Have you heard of Lakes Brew Co yet?

August 5th, 2021

I am Loving Lakes Brew Co

Launched earlier this year in the heart Kendal on Mintsfeet Industrial Estate, Lakes Brew Co opened its doors, focusing on the artisan craft beer scene. 

The new brewery houses a bespoke designed 16hl SSV brew kit, MicroCan CL5 canning line, and a pop-up taproom providing fresh off the line beer to their visitors from all over the Lake District and beyond.

Its founders Matt Clarke, Michelle Gay, Steve Ricketts and Paul Sheldon, who are all part of an award-winning team whose previous experience together has taken them to Hawkshead Brewery, BrewDog and Heineken UK, must be chuffed to bits, knowing they now have their own brewery with their names above the door.

Fate brought them together at Hawkshead Brewery, and in a short time, it became clear they shared a passion for great beer and many ideals. And after being made redundant at the beginning of lockdown restrictions in March 2020. Matt, Michelle, Steve & Paul reunited as Lakes Brew Co, bringing together the shared ambition to be one of Cumbria’s progressive, sociably innovative breweries. 

Their ethos: To support and collaborate through the beers they produce and the team they surround themselves with – engrained in our locality. Nice!

Lakes Brew Co plan to create a range of modern beer styles, focusing on ‘freshness and quality’, as well as the use of innovative ingredients and new hop varieties. Collaboration will sit at the heart of the business, with partnerships with other artisanal Cumbria-based food and drink businesses a top priority.

Steve Ricketts, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Lakes Brew Co, said: “In the past 12 months, we’ve seen our sector go through huge challenges, but we made the decision to use the adversity we have faced to create something fresh and new.

“Despite the team having more than 60 years combined experience in breweries and hospitality, this is the first time we’ve set up our own business.

It was recently announced that Lakes Brew Co would team up with Beavertown Brewery and create a modern Hazy DIPA.

Lakes Brew Co will be joining forces with the hugely popular Beavertown brewery. The idea is to bring a tropical take on a DIPA and create a Hazy DIPA. Using hops from New Zealand for a more intense flavour and super fresh taste, the DIPA promises tropical flavours, ideal for sipping in the sun.

If you want to check out their range of brews or visit their taproom, check out their website here – https://lakesbrewco.com/

Alternatively, you can follow them on their Facebook page here – https://www.facebook.com/lakesbrewco/

Oh My, Nice Room!

July 25th, 2021

Which Room Convinces You To Buy

Buying a home is a tough job. Select a home that matches your dream home entirely is more stringent, and it becomes hard to find such a home. 

When buyers begin their property search, they usually have a wish list of their new house features. A large garden, quiet location, five bedrooms, a lovely fireplace, or an en-suite are top requirements for many buyers. The more ticks a property has on their wish list, the more inclined they are to make an offer. 

However, there are a few rooms in a house that are more likely to win over viewers’ hearts than others. The important question is, which room convinces you to buy? 

The kitchen is the King place of the home. Generally, if you can win them over in the kitchen, chances are the rest of the home won’t be too difficult. Unlike other parts areas of the home, your return on investment in the kitchen has a greater chance of bringing the value of your home up. Open modular kitchens with dining area make the perfect place for every home. People can sit, cook, eat and talk together. The kitchen is also considered the most expensive room in the house, especially well equipped with good quality appliances. Unlike other parts areas of the home, your return on investment in the kitchen has a greater chance of bringing the value of your home up. 

When buying a home, the buyer will look at the kitchen size, with star rated electric appliances, countertops with granite are enough to grab the potential buyer’s attention. Making the kitchen priority for home buyers while buying a home or finalising a rental home.

The first place buyer would see while entering your home is the hallway. It should be spacious and organised and paint with light colour. On the day of viewing (by buyers), you can enlighten the scented candles and air fresheners, giving a sense of a good place for them. Ideally, it is a place to welcome guests to have an attractive hall where they can relax and even put a plant inside the living room.

A room with a view is always a great selling point for buyers. A room with a gallery or balcony where people can sit and take advantage of the fresh area with a great view. To appeal to buyers instantly, create living rooms that look like you want to stay awhile and enjoy the home. This is the room that stands out the most for some people and could convince them to buy. 

The interesting thing is that well-fitted, spacious bathrooms are trendy at the moment. This leads us to the fact that the master bath is almost as important as the kitchen from a buyer’s perspective.

These are the rooms with their unique feature that convince buyers to buy the home. If you are still confused about which room you should improve first to sell your home, look at your home as if you were going to buy it and make a list of what would be a major turn off and what would appeal to you.  

How to Become a Successful Property Developer

July 21st, 2021

Are You Thinking of Becoming a Property Developer?

