An enchanting, walk over a Lancashire Landmark

Tim Bell, General Manager of Lancaster House discovers a family-friendly day-out with a difference close to the hotel.

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By its very reputation, The Lake District will always lend itself naturally to the great pastime of walking.

But just down the road in North Lancashire, the walking culture is just as vibrant. The Trough of Bowland in particular offers stunning scenery and a plethora of accessible walking routes to rival many of Lakeland’s classic rambles here on the doorstep of Lancaster House. Continue reading

Photos of Lancaster & Morecambe from a Typhoon Fighter Jet

RAF Typhoon Aircraft (Credit: UK Ministry of Defence)

RAF Typhoon Aircraft (Credit: UK Ministry of Defence)

Here at English Lakes we love to show off the beauty of the local area we have the pleasure of living and working in. Previously we have blogged about the fantastic photography of the Lake District and Lancashire taken from the International Space Station by Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield.

Earlier this week we came across a selection of aerial images taken a little closer to Earth. BEA Systems stunning trials photographer, Chris Ryding, captured aerial pictures of Lancaster and Morecambe from the cockpit of a Eurofighter Typhoon jet.

At sea level the jet can reach speeds of Mach 1.25 (1,470 km/h or 910 mph) and they can be regularly seen throughout Lancashire and Cumbria while on test flights from BAE Warton.
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Recipe – Our take on classic Lamb Hot Pot

Damien Ng Head Chef at Lancaster House

Damien Ng Head Chef at Lancaster House

Damien Ng, Head Chef at Lancaster House Hotel shares his own take on a classic Lancashire recipe

Now Christmas has been and gone, we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Spring, and the lush green colours returning to our countryside. We will soon be finding a new abundance of great seasonal produce on on the shelves of our local food shops. Of course, one cannot think of springtime without mentioning Lamb, and here in Lancashire, we’re blessed with an ample, quality supply right on our doorstep. From the Trough of Bowland to the Salt Marshes of Morecambe Bay.

So, with that in mind, and on the basis we can probably still expect a few chilly weeks ahead before spring finally blooms, here’s a simple, warming, easy to prepare take on a Lancashire favourite. And as this is a slow-cooking dish, there’s no need to be buying some of the more traditional expensive cuts of Lamb we often find in the supermarkets. Ask your butcher about the various options he can give you. May I also recommend a nice Spanish Rioja or Navarra to wash this down a treat. Alternatively, if beer’s more your thing, a nice bottle of our local “Lancaster Red” also works for me.  Continue reading

Lancaster House – Our New Year Home from Home!

As part of our +1 culture at English Lakes, it is always our aim to make raving fans! John Morley, a self confessed raving fan of Lancaster House (Read his TripAdvisor Review) tells us about his New Year Break with us… 

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Itsy Bitsy Vintage at The Midland Wedding Open Day

Following on from our short blog about Anthony Padgett, a featured supplier at The Midland Wedding Open Day we spoke to Carol from Itsy Bitsy Vintage who will also be at the hotel on Sunday to discuss planning your perfect vintage wedding.

Itsy Bitsy Vintage outside The MidlandItsy Bitsy Vintage is an experienced service for vintage loveliness in Lancashire, Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales. For vintage weddings, celebratory tea parties and unique events, Itsy Bitsy offers vintage china hire for up to 120 people, bunting, prop hire and vintage styling.

With authentic vintage china, a wide collection of vintage and antique props from the Edwardian period through to the early 1960’s, they work with clients to add a period feel to their celebrations and compliment the architecture of their chosen venue. Whether you choose a fun eclectic seaside celebration, a summer English tea party or a glamorous Great Gatsby wedding, Itsy can help create your look.  Continue reading

Light Up Lancaster – A Week of Special Events in the City

Light up LancasterVisitors from the whole of Lancashire and further afield flock to Lancaster for the city’s annual firework extravaganza at Lancaster Castle. The event which grows in popularity each year returns in 2013 with a full week of FREE ‘Light Up Lancaster’ events around the city. It is the perfect time to explore Lancaster both day and night.

To make the most of some of these fantastic events, consider booking a short break at Lancaster House hotel, just a short drive away from the city centre with prices from £88.00 Bed and Breakfast for two people (available at the time of publishing) with family rooms also available.

Light Up The Waterways

Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 October 2013
Times: 7.15pm, 8.00pm, 8.45pm

Commissioned by the Canal & River Trust, this is a free event for all the family to enjoy. Discover the stories and heritage of our waterways and their often overlooked ecology, with a series of acts by aerial artists, magicians, dancers, musicians and other exciting performance artists, alongside the Grade 1 Listed Lune Aqueduct. Although this is a free event it must be booked in advance on 01524 598500 as there are limited places.

