Our Mini Trip To The Lake District
If you follow me on Instagram (which you totally should of course!), you might have seen that this weekend Sam and I took a mini trip to the Lake District. We had SUCH a lovely time and despite only being away for one night, we both came back feeling refreshed and re-energised. It's funny how a trip to the countryside can so easily ground you again, isn't it? So today I thought I'd put together a little post to show you what we got up to . You'll have to forgive the photo quality as muggins here forget to take her camera with her (yep, I went to one of the most picturesque places in the UK and forgot my camera - BAD travel blogger), so all of these were taken on my iPhone...
I used to go to the Lakes a lot as a child - my Nan and Grandad had a caravan there and they would take my sister and I for weekend visits at least once a month. Some of my happy childhood memories are exploring all of the pretty towns and villages in the area, so when Sam said he'd like to head there to celebrate his 30th birthday, I was on it!
We decided to stay in Grasmere - it's such a pretty little village in a great location, and it's quite a bit cheaper than staying in popular Windermere, especially at this time of year.
We arrived at around 3pm and after a quick freshen up at our hotel (we stayed at the MacDonald Swan hotel which was very reasonable), we spent the afternoon exploring the village. We indulged in a very delicious ice cream, took a walk down to the water and enjoyed a couple of G&T's in a sunny pub garden. We were both instantly hit by the slower pace of life and seemed to relax into it immediately, which felt like such a relief after a hectic couple of weeks.
After a couple more drinks while watching the sunset behind the hills, we headed back to our hotel for dinner. It was fine, but nothing to write home about and while I'd definitely stay at the hotel again, I think we'd probably eat somewhere else next time.
Sam had spied a bar selling craft beers earlier in the day that he was keen to visit, so once we'd finished eating, we moseyed back down to the village. Not before stopping at the park though - I remembered that my sister and I had loved the park in Grasmere when we were younger for one particular reason: they have an epic bouncing see-saw roundabout contraption which was so much fun. Safe to say that Sam and I had to give it a little try, and considering we had a couple of drinks in is by this point it resulted in Sam falling off and me nearly peeing myself with hysterical laughter!
We were both ready for a sit down at this point so we headed to Tweedies Bar, which was looking so very cosy and candlelit. It made me feel really excited for hygge autumn nights filled with fires and red wine and blankets and comfort food - bring it on. We ordered some drinks, bagsied Scrabble from the board game selection and got settled in for the evening.
Sam and I both remarked on how it was the most relaxed we had felt for ages - there's just something about the fresh air and the slower pace of life that makes it impossible to feel stressed. Even when Sam beat me at Scrabble - I swear I'm pretty good at this game but I've never been able to beat him once in the 7 years of knowing him!
We headed back to the hotel for the BEST SLEEP EVER in the world's biggest and most comfy bed - seriously, I kept rolling over and thinking "how is this bed so comfy?!". Tips on how to make my own bed feel like this would be very welcome. We ate breakfast at the hotel which was way better than dinner and then got packed up ready to explore the local area. The weather has definitely taken a turn for the worse, but that wasn't going to put us off.
First on our list of places to visit was Ambleside. This is another cute little town a couple of miles away from Grasmere, with a little stream running through it and plenty of cute shops. It quickly got me dreaming of quitting my job and opening a pretty little gift shop somewhere remote and picturesque - one day!
We sheltered from the drizzle with a couple of coffees and then decided to jump back in the car and move to our next location...
Our next stop was Bowness-on-Windermere, which is probably one of the most touristy places in the Lake District, but you can totally see why. It's a town set right on the edge of Lake Windermere and boasts some beautiful views, even when the weather isn't so great!
We had planned to hire a boat but with the drizzle fogging up the view, we decided to just go for a little stroll instead. This was another place that brought back some warm and fuzzy childhood nostalgia for me, and also some slightly more traumatic memories of geese trying to steal my ice cream!
Once we'd got our lakeside fill, we hopped back in the car ready to head to our next destination. Sam and I recently became National Trust members and so we agreed that we had to fit at least one NT location into the trip and we chose Sizergh Castle. It was a lovely place to stretch our legs and the gardens were particularly beautiful.
We had one more stop on the list to break up the drive home and that was Ingleton Falls. A few different people have told me about this place and it's been on my list for years, so I was glad we finally got to visit. It's a 5 mile circular trail that brings you up close and personal to some absolutely stunning waterfalls and while the hike was pretty tough on the ol' legs, we both thoroughly enjoyed it.
With tired legs, quiet minds and lungs full of fresh air, it was time to head back to Leeds. We were only gone for just over 24 hours but we had such a brilliant time and managed to squeeze so much in.
Our mini trip to the Lake District was a perfect little taster to get us hooked on exploring more of this beautiful place and we're already planning a trip back in the autumn. I just know it will be even more beautiful with all of the changing leaves!
Have you been to the Lake District before? Where are your favourite spots to visit?