Given how much of a keen walker I am, it's always been a bit of a source of shame that I've never been to the English Lake District. Well, I managed to rectify that omission this week just gone. When a good friend said he was getting together a few of us to go the Lakes I jumped at the chance - especially when someone else does most of the organising!
We stayed at a cottage in Chapel Stile in the Southern Lakes, not too far from Ambleside rented through Wheelwrights who appear to have cornered the market in holiday cottages in this area! It was a good location and the cottage was lovely - a little bit dated in some of the decoration but big and with an excellent kitchen. I only banged my head on the low beams once too...
The weather was a little variable but we managed to get to do some great walks - including about 90% of Crinkle Crags (got lost in the mist on the tops so called it off early) plus a trip along the Langdale Valley and out to Ambleside and also Grasmere and Keswick.
Things that are probably commonplace for people who've been before, but new to me and that I recommend;
- Grasmere Gingerbread. Simply yum and makes the visit to Wordsworth's grave especially fragrant!
- Sticklebarn. Great pub with fab food run by the National Trust.
- Bluebird Bitter. From the award-winning Coniston Brewing Company - very tasty, especially when sampled at the excellent Britannia Inn.
- And I even managed to get a little run in as part of my training for the Nottingham Half Marathon
I loved the fact that even a little stroll along the valley floor was stunningly beautiful and a little hike up would soon become almost alpine - I'll be back soon I think!