When you come to stay with English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues in the Lake District or North Lancashire, it’s good to know that the food you are served has been prepared with the greatest care and professional skill.

That’s one of the reasons why we’ve given our group of fledgling trainee commis chefs the chance to run their own restaurant for the day to experience the pressures of preparing and delivering food and drink orders for customers.

Full House for Dinner

The students from our Culinary Academy took control of Kendal College’s restaurant as a food service and hospitality challenge. It was an opportunity for the apprentices to showcase their culinary skills for a full house of diners, with support from Kendal College’s catering students. It’s a key stage in their development to graduate as commis chefs and a crucial element of their overall training which culminates in a fully accredited apprenticeship qualification.

Working together, the team served up a delicious three course menu selection for over 40 customers. A popular starter was Frank Benson’s Morecambe Bay Shrimps with brioche, lemon, dill and cucumber. Main dishes included herb crusted roast rack of Cumbrian lamb or Monkfish loin wrapped in Parma ham. And for dessert, they prepared a lemon and thyme crème brûlée with butter shortbread and steeped raspberries or a passion fruit, mango, oat and honey crumble.

Well Done Team!

Recent academy graduates Maria Cheetham, who is working and training at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa, Jonny Marriott (Wild Boar Inn) and Rebecca Atkinson (The Midland Hotel, Morecambe) were joined by latest recruits Abbie Spencer (The Midland) and Travis Locke (Low Wood Bay).

They were also helped by Charlie Henderson from Samuel King’s School, Alston, who was enjoying a work experience stint with the academy. Bryan Rojas, who is doing his level 3 training at Lancaster House, completed the team.

Group Training & Development Chef Daniel Winstanley, who is also a member of The Master Chefs of Great Britain, explains: “The restaurant takeover exercise is one of the hardest challenges we set for the apprentices. It’s in real time and they take full responsibility from customer order to clearing the plates. Two things really stood out: their collective ability to work under pressure as a team, and that they all clearly thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”

Find Out More

For more about the opportunities available within English Lakes Culinary Academy, or about jobs across the group follow the links and get in touch

English Lakes re-started their quarterly service awards lunch in July 2022. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the Directors to say ‘thank you’ to employees of English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues for their dedication and loyalty.

English Lakes Annual Service Awards Lunch

During the Covid pandemic, reluctantly we had to suspend our quarterly Service Awards lunches (usually held in January, April, July and October). It was, therefore, even more of a celebration than usual when they restarted this month. All those in attendance at The Wild Boar enjoyed a sumptuous three course dinner, and the all-important award ceremony.

After each year of service, every employee of English Lakes Hotels is invited to an Service Award lunch. This is a great opportunity to meet colleagues from your hotel, or any of the other hotels in the English Lakes Group. The atmosphere is informal and friendly. It is an event that the Directors of English Lakes take very seriously as it is their chance to show appreciation to their teams and reward them for their previous year’s hard work.

New Benefits for All English Lakes Employees

English Lakes Managing Director, Ben Berry, hosted the recent Awards Lunch and presented English Lakes vouchers and +1 Awards to those in attendance. He also launched a new package of benefits to be enjoyed by the employees of English Lakes Hotels.

English Lakes Loyalty Rewarded

Every full year of service with English Lakes is rewarded with English Lakes Vouchers, worth between £100 and £350 for full-time employees, depending on length of service. These are presented at a Service Award lunch.

Free Bed & Breakfast Stay for Two People

This is a fantastic opportunity for every employee to be on the receiving end of English Lakes service. What a great way to discover what it is like for our guests. After a full year of service, and every year thereafter, the employee can book a night’s bed and breakfast accommodation. They are invited to bring their partner, or a friend or family member and stay in an English Lakes hotel overnight, and enjoy breakfast the next morning.

Enjoy a Thermal Spa Experience on Us

A little cosy treat that can be enjoyed as part of working for English Lakes Hotels. Each year, employees can enjoy the benefit of a three-hour Thermal Journey at The Spa at Low Wood Bay. A spa experience voucher for two people becomes part of the benefits of working for the hotel group.

+ 1 Awards

Every month team members are nominated for activities or performance that exceeds guest or colleague expectations. Successful +1 nominees are awarded a certificate and first-time winners also receive a +1 lapel pin.

Special Silver and Gold and Champions awards are made for those team members who achieve 10, 25 and 50 +1s respectively.

