I was so looking forward to our second English holiday of the year. The lake district reminds me of my childhood trips up to see my Grandparents and of course is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the World, let alone England! On the way to our holiday let we stopped off in Wensleydale, the pretty area of the Yorkshire Dales, where we visited the creamery that produces its namesake cheese. Wensleydale and ginger in hand, we then took a detour to Hardraw force, England’s largest single drop waterfall. I had fun messing around with the settings on my camera – great start to the holiday!
We stayed in a place called Cow Byre, near the village of Kirkby Stephen, which is just about equidistant between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. It had countryside charm in buckets; log fire etc., as well as the touch of luxury you look for when you go away, but we chose it primarily for the views, and it certainly didn’t let us down. I even managed to get a photo of a Red Squirrel, which has become rare in the UK due to those pesky grey ones, and for me it was the snap of the holiday!
True to form, I came down with a cold pretty much the morning after we arrived, so unfortunately we had to take it a bit easier than we would have liked, not to mention there being less wine consumption than anticipated. We continued the waterfall theme we’d started with on the holiday and did the aira force walk near lake windermere at the beginning of the week. It was only when I got there that I realised I’d done the same walk with my grandparents a few years ago, but it didn’t stop it from being a lovely day all the same! Even though I wasn’t very well, the fresh air worked wonders, and I could just about smell the ferns which are so reminiscent of my childhood walks (granted, I had to be unwillingly dragged round by my parents, but it’s different in hindsight!).
We enjoyed pottering round a couple of national trust places while we were away, which was good for me on the days I didn’t feel like hiking! Posts on those to come shortly.
We’d planned to meet up with my grandparents later on in the week, but we were a bit worried about what we were going to do as the weather was forecast to be so bad the whole time we were there. In reality, we only had bits of rain here and there, and when we came to the day for the walk with my grandparents, it was glorious! My Granddad is king of the lake district, having been a walking group leader for years and years. He’s taken a bit more of a step back these days, but he still took the 3 hour walk from Rydal and up round Grasmere in his stride, showing us a wonderful walk that you won’t find in the books, and stopping frequently to give us a bit of history here and there – it was a really lovely day all round. We ended up in Grasmere (town) for an English lakes ice cream and a large purchase of ginger bread from the tiny little shop there. It was so lovely that we decided when we come again we’d try and stay there, if possible!
On our last day, we did a walk round Ravenstonedale, a lovely little village near where we stayed. There were a few points of interest along the way; millions of sheep; a viaduct, a nature reserve with an old lime kiln in; a heron in the river nearby; a fantastic pub at the end of the walk, the Black Swan. It was a perfect way to end the holiday!
Despite my cold, I had a wonderful week away, and we agreed we should try and make it up to the lakes every year from now on. It’s so very good for the soul.