A Taste for Adventure: An Alternative Foodie Road Trip Through the Lake District

Hopping in the low-emission Volvo XC60 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid, this epicurean Lake District road trip sidesteps Windermere and Keswick in favour of hidden foodie gems and secluded stays (okay, and some Michelin-starred restaurants), stopping to forage, hike and wild swim en route.

In partnership with

soaring peaks to glassy tarns and fells trimmed with dense
woodland, the Lake District is our destination of choice for
slipping away from the fray and into nature’s unadulterated
embrace. Sure, plenty of visitors succumb to its allure each
summer, but with this itinerary you’ll reach the places where
social distancing happens by chance rather than choice.

Of course, gutsy exploration (and, honestly, peaceful
relaxation) requires a little fuel. That’s why we’ve curated an
itinerary that plays dot-to-dot with the foodie gems secreted
across the national park and Cumbria beyond, running the gamut from
unassuming Michelin-starred restaurants to forests ripe for
foraging and family-run producers behind the region’s favourite
victuals. En route, we’re highlighting off-beat activities for
working up an appetite and the boltholes where you can recuperate
in sweet seclusion.

Far less energy-hungry is our low-emission ride, the Volvo XC60 Recharge. This plug-in hybrid SUV is
as deliciously designed as this itinerary, while its twin engines
go down just as well with the environment without compromising on
the power you need to tackle the fells. Win, win. Whether you’re
planning a last-minute summer staycation or holding on to watch
these leaves change colour in autumn, Volvo’s driver-assist
technology and On Call app (which lets you preheat or precool the
car) guarantee a comfortable ride home, no matter what adventure
the day may bring. Strap in; this is a real taste of the Lakes.

Day One: South Lakeland and the Eden Valley

Cartmel has been on the epicurean map since L’Enclume bagged its
second Michelin star, though more people pay lip service to this
appetiser-sized village than make the pilgrimage. Be the contrarian
and sidestep the smithy-turned-restaurant in favour of the more
casual (but no less delicious) Rogan & Co
before tucking into Unsworth’s Yard‘s smorgasbord of regional produce
shops. Don’t leave without Cartmel
Village Shop
‘s sticky toffee pudding.

From here, drive north, teetering between the eastern Lake
District and the Eden Valley. The Volvo XC60 has handy pockets for
stashing snacks, so stop outside Kendal where Low Sizergh
peddles raw, organic milk from a vending machine or dip
into Kirkby Lonsdale’s Kircabi Roasters for a caffeine fix.
No spills on the driftwood inlays, please. Four nature reserves hug
nearby Kirkby Stephen – peer through the open-and-tilt panoramic
sunroof and you might spot a parrot as you park up for a hike in
the wistful Mallerstang Valley. Photographers: you’ll want your
camera for this one.

The drive over Shap summit is atmospheric but tough – refuel
with farm-to-fork fare at Tebay Services while your car charges. No
worries if there’s traffic on the M6; the Volvo’s blind spot
information system uses active alerts and steer assist to help you
make your move, while a world-first filtration system keeps the
car’s air as clean as that atop Scafell Pike.

For the night, check in to the newly renovated Brownber Hall &
, a mod-vintage Victorian pile overlooking the Howgill
Fells, or drive to the eco-friendly Edenhall Estate
in lesser-visited Penrith. We love spotting otters and kingfishers
from the self-catered waterside Lodge. For a flavour of the Lakes,
book delivery of local artisan produce from A Day’s Walk.

Day Two: Keswick? No thanks

Today you’re looping back south and west, heading into the
national park proper. After a tour of holistic whisky maker
The Lakes Distillery near Bassenthwaite (stock up on a
few bottles for later), most visitors would set their sat nav for
Keswick – but you’re not most visitors.

Instead, flick into the high-traction Power mode to navigate the
vertiginous Kirkstone Pass, (locals call it “the struggle”) to
peaceful Rydal Water for a wild swim backed by Loughrigg Fell. Skip
popular Ambleside in favour of lunch at The Yan in
Grasmere, where (surprisingly affordable) dishes crafted from local
produce are served in a converted farm building. With a towbar-mounted bicycle holder, the Volvo XC60
can carry up to four bikes, so switch to two wheels to make the
reverse journey along Kirkstone; there’s no feeling like the wind
rippling your hair as you gaze over Brothers Water on the descent
to Patterdale. Grab a bar of Kendal mint cake to keep you

Recuperate at Another Place, where playful luxury and adventure-rich
landscapes meet on a private swathe of Ullswater’s shore. The
XC60’s sleek Inscription design is befitting of the vibe here. Grab
a wetsuit to go paddleboarding or detangle with a massage before
tucking into Cumbrian beef wellington at Rampsbeck restaurant. Not
off-grid enough? Journey to Crummock Water, around which Hinterlandes’ pimped-up American bus parks in
jaw-dropping locations. Stargazing from its wood-fired hot tub is

Day Three: Beyond Windermere

As England’s largest natural lake, Windermere has drawn tourists
since railway lines were first built here in 1847. Skim over the
crowds as you venture west to the lesser-trodden Langdale Valley,
studded with pikes and reed-fringed tarns. Shrouded by woods,
Cathedral Cave is bypassed by many fell walkers. You’ll need to
pack a torch to explore its network of 16th-century slate mines;
there’s no visitor centre here. Stop for lunch in The Drunken Duck
, which welcomes muddy-shoed ramblers with
international-style gastropub dishes.

Descend to Grizedale Forest, cutting emissions by flicking into
Pure mode while amping up the ambience with concert-worthy Bower
& Wilkins speakers. Here, discover the bounty of the Lakes’
natural larder on a foraging expedition (season depending, you’ll pick up
rosehips mushrooms, wild sorrel and more), or learn the art of
open-fire cooking, shelter building and wood carving as part of a
bushcraft class.

The Volvo XC60 proves that a sense of adventure and
eco-awareness needn’t mean forgoing luxury. Enjoy dinner at
The Forest
where Michelin-starred garden-to-fork fare is served
without the stuffiness of an overly formal restaurant. Satisfied,
head to the Gilpin, steering clear of its haute main house
in favour of a detached spa lodge in which aching calves are
remedied in a personal hydrotherapy tub and outdoor sauna.
Alternatively, take the rare opportunity to soak up the beauty of
Windermere from the self-catered, sustainable-luxe Lake District
Love Shack
where Japanese-style minimalism is given a
mid-century edge amid private, mossy woodland – filling your fridge
at Booths is a northerner’s right of passage. This is how to go
off-grid in style.

The Lowdown

Discover responsible luxury with a car that makes safety and
sustainability stylish. Get in the driver’s seat at volvocars.co.uk.

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