Prizes for Creativity

Creativity is what we do at English Lakes. If an employee has a great idea that has the potential to transform the way we do things, we invite their ideas! We call these people our ‘Imaginators’! When these ideas become a reality within the business, the employee is invited to an Awards lunch and receives a VIP treat.

Be Our Guest

After successful completion of six-week review, new employees are invited to enjoy a Bed and Breakfast stay as our guest at the Hotel where they work. We include the employee’s partner and children, or a friend.

Twice yearly we will also run a ‘Flash Sale’ for employees only so that you can treat your family and close friends.

And Lots More Benefits…

There are also extra holidays each year of continuous service, up to an extra 5 days. Employees can recommend a friend and receive £250 English Lakes Vouchers and there is a Personal Development Fund that workers at English Lakes Hotels can apply for.

A very popular benefit is the complimentary access to English Lakes Health Clubs and Spas at specific times of the day, as well as significant discounts off spa treatments, guest fees, watersports equipment hire and dining in our restaurants.

Find A Job at English Lakes Hotels

Take a look at English Lakes Jobs page to find out what opportunities there are available in the different hotels and departments. A job at English Lakes opens the door to lots of additional benefits.  

In April 2022 English Lakes Hotels welcomed not one, not two, but three new members to our Board of Directors. This expansion reflects the ongoing success of the business, and brings new breadth, creativity and personality to the board. Cumulatively, the three new board members have an impressive 56 years’ experience working for the business in different capacities. Teresa Lawrence takes up the position of Group Sales Director, Matt Stanaway is our new Group Operations Director whilst Michael Kay takes the role of Group Leisure Director. We caught up with them to find out a little more about their life in and out of work.

Teresa, Group Sales Director

I grew up in the market town of Ulverston, but now live not far from there in Dalton in Furness. I’ve been married to Peter for 21 years and we have a son, Thomas. I still can’t believe that Thomas turns 20 years old this June! Buster, our springer/cocker spaniel cross, is also very much part of the family – even coming to work with me on occasion.
I enjoy walking and enjoying the surrounding countryside and can regularly be seen on the nearby beach with Buster in tow.

Your career to date with English Lakes?

I’ve been with the company now for 31 years. I started at Low Wood Bay as Sales Co-ordinator before being promoted to Sales Executive and eventually Sales Manager for Low Wood Bay.
The Group Sales department was formed a few years later and I took on sales responsibility across all the hotels.

Memorable moments?

The most recent, and most obvious, is being made Sales Director. It was also a thrill to become Group Sales Manager when I first started looking after the sales for the group of hotels.

What are you going to tackle first in your new role?

I’m going to be delving into our sales strategy for each of our market segments. My role on an ongoing basis will involve working closely with the General Managers of the hotels and making sure they get the best possible sales support. One of my first jobs will be to employ a Revenue Manager for the group. This is a new position and one that I believe will be pivotal for the company. I am also very involved in overseeing some aspects of upgrading our online customer sales suite.

What do you love about working for English Lakes?

It’s a family business with good values which makes it a great place to work. I like that every member of the team is known by their first name – there are no airs and graces here. It is also a forward-thinking company that welcomes ideas from every member of staff. Our +1 Culture means that we engage with our guests, finding out how we can exceed their expections through small acts of kindness that make a lasting impression.

Michael, Group Leisure Director

Originally from Nottingham, I have spent more than half my life living abroad – Australia, Spain, Singapore, Hong Kong, America. It was probably appropriate that I studied Foreign Languages and Computer Programming. I met my wife, Caroline, at one of the hotels then owned by English Lakes Hotels. We now have two grown up children, with five (soon to be six) grandchildren. As well as Grandad duties, I have a passion for health and fitness.

(L) Michael and Caroline with Laura, Grant and four grandchildren; (R) Annabel, Joe and Jacob


Career to date?

I started my career with English Lakes Hotels in 1995 on a student placement which covered all aspects of hospitality. I progressed to Duty Manager and then to Manager of several different units within the group. Leaving the hospitality industry in order to development my leadership and operational skills, I spent over 12 years as Operations Director with different companies with Spa and self-catering properties.

I returned to English Lakes in 2016 to take up the role of Group Leisure Manager where I have been involved in the redevelopment of Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa and other leisure operations within the group.

Standout moments?

