A LAKE District café surrounded by fells, fields and farmland is set to close due to a lack of clients.

Grove Barn in Stockghyll Lane, on the outskirts of Ambleside, opened its doors in June 2023 after being in development for three years.

Now the owners have announced that the establishment, which was closed for a winter break, won't be reopening in February as they have been unable to attract enough customers.

The café was only reached via walking and it did not have a car park. Max Howard, the owner, explained that they 'misjudged' the market as there are not enough people who want to walk to a café. 

He said: "If you are in Ambleside or a venue where you drive to, the weather isn't as critical, but in our situation, we have days with hardly a customer. The bad days mean that the good days have got to cover it, which it didn't.

"It is easier to say that it hasn't been given time but the costs of running a business like that comes down to what you can charge for a piece of cake and a coffee."

"Obviously, there is disappointment, which I understand, but at the end of the day, the money was coming out of my pocket."

The café was part of Grove Cottages, a four-stone holiday cottage that has been managed by Sarah Moss for the last 12 years.

Sarah, who was also managing the café, said she was 'absolutely gutted' about the closure and had to cancel future bookings for this year.

She said: "I had big plans and lots of potential, but unfortunately, he (Max) has made the decision after six months not to reopen and there is nothing I can do about it. He reckons it has not been busy enough. There are a lot of people on Facebook who are very disappointed. 

"I was making plans for my future, and that was going to be my pension fund going forward. I know it is going to take time to build up and start making a decent profit but I was employed and going to take a profit share, so I have lost the salary and any profit in the future."

Grove Barn offered homemade food, such as breakfasts, lunches, cakes and cold meals.

Mr Howard said talks are underway for a new business to replace the café.