The Courtyard, Bigland Estate, Backbarrow, Ulverston, LA12 8PB07866

5 Star cottages Lake District: nature on our doorstep

Our 5 star cottages in the Lake District are perfectly located for nature-loving guests. We’re right on the edge of the Lake District’s mountains, forests and wetlands, where all manner of animal and plant life, from elusive red squirrels to rare butterflies, trees and flowers, can be spotted.

No matter what time of year you stay with us, Cumbria’s nature reserves are your chance to connect with the natural world. Cumbria Wildlife Trust operates 38 publicly accessible wildlife reserves in the Lake District, and each one is home to a wide variety of plants, animals and insects.

Animal life in the Lake District

Cumbria boasts a significant population of Red Squirrels. Allan Bank near Grasmere and Skelgyhll Woods in Ambleside are especially recommended for squirrel watching trips.

Found all along Cumbria’s many rivers, the otter is one of the county’s top predators, feeding on fish, amphibians and even small birds. Otters are most commonly found in the River Kent, which winds its way through Kendal to Morecambe Bay.

Woodland is a favourite habitat for badgers, stoats and weasels, who make their underground homes all over Cumbria – look out for holes and tracks as you walk.

Roe and red deer can be spotted both in woodland and surrounding grass land. In autumn, their herds make a particularly impressive sight, as males gather to battle one another for mates. The reserve at Whitbarrow is an excellent place to spy both varieties of deer.

Bird life in the Lake District

Rare birds can be found at any of the Lake District’s nature reserves. The increasingly rare Hawfinch can be found at Grubbins Wood near Carnforth. And at Next Ness near Ulverston, you might be able to spy (or hear) a spotted woodpecker hiding in the trees.

Kestrels and Buzzards are often seen flying high above the landscape; on clear days, they make impressive sights as they search for their prey. They can be seen anywhere in the Lakes, so when you set out on a hill walk, keep an eye on the sky. In the summer months, the Lake District is home to even rarer birds of prey and the nearby Fowlshaw Moss Nature Reserve boasts a breeding pair of exceptionally rare Osprey.

Sea life in the Lake District

Cumbria’s coast is a great place to spot all manner of sea life. Walney Island, near Barrow, is a fantastic place for watching seabirds and is home to Cumbria’s only grey seal colony.

Flowers and Insects in the Lake District

In the summer months, Cumbria’s wetlands hum with insect life. Both Meathrop Moss and Barkbooth Lot nature reserves are a short drive from The Courtyard Cottages, Bigland Hall and are an excellent place for spotting dragonflies, moths, and rare butterflies.

Wildflowers can be found in great numbers in the Lake District. In Spring, bluebells bloom throughout the county and the wild daffodils that inspired Wordsworth’s ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ make a striking sight along Cumbria’s grassy banks and next to our rivers and streams.