There are far too many to mention! Whilst I am delighted to have been appointed a Director, for me the joy is in creating opportunities for team members and customers to experience standout moments whilst they are with us.

First on your ‘to do’ list?

My role is divided into two parts. I expect to carry on supporting the company with new opportunities both in terms of developing our sites and products. Recognising that our people are key to our continued success, I will be working closely with the General Managers and team leaders on the continued development of our Company Culture.

What makes English Lakes a great place to work?

Without doubt our locations are special, with each hotel offering something unique. It’s a privilege to be able to enjoy the facilities as part of our company benefits. To work in an organisation where everyone can be involved in creating opportunities makes it a great place to work.

Matt, Group Operations Director

I’m originally from Oldham but have lived in Leamington Spa, Brentwood, Chester, Blackpool and now, Grange over Sands. I’m married to Ruth and we have three children aged 18, 16 and 12. Although my university degree was in Engineering, I’ve always worked within the hospitality industry. I’m a Man City fan and addicted to trainers!!

Matt, Ruth and family on holiday in France

Career to date?

I’ve worked for English Lakes Hotels for 16 years starting as Operations Manager at Lancaster House. I then went on to manage several of the hotels in the group, including Waterhead, The Midland and The Wild Boar. Prior to joining English Lakes, I worked as Food and Beverage Manager for Hilton, Accor and Paramount hotels. My first job in the industry was as weekend Kitchen Porter – a long time ago!

Standout moments?

Whilst I was General Manager at The Midland, I really enjoyed working with Wayne Hemingway and the Midland team to create ‘Vintage by the Sea’. A specific moment in the Festival was standing on the top floor balcony of the hotel watching the only 2 remaining Lancaster Bombers fly overhead.

All about an ethos of meeting guests’ expectations as a minimum and, wherever possible, adding the small extra memorable touches which personalise the guest experience and exceed expectations.

First job in your new role?

Working closely with the hotel General Managers and their teams to offer the very best guest experience possible. Equally, ensuring that we have the best trained and motivated team in order to do this!

Why would you recommend English Lakes as a great place to work?

Having seen other companies come and go, it is reassuring to have the stability of a company with a long history in both the Lake District and Lancashire. More than that, English Lakes is a forward thinking and ambitious company that welcomes new ideas from the whole team.
Everyone seen as an individual and not a payroll number!

In April 2022, Ben Berry took up the mantle of Managing Director of English Lakes Hotels from his father, Simon Berry. Ben represents the fourth generation of the Berry family to manage the business. Whilst Simon is still very much involved in the company, he will take the role of Executive Chairman, leaving Ben to oversee the operational side of the business. 

Ben tells us a little about himself and his aspirations for the business. 

I was born in 1988 and grew up in the Lake District. My wife, Katie, and I have two children, Florence who is four and Bertie who is two. Our home is in Holme, a pretty village just outside the Lake District National Park. Completing the family are Wilma and Bettie, our beloved dogs.

English Lakes Hotels is our family business, and I am very proud to be at the helm to take it forward into the future.

Two of your favourite things?

Making my kids laugh and going to the cinema.

Career to date?

I’ve been with the business for 34 years! That includes living at Low Wood as a child, which was fantastic! Prior to becoming MD, I was the Director looking after Purchasing and Sales. Although I am sad to relinquish these roles, I know they are in very good hands. Prior to that I have done almost everything there is to do in a Hotel.

I have to say that my most enjoyable roles have been Pot Wash (now called Kitchen Porter) and Director of Sales and Purchasing!

Standout moments at English Lakes?

I have two moments that are tied as my favourites:

Firstly, we used to have secret shoppers test our ability to accurately and efficiently take bookings and explain all the benefits of staying with English Lakes. Whilst working in our Reservations Department I was called, unbeknownst to me. My secret shopper gave me the highest score ever given, and it has never been beaten! As a member of the family there is sometimes a worry that people might think you don’t deserve your position. The reality is that I have to work even harder to make sure I earn my place.

My second favourite moment was when I first became a Director of the business. I’d worked for many years inside and outside of the business and to be given a chance to direct change is an honour and a fantastic opportunity.

Your new role and your top priority as Managing Director?

