Be inspired this summer in the Lake District

Our eldest son and his classmates are taking part in a triathlon as part of the Keswick Mountain Festival today; one of the perks of attending a Lake District school! It was only recently that I realised what a comprehensive outdoors event this Festival is: providing a taster of many adventurous activities as well as inspiration in the form of speakers such as Chrissie Wellington (four times world Ironman champion). There are hiking, mountain biking, trail running, water-based and all sorts of other adventurous activities on offer, as well as the evening music stage with big-name artists.

It appears that Fornside Farm is not only ideally located for exploring the hills and lakes, but also for all sorts of outdoors events. When we moved here I rather hastily signed up for the Keswick Half Marathon, not realising how hilly a road race could possibly be! Still, it was worth it for the fabulous scenery in the Newlands and Borrowdale Valleys … and now I feel ready to have a go at fell running. It appears I am spoilt for choice of events: a Forest 10K trail caught my eye when we took the boys mountain biking at nearby Whinlatter; there are numerous Lakeland Trails fell runs (surely it would be rude not to at least do the Helvellyn route this summer as it follows the ridge of the fell behind Fornside Farm?!) and the route up the Glendereterra valley, which we can see from Fornside neatly nestled between Skiddaw and Blencathra. The great thing about all these events is that they are safe and open to open to both experienced racers and novice fell-runners like me. Other annual summer events include a series of triathlons at nearby Ullswater, the Derwentwater Regatta and Derwentwater swim. In fact one of our guests is swimming the length of Windermere on Friday’s Great North Swim. She’ll be glad of the last month of sunshine which will have warmed up the lake perfectly!

For the less energetic, or in-between adventures, there is as ever a super programme on at Theatre by the Lake (to which Fornside Farm’s guests can book tickets and dinners at a discount) and, following their Swallows and Amazons fun exploring the uninhabited islands of Derwentwater, both our boys are keen to visit National Trust’s Derwent Island on which there is an actual house on its annual open day this summer.

Matt and I are excited about the major exhibition which has just opened (and will be here until January 2019) dedicated to the fascinating highs and lows (literal and metaphorical) in the life of the iconic mountaineer Chris Bonington – not to mention his inseparable links with the fells of the Lake District, where he has lived since 1963.