North East Connected

Lake District tourism season starts with a bang.

The firing of an antique cannon from a famous local landmark has kick-started the tourism season with a bang for a hotel group in the Lake District.

English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues has re-opened its doors to guests at its luxury venues in the Lake District and North Lancashire, including Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa on the shores of Windermere.

The cannon is fired on special occasions, this momentous time at 3pm on Saturday 4 July 2020 to mark the end of the Covid-19 lockdown for the hospitality and tourism sector.

The cannon was purchased by Tim Berry, one of the group’s directors, in the mid-1990s. It represents a cannon which sat on the end of the jetty at Low Wood for hundreds of years, and was first mentioned in Thomas West’s guide to the lakes in 1778.

Thomas West wrote about Low Wood Bay: “No other inn in this route has so finer view of the lake”.  He also noted that “a small cannon is kept there to gratify the curious with the remarkable reverberations of sound which follow the report of a gun in those singular vales”.

This cannon would also have been familiar to the poet William Wordsworth, who lived nearby, and whose 250th anniversary is being celebrated this year. Wordsworth said of Low Wood: “No inn in the whole district is so agreeably situated for water views and excursions”.

English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues managing director Simon Berry says: “We’re ship-shape to open our doors safely, in line with government guidelines and best practice from around the world to ensure a Covid secure environment.

“The summer season is now underway, and we still have the best days of July, August and September ahead.  Our venues are the perfect retreat for holiday makers seeking the great wide open. We have ample space for social distancing and a range of outdoor activities right on the doorstep.

“It’s been a long wait which has affected us all, but we are greatly looking forward to welcoming guests back to each of our venues and seeing people enjoying themselves again.”

The cannon was fired by George Harker, English Lakes’ building and maintenance Manager, who has worked for the group for 20 years and is also an accredited pyrotechnician.

The event was broadcast live on the hotel group’s Instagram account and Gill Haigh, the managing director of Cumbria Tourism was asked to mark the occasion with a few words. She adds: “Back in March, just after the hospitality sector closed its doors, I vividly remember watching Simon being filmed, talking about the cannon’s history and promising it would once again be fired as a symbol of welcome once restrictions were lifted.

“It’s been a long few months for us all but we are finally here, businesses have worked hard to prepare to reopen and our visitors have been so patient. So I was delighted to join Simon for this symbolically important occasion, to hear the loud boom of welcome from the shores of Lake Windermere, the doorstep to the stunning Low Wood, and to finally and officially say we are open for business.”

The hotel group has re-opened with a range of new deals and offers.  For further information, visit


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