I find myself having this discussion a lot. So, I thought I would ask around and share with you the best advice I could get. As you know, getting into real estate and becoming a successful property developer can be extremely rewarding, but do you have what it takes?

Create a business plan

Even if you’re developing a property on the side of your regular job, you still need to look at this as any other new business.

Your plan should include your basic aims and goals, specific breakdowns of finances, costs and potential income. It should reflect your knowledge of the industry and your research into the sector.

You can download a number of free business plan templates.

Get funding

There are a number of funding options open to property developers, from mortgages to bridging loans. Which one you choose will depend on your circumstances and the type of property you buy. Often if a property is run down and has little value, you might find it harder to get a mortgage that would cover the renovation costs. A bridging loan could help you in this situation.

Know your market

When on the hunt, it’s also worth brushing up on local planning rules. One of the big costs often forgotten about when redeveloping a property is a project being shut down when an application is rejected. Find out what the local rules are, if there are any Conservation Zones or if the building is listed.

Add value

Look for things like unused loft spaces that could be bedrooms, large gardens that can be sold off, empty outbuildings, or whether the building could be split into flats.

Then make sure you get the right people to do the right job. There are many things you can do yourself but don’t think that just because someone on Grand Designs built their own home you can easily do the same. Plus, with electrical, plumbing and gas installations having a certified installer is key.

Don’t get personal

Remember, this is not your home, it’s a property. That should be your mantra as a property developer – it’s not your home. Develop a property that is right for the market, not to your own tastes.

What about Personal Skills Needed To Become A Successful Property Developer?

Organisational skills

Your property development business won’t happen unless you are highly organised. You also need to be systemised and make sure you establish processes for each part of your business. 

People skills

Development is fundamentally a people business. Not only will you be working with a team of professionals, but you’ll also be wooing estate agents, lenders, and private investors.

Management Skills

Property development is a business, and you need to operate it as such. This means deploying management skills to run your business and being highly disciplined. 

Decision-making skills

Any decision is often better than no decision, and in development, you’ll have a team of professionals to advise you. The problem can arise where the developer needs to make a difficult call, and they dither, hoping some silver bullet solution might suddenly arrive. 

Hard work

Once you’re up and running, development can be a job you do in your spare time. But you’ll need to put in some hard graft to get started. You’ll also need to be persistent. Great deals don’t grow on trees, and there’s no guarantee you’ll find one quickly. The good news is that this frightens off most of the competition, so if you know what you’re doing and you stick with it, you’re likely to be successful.


It’s easy to get disheartened. Great deals can be difficult to find, and projects rarely go as planned. The spoils go to the developer who keeps going. 


Your property development education is the glue that holds all of the above together. Can you avoid making any expensive mistakes without getting training? The other thing that education gives you is the ability to see opportunities that other developers can’t see. And you’ll want that edge so you can get the best possible deals.


Mindset is key. You need to believe that it’s possible to succeed. Whatever it may be that you want to do, wherever you are in the country, whatever strategy you’re thinking about, that it all starts with the belief.

Is It Ready Steady Go?

July 9th, 2021

Are Your Ready To Sell Your Home?

The UK’s housing market has been under an intense amount of strain recently. And now that the tide is turning, there is further demand in the housing market. An increase in those working from home, along with a nationwide saving of £180bn, has caused a peculiar housing market situation.

It sounds crazy, but even though the country is experiencing one of the worst recessions in years, people are still moving homes, investing and jumping on the ladder for the very first time. 

Why is there still demand despite vivid-19?

First-time buyer mortgage guarantees- The new, government-backed first-time buyer mortgage scheme, is helping those buying a house for the first time to get onto the property ladder with just a 5% deposit.

Time to save- With the lack of expensive holidays to buy, and no restaurants to spend our money in, many have taken lockdown as an opportunity to save. Unfortunately, a lot of people had the same idea and are now in a position to buy.

Working from home- City goers that previously thought they could never live without the hustle and bustle, are now seeking greener surroundings. With a push to work from home, many are looking to vacate the city and occupy somewhere with more pleasant scenery.

The real question is, with the current housing market siding with the seller, do you actually have everything you need to be able to sell? 

Here are the main things you need to think about before putting your house on the market..

Have you got the equity- For most homeowners, being financially ready to sell your house comes down to one factor: equity.

Do your research– As tempting as it may be to just make a snap decision, you need to do your own research. Talk to the right people, and make sure that the decision to sell is absolutely right for you.

Get certified– If you’ve recently renovated or converted a property and are looking to sell it, you need to make sure that you’ve got the right certifications. Doing things by the book is essential when you’re converting property or building a brand new house. If not, you can get caught out with a house that’s either uninhabitable or unsellable.