My Great Great Uncle Norman brought hotels to the family. My Grandad Michael turned them into successful hospitality businesses. My father Simon introduced Marketing and raised standards. These are some tough acts to follow! That said there are some areas to which I have turned my focus to in the short term, namely Capital investment (investments in refurbishments and expansions across the group) with a particular focus on making best use of our real estate. This is no more important than how we can improve and expand our Staff Accommodation.

What makes English Lakes a great place to work?

I love to see how our +1 Culture really motivates people coming into the business. When it clicks and they realise they can use their initiative to improve things for guests, for colleagues, and ultimately for themselves. It’s an absolute no brainer, but not every company thinks like that!

English Lakes Board of Directors

In April 2022 I promoted three people onto the Board of the English Lakes group of companies. Each one of these people started on the ground floor of the Hospitality business. Each of our general managers worked their way up. At English Lakes we don’t want it to be a job for the summer; rather, we want you to have a career that is rewarding, fun and is going somewhere.

Guests coming to stay here in the Lake District at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa may find the first person they meet is a former business chief executive who is trained in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).

Andy’s skills and experience help Low Wood Bay guests feel at home

60-year-old Andy Goodson from Bowness has decided to postpone his retirement and join the English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues team in a front-of-house customer service role.

When Andy retired in 2019, he soon realised that he missed the buzz of working life, and especially being around teams and groups of people he could help. So when he saw the chance to take a new direction and launch a career in the hospitality and catering industry, he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

Andy’s role as a ‘meet and greet’ member of staff at Low Wood Bay involves making our guests feel at home the moment they walk through the door.  It’s a far cry from his top flight executive business career which typically brought high level pressures and long hours, but his management and people skills have made Andy a perfect fit for the new job.

A Varied and Interesting Career

Andy’s previous career included the chief executive role at My Space Housing Solutions.  He has also worked in numerous roles in the training and care sectors and later established Goodson Coaching, working as a personal performance and business coach.

His training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) has allowed him to help clients achieve and often exceed their business goals by working on behaviours to move past challenges that may stand in their way.  This includes stress reduction techniques and using mindfulness and emotional intelligence to improve performance and team working.

“Retirement wasn’t for me yet and I love the new role,” explains Andy.  “You meet people from all over the world and can get their life story in a couple of minutes as you take them round the venue and settle them into their rooms. 

“I’ve always been a people person at heart and this new role is all about making our guests as relaxed as possible.”

When Andy decided to return to work, he didn’t want another senior post.  He saw that English Lakes Hotels offered a range of naturally varied hospitality job roles.

English Lakes offers Diverse Career Opportunities

As a family business, we pride ourselves on providing progressive, diverse career opportunities for staff.  We aim to build strong teams from all age ranges and backgrounds, including those looking to forge a career in hospitality for the first time or those returning to the industry.

This commitment to workforce development includes support not only to help embed strong customer service and team working skills, but also to make a difference in terms of working hours, travel to work and offering accommodation where we can.

Our Low Wood Bay personnel manager, Michelle Croukamp, adds:  “Andy’s experience as a leader and personal performance coach, plus his natural affinity for working with people, shines through with his approach to both colleagues and guests.”

Ready for a New Challenge

English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues is always on the look-out for talented people from all walks of life and age groups.  Find out more about available jobs across a range of hospitality industry disciplines,  

Bryan Rojas Pinedo and Lidia Selles Bataller of Lancaster House had a day out cruising Lancaster Canal. They shared the highlights of the day and some of the interesting history that they discovered along the way.

Bryan was born in Peru but spent the majority of his life in Spain. In 2019, Bryan moved to the UK and started his work experience at Low Wood Bay as Kitchen Porter. After 5 months, Bryan was offered a job at Lancaster House. Three promotions later, he is now Chef de Partie. Lidia met Bryan in high school, but it wasn’t until the end of 2020 that she moved to the UK and now works at Sandpiper Leisure Club.

This is a great day out for guests staying at Lancaster House or The Midland and can be booked for you at Reception. It was also a good opportunity for Bryan and Lidia to discover a bit more about the county in which they now live and work. 

All Aboard a Lancashire Canal Cruise

All aboard The Kingfisher, the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Kingfisher Cruises. This magnificent canal barge comfortably holds up to 60 passengers. The lovely wooden interior is complemented by its very own bar area. There’s an open deck at the front, perfect for sunny day cruising.

