Walking through the small village of Boot I found this are gallery. They had beautiful things , not the ususal tourist stuff. I liked their wooden carvings and jewellery with semi-precious stones. There were also paintings of the Lake District, but again not in the bright colours of picture post cards, but in very soft water colours.
Some tiny mice, carved out of wood, with a very long tail, which could be used as a bookmark, were something really special and I bought several of them.
Nothing in the shop was cheap, but considering how the things were made, their prices were acceptable, from a few £ to quite a lot of them.
As might be expected, the lake district is a good place to shop for outdoor equipment. Many of the well known UK hiking/outdoor stores have branches in the Lake District towns, and what’s even better is the number of discount stores.
The best example was the Cotswold discount store in Grasmere where there were excellent bargains (compared to London anyway). Such a pity we didn’t know about these places before our visit, though it didn’t stop us picking up a couple of items.
If you are anywhere near Penrith, visiting the outdoor market/carboot sale held every Sat and Sunday is a must. This is held in the town's auctionmart on the A66 slightly to the west of Penrith and is easy to find.
Every time we have been here, it has managed to rain, I think.Be prepared for wet weather in this part of the world and wear decent shoes as it can be rather puddly.
There is a huge array of stalls, selling everything you could ever want and plenty of eating places. Inside the auctionmart (in winter and both inside and out in summer) a massive carboot is held. It always amazes me what people attempt to sell at these sales. I must admit, I am into carboots but find the auctionmart one very expensive compared with local events. This one is far too organised and the prices are very ambitious.I mean, a paperback book selling secondhand should not be more than 50p and then that's more than I would want to pay. At Penrith you'd be lucky to buy one for under £1.
There are free buses that run to and from Penrith town very frequently.
Plenty of free parking and motorhomes park with ease in a designated area for coaches.
Cash is available from an ATM here in case you spend up!!!!
What to buy: The best thing about the market are the fast food stalls. Our favourite is an Indian which does delicious naan bread wraps full of different meat or veg fillings, spiced up with a choice of three sauces. Mmmmmmmm....
There are meat auction vans, clothes, trinkets, bedding,shoes, toys, far too many different stalls to mention.
We bought this is massive quantities and ate almost as much as we took home for presents. It's fantastic stuff.
The shop itself is very old, dating from 1630 and was originally the village school.
There is a good location map on their website and lots of history about the shop.
What to buy: Gingerbread, although the shop sells other things as well.
What to pay: Can't remember but I'm sure 12 pieces of gingerbread was about £7?
This is actually a collection of shops - 12 outlets, a restaurant and heritage centre in one building with plenty of parking. I got some great bargains in shoes there.
There is also a good place to drink coffee or have a meal - the prices are reasonable and with good weather you can sit out of doors. The centre of Kendal is also worth visiting and the riverside walk is lovely (it is signposted).
What to buy: outdoor wear, shoes
What to pay: prices vary
There are lots of good shops with a variety of prices where you can get outdoor clothing for hill walking or mountaineering.
What to buy: It really is a good place to buy any outdoor clothing you want ...... and you get to try it out striaght away as you are right in the middle of good walking country.
What to pay: depends on what you buy but there are bargains to get.
You can smell this shop from far away in the tiny town centre of Grasmere. I didn't like the smell at all and to be honest I didn't like the taste of the gingerbread either but I really liked the shop. It's tiny. People who work here wear traditional costumes and a pack of gingerbread is definitely a nice souvenir to bring from your trip to the Lake District.
What to buy: Fresh gingerbread. You can buy single pieces or packages in different sizes.
What to pay: Not as expensive as you would expect. I think a package with 6 pieces was around 2 Pound.
Every second shop in Keswick is an outdoor shop. So if you were thinking of buying new hiking boots or crampons - this is the place for you. There are more outdoor shops here than in the most popular hiking resorts in Switzerland, it's unbelieveable!
What to buy: Everything from boots for a walk to an ice axe for Everest ;)
What to buy:
One of the first things you should buy when you arrive in the lake district is a small rectangular magazine called "Lakes and cumbria today", it is a brilliant source of information for your stay in the lakes.
What to pay: The bargain price of £1.00 buys you a load of information on where to stay , what and where to eat, where to visit and how to keep yourself safe whilst out on the peaks etc etc
This place is so small you may miss it - but what a find! If you like gingerbread then this is heaven. It's made to the original recipe of Sarah Nelson who started the whole thing off in the 1860's.
More of a biscuit than a bread, it is made and sold in a tiny shop where more than 3 makes a queue. The cottage was built in 1630 and was once the village school. You will usually be greated by a wonderful smell of baking gingerbread, and this is the only place where they sell it in the UK (although they now do mail order).
The original 'Cottage Industry'.
While your eating it you may like to look in the church yard where you will find directions to Wordsworth's grave.
Look out for the friendly little Robin that always seems to be about, and leave him a few crumbs!
What to buy: Gingerbread of course.
It comes in small packs or large packs, wrapped in greaseproof paper with an elestic band (look out for the hundreds of elastic bands that leave a trail from the door).
The gingerbread comes in small slabs that you break into two pieces. You'll certainly taste the small pieces of ginger in it.
I recommend the large. Watch out though - you may become addicted like me.
For me this is one of the culinary highlights of the Lakes, and a totally unique product.
What to pay: It's 1 pound something for the small and 3 pound something for the large.
In the larger villages ( population more than 2 ) you will find ample shops that sell just about anything. One thing I was impressed with was that the prices are not sky high hoping to take advantage of the tourist trade.
You can buy all the usual souveniers stuff, but one item to look out for is books. There are some amazing books with photographs of the Lake District, I picked one up for £2:50 and am more than happy with it.
Peter Rabbit chocolate keeps popping up in these shops....must be a huge attraction in the area.......we did not see it because of the cue......I am not so worried about that, but it was plain to see that there are many people crazy to see this attraction.
What to buy: Definately have a look at the books.
Some of the camping equipment is quite reasonable.
What to pay: Not a lot unless you want thousands of ornaments
This little shop was built in 1660. it was the village school and now it is the ONLY place to buy the genuine "Sarah Nelson's Original Celebrated Grasmere Gingerbread". This delicious gingerbread has been baked (from a secret recipe) daily since 1854.
What to buy: Gingerbread of course but there is also Cumberland Rum Butter and other local produce.
open mon-sat 9.15 -5.30, sun 12.30-5.30
they will deliver worldwide
What to pay: about 3 pounds 50 for the gingerbread.
This sweet shop, established in 1927, in Keswick is filled with enough wonderful chocolates and sweeties to satisfy any sweet tooth. I picked up some fruit cream filled chocolates myself and a box of mint chocolates for my mum. And yes, mum's chocolates made it back to Canada intact ;-)
What to buy: Chocolates!