Drawing Workshops

Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 October 2013
Times: 10am – 5pm

During the day there will be family-friendly drawing workshops taking place at St Nics – creating pieces of artwork to be exhibited at Light Up The Streets. No need to book – just bring the family and join in!

Light Up The Streets

Friday 1 November 2013
Performances from 6pm onwards

Take a stroll through the city centre for a unique evening art experience animating our beautiful buildings and squares. Discover new stories along the trail, with a string of music,
dance, theatre and film events. This is a self-guided evening; performances begin at 6pm, but you can arrive at any time and pick up a guide to the evening’s performances and installations from one of the stewards.

Light Up The Skies – The Fireworks Spectacular

downloadSaturday 2 November 2013
Activities from 10am, Fireworks at 8pm

Lancaster’s magical extravaganza of fireworks, which lights up the historic landscape and skyline of the city, is one of the finest displays in the north. This year the fireworks will again be fired from the roof of Lancaster’s medieval castle.

Although the main viewing areas are now fully booked, there are also many other excellent viewing areas throughout the district which do not require wristbands. Recommended areas include the Millennium Bridge, Williamson Park and Salt Ayre Sports and Leisure Centre. Salt Ayre will have a host of family-friendly activities including a fun-fair from 4pm onwards.

There will also be activities including workshops, guided walks and storytelling taking place throughout the day on Saturday.

Morecambe’s Hidden Vintage Gems

Midland Vintage 2013The vintage buzz can be felt in Morecambe and I’m more than a bit excited to be in the middle of it. After harping on about all things vintage and being told my living room looks like it belongs to an old lady, it’s with a hint of ‘I told you so’ that I welcome you all and wonder what took you so long?!

Vintage by the Sea is set to take place at the fabulous Midland Hotel on Saturday 14th September and we’re in full swing ready for the masses to descend on Morecambe. Being Morecambe born and bred though I feel I should let you in on a few secrets and silence the cynics that think there is nothing to do here. Morecambe is a gem of second hand and antique shops, some that have been in the town for years. Being a kind soul, I’ll let you in on a few of the places you must go when you visit the seaside.

Old Pier Bookshop

The Old Pier Book Shop in Morecambe

The Old Pier Book Shop in Morecambe

Firstly I have to mention The Old Pier Bookshop on Morecambe promenade. Many a rainy day off (and one first date) have been spent in this shop.

This shop is a maze of great books that you can spend hours looking through. You do need to have a good look but luckily the owner knows where everything is so just ask if you don’t fancy a rummage!

Great for having a good rummage

Great for having a good rummage

Enjoy an afternoon in here and see if you can spot the stuffed seagull!

A Quirky Stuffed Seagull looks after the bookshop

A Quirky Stuffed Seagull looks after the bookshop

Dotty’s Vintage

Secondly (and I’m not biased at all) is my Mum’s vintage shop, Dotty’s Vintage.

Dottys Vintage Shop and Tea Room, Morecambe

Dotty’s Vintage Shop and Tea Room, Morecambe

Dotty’s came about from a collection gone mad and after much persuasion from me and my sister to open a shop so people could come and enjoy the many beautiful things my mum had picked up over the years.

You can feel the passion for vintage when you come in the shop, not just because some of the pieces are so loved, some are only shown to visitors over a cup of tea and never sold! This sparked the idea for ‘Tea by the Sea’ which is a vintage styled tea room which was opened alongside the shop. Now even more people visit having tea and are shown some of the many treasures in Dotty’s.

Pop in for original garments from the 20s onwards or even if you just love vintage and want a cup of tea and a chat!

Dotty’s Vintage are curating the Vintage Marketplace for Vintage by the Sea so expect quality vintage items and the loveliest of traders!

The Vintage West End

Art Installation, Morecambe's West End

Art Installation, Morecambe’s West End

Now this isn’t necessarily one shop but rather an area of Morecambe that people might neglect.

Morecambe’s West End has many second hand shops, some of which sell retro and vintage garments but I find it is a great place to pick up second hand furniture.

For anyone in to up cycling, you can pick up furniture from around five pounds so there’s no excuse not to experiment! My tip would be to make sure you have a good wander round the side streets to find a little shop selling china and another selling military collectibles.

Northern Relics

Northern Relics is a couple of minutes walk from The Midland and packed full of antiques.

Northern Relics - Antiques and Collectables shop in Morecambe

Northern Relics – Antiques and Collectables shop in Morecambe

If you’re looking to splash out on something then this holds the largest selection of antiques in Morecambe. You’ll spot this usually by the large giraffes outside!

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I think that should be more than enough to keep any vintage lover busy during a day in Morecambe. That is if you manage to leave the hotel with all of the things going on at Vintage by the Sea!