Audrey and I stayed at Fisherty Howe, a self catering apartment in Windermere for 3 nights over a weekend in April 2018. I booked through cottages.com, and paid £289 (inc. booking fee), plus a one off £20 dog fee. The welcome pack included tea/coffee, sugar, biscuits and a bottle of wine.
- Dog friendly Score: 8/10 (loses marks for no garden)
- Comfort/Design: 8/10
- Wifi: 10/10
- Garden: N/A
- Location: 8/10 (perfect if you want to be in town)
- Parking: 7.5/10
- Value for Money: 8/10 (£40 booking fee was grating).
- Blog On A Dog Approval Score: 8/10
Fisherty Howe is a 1 bed duplex flat situated in the heart of Windermere in the Lake District. The online detail says: ‘It is in a fabulous spot to really soak up the true lakeland spirit of this popular Cumbrian village’. It goes on to say ‘the decor and furnishings have been carefully selected to offer a vintage twist, the resulting accommodation is individual and charming’. I arrived here with Audrey after a fabulous stay at the Cuckoo Brow Inn on the other side of Windermere, so this flat had a lot to live up to. In fairness, I think it did!
Fisherty Howe really is at the centre of Windermere. To put it succinctly, Windermere was busier than I expected. It’s conceivable that expectation showed my lack of Lake District experience, and no doubt some of you are chuckling at me! There’s no doubt Bowness-on-Windermere, just a mile away is the busiest, and perhaps the most well known town in the National Park. But plenty of people I spoke to weren’t aware there was an actual physical place called Windermere.
Consequently, I thought it may be a quiet town with excellent transport links, and a nice stroll from Bowness. Of course, in hindsight it’s easy to see it was a ridiculous thought. It’s proximity to Bowness, wide selection of cafes and restaurants and great transport links, all whilst being better value than it’s more illustrious neighbouring town, result in Windermere being a popular destination in its own right.
In terms of being a dog friendly town, what it really misses is a nice option for off lead walkies. Admittedly, it may exist and I just didn’t find it. The walk up to Orrest Head was our best option for off lead walks near to Fisherty Howe, but be aware it is a very popular walk. We went up at 6.30am and it was perfect, I imagine later on in the day it may be too busy for off lead.
There is a choice of dog friendly cafes, restaurants etc within minutes of Fisherty Howe, but I didn’t find one I *loved* until our last morning. (The Just Good Food cafe, which I will review separately next week). Much to Audreys delight, there is a pet shop within sniffing distance of the flat.
Fisherty Howe is above a health shop, and could not have a more central position. It is a 1 bed flat, though being over two floors it feels surprisingly spacious. The entrance is off a side alley, but it is well lit and feels perfectly safe even late at night. It is important to note that there is no garden. Audrey has spent most of her life living in flats with no garden so we are perfectly used to it, but I’m sure for lots of you a garden is an absolute must.
The first floor has a small hall, kitchen and lounge, with the second floor housing the bedroom and bathroom. I didn’t hear any noise from the shop below, and even though it is right on the high street, inside the flat felt like a calm oasis away from the crowds. I looked forward to returning to the tranquility of the flat after our excursions, and Audrey settled almost immediately in the flat.
Dog Friendly Fisherty Howe
Thankfully it truly was dog friendly. A basket of dog blankets for the sofa with a packet of dog treats on top awaited us on arrival. There were 2 good quality large dog bowls provided, and the carpeting throughout was ‘dog friendly’. What is dog friendly carpet I hear you ask? Well for me, its tough, hard wearing and textured versus soft and fluffy and white. So there you go! Audrey loved the view of the high street from the window, perfect for watching the world go by. There is is no garden at Fisherty Howe, the nearest patch of grass is a few minutes stroll away by the library, and 10 minutes walk away there is a park.
Fisherty Howe has recently been renovated, and it shows. The decor is really nicely done throughout the duplex apartment, creating a homely and welcoming feel. We spent most of our time in the cozy lounge, the sofa was very comfy and inviting, with great views down on to the high street. I do love people watching! I had no problems with being too hot or cold, the heating was just right.
On the top floor, the bedroom is beautifully furnished. The quality of the bedding was great and the room had a lovely calm vibe. Perfect for a good nights’ sleep. I didn’t encounter any problems with traffic noise from the road, though I am a good sleeper.
The bathroom matched the quality of the rest of the flat, with a vintage washstand forming the centrepice. A small alcove housed the shower, it was fine for me, but I would imagine could be almost impossible if you are 6 foot plus.
There were several useful books and guides on the local area provided, along with some board games and puzzles. A nice touch was a guestbook that included tips and hints on the local area from previous guests.
While I can’t fault the decor or the feel, there were several small annoyances that could easily be fixed. 2 mugs is all we were provided with for our 3 night stay. Personally I think this verges on comical, and the owners must not be hot drink lovers!
Secondly, no milk was provided in the welcome pack. I genuinely would have preferred milk to the bottle of wine that was left, though I realise i’ll be in the minority with that opinion. I wouldn’t consider leaving Audrey alone in a flat we have only just arrived at, and I also won’t tie her up outside a shop. After enduring a black tea (needs must), I eventually took Audrey down to Sainsburys and asked someone going in to buy us some milk. It’s such a trivial concern, but when you are by yourself, these things matter.
Wifi and Parking
The wifi was perfect, covering the duplex flat, with clear username and password info in the welcome manual. Well done Fisherty Howe!
By now, you all will know that ease of parking is important to me. Fisherty Howe is absolutely in the centre of Windermere, so I did feel a little bit concerned given it doesn’t have its own parking space. In fact, you are given a parking pass when you collect the keys, and not only does it cover the Broad St car park just a few minutes from the flat, it also covers other council car parks in other towns eg, Ambleside, Bowness-on-Windermere etc.
Insider tip – in the Broad St car park there are some ‘early bird’ spaces that the pass does not cover. When you arrive at the car park, turn right not left to avoid the early bird area. I paid for an hour to allow me to go and collect the pass. I saw so many parking wardens there that I don’t think I would risk it, even for 10 minutes.
Useful Dog Friendly Info
All of these are within minutes of Fisherty Howe:
Orrest Head – famous for being the first fell that Wainwright climbed. Very nice walk up to the top with well maintained paths that for large sections are enclosed so no worrying about sheep etc. Even someone as directionally challenged as I am didn’t lose my way, it’s very straight forward.
Cafe Italia – an Italian restaurant, bar and cafe. Nice outdoor seating with effective heaters. I enjoyed my pizza here and would recommend. Plenty of other dogs. Cash only.
Just Good Food – will have it’s own review. Highly recommended.
Brambles Cafe – literally over the road. Very welcoming to me and Audrey, dog friendly inside and out. Not fancy, but nice cafe food.
Sugar and Spice – also literally over the road. They claim to be dog friendly, but on arrival Audrey and I were ushered into a side room. Didn’t feel welcome at all. Ordered take away (which I have to say was nice) and left.
The Crafty Baa – a dog friendly bar renowned for it’s craft ale selection as well as meat and cheese platters. I didn’t get to try it this time, but it looks good.
Brockhole on Windermere – I got the bus with Audrey, and we had a great time. This will have a separate review soon on Blog On A Dog!
Final Thoughts on Fisherty Howe
The flat itself was beautiful and I really enjoyed staying there with Audrey. The local area won me over, with excellent transport links (highly recommend the buses) and a spectacular walk up to Orrest Head. I would definitely stay at Fisherty Howe again, but I’d be mindful to take my own milk and mugs!