The day was windy and a bit overcast but we were excited to get started on what is a highly rated Lancashire attraction. We were booked on the12.30 cruise which included fish & chips – an added bonus! We joined the cruise near Lancaster city centre, at Aldcliffe Road. The crew was so attentive with all the passengers. They gave us a safety talk and then explained a bit about the trip. There was also information on the canal and it’s history on each table.

There has been much work done to rejuvenate the Lancaster canal towpath where there was once no fewer than eight textile mills. We noted that it would also be interesting to walk along a stretch of the restored towpath another day.

Lancaster Cityscape

Lancaster Canal Credit: Clem Rutter CC 3

The first part of the cruise is through the old mill works industrial part of the city. There was good reason for building the mills along the canal as, back in the early 19th century, water transport was the cheapest way of transporting the coal used to steam-power the mills from south of the county. Indeed, the canal was known as the Black and White Canal as many of the boats transported coal, and many carried limestone for building work.

The cruise takes you past the three remaining refurbished mills that are still in existence. Storey Brothers who owned most of the mills stock, founded their company in 1849. They were leading manufacturers of table baize and linseed oil leather cloth that mimicked real leather. The mills were also the first place to make Anaglypta paper. The brothers were responsible for bringing vast wealth and prosperity to the city of Lancaster and became respected for their good works as local philanthropists.

The cruise gave us a great view of the city landscape, and particularly the imposing spire of the cathedral as we passed by. 

Leafy Suburbia

The cityscape is soon replaced by leafy suburbia and the gentler pace of country life. 

Lune Aqueduct

We arrive at Lune Aqueduct and you cannot be anything but impressed by the masterpiece of civil engineering it represents. It towers 16 metres above the River Lune and carries the canal over the river. The crew gave us the chance to leave the boat to enjoy the views. Looking down was a dizzying experience, but the views across Lancashire’s Lune Valley and towards Yorkshire’s flat topped Ingleborough mountain were delightful.

 cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Chris Andrews – geograph.org.uk/p/5737196

The Grade I structure was designed in 1797 by Scottish civil engineer, John Rennie, and took three years to build. There are five 21 metre semi-circular arches. The design includes special volcanic powder that was imported and mixed with cement to allow the concrete to set under water. Also preserved under water are the 60 tree trunks that were used to support the five stone arches.

Again we noted that there was lots of other activities around the aqueduct, including walks and cycle ways, that could form another very pleasant day out.

A Great Lancashire Day Out

What a great way to spend a day exploring Lancashire. A big thank you to Kingfisher Cruises and the team that made it such a great day. We enjoyed the sights of the city, the countryside and the magnificent Lune Aqueduct. We also learned about the history of the canal, and enjoyed a very tasty lunch of fish and chips. Highly recommended. Check out other things to do from Lancaster House this summer.   

English Lakes Hotels are very involved in where our products comes from and how it gets to us. A team of hotel managers and directors visited one of our wine producers recently and saw how some of our specialty and house wines are produced and stored. Matt Stanaway, Hotel Operations Director, tells us about their trip…

We flew into northern Spain’s Bilbao airport on Wednesday, 30th March and made our way through hilly countryside to Logroño, right in the heart of Rioja wine country. This is a charming little city, well known for the tapas spots around Calle Laurel, which is exactly where we headed for some tasty food and great wine accompaniments.

Left to Right: Andy Lemm, The Midland Manager, Mark Needham, Low Wood Bay Manager, Adam Bujok, The Wild Boar Inn Manager, Matt Wilkinson, English Lakes Finance Director and Matt Stanaway, Hotel Operations Director

Rioja Vega Vineyard

On Thursday morning we were treated to a guided tour around the Rioja Vega winery, the cellars and vineyards. We learnt that different parts of the vineyard exhibit unique characteristics, or ‘terroir’. This is just all the factors that go into creating the specific wine grapes, from the climate, soil, elevation. The terroir is that unique sense of place, and Rioja Vega pride themselves in having several terroirs, making it possible to create a range of different wines and blends.

Different grape varieties at Rioja Vega

There are over 600 wine producers in Rioja and there’s evidence to suggest that wine has been produced in this region of Spain from Roman times. The pilgrimage route Camino de Santiago passes the area and travellers from all over the world were offered wine when they stayed at the monasteries along the way.

Rioja Vega dates back to 1882 when French wine producers, devastated by a pest infestation on their lands, arrived in Spain looking for suitable soil to grow their vines. Felipe Ugalde, who later joined forces with the Muerza family, learnt from the French pioneers and they went on to became experts in their field, literally. This knowledge and expertise has been passed down the generations for more than 125 years.

