On the advice of our host at a bed and breakfast near Telford we headed for the Lake District and the town of Ambleside early on Friday afternoon in a courtesy car provided by the motor home dealer. The traffic jams on the motorways out in the countryside were unbelievable- it made us realise just how big the population of England is. We finally made it after 4 1/2 hours – the return trip took only 2 hr 40.
Ambleside is a very pretty town at the head of Lake Windermere.
Much nicer than the bigger touristy towns of Bowness- Windermere further south on the lake. As Richard had OD’d on driving the day before, Saturday saw us taking a ferry boat going down to the southern end of the lake, stopping at Bowness on the way back. Lots of beautiful old country homes near the lake, some very large.
The next day we set off for Wastwater on the western side of the Lake District, one of my mother’s favourite places from when she was young and so a fitting way to spend Mother’s Day. The drive over made us realise why everyone raves about the Lake District- small cute villages nestled in valleys with stone walls snaking their way around and up over the hillsides. But those cute stone walls made for challenging driving when they were only inches from the car on the narrow roads- definitely not for trainee motor home drivers. Thank god we only had the car.
An hour’s hike through fields and forest took us to Wastwater. Yes we could have driven but the colours of the new spring growth and bluebells, primroses and other wild flowers carpeting the forest made it very special. The famous view up Wastwater to Scarfell Pike the highest “mountain” in England greeted us at the end. This part of the Lake District is quite remote by English standards.
On Sunday we ventured north to Ullswater and on to Keswick. Ullswater is another beautiful lake. We had planned to do another hike with good views but got a little lost trying to match the directions in our book on walks with the GPS. Lesson learned – only buy a guide book with GPS coordinates or really good directions! So after driving in a few circles and a short stop at the tourist office in Keswick we decided to do a high fells walk on the drive back to Ullswater and Ambleside. Not our day- somehow we missed a turn in the track and found ourselves squishing through boggy moss which seemed to be everywhere. Still we were high enough to get some good views over the high plateau.
So lucky with the timing of our visit to the Lake District – perfect weather in spring and so warm (like 24 deg). A rarity in the area at that time of year apparently.
Still trying to get the hang of inserting photos at the right size- it all seemed straightforward when Soph gave us a tutorial before we left but for now ….. They are either huge or small.