Author: glenridding



Donald Campbell was born in Kingston on Thames, Surrey in 1921. His father was Sir Malcolm Campbell a pioneer in speed records, who himself broke 13 world records during the 1920s and 1930s. Donald continued his fathers record breaking attempts after the war.


In 1939 Donald volunteered at the RAF as World War 2 broke. However, due to health problems he wasn’t able to complete his time here and offered a job as a maintenance engineer.


In 1948 after the death of his father, Donald became interested in seeking new speed records on both water and land.

Donald then progressed and designed the Bluebird K7- a jet propelled hydroplane with the help of Ken and Lew Norris.The Bluebird K7 was a steel framed, aluminium bodied, three-point hydroplane with a Metropolitan-Vickers Beryl axial-flow turbojet engine, producing 3,500 pound-force (16 kN) of thrust.

23rd July 1955

Donald’s first world water speed record was here in Ullswater on 23rd July 1955 where he achieved a speed of 202.32 mph (325.60 km/h) but only after many months of trials and a major redesign of Bluebird’s forward sponson attachments points.

The hotel was the base for Donald whilst he worked to break what was his first world record and that evening celebrated his victory at the hotel with a special celebrartory dinner (a signed menu is displayed in our Campbell Library).

1955 to 1964

In total Donald set 7 world records between 1955 and 1964. He remains the worlds main water speed breaker to date.


on 4 January 1967, Donald was attempting in his K7 on Lake Coniston. His first run was successful. On the second run, the K7  had flipped in the rough water and landed nose first at over 300mph. His boat broke into pieces and Campbell was killed instantly.

Campbell’s last words via his radio intercom were;

Pitching a bit down here…Probably from my own wash…Straightening up now on track…Rather close to Peel Island…Tramping like mad…er… Full power…Tramping like hell here… I can’t see much… and the water’s very bad indeed…I can’t get over the top… I’m getting a lot of bloody row in here… I can’t see anything… I’m going…. oh!

Our Campbell library situated on the first floor in the hotel is dedicated to Donald Campbell CBE. Many items of memorabilia which includes; books, photos, news articles and examples of  souvenirs which dated back to his time here in Ullswater.


Over the past couple of weekends, companies and individuals from the British Association of Landscaping Industries came together to help restore our beer garden following the floods in December which destroyed all lower grounds.

Diane Mculloch, Media Sales & Sponsorship Officer at BALI usually contacts the hotel to book their annual Christmas Party however, last year we had to break the news that Christmas was cancelled at the hotel. Diane immediately  volunteered their services for when the time came. Since then she has been in close contact with us at the hotel and from August it was full steam ahead and she did not let us down.

Garden Restoration

Diane arranged a meeting with suppliers for materials and award winning designer, Peter Cunliffe, director of Northumbrian Landscaping , has taken the time to design and produce 3D designs along with managing the project. Peter and his 4 guys have been working on the hard landscaping, such as; laying of the cobble stones, erecting the cedar fence and smoking cover. Their craftsmanship and attention to detail has been outstanding and have since been instructed to carry on the landscaping works at the front of the hotel and coffee shop.

Johnsons of Whixley donated £1,000 worth of plants to the project, we thank them for their support.

Roger Moore of Lindum Turf provided and laid the turf, along with the amazing sedum matting, which is being used to cover the roof of the generator cabinet and in between the cedar fencing that is situated between the carpark and garden.

Shane Reddish of CED LTD provided Composite Decking, the Granite paving and Granite cobble stones at an amazing discount, he also volunteered his time on the first weekend.

Richard Gill of Green-Tech LTD provided tons of Soil and Bark. Richard and his wife Jaqueline Gill, volunteered their time over the first weekend.

Alex Clayton from Brambledown Landscaping Services and his wife Judith Clayton volunteered their time on the first weekend.

Sean Easton and his lovely wife Cate Easton also volunteered their time on the first weekend.

Diane volunteered both weekends, she even enticed her sister Bev, a Primary School Teacher; to give up her valuable weekend to help.

We would also like to thank Howy White for the wonderful images.

We are looking forward to meeting up with them all again at their Christmas Party on 10th December, exactly 12 months on.


On the night of 5th December 2015, Storm Desmond completely destroyed our lovely Ratchers Bar, everything Ratchers was  and stood for no longer existed. It was then, my family and I  sat and discussed the future of Ratchers and what it mean’t going forward. It was agreed, that keeping Ratchers would be staying at that devastating time, when we felt we must move forward, close that chapter and open a new beginning.