After our tour around the site, Luis Marculetta from Rioja Vega hosted a tutored wine tasting where our palettes were treated to some amazing wines and vintages.

On Friday we visited the Cooperage where they make the barrels that Rioja Vega is aged in and found out about the distinctive taste that these create in the wines. 

English Lakes Hotels Spanish house wines come from the Navarra region and we finished off our trip to this amazing part of the world with a 50 km journey north west to the Principe de Vianna winery in the Navarra region.

We made our way back through the snow to Bilbao armed with much better understanding of the amazing Rioja wines that we serve in our restaurants, and the time that it takes to make a really good wine. Rioja Vega recently won two ‘Master of Rioja’ awards and a Gold Medal at the Rioja Masters 2021 contest hosted by the UK magazine ‘The Drinks Business’, one of the most influential publications in the wine sector.

Training the Next Generation of Chefs

Good food and fine dining are an integral part of your hotel stay in the Lake District or North Lancashire, which is why English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues are investing in the next generation of young talent by training up a group of commis chefs.

Head chef at the English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues Culinary Academy Daniel Winstanley tells us about their recent trip to a hospitality and catering event:

Our Culinary Academy offers a fully accredited apprenticeship programme with Kendal College allowing school leavers to train as commis chefs.

Giving our trainees opportunities to gain wider experience is a key part of our developmental aims. So we jumped at the chance to take our latest cohort down to the capital to attend the national Hotel, Restaurant & Catering Event at the ExCeL London exhibition centre at the Royal Victoria Docks.

This highly popular food service and hospitality industry event ran over three days and gave our trainees the chance to see the latest product innovations and professional catering equipment, as well as meeting suppliers, chefs and industry experts.

Over 1,500 food, drink and hospitality suppliers were represented there and over 100 talks, demos, shows and competitions were featured to showcase the latest products created specifically for hotels, restaurant and catering professionals.

The event was a solid foundation for the students to see all things hospitality, including some inspirational live demonstrations of culinary skills and innovative cooking techniques.

Our students came away with additional industry knowledge and insight, taking back what they learned to our own venue kitchens.  It was a highly valuable industry experience on their way to attaining nationally recognised qualifications whilst they continue to work and earn a wage.

The trip to the London event would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors.  So our thanks are due to Caterite, Althams Butchers, WMcClures, Bid Food UK and My Fish Company for helping us get there.

When you stay with us at one of our Lake District hotels or venues in North Lancashire, we want to ensure that you dine well and enjoy a range of great dishes. That means ensuring that our culinary teams have the expertise and talent to create the finest meals we can.  And we’re lucky to have Daniel Winstanley, who has just been appointed as a full member of The Master Chefs of Great Britain.

Training the Next Generation of Chefs

Daniel runs English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues Culinary Academy, equipping our new trainee chefs with the skills they need to forge successful careers in the hospitality industry.

His tireless work, support for young chefs and advocacy of British producers and manufacturers has been duly rewarded with national recognition as a Master Chef.

Master Chef of Great Britain

Daniel was recently invited to the 38th annual Master Chefs of Great Britain fundraising lunch at the 5-star Prestonfield House at the base of the renowned Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh.  There he was presented with a plaque to mark his induction into the organisation.

The charity dinner was a fund raiser for Motor Neurone Disease Scotland, whilst guests were able to mingle with a host of national culinary talents, Master Chefs of Great Britain members and industry professionals. Guests were greeted on arrival to the sound of bagpipes, with the fantastic Fettes College Pipes & Drums band playing during a welcoming champagne drinks reception. Typical of the event was a delicious menu featuring loin of hogget, faggot and crispy breast, wild garlic, violet artichoke, ewes’ curd and whey – and of course impeccable service.

Daniel’s membership of The Master Chefs of Great Britain underlines his leadership in the hospitality industry and his role as an ambassador for the hotel group.  He is thrilled to be involved in this great forum for the exchange of culinary ideas and the latest professional development tips for training our young chefs and offering chef masterclasses in schools.

Secretary of The Master Chefs of Great Britain Graeme Watson said:

We’re delighted to have Daniel on board with The Master Chefs of Great Britain and look forward to working with him to promote our exciting industry.  It’s very encouraging to see the great work Daniel is doing with his team and developing the head chefs of the future.

