There’s a lot of water in the Lake District, which was significantly replenished during the DCC’s tour of England’s largest national park, made famous for its moody landscapes and dramatic scenery. No dampening of spirits here for the intrepid 20. Some of us cruised on glass like lakes and some drove scenic and majestic roads and passes.
Staying at the Lakeside Hotel at Newby Bridge, the hotel offered stunning views of Lake Windermere just a stone’s throw away from the water’s edge. Monday was a “free day”, allowing everyone to explore the locality. Some chose a gentle stroll, some a leisurely boat trip on the lake and some took the steam train for a nostalgic trip along the water’s edge, some took a cleansing ale at one of the oldest pubs in the country, the Hole in the Wall at Bowness, serving beer since 1661. Others mused Wordsworth’s moving poem about the Lakes, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”. In the evening we all made our way to the nearby Mason’s Arms for delicious dinner.
Tuesday and with clear heads! we all headed off north over the Kirkstone Pass, via Ullswater and Basenthwaite Lake, destination The Lakes Distillery. It would be fair to say that the Lakes Distillery is the leading producer of whisky in England. Despite many trials, tribulations, and huge investment, it now operates in a beautifully refurbished cow byre, within a UNESCO world heritage site, a few hundred metres from the river Derwent’s, soft water which makes this delicious whisky. As we were shown around the state of art distillery, (which also produces gin and vodka) we were all in total admiration for what had been achieved within the short space of 7 years.
The sole intent of Dhavalli Gandi, Master Distiller is to make a whisky which expresses The Lakes through flavour. He describes the house style of its whisky as, “sherry led, wood forward and flavour packed.” During lunch in the board room Paul Currie, founder and MD, and Nigel Mills, chairman, explained to us the painstaking process and hurdles they went through to develop their distillery and how they created award-winning whiskies which culminated in Whisky Makers Reserve No 1 being the voted the world’s best single malt in 2022. For more information, see www.lakesdistillery.com
After lunch we all drove back was over a rain swept Whinlatter Pass, past Crummock Water and back to the Lakeside Hotel for a group dinner, which included a tutored tasting of five Lakeside Distillery whiskies, by their brand ambassador. Another brilliantly organised trip. Thanks go to Secretary Nick along with his team of Steve, Allan, Bob, and Paul.