Towns and VillagesSycamore Tree Farm is well situated for guests to enjoy a wide range of interests and activities. Some examples are listed below.
The nearest market town to Sycamore Tree Farm Cottage is Kirkby Stephen, about 5 miles away, where there are a variety of pubs and restaurants offering good dining. There are also many shops supplying groceries, gifts and antiques. There is a Tourist Information Centre. Kirkby Stephen is a recent winner of the Calor 'Best Village in Britain' award.
The picturesque village of Ravenstonedale lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty. While the surroundings are idyllic and offer visitors peace and tranquility Ravenstonedale is an ideal location from which to explore the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales national parks.
Sedbergh is a small town nestling in a valley at the foot of the Howgill fells. It is becoming increasingly famous as for its annual book festival. Sedbergh is an ideal base from which to explore the Howgill Fells, a compact cluster of hills rising to about 2,000 feet about 40 square miles in area between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.
The Howgill fells are nearby and offer excellent opportunities for walking. The Howgills are less crowded than the central Lake District fells and gradients are not usually as steep. One of Wainwright's books is dedicated to the Howgills. A little further afield are the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks which offer walking amid spectacular scenery.
|River fishing on the Eden, Belah and Lune
The rivers Eden and Belah are near Kirkby Stephen for which permits are available locally from Kirkby Stephen and District Angling Association. The Lake District is within easy driving distance where a wealth of fishing in rivers and lakes is available. Day permits are available to fish lower stretches of the Lune from Tebay Anglers.
Beck Trout Fishery
Bessy Beck Trout Fishery is located at Newbiggin-on-Lune. It offers bank fishing for rainbow trout in a country setting. There are 3 lakes offering both fly and bait fishing. There is a well stocked fishing tackle shop on site and a farm shop offering an extensive range of local produce.
The Riverside Golf Course, a short 9/18 hole course, lies within the village of Ravenstonedale. The course is open all year round and visitors are welcome to play for a modest fee. A more extensive 9/18 hole golf course, which also welcomes visitors, can be found in Sedbergh approximately 12 miles away. Other golf courses can be found at Appleby and Penrith.
|Tennis and Swimming
Tennis and swimming are available throughout the area. Further details from Kirkby Stephen Tourist Office.
|Cycling and Mountain Biking
There are miles and miles of gently undulating country lanes awaiting cyclists who wish to explore the region plus a wealth of more demanding routes across the Howgill Fells. Local bike hire is available.
Buzzards, curlews, woodpeckers and thrush are but just a few of the species regularly sighted nearby. Within a short walk bird-watchers can be well off the beaten track with the possibility of sighting many species and the certainty of enjoying the wonderful countryside.
There is a bowling green in nearby Kirkby Stephen which is open to visitors. It is located close to the River Eden near Frank's Bridge.
There is a Trekking and Trail Riding Centre in the next valley (Stonetrail Holidays). This centre offers a range of treks across the spectacular Howgill Fells and the bridle ways on Wild Boar Fell.
There are paragliding opportunities at Mallerstang with the base at Kirkby Stephen.
The Settle-Carlisle railway, reputedly the most attractive line in the UK, winding its way through some of the finest scenery in Britain, runs through Mallerstang. Trains can be boarded at Kirkby Stephen or at Garsdale Head. Tickets can be booked on the train.
The ruin of Pendragon Castle, built in the 12th century and reputed to be the place where Uther Pendragon, King Arthur's father died, is situated within Mallerstang a short drive or a pleasant walk from Sycamore Tree Farm. .
|Smardale Nature Reserve
Smardale Nature Reserve is located near the village of Newbiggin-on-Lune. The reserve embraces the former railway line that linked Tebay with the North East and therefore offers easy walking if desired. The countryside within the reserve is idyllic and wildlife is prolific. The reserve is only one of 2 locations in England where the rare Scotch Argus butterfly (Eribia aethiops) is found.
|St Oswald's Church and Gilbertine Ruins
St. Oswald's church in Ravenstonedale, rebuilt in 1744, is famous for it's three-decker pulpit and its collegiate, in-facing pews. In the grounds of the present church the foundations of an earlier Gilbertine monastry have been excavated. The first Lord Wharton cleared much of the land around Ravenstonedale for a deer park and compelled local men to build the enclosing wall, the remains of which can still be viewed in the vicinity.
|Classic Coach Tours
Cumbria Classic Coaches offers a programme of trips around the area on vintage coaches. The company operates a small fleet and the sight of a vintage coach on nearby roads is now a frequent occurrence.
The Lake District National Park with its wealth of mountain and lakeland scenery and associated activities is within easy driving distance.
A short drive through this unique landscape will lead to hidden villages with galleries and craft shops, local markets and pubs.
The Coast-to-Coast walk made famous by Alfred Wainwright traverses the Cumbrian fells..