Deciding on a new name.

The decision to rename the bar was made and the name followed swiftly, it was quite clear to us what the name should be; Beckside Bar was a unanimous decision, It was only appropriate to name it after the company who we believed saved us; Beckside Constructions, a team who were working at Hartsop hydro plant, rode into the village on JCB diggers to restore the Beck that was raging throughout our property. They dedicated many hours over those next few days, weeks and months to help restore the infrastructure in the village of Glenridding.


We will always be grateful to the guys from Beckside Constructions and renaming the bar is a commemoration of  their hard work, we will always remember their efforts and be eternally grateful.

Beckside Bar

We look forward to welcoming you to the new Beckside Bar where the spirit of Ratchers lives on.


With works still ongoing at the hotel, we take a break from interior design and delve into the history of this wonderful hotel.
The ‘old building’ (as we call it) is the main hotel, this consists of reception, Lantys lounge and everything above. The first record I could find was in 1894, unconvinced this was the date the hotel was built, I turned to social media with hope of help, and it came pretty quick. Ray a fellow Cumbrian who blogs regularly on his own site,  confirmed my thoughts.

Intrestingly, in 1860 the hotel was known as the Glenridding Hotel, we are unsure if it was shortened for reporting purposes as it was also referred to as Glenridding Temperance Hotel a few years later. In 1894, it became Woods Hotel and sold to the Milcrest family in c.1906 when the name had changed once again to Milcrest Hotel.

Before I get too far ahead, I would like to go back to the year 1861 when Mr Theodore Derome of Kendal offered for sale, many properties which included; Ullswater Hotel, The Glenridding Temperance Hotel, Patterdale Hotel and several more . With one bid for all nine properties by Mr Thomas Bownass, purchased all nine for a sum of £25,000.

In 1863 Prince Arthur partook in Lunch at the hotel before heading to the lake for a spot of fishing, whilst on a tour of the Westmorlands.

There isn’t much more detail than that, however our intention is to keep hunting.

Fast forward to 1894, Mrs Sarah Woods, proprietor of our wonderful lady, and next door, Rose Cottage (known to us all as Kilners coffee shop), owned by Mr John Wilson, until it was sold to Mr William Kilner in 1906 when it became WM. Kilner Refreshments & Lodgings.  William remained here until his death in 1935, when Rose Cottage was left to his nephews, but unfortunately that is the last I was able to find on our fabulous coffee shop, It’s possible that Rose Cottage was re-named .

We made the decision to rename Kilner Coffee Shop after December floods however, we felt it was important not to lose the wonderful rich history that surrounds it, so it gives me great pleasure to tell all that,  ‘Let it Brew’ will showcase an extensive timeline of the history from 1860 to today. This will include stories from Kepal Cove disaster, Donald Campbell’s celebratory dinner and the recent Storm Desmond Floods.

One thing I have realised since partaking in this historical venture is that anyone who has had the pleasure in spending part of their life, (whether it be working, or owning) is playing a part in this beautiful buildings story.

We hope to welcome you to The Glenridding Hotel soon.

Elizabeth Ali-General Manager


Another business that had been devastated by Storm Desmond in December 2015 was the Glenridding Mini Market, owned by the Brown family.

The Brown family have had their business for over 30 years, and this has been the longest they have not been open. We understand just how hard it has been for them, and the stress these floods have caused. However not long now, things are set to change. The Glenridding Mini Market is to reopen soon and we could not be happier for them, here at the hotel.image

Stephen Brown the eldest son said, “It’s wonderful to see the progress being made towards re opening of my parents business, it’s been a long 7/8 months since Dec 5th. The devastating impact upon our livelihood and day to day life is hard to put in to words. However we must try and look on the bright side and enjoy our exciting, shiny brand new shop and re opening in the near future. I thank everyone for their continued support and very much welcome you back through the doors soon.”

The Glenridding Mini Market will stock many local produce including, Hartleys Ice cream, Cartmel Sticky Toffee pudding and many more.

We would like to wish the Brown family all the success with their re-opening.

For more Information on the Glenridding Mini Market follow them on Facebook Glenridding Mini Market

New website coming soon.


