Everyone loves to ask, ‘what you up to on the weekend?’ But truth is we don’t always plan ahead, instead deciding where to go or what to do based upon the weather.
And so, looking at the weather forecast early on Sunday morning we realised the best weather was to be in The Lake District… Just a little 2 and half hour car journey away 😊
So, we hopped in the car with Pam’s Mum and Dad and set off for a day in the Lakes.
The Lake District National Park is one of the most beautiful places in England and is located in Cumbria, on the northwest coast of England, around an hour from the border to Scotland. The lakes are a result of the last ice age, where glaciers receded cutting out the valleys that are now filled with water.
From Glasgow we took the motorway to Penrith then started our journey through the country roads of the Lake District. We took the opportunity to enjoy being passengers and stared out the window the whole time, the landscape was stunning and we kept pointing out the ancient stone walls on the green pastures bathed in sunlight which were sectioning off the vast amount of cows and sheep which were grazing and imagining living in the gorgeous stone cottages dotted around.
We didn’t have an exact plan; Pam’s parents have visited the Lake District many times over the years (with Pam being once as a kid and Shannon never) so we let them lead the way. We did know it was going to be a whistle-stop tour though as you could spend anything from a long weekend to a week just travelling and staying around here, visiting many of the cute towns and hiking many of the great hills and mountains, including England’s highest peak Scafell Pike.
First we drove through the market town of Keswick set on the beautiful backdrop of rolling hills, a bustling town with plenty of adventure activity companies and climbing clothing shops. In Keswick you could even visit a museum all about pencils!
From Keswick it is a 20-minute drive south staying close to one of the 16 lakes: Thirlmere to the beautiful village of Grasmere. So beautiful in fact that famous Poet William Wordsworth who lived there for 14 years described it as “the loveliest spot that man hath found”. We found the village bustling with tourists and locals yet there was a peacefulness to the place, everyone was happy meandering and there was no rush. As the sun was out, everyone was enjoying lunch alfresco so after finding many of the cafes full, we settled for the lovely Green’s Grasmere, where they had a great menu catering for meat lovers (local shepherd’s pie with cheddar cheese) and vegans and vegetarians (falafel and haloumi wraps)
(Pam and her dad in Grasemere in 1997)
From Grasmere we continued for 15 minutes round the lakes of Grasmere and Rydal Water before having a very quick stop in the pretty town of Ambleside
Our last stop was 15 minutes from the head of Lake Windermere and followed England’s largest lake, it is 10.5 miles long, with its deepest point at 219 feet, until we reached Bowness-on-Windermere, which was bustling with tourists and dogs, the shoreline was full of cruise boats which would take you on a tour of the lake and people partaking in water sports. We both vowed we would love to come back here (especially if foreign travel continues to be problematic with Covid) and board one the many cruise boats that go around the lake or even take to the water ourselves in our kayak.
We enjoyed an ice cream at The old Pumphouse. I had vanilla ice cream waffle cone which was then dipped in hot mint chocolate sauce, and Shannon’s was dipped in hot chocolate sauce! Very tasty and interesting idea.
We meandered between the throngs of people (there were signs up for keeping distance and it seemed to be working, mainly).
We started climbing up the steep town centre streets to reach a beer garden at The Angel Inn, Dad the driver enjoying a refreshing ginger beer, me enjoying a non-alcoholic beer and Mum and Shannon sampling some local beers.
We also will come back one day as we will need to take our children to The World Of Beatrix Potter, the author of Peter Rabbit, who spent much of her life in the area and when she passed away she left almost all of her fortune to the National Trust, and part of her bequeathed land became the Lake District, which was designated a National Park in 1951, eight years after her death.
We had a wonderful day on our whistle stop tour and we didn’t even scratch the surface of this stunning area of England and will be back to do more! But what a great taster it was!
The best way to explore the region is by car as you’ll have so much more freedom but there is a train station and the public busses are reliable.
If you plan to visit the Lake District during these times of Covid please see lakedistrict.gov.uk/coronavirus for latest coronavirus rules across the National Park and services.