26 July 2017

A weekend in the Lake District

weekend in the Lake District

The Lake District is one of my favourite places in the UK and a place I recommend any traveller to visit. It's quintessentially British with an abundance of countryside, plenty of small pubs and it always rains... the rain aside, the summers in the Lake District aren't too bad and I've seen my fair share of sunshine there, but I would take a waterproof coat and some decent shoes just in case.

A good few days could cover pretty much the essentials, unless you're a really keen walker so you could easily spend a week here exploring all the different route across the District National park. But if you only have a weekend then there is plenty to fit it. Rambling among the little towns and trying out different cafes and pubs is the way I would spend my weekend but there is also a fair few tourist things you can do as well.


Where to stay?


Plenty of places to stay, but you will want to book ahead as it is busy all throughout the year. Ambleside has a really good youth hostel if you're looking for a cheaper option. But if you're wanting more privacy then I'd recommend one of the many B&Bs/guesthouses in Ambleside. 

How to get about?


There are buses but I would recommend driving yourself. There is enough parking available throughout the towns, although you do have to pay, but I imagine getting the bus everything proves quite difficult.


Boat trips on lake windermere


Windermere


You may think the main town of the Lake District as it is named after the big lake Windermere afterall. However, I find that there isn't too much to do in Windermere town apart from have a little ramble around. The main activities here really are the walks, and there is a great abundance of them but in my opinion, I would start the walks from Ambleside. But Windermere town is worth a few hours if not for a cafe or a spot of lunch. There are plenty of B&Bs here, but not too much nightlife so I'd stay in Ambleside in that respect.



Ambleside


The main town in my opinion and plenty to do. If you're staying in the Lake District YHA youth hostel then Ambleside is where you'll be staying, right on the lake side. The lake is glorious, no matter if it's rain or shine, and you have a number of activities at your disposal. Take a boat ride cruise around the lake to truly see all of the sites or even go canoeing/kayaking to explore the lake on your own. There is also a climbing wall and plenty of discount outdoorsey shops for walking shoes, coats and camping gear.


walks around the lake district

If you're after a long walk and a trek to really see the great sites of the Lake District then do the Loughrigg Fell walk which runs over the hills from Ambleside to Grasmere. It is a long walk of about 3-4 hours up and down hill, but you do see some great sights and you get to reward yourself at Gramsere at the end (read on to find out why...)

Nightlife is best in Ambleside with an abundance of pubs which offer live music at the weekends. For food, I'd recommend Zeffirellis which is a restaurant, jazz bar and cinema in the heart of Ambleside. A really art deco cinema, 20's style and from what I remember, you get a discount if you dine at the restaurant. After the cinema, head to the likes of the Golden Rule or the Gilded Lily bar for a good British pub atmosphere and most likely live music on a weekend. Or maybe just some fish and chips by the lake.


food in the lake district


Grasmere


The holy grail is here. Mecca some might say. Well maybe just me, but head to Sarah Nelson's Grasmere's Gingerbread Shop for the best gingerbread in the world! There are queues out of the door and they stay open until they sell out. Grasmere is also worth a few hours of your time, after you've gorged on gingerbread. On Sundays they sometimes have a car boot/village market and there is a few walks around the village, especially to Lake Grasmere, but there also many walks from the village (Alcock Tarn, Easedale Tarn.)


Sarah Nelson's grasmere gingerbread


Bowness-on-Windermere


If you're a fan of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck etc etc. then head to the Beatrix Potter museum. I thought it was cute and loved the stories and learning about the origins of each one, but my boyfriend wasn't as impressed.


Still on my To Do list


There is a ton of other things to do in the Lake District and even though I'v been 3 times, there is so much on my list. Keswick and Kendall are both on my list. For Keswick Derwernt Water is supposed to be really beautiful and have a number of great walks, as is Catbells Lakeland walk. For Kendall head to Hawkshead brewery, which speaks for itself, and there are a few castles nearby. For more family activities then Lakeland Maze Farm seems pretty good, but Go Ape in Hawkshead is definitely on my list.


Lake district walks

Overall, an amazing part of the UK, and not one to be missed if you have time here. It couldn't be further apart from the likes of London, and it is one of the best pieces of British countryside that there is in my opinion.

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