Feature from the News & Star 23rd June 2016

Last winter the Glenridding Hotel was flooded out four times during the devastating storms which battered Cumbria.

Run by the Ali sisters, the hotel soon became an icon of our region, as its determination to keep going was applauded across the country for embodying the spirit of Cumbria.

Now, just over six months since the first flood waters first hit, the Glenridding Hotel is set for a grand reopening – and it’s looking for people to join the team and be part of the story.

Co-owner Selina Ali said: “Our team shrank quite dramatically after the floods, we are now a team of 8, of what used to be 35.

“We were very much in it together from that day in December when the storm hit us, and from that day on our bond just strengthened.

“We’re now getting excited for the hotel’s transformation to be complete so we can welcome new staff to help us continue the story as we finally reopen the doors.”

Due to open in September, the hotel has undergone a number of improvements, including the renovation of the entire lower floor – now featuring a new bar and lower restaurant – as well installing a state of the art kitchen with all new pizza ovens.
The hotel is looking for a head chef to run the kitchen and work with tv chef Peter Sidwell, who has been helping the hotel develop its new Cumbria inspired menu.imageimage

Peter said: “I am really excited to be involved and help not only the hotel to produce the kind of food they want to, but to work with the wide range of artisan producers in the area that will make the menus in the hotel fantastic.”

As well as a head chef, the hotel is looking for a head housekeeper and a receptionist to the join the team. And with accommodation offered for staff, working for Glenridding hotel also gives people a chance to experience living in area.

“Glenridding is a unique place… not many people can say ‘England’s most beautiful Lake’ is their office view!” said Selina.

“High season can be hectic and busy but you’re literally one minutes walk from the peace and tranquility – the best of both worlds in my opinion. “Glenridding before the floods was a very high sense of camaraderie, and that’s still very much the case now after the floods.”

The Glenridding Hotel reopens on September 2016.

Anyone interested in applying for the role of head chef, head housekeeper or hotel receptionist should contact

We are now also looking to recruit General Assistants. If you are just starting out in your career or wishing to take the next step this is the ideal and exciting opportunity to join the adventure with us.


Lambert-gill Ltd. have been appointed to reinstate the lower ground bar and kitchen. The appointment was made last week and have started work once their Health and Safety paperwork was complete. They believe completion of works for the reinstatement should take 14 weeks.

Established in 1974 Lambert-gill is a local family run building firm with a reputation of high quality and standards.

We would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Lambert-gill for wining the tender and look forward to the next 14 weeks.


A keen advocate of the Lake District, Paul McLoughlin talks to us about some of his favourite walks when visiting The Glenridding Hotel.

To name my three favourite walks in the Lake District is impossible for me, but at least three great walks are possible from this place.

For me on this wander the adventure starts on the drive there, a cattle grid at Elterwater separates civilisation from wilderness or that’s how it feels as you enter Great Langdale.

Now this is National Trust country and most things you see are owned by them, the pub, campsite, land, sky, clouds and also the carpark where this wander starts, it all has that NT polished feel about it.

The well-groomed path to the side of Stickle Barn is where the “stairway to heaven” starts, it’s a path that you will struggle to get lost on as long as you follow the water of Stickle Ghyll to the source.

For all this path’s beauty don’t underestimate the hard graft it takes to reach the top as it’s as steep as “your old nan’s stairs”. At the top your greeted by the intimidating Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle and the mirror like Stickle Tarn.

Now, at this point the tribes congregate as it is the gathering point for the “jam butty” gangs (that’s if jam butties still exist) you have to be up early to avoid this group of adventurers.

From here you could just “about face” and walk back the same route you just came up, I wouldn’t blame you, for a start you had your back to all the amazing views…

Or for the more energetic adventurer there’s a choice of multiple routes or missions (should you choose to accept):

Route one – To quote Alfred Wainwright “An easy but tedious route”.

Route two – “The North Rake” or the Bear Grylls route, makes you feel like an explorer, a bit rocky but fun.

Route three – Jacks Rake, the “will I see my friends and family again” route.

So I’ll leave it there and let you pick your own route as that’s half the fun of this wandering lark, and remember not all who wander are lost.

Paul McLoughlin – @glocky9


The Ullswater Way is a 20-mile walking route around Ullswater. The route can be walked in either direction and from any starting point. Why not walk the route in shorter sections, using an open top bus or steamer to start your journey!

Ullswater Way Map