Links to Independent Businesses that we like

We'll be adding to this list!

Prole Books

Independent publishers of poetry and prose in the form of a literary magazine (3 times a year) and poetry pamphlets and collections. They receive no grants or subsidies but they sell enough to pay their authors, and their products have received good reviews. They published Ash Tree for me in 2013. Visit the Prole Books web site.

Hayloft Publishing Ltd

Hayloft produce local and national titles, mostly with countryside, walking and historical themes. Since Hayloft was started in 1988 it has published more than a hundred books.

Hayloft has had several books short-listed in the Lakeland Book of the Year Awards and five went on to win in their categories: Lakeland in the 1830s, Walking on Bridges, 104 Men, Stone Circles of Cumbria and Hoofprints in Eden. Visit Hayloft's web site.

Wordsworth Bookshop and Coffee House

8 St Andrew's Churchyard, Penrith, Cumbria, provides food for the heart and mind as well as the body. They have bookshop copies you can browse while refuelling! and they do great coffee. Visit the Bookshop web site.

Hedgehog Books

Great Dockray, Penrith, Cumbria. Currently mostly children's books, but the new premises have given them room to expand their stock - they stock "Ash Tree". Visit their web site and Facebook page.

Jane Badger Books

Equestrian Bookseller and author Jane Badger describes herself as "a time-poor bookdealer with a life long pony obsession." She specialises in English language horse and pony fiction and brought out a book of her own in 2013, Heroines on Horseback - the Golden Age of the British Pony Book. Visit Jane Badger's web site.

Meadow View Animal Care

Wendy Pratt, biomedical scientist, animal lover, poet and general all round good egg, has started a small business in her home town of Filey, N. Yorkshire. She offers various animal services including looking after pets while owners are on holiday. Visit Wendy's web site to find out more.

Writers' Groups and Writing Classes in Cumbria/North Lancashire

Orton Scribblers

Or rather, Orton/Tebay/Greenholme/Appleby/Kirkby Stephen/Penrith! We began in Orton in 2008 but we now meet in Penrith, generally on the last Friday evening of the month.

We read a section of our "work in progress" and discuss how we can improve it. Poetry, prose, drama, long or short fiction or non-fiction writing, are all welcome. When funds permit, we hold one-day workshops for members with a Cumbrian writers as the session leader.

7.00 pm, fee per session £2.

To check the date and venue of planned meetings please contact Sue on 01539 624636 or e-mail sue @


Novelists' group meets once a month to support each other with works-in-progress. Contact Deborah Swift for details.

Kendal Writers' Cafe

Meets monthly in Kendal to critique, share tips, hear guest speakers, work towards publication. KWC web site, calendar.

Local Links for Cumbrian/Lancastrian writers:

Words by the Water festival in Keswick - the north west of England's premier festival of words and ideas, run by Ways with Words.

Litfest - Lancashire's literary festival, and a wealth of info for writers.

Wordmarket - Ulverston's literary festival, events, and info for writers.

Eden Arts / New Writing Cumbria - website, e-letter and more. Crackers - but in a nice way.

Sedbergh Festival of Books and Drama.

Gone 2 Ground Books - Ron Black's site with strong links to the Cumbrian fells, hunting and the outdoors.

Speakeasy meets at The Andalusian, Carlisle, 4th Wednesdays, evenings, and LitCaff at Merienda, Carlisle, 3rd Wednesdays, evenings.

Coaching & Carriage Driving Links

British Driving Society - to encourage and assist those interested in the Driving of Equine Animals.

North West Driving Club - to foster good horsemanship and friendship amongst all drivers of harnessed horses and ponies in the North West of the UK.

Fell Pony Links

The Fell Pony Society - to foster and keep pure the old breed of pony which has roamed the northern fells for years and to circulate knowledge and general information about the pony breed.

The Fell Pony Museum - celebrates the ponies of the Lake District, who have worked and travelled through history and whose breed has been known for over a century as "the Fell".

Cumbrian Links

Shacklabank Walking Holidays (Alison O'Neil, the Barefoot Shepherdess)

Esmeralda Mac's Cumbrian Folklore blog - where myths and pseudo-history are debunked and often turn out far more interesting than the fictions that have been woven around them.


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