Pockets of vast water, moody lake shores and magnificent views, the Lakes truly lives up to the dream.
On our first day, we arrived into Keswick in the late afternoon and so we wasted no time cracking on, eager to discover the inviting view that was bestowed upon us. Our lovely B&B host recommended a walk to the top of Walla Crag; she promised an incredible view of Derwentwater. The cold nipped at us as we climbed our way to the top of the Crag, temperatures slipping by degree with the ascent. But it was worth it. Not a person in sight, a sense of selfishness was felt; how we dare have this view to ourselves. The 10k walk continued and took us through infinite fields of grazing sheep and finally we descended to the bottom where the sullen lake, laying there in all its stillness, greeted us. What a way to start a trip.
The view from Hillcrest 22 B&B Keswick
The view from the top of Walla Crag
Breakfast at Hillcrest 22 B&B
We joked about how we might tire of seeing so many lakes. On a previous trip to Mexico, by the time we’d seen 3 ruins, we felt like we had seen all the ruins the country had to offer. But the Lakes are different. Each one promises unique characteristics when they invite you to partake in their beauty.
Our next stop was to Buttermere, 20 minutes away. A car will be your best friend during a trip to the Lakes and if there’s one thing I recommend you do, drive from Keswick to Buttermere. Loop through narrow lanes and stretches of long country roads with towering slopes of green either side; it’s an insanely beautiful, wild and picturesque journey from one incredible lake to another.
A photo stop during the drive
When we got to Buttermere, I could see why it was voted a treasure from the moment I set eyes on it. I have no idea why or what it made it so different but it felt more personable, grander and more splendid than Derwentwater. Children sitting in her trees and skimming pebbles across her surface, she felt like the mother of all lakes.
As we were making our way to Windermere, we paid Grasmere a visit en-route. Grasmere is a beaut too, of course and her village is quaint and adorable. There was one part of the Lake on the way to the viewing shore that I adored. 3 ducks dozing on a wooden raft and empty boats poking over the shallow water, this was the true essence of peace, wistfulness and tranquility.
Finally we got to Windermere later that afternoon and after a long day, settled into the Cragwood Country Hotel. It may not be blazing hot skies in Spring but you can definitely enjoy a cooler, darker and more atmospheric Lake District. And this is exactly what we saw from the gardens, Lake Windermere in all its melodramatic glory.
Windermere definitely felt more touristy and we did indulge in a few of the popular activities, taking a break from the country walks. Given we visited over the Easter weekend it was no surprise that a wealthy population of tourists racked up on the marina. We took a boat trip out from here to the other side of the Lake where we boarded a steam train to Haverthwaite. It’s a short train journey but the novelty of the ride is worth it.
We also went to the cutesy World of Beatrix Potter after battling through the morning queue. I loved her books when I was little so of course I wasn’t going to miss a world where they bring her scribbly watercolor characters to life. It’s definitely worth a visit if you are fan and don’t miss the little Peter Rabbit garden tucked out back.
A day of touristy adventures over, our last day in the Lakes was full of drizzle and fog. But we went ahead with the short walk to the top of Orresthead. The weather may not play it’s cards right all the time but even the damp, misty sight of Windermere from the top of the fell wasn’t a disappointment; and fellow walkers mutually agreed.
A sign shop on the way up to the top of Orresthead
My journey to the Lakes won’t end here. I would love to see a festive Lake District at Christmas and take on a challenging hot summer’s walk. I’d love to go back to Buttermere and climb the peaks so I can admire her beauty from above. And I would love to wake up again to a wondrous Keswick breakfast with the view of Derwentwater in close distance.
The Lakes, I make a vow to see you every year from now.
And how did my finish my trip? I got home and watched Miss Potter of course 🙂
Accommodation – HillCrest 22
Eating out – Café bar 26 – amazing tapas!
The drive to Buttermere
Accomodation – Cragwood Country Hotel
Eating out – Doi Intanon in Ambleside – amazing Thai!
Boat cruises from Bowness and Steam Train to Haverthwaite