Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Lake District.

Sorting through my pictures, I really feel as though I haven't done the Lake District justice. We were laughing at this point in the trip, as each stop seemed more beautiful than the last, and we realized, prior to this, we really had no clue that the U.K. had so much open space. The villages, farms, and countryside, day after day were all so picturesque and tidy. You would see a beautiful setting, and as if it wasn't gorgeous enough, someone would throw in some sheep, a meandering brook, and a stone wall. Done. Fairy Tale. Anyone seen Mr. Darcy? This is more than I can say for some small towns in B.C. that leave something to be desired.

The towns in the Lake district were very cute, but I seem to have only captured bits of the countryside. Oh well, guess you'll just have to go there yourself!

The rain beat us to the area, and continued our first morning there. Upon our arrival, there were definitely lakes where there should not have been...

 Some very hardy Cyclists. (so the real story goes, we rolled down the window to applaud them as we passed, and then almost got smoked by a tour bus in the oncoming lane...oops!)

But as Rick Steves says, 'There is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing'. His guide to the Lake District is actually quite good. Have a read here.

Our one mistake was staying in Windermere. It is on the larger side, and little more touristy. When we booked, we had no idea what to expect, were pulled over at service station, with the IPAD out and just picked something so that we had a destination, and a place to lay our heads. It was 'The Gateway to the Lake District' after all. Perhaps this was actually a good thing though, as seen as it wasn't really peak tourist season, we may have found the smaller villages shutting their doors quite early.

The Inn we stayed in served its purpose (for two nights), but wasn't that special, and as we had the rules of the house stated to us upon entry, I was a little turned off.

Our dinner the first night however....SCRUMPTIOUS. We lucked out, and they were able to squeeze us in, but usually one needs to book ahead for this special place. It's called Jerichos. 

'Chris Blaydes, Chef proprietor, and Master Chef of Great Britain, cooks with a confidence and creativity that spotlights the simplicity and flavor of his dishes. The menu is small with a limited choice, but it showcases the very best of quality local and seasonal produce' 

Jerichos also has rooms, so maybe that would be a better place to stay if you are set on Windermere.
So if you're not going to stay in Windermere, where should you stay? My pick would be Grasmere, or Ambleside.

We spent the next day and a bit exploring the different lakes and towns. When you pull out a map, there are some obvious driving 'loops' you can take to see the area (or cycle!).

You have to go to Grasmere anyways to try Sarah Nelson's famous Gingerbread. We only bought 6 pieces, but trust me, you will love it, go for 12. It makes the perfect treat with your tea, or in our case, driving snacks when we start to get cranky.

Inside the Gingerbread Shack (the best picture I have...sorry!).

We went for a lovely walk in the hills (again- Dad was all about the walking). It was a great entry point, but unfortunately all I can remember was that we pulled over just down the road from Beatrix Potter's Farm, so if you can find that, you'll be nearby. We parked on one side, crossed the road, went over a bridge, and into the hills. Once you got to the top, you could see for miles.

Once you climbed the hill you could see for miles. Three hundred and sixty degrees.

You don't need great weather to enjoy the area. Bring a good book to curl by the fire (Pride and Prejudice would be fitting) if it's really horrible out, or tuck yourself away in a tea room. The Lake District is scenic, rain or shine.

Mini-break anyone?

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