The site of the fish farm is next to the village of Newbiggin-on-Lune. What was originally a boggy field was excavated and formed by the previous owner Simon Norman-Ballantyne over a period of almost twenty years. The farm is fed by water from the Bessy Beck, a small stream which rises on the nearby Howgills, and is the source of the river Lune.
Bessy Beck was taken over in 2003 by Ian and Shelley Riddell who have developed the site to include a farm shop, tackle shop, tea room and three fishing lakes catering for all abilities.
The hatchery was closed in 2005 due to water shortages in the summer months and now all rainbow trout are bought in as fingerlings.
The quality of the water ensures hard fighting sport fish and what are recognised by a number of leading chefs, as some of the best table fish in the North West. Quote by Aiden Byrne youngest mitchelin star chef, seen here with Shelley and Ian.
Photo courtesy of Tracey Errington Marketsense
Justin offers a superb Cumbrian menu using the best of the local produce. Bessy Beck Trout feature on his starters and main course dishes. His menu not only shows you where the food comes from, but also how many food miles it has travelled. Both our frest trout and smoked trout fillets are regular choices in the restaurant. Justin thinks very highly of our trout, he even collects them himself!
Due to their limited availability Bessy Beck rainbow trout are only supplied to a select number of Hotels/Restaurants.
The Castle Green Hotel, Kendal
The Fat Lamb, Ravenstonedale.
The Wordsworth Hotel and Spa Grasmere.
The Wallfoot Hotel, Carlisle.
Saughy Rigg Guest House and Restaurant, Roman Wall.
Willowford Farm B&B. Roman Wall
If you have been offered Bessy Beck Trout at any other restaurant then they are not genuine.
Bessy Beck Trout can be purchased at Farmers Markets
According to local legend, the Bessy Beck takes its name from Elizabeth Gaunt, a local woman who was burnt at the stake on 23rd October 1685 after giving shelter to a man on the run.
Elizabeth, who lived at Newbiggin-on-Lune used the stream for doing her washing, was found guilty of treason for harbouring James Burton who was wanted by the government for his part in an abandoned plot to assassinate King Charles II.
In a cruel twist of fate, James Burton, although found guilty of the crime, gave evidence against Elizabeth so that he would be granted immunity against prosecution. He received a pardon and Elizabeth was burned alive for her charity. Directly after her death, a huge storm erupted over London, believed to be a sign of Gods anger at the burning of an innocent woman.
For Shelley, the tale is especially poignant as the man who tried Elizabeth, the infamous Judge Jefferies, is a distant relative.
|Monday||Open Easter Monday|
|Wednesday||8.00am - 9.00pm|
|Thursday||8.00am - 9.00pm|
|Friday||8.00am - 9.00pm|
|Saturday||8.00am - 9.00pm|
|Sunday||8.00am - 9.00pm|
To book angling Tel 01539623303 or 07791563355.
Leighton Reservoir . For information on Leighton or Swinton Trout Farm call 01765 689270. See Web Site www.leightonflyfishing.co.uk