A POPULAR Ambleside guest house is under new ownership after being in the same family for almost 40 years.

And the new owners have promised to be faithful to the traditions and reputation established at the Elder Grove.

Matthew and Lucy Redman moved north from Somerset to buy the popular guest house which was run by Paul McDougall, his wife, Vicky who died last year, and their son, Aidan.

They had been at the helm for more than 18 years after taking over the business from Vicky’s parents, Bill and Lee Haywood, at the end of 1999.

Paul is staying on as chef after building up a reputation for one of the best breakfasts in Cumbria.

Matthew and Lucy ran a cost management business in Somerset and this is their first venture into hospitality. But they are determined to maintain the high standards for which the Elder Grove became known and loved.

And they are sponsoring a charity swim at Rydal which Vicky’s friends in the Brathay Book Club have organised to raise money for St Mary’s Hospice at Ulverston, where Paul is now is also a volunteer fundraiser ambassador.

“We have been coming to the Lakes on holiday for many years and always gravitated to Ambleside,” said Matthew. “When the opportunity came to take on a guest house here, the timing seemed right for us.”

Matthew will be working front of house after working for many years in senior sales management, while Lucy, a Chartered Engineer who grew up in Cumbria, in Carlisle and Cockermouth, is following her cooking passion.

Both are looking forward to the challenges of running the Elder Grove.