The best family day out in the Lakes

We’re looking forward to Ambleside Sports next week,  the best family day out in the Lakes, when we will see young fell runners competing for the Elterwater Independent Hostel trophies.

We stepped in last year with prizes for the new “under-nines” category in the hugely popular Guides races, and we saw some fantastic performances from champions of the future.

Ambleside Sports is one of the highlights of the year in this part of the world. The gala atmosphere, the stalls and side shows, the craft tent and the children’s rides all combine to make this one of the best day’s entertainment anywhere in the country.

Raffle tickets will be on sale throughout the day, and one of the prizes will bring you here; it’s a two-night stay in one of our ensuite rooms!

But the emphasis, obviously, is on Sport. We are very happy to encourage youngsters to take up running and to see their efforts rewarded. Many of our guests take their first steps onto the fells – walking or running – while staying with us, so this is a great way for us to be involved. The Guides races are easily viewed by spectators as they follow a direct course up and down the fell side.

The Sports day is always the last Thursday in July, so this year will be held on July 25. The first event of the day is the major fell race, the Heart of the Lakes Rydal Round, a nine mile race around one of Lakeland’s best known routes, the Fairfield Horseshoe.

You have to be a pretty serious walker to even consider walking this magnificent route, never mind running it. We hope that the juniors who start in our race might go on to take part in this and other classic Lakeland fell races.

Marjorie Blackburn, chair of the Ambleside Sports committee, said: “There’s been a massive demand for a race for the youngsters thanks to the coaching efforts of our local club, Ambleside AC. We are delighted that our friends at Elterwater Hostel stepped in and are making it happen again this year. Their support means we can offer five trophies to the boys and five to the girls.”