Rest and Play in The Lakes

14-16 September 2018
Ambleside, The LakeDistrict

Would you like to switch off and have some time away?
Why not spend a weekend of rest and play with beautiful landscapes in the gorgeous Lake District.

Find your own level of active, and choose whether to step it up or slow it down… offering Pilates; Stretch classes; boating on Lake Windermere and more…

Good for:  Anyone wanting to feel exhilarated amongst the hills and lakes and then stretch their body out after a day’s fun and exploration.

Choose your room

Lake Windermere, Ambleside, The Lake District

What do we mean by Rest & Play?
On this weekend you can choose whether to have a more active time in the Lakes or a more relaxing one, opting in or out of the activities available.

To stretch out and reconnect with your body, there will be Pilates and Total Stretch classes at the start and end of the day.

To take advantage of our amazing location next to Lake Windermere, we’re offering some fun on the water. There’s a chance to experience rowing a whaling boat across the lake, or for the more adventurous, the possibility of some ‘ghyll scrambling’ (If you don’t know what that is, it’s traversing up and down rocks, in and out of streams and across waterfalls – it’s fun and it definitely gets a little wet!).

Splashing around and scrambling uphills can release your playful side, and joining a stretch class or strolling along the lake can give you some restful time that your mind and body needs.

Choose how much you’d like to get involved & how much free time you prefer.

Brathay Hall and Lake Windermere (courtesy of Brathay Trust)

Location & Venue

Last year The Lake District was awarded Unesco World Heritage status, in recognition of its beauty and breath-taking landscape, and  is home to England’s largest natural lake – Windermere – and it’s highest mountain – Scafell Pike.

Ambleside is a charming town with pubs, restaurants and  cinemas. Being situated on the shores of Lake Windermere in the Lake District National Park in Cumbria, it’s an idyllic spot with stunning views.

We have chosen to stay in Brathay Hall for more than just its wonderful location – although that’s definitely a very strong reason! With great facilities and a range of accommodation to suit all budgets, it’s situated in 360 acres of woodland on the shores of Lake Windermere, giving you space to reconnect with nature and the chance to soak up amazing views, both of mountains and the lake.

Brathay Hall and Lake Windermere

The Brathay Trust’s mission is to improve the life chances of children and young people, whatever their background, by inspiring and supporting them to engage positively in their communities. Working with around 7,000 young people each year – many facing few opportunities in life – they help them to feel empowered and more confident to make choices that can benefit them and their communities.

You can read more stories about their work on their website

SIMPLY ESCAPE shares Brathay Trust’s values of inclusivity and belief in the transformational power of people working together.  We are proud that by staying here, in our small way we are supporting their charitable work.

What’s on offer?

There are Pilates and Stretch classes, as well as a whaling boat trip and ghyll scrambling on offer – all of which are optional, of course!


There will be 4 classes over the course of the weekend – 2 of Pilates and 2 of Total Stretch.  The first will be early Friday evening; before breakfast on Saturday, another later in the day and the last on Sunday morning. You are welcome to join some or all of the classes.

Pilates works the deep stabilising muscles to improve strength and posture. It has a strong mind/body connection, so you might like it if you like yoga. It involves precise moves and specific breathing techniques and increases body awareness which encourages efficient and graceful movement.

If practised regularly it will strengthen and improve muscle elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced flexibility and strength is less prone to injuries, which can only be a good thing.

Total Stretch
is a wonderful refreshing tonic for the whole body, helping keep muscles flexible, strong & healthy. Flexibility allows us to maintain a range of motion in the joints, helping prevent muscles from shortening and becoming tight.

Regular deep stretching enhances our physical performance and helps reduce risks of injury. Releasing tension and knots through stretching the body also feels really good!

This is an optional extra – If you would like to join this activity you can add it in at the time of booking.

This is a novel opportunity to get out on to Lake Windermere itself and enjoy the views from a different perspective. Each whaling boat takes between about 5- 10 people, and we allow about 3 hours for the experience. This could be after breakfast, in the afternoon or early evening.

In the summer months when we’ll be there, one option is to take the boat out in the early evening, which adds another dimension to the experience.

A whaling boat (Courtesy of Brathay Trust)

You may choose to see how you feel closer to the time, and not make any additional plans right now. You might prefer to explore the hills and Lakes at your own speed, and do your own thing. It’s your weekend and you can do what suits you best.

However if you’re interested in a full day’s activity on the Saturday, then in addition to the whaling boat trip, there are other supervised activities available (dependent on numbers), with ghyll scrambling being a firm favourite. These are all run by the experienced team of instructors and guides at Brathay Hall.

View of Brathay Hall from Lake Windermere (courtesy of Brathay Trust)

Ghyll Scrambling is a popular activity – it’s climbing and walking up and around rocks, in and out of streams and across waterfalls – it’s fun and it definitely gets a little wet!

Ghyll scrambling (courtesy of Brathay Hall)

About half a day is dedicated to ghyll scrambling. The team at Brathay Hall organise everything, which includes a mini bus drive to and from our starting point; provision of a helmet; a dry kit which consists water shoes and a loose-fitting drysuit (which keeps a lot of the water out) and a buoyancy aid if required.

Once you have booked you will be asked if you are interested in ghyll scrambling or any other organised activities. Once we know numbers and the level of interest then nearer the time we will be able to confirm what is available.

This is an optional extra and is not included in the price below. Once numbers are confrmed of those interested, it can be paid separately nearer the time.


Cilla offers alternatives throughout her classes making them suitable for most people whatever your level of fitness and experience, even if you have never tried this type of class before. Cilla will also talk to you in advance to find out if any alternative moves would suit you better than others.

