As tourism businesses around the country digest yesterday’s government announcement on the easing of restrictions, business owners and tourism operators in Pooley Bridge are cautiously optimistic about welcoming back overnight guests to this socially-distanced, Covid-compliant tourism hotspot.
From 4 July, campsites, hotels, bed and breakfasts and self-catering properties will all be allowed to reopen – but will they be ready in the pretty Ullswater village? Broadly, the answer is ‘yes’, here’s what they had to say:
Situated on the shores of Ullswater, a short walk from the village, popular Waterside House Campsite has been besieged by enquiries in the last 24 hours.
Manager, Deborah Binks commented: “This is undoubtedly a welcome step for our business. Since the announcement was made, enquires have gone through the roof. However we’re still working our way through the detailed guidance to allow us to safely operate our shared washroom facilities which are obviously of paramount importance to our and campers and glampers. We are working towards a Covid-compliant opening on 4 July for campers, glampers and tourers, although numbers on site will be reduced and we’ll work on ‘suck it and see’ basis to make sure we get this right, both for our staff and customers.”
The much-celebrated Another Place The Lake, on the opposite side of the lake just outside Pooley Bridge has been welcoming guests of all ages to its laid-back, stylish venue since 2017.
CEO, Will Ashworth commented:
“We’re currently working to bring back our team over the next few days and will be opening to residents only on 5 July. Whilst this will be the case for the immediate future, we hope to be able to welcome non-residents in the not-too-distant future as restrictions are further lifted. We’ve had to instigate some changes around how our restaurant and Swim Club operate in order to be Covid-compliant but the views are still gorgeous and the welcome, warm. We’re incredibly grateful for the ongoing support of guests from both near and far, and we look forward to seeing them once again enjoy all that Pooley Bridge and Ullswater have to offer in a responsible way.”
Award-winning 1863 Restaurant with Rooms, located in the heart of Pooley Bridge, is taking a phased approach. General Manager and Head Chef, Phil Corrie is hoping to open to overnight guests from 4 July with a new daytime food offering following a week later and the extremely popular, 32-seat restaurant opening to non-residents later in the summer, all being well, by August at the latest.
Owner Mark Vause commented: “Necessity really is the mother of invention! As a small but popular restaurant with rooms, we’re working extremely hard behind the scenes to look at how we can safely welcome both residents and diners back to 1863. We’re really looking forward to seeing our loyal friends and customers again and we’ve been overwhelmed with enquiries. We’ll be sharing details of our phased reopening over the coming days as well as a new strand – ‘1863 by Day’ – a perfectly formed selection of daytime food served both inside outside daily. In this Covid-compliant era, daytime and evening dining will have to be booked in advance and while that removes some of the spontaneity, we’re just so delighted to be able to start trading again.”
In the meantime, work continues on Pooley ‘New’ Bridge. Following the spectacular bridge lift in May, the community is looking forward to the finished structure opening to pedestrians and vehicles by October half term. Until then, the footbridge links the village to Ullswater Steamers (opening soon – pre-booking essential), the temporary car park opposite Waterfoot Park remains open and the village can be accessed via the Eamont Bridge -Tirril road.