10 quirky facts you may not have known about the Lake District

Famous for its stunning lakes, its breathtaking scenery and its romantic poets, the Lake District also boasts some quirky facts you may not have heard about.

If you are planning a trip to the Lake District, why not stay in a luxury Windermere spa cottage?

Ten quirky facts about the Lake District include:

Beast Banks, Kendal

Known as the Green on Beast Banks, Kendal, this was where bulls were baited before slaughter, a practice said to ‘improve' the quality of the meat. The butcher shops were situated in Old Shambles but the site was too flat for the blood and offal to drain away, so New Shambles was built in 1803 on sloping ground to improve the drainage of the blood down to the river.

Richard Woodall´s shop in Waberthwaite

Richard Woodall's shop in Waberthwaite is a must for lovers of Cumberland sausage, and local bacon and ham. Eight generations of the same family have ensured its success, and the shop was awarded a Royal Warrant in 1990 to supply the Queen with traditional Cumberland meats.

Winter skiing in Alston

Alston is the highest market town in England at 1043 ft, and if snow conditions are good in winter, there are plenty of great ski runs to try out.

The Sleepy Elephant in Sedbergh

The Sleepy Elephant Gift Shop in Sedbergh was formerly a chemist shop, housed in a medieval building that was featured in the BBC production of ‘The House Detectives'. Bonnie Prince Charlie was said to have hidden in a chimney here during his retreat north in 1745.

The Helm Wind, Appleby-in-Westmorland

The Helm Wind is the only named wind in the UK, and is a strong, cold and roaring wind that starts on the eastern side of the Pennines and blows downwards to create turbulence. The Helm Bar is a white bank of cloud which can also be seen. Locals say that when the Helm Bar is black, rain will soon follow and when it is white a cold wind will follow.

Living and Crowing in Dalston

Dalston's motto is ‘Whilst I live, I'll crow.´ This is a reference to the sport of cock-fighting which was once popular in Dalston. An iron sculpture of a black and red cockerel sits on the top of the lamp base in the Village Green.

Earl Mayo in Cockermouth

The marble statue in Main Street, Cockermouth is of Earl Mayo (Richard Southwell Bourke) – who was Cockermouth's MP for 10 years (1857-1867). Bourke was appointed Viceroy to India in 1869, but three years later was stabbed to death in the Andaman Islands (Indian Ocean) by a convict serving time in the penal colony on the Islands.

St Nicholas´s Church, Whitehaven

St Nicholas's Church is situated on Lowther Street in Whitehaven, and is the resting place of Mildred Warner Washington (grandmother of George Washington, first president of the United States). Mildred died in 1701 shortly after marrying her second husband, George Gale, a tobacco importer based in Whitehaven. The actual site of her burial is not known, but her death is registered in the Parish records.

Reiver Baptisms

Border Reivers were raiders along the Anglo–Scottish border from the late 13th century to the beginning of the 17th century. At Reiver Baptisms, the right hand of a male child was deliberately left unchristened so that it might deal a ‘more deadly . . . blow to the enemy'.

Irish Ireby

The name ´Ireby´ means ‘settlement of the Irish'. In the early 19th century the village had its own bank, rooms and printed its own bank notes.

If you are planning to visit the Lake District in spring, why not book into a luxurious spa cottage in Windermere?