - Mad wild fun in a tree top adventure with breathtaking scenery, tree-top wires, crossings and wind-in-your-face zip wires - finished off with a dose of people in search of their inner Tarzan.