Lancashire is not always the first on the list when it comes to planning a holiday or short break that includes an element of walking. But there are so many beautiful walks including trails through the stunning Forest of Bowland. Here are a few suggestions, including two hotels, that are perfect for a comfortable and welcoming base.

Lots of Lancashire Walks

Canal and Riverside Walks

Lancashire has a network of canals that crosses the county. Towpaths are great for walking along and here are some Lancashire canal walks that we can recommend, where you can take in the stunning scenery and stop for lunchtime refreshments along the way.

Pendle Canal Walks 

Four relatively easy circular Pendle Canal walks ranging from two to five miles with sections along the Leeds & Liverpool canal towpath and through Alkincoates Park Nature Reserve. Canal Walk 1 Mile Tunnel and Slipper Hill, 2.5 miles; Canal Walk 2 Wanless Bridge & Barrowford Locks, 2.5 miles; Canal Walk 3 Lake Burwain, 2.7 miles and Pendle Canal Walk 4 is Foulridge Wharf & Country Brook, the most challenging and slightly longer at 5 miles.

Garstang and Lancaster Canal Walk 

 A 5-mile circular walk around Garstang, along Lancaster Canal, the River Wyre and passing Greenhalgh Castle. Great countryside views towards the Forest of Bowland hills. Indeed you can extend the walk and join the Forest of Bowland Walk to make it a longer circular route.

Crook o Lune Riverside Walk 

A beautiful walk beside the Lune riverbank. Suitable for most abilities, the Crook o Lune Riverside Walk is in a  figure of eight and runs for just over 3 miles. Lots of lovely views of the surrounding countryside and old bridges. The terrain is mostly flat, starting and finishing at the car park where there are toilet facilities and picnic areas

Woodland Walks

Sunnyhurst Wood

A moderate 6.4 km walk that loops around Sunnyhurst Wood and Darwen Tower, near Darwen. The main feature of the walk is a beautiful lake and over 700 species of plant, bird and mammal wildlife. The site was designated a Biological Heritage Site in 1993 by Lancashire Wildlife Trust and made a Local Nature Reserve in 2005. The walk can be steep in places and stout footwear is recommended. 

Witton Park

Quite a bit shorter at 4.3 km, but more challenging. Another circular walk that starts in Witton Country Park, that stretches over 480 acres. Initially the walk takes you through the park before climbing, at times steeply, through the dense woodland of Billinge Hill. Great views are to be had across to Darwen Moor. There are some stretches of unmade paths and the going can become muddy in wet weather – boots definitely recommended.

Forest of Bowland Walks

We’ve previously written about five stunning Forest of Bowland walks which you can check out here.  

Lancashire Wheelchair and Pushchair Friendly Walks

Avenham and Miller Park 

A 3.9 km circular walk that you could coax youngsters to take. It passes through two great parks – Avenham Park and Miller Park – located beside the River Ribble.

Forest of Bowland Tramper Trails  

There are four specific Tramper trails listed on the Forest of Bowland AONB website. Each walk has been graded between 1 and 5 in the Disabled Ramblers categories. There is something for those looking for a gentle ride but also for those in search of something more adventurous.

Fleetwood Beach Wheelchairs Book A Chair 

Fantastic to have a fully accessible beach for wheelchair users. A resident of the town of Fleetwood, with help from the local Rotary group, the community and Fleetwood and Wyre Council saw the need to ensure that disabled people in wheelchairs could access the beach. They formed a charity, fund raised and now have nine chairs, harnesses and hoists that can be booked in advance. Inspiring!

Wyre Estuary Country Park Walk 

This country park walk is part of the 45-mile Wyre Way, the estuary country park walk is a 5 km circular walk starting at the car park and through the park, with woodland paths lots of wildlife, south along the River Wyre and returning to the car park on a country lane. The park has a café and visitor centre as well as places to picnic. There are tramper all terrain electric buggies that can be hired in advance to access many of the walks within the park.

