Return to Nature Organically in Cumbria, England

Posted February 18, 2010 by Kate Hamman

Cumbria With a national park and England's four tallest mountains, Cumbria is a natural paradise waiting to be discovered. Since so much of the land is protected and properly looked after, it only makes sense that local establishments would follow suit with organic offerings. Come visit a dairy farm to taste freshly-made cheese, stop in a bakery for homemade breads, and then spend the night in an eco-conscious boutique hotel for less than you'd think.

Low Sizergh Barn
: Located in Kendal as part of the Soil Association's Organic Farms Network, Low Sizergh Barn is a must-stop for any eco-friendly farm lover. Come explore the 250 acres of land, where 150 cows produce fresh organic milk that is used to make cheese. Then stop by the store housed in an 18th-century Westmorland barn, where you can buy a variety of products from nearby farms. In the afternoon, have a cup of tea or a slice of pie in the tearoom, and watch the daily milking from above.

The Village Bakery
: Not only is everything at the Village Bakery in Melmerby made from organic ingredients, but the shop bakes with renewable energy. Choose from a range of items you can feel good about eating, including biscuits, cakes, snack bars, and the bakery's real show-stopper, its breads. Even Paul McCartney is an avid fan of the bakery's goods. Loaves of bread start at £1.05 (about $1.65 U.S.; check for current exchange rates), and a full menu is available.

Moss Grove Organic Hotel
: In Grasmere, you'll find a hotel with low-impact practices that will wow you almost as much as the surrounding fells. In its refurbishment, Moss Grove used many natural products, including organic clay paints, reclaimed stained glass, and thermafleece (sheep's fleece). Choose from its 11 unique rooms, each equipped with natural wood blinds, hand-screened wallpaper, and free Internet access. Prices start at £125 per night (about $197 U.S.), and include a Mediterranean buffet breakfast made with organic and local products.

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(Photo: Anthony Brown)

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