Chester’s is a beautiful bakery, café and shop tucked by the River Brathay.
shop sells cards, toys, kitchenware, books, furniture, jewellery and
stationary. They stock big name designers alongside smaller individual
companies and have an exciting mix of modern and vintage goods.
The shop is often described happily by those who visited for the first time as ‘not what you would expect to find in the Lakes!’
you’ve perused the shop, make sure you visit the café. Exciting,
delicious and different food made from scratch everyday. They make and
bake everything themselves. Jams, chutneys, curds, pickles, cakes,
breads, pastries and, of course, breakfasts and lunches. You can eat in
and take away and the ever growing 'Own Brand' products are available in
in the English Lakes and inspired by the area's cute and lovable
Herdwick sheep, The Herdy Company's design-led products for home and
gift are made to make you smile! The wonderful brightly coloured range
of giftware includes woven home furnishings, craft kits, clothing,
stationery and an illustrated children’s storybook.
is at the core of the Herdy business and all Herdy products are designed
from scratch at the company’s base in Kendal.
impressive, is each year the company donates a percentage of profits to
the Herdy Fund, supporting sustainable rural communities, upland fell
farming and of course the Herdwick sheep.
lovely Armstrong Ward gift shop, just by Booths in Kendal (so you can
park there) offers a gorgeous mix of design led gifts, homeware and
Owner and driving force behind Armstrong Ward’s
success Jacqueline Ward comments, “We strive to offer our customers a
great shopping experience, with competitive pricing. Our store has a
wide selection of products to offer, from quirky to stylish, affordable
to extravagant treats and always on trend. With new ranges being added
regularly, there is something for everyone.”
Hawkshead Relish Company is a small family run business and their
wonderful shop can be found in the centre of the picturesque village of
It is packed with all sorts of foodie treasures,
including Hawkshead Relish, Chutneys, Pickles, Preserves, Marmalades and
Jams. Alongside this array of condiments you will also find cakes,
biscuits, puddings, cheese , spices, beers, wines, spirits and old
fashioned cordials to name but a few.
At the shop you can have
your own choices made up into hampers, boxes and gift bags to your
specification and best of all you can taste your way around the range
before you buy.
Shop Floor Project was founded six years ago by Samantha and Denise
Allan (mother and daughter) with the aim to develop and source
collections of the highest craftsmanship.
artists and curators they see the Project as a series of curated spaces
filled with objects that fulfill their main criteria; that the object is
worthy of keeping and passing down through generations - their search
for contemporary heirlooms continues daily.
The Shop Floor
Project began as a purely virtual space but 2011 saw the Project become
‘real’ when they opened their first bricks and mortar shop in the town
of Ulverston, which is full of independent shops with musicians playing
in the street and old industries still thriving down the tall alleyways,
such as a traditional sign writers, cobblers, dressmakers and clock
The Shop Floor Project has been creating lots of hype
recently, and was voted in Vogue’s Top 100 Shops to visit outside of
London. Their products have also appeared in the magazine itself, along
with the likes of Elle Magazine and Homes and Antiques.
in 1994, The Old Courthouse Gallery, two expansions and 17 years later,
has evolved into one of the largest independent contemporary art
galleries in the North of England.
Set amidst the stunning
scenery of the Lake District, Ambleside is home to the long established
and well respected Old Courthouse Gallery.
This spacious gallery
displays on three floors all that is best in contemporary British art
& craft, the emphasis being on high quality craftsmanship and
individuality in all disciplines including furniture, glass, ceramics,
sculpture, original paintings, prints and jewellery.
If you are looking for some retail therapy there are department stores, specialist shops and factory outlets in the main towns. From Lakeland Limited in Windermere to Hawkshead Clothing to Bowness-on-Windermere which has something for everyone; there's a lot of shopping to be done in the Lakes. The new K Shoes Factory Outlet in Kendal is now open, and in Kendal town centre there's Elephant Yard and the Westmorland Shopping Centre.
Arts, Crafts and Antiques
Arts and crafts, antiques and books, all are well served in the Lake District, There are countless galleries, antique and craft shops tucked away in the Lakeland villages. See Blackwell for Arts & Crafts near Linthwaite; Heaton Cooper in Grasmere; Northern Lights, Keswick; Armitt, Ambleside; Thornthwaite Keswick to name but a few.
Need a fleece, walking boots or waterproof walking gear? Nowhere in the UK offers such a choice. Ambleside must be the capital of outdoor gear with myriad shops, including Rohan, Blacks (still there?) and good locals like Stewardsons, Cunningham Sports, but Bowness/Windermere, Grasmere, Kendal and Keswick are also host to a huge number of outdoor shops. George Fisher is regarded as the Rolls Royce in Keswick! And of course we mustn't forget Hawkshead with Hawkshead clothing now a giant mail order business.
If you are a keen gardener there are a whole host of garden centres in the local area including Hayes Garden World in Ambleside and Grasmere Garden Centre, owned by the folks who used to have the Queen's Head Inn at Troutbeck.
Speciality Food Shops
Cumbria also has a wide selection of unique speciality food shops that you won't find anywhere else, and are all well worth visiting. The Grasmere Gingerbread shop is one such place: Over 140 years ago, Sarah Nelson began baking gingerbread in what was once the old school house tucked by St Oswald's lychgate (where William Wordsworth is buried). They still use the same 'secret' recipe, it is superb. The gingerbread is made daily, and the wonderful aroma of freshly baked gingerbread is enough to lure anyone into this tiny shop and if you time your visit right you can buy it while still warm and soft.
If visiting Kendal, a must for all chocaholics is the 1657 Chocolate House on Branthwaite Brow. So called, because 1657 was the date the first chocolate House opened in England. It sells a variety of chocolates and upstairs there is a cafe - the menu is almost entirely devoted to chocolate cakes and patisseries. The building itself is estimated to date back to 1630. There is another wonderful chocolate shop in Orton; nice run out East.
Other delicacies to look out for are the famous Kendal mint cake, sticky toffee pudding from Cartmel, ice cream, Cumberland sausages, chocolate, honey, mustard and there's also a wide variety of locally brewed ales, most served only at source (eg. Coniston, Cartmel).
Melmerby Bakery near Penrith is bread heaven in the North but Staff of Life in Kendal is king in the South. Bag yourself lots of goodies at the Barn Shop, Sizergh on your way to Junction 36. This is an award winning vendor of their own and others excellent produce. Vegetables, milk, bread and cheese, plus all sorts of other goodies, edible and not.
If in the Penrith are a must visit is the Watermill at Little Salkeld. Millshop & Tearoom
Open daily (including weekends) from 10.30am to 5pm, Mid January to Christmas. The Tearoom serves morning coffee, wholefood vegetarian lunches and afternoon teas.