Other wheelchair friendly walks

Check out these websites for other wheelchair and pushchair friendly walks in Lancashire. Leighton Moss , Martin Mere, Wycoller Country Park, Mere Sands and Fairhaven Lake  

Feature Walks in Lancashire

Pendle Hill Walk

The highest point in the Ribble Valley, Pendle Hill just misses being tall enough to be classified as a mountain. Interesting fact… In 1652 George Fox climbed Pendle Hill and had a vision on the hill which was the catalyst for him to start the Quaker movement. Whatever your motivation for climbing the hill, it remains the most popular walk in the county and from the summit at 557 metres you can see for miles across Lancashire towards Yorkshire. On a clear day you might even catch a glimpse of Wales! It’s situated in the Forest of Bowland AONB and the views are well worth the climb. There are various routes to the top, but one of the most straightforward is from Barley, the closest village.  

Wayside Arts Trail

The Wayside Arts Trail is an 8-mile circular walk taking in lots of creative works including the Panopticon ‘Singing Ringing Tree’. This is an impressive 3-metre-tall sculpture designed by architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu. Its construction uses galvanised steel pipes which capture the energy of the wind to produce musical-sounding notes. Lots of other natural and man-made sculptures and creative works have made this a walk with lots of interest. The original impetus for the Art Trail was an education programme called Land which involved professional artists working with schools and local communities to inspire them to make a positive change to their environment.

Gawthorpe Circular Walk 

Starting at Padiham town hall, the Gawthorpe Circular Walk is an 8 km stretch and can be a little bit rough under foot, so good walking boots are advised. The walk takes you through Hagg Wood, one of only 6 ancient semi natural woodlands left in the area. There are sculptures of interest as well as the ‘Trail of Words’ where the hand rails are carved with the words of local writers and children. You may well want to stop and explore Gawthorpe Hall, grand residence built in the early 17th century and restored in the mid 1800s by Charles Barry (designer of the Houses of Parliament). The interior of the hall is opulent and there are displays of Jacobean and Victorian furniture, and splendid paintings on loan from the National Portrait Gallery.

Walking with the Witches 

Walking with the Witches is a two loop walk, both starting in the village of Barley. The western loop is 4 miles long, the eastern loop 3.5 miles long.

The trail reveals the story of witchcraft dating back 400 years, during a time of religious persecution and superstition. Two widows in Pendle, well used to pedalling their remedies and spells. Cutting a long story short, both are committed to trail for witchcraft at Lancaster Castle along with several other ‘co-conspirators.’ The tragic story of forced confessions, exaggerations, family disloyalty and prosecutors bent of conviction meant that all the accused swung from the gallows. A fascinating and sorrowful tale which can be walked where they walked.

Tolkien Trail  


6-mile woodland trail in the Ribble Valley that explores the area that are claimed to have inspired J R R Tolkien’s writing of The Lord of the Rings. Certainly, Tolkien did much of his research and writing of the tale during his time at Stonyhurst College which is featured in the walk. Some of the names that you will encounter along the Tolkien Trail have an uncanny resemblance to the Shire – including Shire Lane and River Shirebourn. The walk starts and finishes at the Shireburn Arms.

More Spring and Summer Activities and Events in Lancashire

Check out our other suggestions for things to do in Lancashire in Spring and Summer. Spring and Summer Holidays and Short Breaks in LancashireThings to do in Lancashire in Spring and SummerLancashire Spring Summer Attractions for FamiliesLancashire Attractions for Adults and CouplesUnusual Spring Summer Activities in Lancashire; and Lancashire Castle, Grand Houses, Museums and Monuments

Book a Base for Your Lancashire Walking Holiday

We have two great suggestions for places to stay in Lancashire.

Lancaster House

Not far from the Forest of Bowland, Lancaster House is a comfortable base with lots of amenities. Returning from a day’s walk, lie back in the warmth of the sauna or steam room, or stretch out with a few lengths of the indoor pool. With a choice of casual dining in The Sandeman Bar, or the slightly more formal Foodworks Restaurant, there’s something for every taste. Our bedrooms and suites feature the ultimate in comfortable mattresses and luxurious linens – everything necessary for a great night’s sleep after a walk in the country.

A comfortable suite at Lancaster House

The Midland

Standing proud on the promenade, with spectacular views over the Bay, The Midland is a real gem. Forty-four art deco inspired bedrooms offering comfort and luxury. Enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine in The Rotunda cocktail bar before settling down to a feast of mouth watering local produce served in The Sun Terrace Restaurant where nature regularly serves up an awe-inspiring sunset with your meal.

The Sun Terrace Restaurant at The Midland with spectacular views over the bay

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