Check your property– If you have built or converted a property and you wish to sell to someone that needs a mortgage, then you must ensure that it was built or converted under a building standards indemnity scheme that’s acceptable to mortgage lenders. More often than not, mortgage lenders will only lend on a newly built or newly converted property when it has been covered by a warranty scheme or Professional Consultants Certificate (PCC).

Contact a professional– To make sure that you can sell your newly built home, we’d suggest getting in touch with someone that can provide you with a Professional Consultants Certificate.

Can you find a property that better suits your lifestyle?- Another factor to consider is how well your home meets your everyday needs. Perhaps you could use another bedroom (or even two) for your growing family? Or maybe your kids have all moved out, and you’re ready to downsize. It’s freeing to sell a large home, pay cash for a smaller one, and invest the rest for your retirement.

Are you emotionally ready to sell?- If the numbers show you’re financially ready to make a move, great! But don’t forget, selling your home is an emotional issue too. Before you plant the “For Sale” sign in the front lawn, take a minute to answer just a few more questions:

  • Are you ready to put in the work to get your house ready for house hunters?
  • Are you committed to keeping your home ready to show for weeks or months?
  • Are you ready to hear the reasons why potential buyers believe your home is not perfect?
  • Are you ready for honest negotiations over what buyers are willing to pay for your home?
  • Are you really ready to move out and leave the place where your family has made memories?

Sell your property–  One of the main benefits of a Professional Consulting Certificate is its speed. As long as your property passes inspection, you can expect to receive your PCC within 24 hours. Get ready to put your house on the market and sell with ease.

Can We Take a Dog?

July 3rd, 2021

Dog-Friendly Destinations in The Lake District

Your four-pawed best friend loves a holiday as much as you do, and across the UK, there are plenty of places to take your dog, so no pup need get left behind.

There are numerous country parks, nature reserves, woodlands, moorlands and beaches offering wide open spaces for your dog, and one of them is the breath taking Lake District, one of the most popular walking destinations in the UK. 

Lake District is full of dog-friendly places, attractions and eateries, so your dog can enjoy the complete holiday experience. Sit, relax and read on to discover places in the Lake District to go to inspire your next dog-friendly holiday.

The Buttermere Valley

The Buttermere Valley is a tranquil area of dramatic fells, farms and woodland, encompassing three lakes, voted by the public as having one of the best views in Britain.

A stroll around the shores with your dog is one of the best and easiest ways to enjoy the gorgeous views from every angle.

Don’t forget the beautiful waterfalls that crash dramatically onto the wet rocks below – make sure you go after a rainy day when they are truly magical. 

You can even stop and rest tired paws with lunch at The Bridge Hotel with the terrace views out of this world.


Keswick’s local lake is only a ten-minute walk from the centre of town. To its west rise the fells of Cat Bells. To the east is the fantastic viewpoint of Friar’s Crag, jutting into the lake. And its southern foot is the entrance to the beautiful Borrowdale valley.

You can walk the eight miles around the lake or take a 50 minute round the lake cruise on Keswick Launch. There are seven landing stages, and you can hop on and off to combine a walk and a boat ride.

Derwentwater is a good place for dogs. From the illustrious Lodore Falls hotel on the banks of Derwentwater to friendly Café West on the edge of Fitz Park, many establishments around its shores don’t just allow dogs; they love dogs. Whilst most shops, cafes and hotels in Keswick warmly welcome dogs onto their premises, it is a great centre from which to explore Derwentwater, as much for dogs as any human.

Ullswater Way

The Ullswater Way is a 20-mile walking route around Ullswater. The route can be walked in either direction and from any starting point. Why not walk the route in shorter sections, using an open-top bus or steamer to start your journey! Dogs on leads are welcome on board for a small charge, as well as in the pier houses where you can grab a quick bite to eat.

There are villages and eating places on this relatively low-level, easy to walk route, making it ideal for all ages and your four-paw friend.

The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

What family day out is complete without your four-legged friend?! At Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, they love to see dogs on trains! Dogs are welcome on board all of their trains ( except first-class) for a small charge and are also allowed in some buildings. You should keep your dog on its lead at all times, though. 

‘Paws for a Drink’ water bowls at both main stations, and your dog will even receive its very own welcome pack upon arrival, including mess bags.

The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway is one of the oldest and longest narrow gauge railways in England, known affectionately as La’al Ratty, meaning “little railway“ in the old Cumbrian dialect. 

The line is seven miles long with a journey time of 40 minutes each way, offering spectacular views over the estuaries and countryside with England’s highest mountains in the distance. There are great walks between and from the seven intermediate request stops.

Windermere Lake Cruises

Dogs travel for free on all Windermere Lake Cruises’ scheduled cruises.