Some basic level of fitness is required to row the boat. You can of course adjust the pace to what mosts suits the group – we’re not planning for it to be a competition!

There is also the opportunity for someone to be the skipper and not take part in the rowing if someone is keen to join but not as confident in their abilities.

If you have any questions about suitability please contact us to have a chat.

If you would like to join and bring a partner or friend who doesn’t wish to take part in the classes or activities, then please contact us for more details.

Everyone is welcome. Come alone or bring a friend.


We have secured a choice of rooms to suit your needs and budget. These include shared rooms with bunk beds for 2, 3 or 4 people; single en-suites; standard en-suites with twin or double beds as well as premium twin/double en-suites with woodland, mountain or lake views.

Scafell Lodges have been thoughtfully designed to include many sustainable and environmentally friendly features, offering a unique blend of comfort and contemporary design, with solid oak furniture and a flat screen plasma television. Each room has an en-suite shower and a large window to capture the fantastic scenery.

Scafell Lodges

Room facilities: mountain view, en-suite bathroom with a shower, toiletries and towels; armchairs; flat-screen TV; radio; safety deposit box; desk; heating; hardwood/Parquet floors; wardrobe/closet; hairdryer; kettle & teas & coffee. 
Bed Size(s): 1 extra-large double bed or 2 single beds.

Upper floors accessible by stairs only.

Scafell Lodges


The Wansfell rooms have either 1 king-size bed or 2 single beds and offer a unique panorama of Wansfell Pike and the surrounding countryside. The rooms have oak furnishings and are stocked with hot drinks and enjoy en-suite bathrooms.

Room facilities: Lake view and/or a mountain view; en-suite  bathroom with toiletries and towels; flat-screen TV; radio; safety deposit box; a dressing table/desk; wardrobe/closet; hairdryer and electric kettle.

These rooms have all the modern comforts you might need. They are situated in the property’s grounds and all have woodland views.

Single en-suite

Room facilities:
mountain view; flat-screen TV; radio; safety deposit box; desk; wardrobe/closet; hairdryer; electric kettle; en-suite bathroom with a shower, toiletries and towels.


We have exclusive use of one of the accommodation buildings in the grounds of Brathay Hall. These rooms contain either 1 or 2 bunk beds for either 2 or 4 people, and they share bathrooms.


A 2-course meal on Friday evening and a hot and cold English breakfast both mornings are included, and we’ll be having these in a lovely glass-fronted dining area with views over-looking the lake.

We’ll make reservations at a restaurant for a meal on Saturday evening to round off our day. We’ll let you know more nearer the time, and you can decide then whether you’d like to join or whether you prefer to make your own arrangements.

Our Pilates & Total Stretch instructor

Cilla has over 20 years experience in teaching fitness and Pilates classes, and makes everyone feel welcome whatever their ability-level. She keeps classes light-hearted & enjoyable whilst providing clear technical guidance.You will begin to feel looser and more relaxed with each class.


You will be able to check into you room from 5pm, although you are more than welcome to arrive earlier and enjoy the facilities and grounds.

The first class with Cilla will be on Friday evening, which we expect to start at *6pm, with a short interval afterwards to give us some time to ourselves before our 2-course evening meal, with specatacular views of Lake Windermere.

On Saturday there will be a class before breakfast,  and one in the evening,  with our last session on Sunday morning. The whaling boat trip will be for around 3 hours on Saturday, as will any extra organised activities you choose to do.

The amount of free time you have depends on your choice of activities. If you prefer to join the classes only, then you will have the whole of Saturday daytime to enjoy the Lake District in which ever way suits you.

*Please note: Exact times will be confirmed closer to the date.

Jetty at Brathay Hall

Transport and Parking
If travelling on public transport, the nearest train station is Windermere, then either a taxi to the venue or a bus to Ambleside.  There is plenty of parking available on site if you intend to come by car.

What’s included

  • 2 nights accommodation
  • Your chosen activities: 4 classes of Pilates and Total Stretch with Cilla &/or a whaling boat trip (The opportunity to join extra activities is charged separately nearer the time).
  • A 2-course meal together on Friday evening
  • A hot and cold English breakfast both mornings
  • Refreshments throughout the weekend
  • Use of all the facilities, including a licensed bar; vast grounds & stunning lakeside views
Relaxing by the river in our free time


Prices are based on full occupancy of the accommodation chosen.

There is a limited number of single and twin/double rooms, so if either of these is your preferred choice, please be aware that they may well get booked up early.

Single en-suite: £279*/£309** p.p.  TWO AVAILABLE
Superior twin double or en-suite: £309*/£339** p.p. ONE AVAILABLE
Twin en-suite: £279*/£309** p.p. ONE AVAILABLE
Private room for 2 people: £239*/£269** p.p.  TWO AVAILABLE

*Price for either classes with Cilla or the whaling boat trip.
** Price for all classes with Cilla and the whaling boat trip.

Deposits and Payment
Full payment, or a minimum non-refundable deposit of £50 secures your place. Any balance that is due can be paid anytime up until the 9th June. Any bookings made after the 9th June to be paid in full. Please read our T&Cs here.

Method of payment
Payment is possible through bank transfer (see further below) or via the button below using PayPal or a credit/debit card.

Choose your room

If you wish to make a bank transfer, then please use the form below.

Tell us which event you would like to book, the type of room you prefer and the number of people you would like to book for.

Once we receive your request we will reply confirming whether there is availability of your room choice, and reserve the rooms for 72 hours. Once payment is received we will confirm your booking.

The details are:
Bank: NatWest
Account name: SIMPLY ESCAPE
Sort code: 01-02-96
Account number:  26738562

Or if you have any questions just drop us a line using the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.