A few weeks ago a friend was visiting from Canada and wanted to go to the Lake District. So we planned a girls trip with my housemate. We found a delightful little place on Booking.com called the Roger Ground, situated between Windermere and Bowness-on-Wndermere. The three of us stayed for four nights in a family room, costing £482.
Before setting off on our journey to The Lakes Distillery we were enticed to have breakfast at Home Ground – an amazing little find in Windermere. The Eggs Benny was the perfect way to line our stomachs.
We took public transport from Windermere to The Lakes Distillery, using bus 555 to Keswick then the X5 to a stop about 12 minutes walk from the distillery (just ask the helpful bus drivers of where to get off). This cost £32 return for a group of three or four for a hop-on hop-off style ticket. While it is just a two hour journey on public transport to the distillery from Windermere, it is a great way to see the area for cheap. The scenery is simply gorgeous and not even the one rogue sheep on the road marred the journey. I mean if you have to get held up waiting for a group of people trying to corral a sheep… the Lakes District is the place to be stuck.
We arrived a few hours early for our tour just so we could visit the Bistro at The Lakes Distillery before our tour. The Bistro is in an a gorgeous barn shaped building and serves a range of cakes, savoury items and not to be missed cocktails and mocktails. We enjoyed the Perfect Serve gin and tonic, the Bramble and the Cumbrian Collins.
It was now time for our tour. You’ll learn about the history of the buildings which were formally a dairy farm. As it is a heritage listed building the venue had to be refurbished to the original specifications. The short film shown of the Lakes Distillery explains how the spirits are made using the water from the Derwent River – the river of saints and sinners. This river actually runs through the back of the property and you can access it by passing a paddock of alpacas (you can pay extra to meet them)!
Next, we were shown where the magic happens. Unfortunately due to water restrictions, you won’t be able to see the distilling in progress though you’ll get to learn about the process and see where it all happens. This room will have you looking forward to the tastings as you smell the malt from previous distillations.
After the tour is finished you’ll be taken to the tasting room to try what we know you all came for! You’ll try the Lakes Distillery’s Vodka, Whisky and Gin. All amazingly smooth and incredibly tasty. They’ll tempt you to try their other flavours, which you’d be amiss not to. Given you receive £5.00 off any purchases after the tour, it’s no wonder we ended up purchasing some of the gins and vodkas. Our recommendations, along with the original Lakes Gin, include The Explorer Gin, The Elderflower gin and Damson gin. For vodka and coffee lovers why not try the expresso vodka liqueur.
The Distillery tour itself only cost £12.50 with children aged 6-12 being free and teenagers costing £5. Given this is a working distillery, children under 6 are not allowed on the tour due to health and safety reasons. There is also a Tour and Extra Tastings tour for £25, and a Malt Lakes Tour for £45.
Roger Ground: Thornbarrow Road, Windermere, LA23 2DQ, United Kingdom
Lake District Distiller
Address: The Lakes Distillery, Setmurthy, near Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria CA13 9SJ
Phone: 017687 88850
Written by Tegan LeBon