You can even bring your dog on Summer Evening Buffet Cruise, and when hungry, dogs are also welcome in the Boatmans Cafe, Bowness and The Pier Cafe Bar, Ambleside.

Dogs are welcome on self-drive motorboats and rowing boats hired from Bowness and Ambleside, but they must be kept on a lead at all times. 

At Windermere Lake Cruises, they are happy for you to share pictures of your 4-legged friends on their boats on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #windermerelakecruises, and they’ll pick the best to appear on their website.

Windermere Lake Cruises is the perfect way to explore the 10.5 miles of Windermere by boat. Windermere is England’s largest lake in the heart of the Lake District. Whether you start your journey at Bowness, Ambleside or Lakeside, the spectacular voyage gives the traveller magnificent views of mountain scenery, secluded bays and the many wooded islands.

Grizedale Forest

Grizedale forest in the heart of the Lake District World Heritage Site offers an unrivalled day out for everyone with breathtaking views, stunning artwork and endless forest trails.

The forest has ten different walking trails of varying difficulties and lengths; the longest walking trail is 10 miles, way more than enough for your furry friend to stretch its paws. Dogs are allowed in the Visitor Centre but need to sit outside if you wish to visit the cafe. If you have a reactive dog, the Visitor Centre can be pretty busy, but peace and quiet can be found out on the trails, and it’s easy to park in one of the other car parks, bring a picnic and spend a day walking with your dog without seeing too many people and other dogs. It’s also possible to avoid the waymarked trails and navigate your routes using an OS Map if that’s what you enjoy.

There are plenty of dog walks to explore throughout the entire Lake District, and if any of the above kick off the adventure for you and your dog, plan a getaway that both you and your four-pawed friend will love. 

Farmer’s markets to visit this summer in Cumbria

June 16th, 2021

My Pick of Top Farmer’s Markets in Cumbria

Since 1997 when the first Farmers Market opened in Bath, Farmers Markets have popped up all over the Country. Since then, farmers markets have been a firm country favourite and continue to grow in popularity.

A farmers market is a place for local producers (usually from a 30-mile radius) to sell their produce that they have grown, raised or produced themselves. For those that don’t know, it is a fantastic way to support local businesses and producers, and you will find a wide range of these products offer characteristics to the area. 

What can I buy at a Farmers Market?

You can expect to find seasonal vegetables, fruit, meat, dairy produce, i.e. eggs and cheese, plants, flowers, herbs, jam, chutneys, honey, fish, wine, cider, pies, cakes, apple juice, and much more at a Farmers Market.

Before we dig into the best farmers markets in Cumbria, let’s explore why we should support local farmers markets. 

Let’s be honest, from savouring produce at the peak of freshness to meeting the people who grow your food, there are countless reasons to support farmers markets.

Taste Real Flavours

The fruits and vegetables you buy at the farmers market are the freshest and tastiest available. Fruits are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to you—no long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, no sitting for weeks in storage. This food is as real as it gets—fresh from the farm.

Enjoy the Season

The food you buy at the farmers market is seasonal. It is fresh and delicious and reflects the truest flavours. Shopping and cooking from the farmers market helps you to reconnect with the cycles of nature in your region. 

Support Family Farmers

Family farmers need your support. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalised economy.

Know Where Your Food Comes From

A regular trip to a farmers market is one of the best ways to connect with where your food comes from. Meeting and talking to farmers and food artisans is a great opportunity to learn more about how and where food is produced. 

Learn Cooking Tips, Recipes, and Meal Ideas

Few grocery store cashiers or produce stockers will give you tips on how to cook the ingredients you buy, but traders at the farmers market are often passionate cooks with plenty of free advice about how to cook the foods they are selling.

Connect with Your Community

Wouldn’t you rather stroll amidst outdoor stalls of fresh produce on a sunny day than roll your cart around a grocery store with artificial lights? Coming to the farmers market makes shopping a pleasure rather than a chore. The farmers market is a community hub—a place to meet up with your friends, bring your children, or just get a taste of small-town life in the midst of city living.

Ok, now on to the main event.

The Best Farmers Markets in Cumbria

Orton Farmers’ Market

Market Hall, Orton, Penrith CA10 3RU


“We love going to this little market. A great choice of locally produced food and the quality is exceptional”

Grimsargh Farmers Market

Grimsargh Village Hall, Preston Road, Grimsargh PR2 5JS


“Nice local produce, good place to visit & outdoors pity there’s not more parking”

Hexham Farmers’ Market

Market Pl, Hexham NE46 1XQ

“I love the markets diverse range of products on sale!”

Helmshore Farmers Market

Great House Farm, 1 Great House Ave, Rossendale BB4 4AJ


What an amazing farmers market. From fresh veg to local meats, herbal teas, crepes and the superb hand-made chocolate bars by Cocoa Boutique