The Lake District

On Monday morning Steve and I drove to Bowness-on-Windermere in The Lake District.

We found the drive to be quite tiring but when we arrived we were grateful we had made the effort – it looked absolutely beautiful! The hotel we stayed at was called The Belsfield Laura Ashley hotel – it held the ‘Laura Ashley’ name as it was redecorated in the brand a few years ago. When we arrived at our room we were both gobsmacked – we were met with an incredible view and not just the bedroom, but also a sitting room. How fancy!

Unfortunately the bed was broken and neither of us slept much at all that night. It squeaked even if you took a breath, so you can imagine how noisy it was if you rolled over! We spoke to reception about this and when maintenance looked at the bed they confirmed it was faulty and we would need to move rooms. This was disappointing, as the room we were originally in was definitely the best, however having a proper night’s sleep was much more important!

We had a drink at The Angel Inn, which we were told by locals was a favourite. It had a nice atmosphere, although I was disappointed by the television that sat above the roaring fireplace!

We went to Shahib’s for dinner – it was divine! So much so, that we ate here a second time on our last night. Steve and I both love Indian food, so I am sure this wouldn’t surprise anyone!

On our first full day (Tuesday) we caught the ferry to Ambleside. The ferry trip was lovely and we had commentary from the captain, although he was quite difficult to understand (possibly a European accent). We ambled around Ambleside for a few hours and had sandwiches for lunch at Sheila’s Pantry, a quaint restaurant hidden in an alleyway. The atmosphere was nice and the food was excellent. On the return journey to Bowness-on-Windermere the fog had lifted so we could see more from the boat. Unfortunately, we still could not see all that much.

We had a drink at The Albert on this night before heading to an Italian restaurant, which was nice, but not as nice as our local at home – Verve.
On Wednesday we ventured in the car along the windy roads to Keswick. The scenery was magnificent and nothing like either of us had ever seen before. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip, although at times I was feeling quite nauseous. Possibly carsick or the beginnings of the ear infection I found out later on that I had developed!

Dove Cottage

We both enjoyed Keswick and were humoured by the amount of gifts regarding sheep, many named Barry or Barbara!
Our lunch today was a simple pea and ham soup for Steve and cheddar cheese and chutney sandwiches for me.

We stopped at the village (Grasmere) where William Wordsworth grew up. Unfortunately we could not view anything as it was shut for the month, however we wandered around the cobblestone streets and had the honour of seeing his house which looked quite impressive for a home of that era!

“William Wordsworth (1770–1850), poet, lived in Dove Cottage with his sister Dorothy Wordsworth (1771–1855), in the hamlet of Townend, on the outskirts of Grasmere, from 1799. He occasionally used to breakfast with Sir Walter Scott at The Swan, a 17th-century coaching inn on the A591 road, whose sign still quotes a line from him: “Who does not know the famous Swan?”. In 1808 he sold Dove Cottage to Thomas de Quincey (1785–1859) and moved to the larger Allan Bank, where he remained until moving to Rydal Mount in 1813. He is buried in the churchyard of St Oswald’s, Grasmere, alongside his wife, Mary, their family, and his sister Dorothy.[14] A friend, the writer Lady Maria Farquhar, lived at Dale Lodge.”

We undertook a bit of an unintentional pub crawl this evening, which was not very difficult when all the pubs were within a 200 metre radius! At the first pub (John Peel) we met two lovely ladies (mother and daughter) as well as their very cute 4 month old Jack Russell (long-haired) puppy. The mother was from the area and told us of some nice walks that could be done but also just general information, which was quite interesting. It is always lovely meeting people on holidays, even if it is just for a half hour chat!

We moved on to a few other pubs and met some gents who had been out shooting (tsk tsk). We were ordering a drink at the same time and were asked by one of the gents if we had indeed been shooting with them…. clearly they don’t have a very close-knit team!

On Thursday we were sad to have to leave our gorgeous hotel . After checking out from the hotel we drove to Miller Ground. We walked up the hill to say hi to the sheep (they were not interested in making new friends), then we went down along the lake where the scenery was so beautiful. We saw a mini waterfall – I believe it is called a ‘Beck’. This was nice, although by this stage we had unintentionally befriended a local. Despite what I have previously said about making friends, it is not good to make friends who will not go away… this man was a local and seemed to want to hang around us, even when we said we didn’t have long and that ahead of us was a six hour car drive back to London!

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