Lake District

Kirby Lonsdale- The Lake District

I went to Kirby Lonsdale in the Lake District with my mum this Easter which is a nice quaint little towny-village.  We parked down by The Devil’s Bridge.  Apparently, the Devil appeared to an old woman, promising to build a bridge in exchange for the first soul to cross over it. When the bridge was finished, the woman threw bread over the bridge and her dog chased after it, thereby outwitting the Devil.  It was on wikipedia so it must be true.

Kirby LonsdaleWe walked into town along the river and up a whole bunch of really steep steps.  The view at the top over a bend in the River Lune is called Ruskin’s View after the artist who really liked it, I guess. I have to confess it didn’t do much for me but different strokes for different folks!  There were lots of daffodils in the church yard too.

Kirby LonsdaleWe went for lunch at The Royal which is a nice hotel type place.  I got a mezze- it’s like kind of place.  I also got chips. It was a good lunch.

Kirby Lonsdale

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Touring UK- Grizedale Forest and Go Ape, Lake District

On our last day in the Lake District we headed to Grizedale Forest to Go Ape! Check out my video here!

Go Ape is a treetop experience where you’re clipped in to a harness and trek through the trees over various obstacles.  It’s £30 so not the cheapest option but it was good fun. For your £30 you get a 30mins (ish) training run through where they explain how the system works; there is a cable over each element and you have to safely clip onto the cable each time.  It was a little confusing at first but once I saw the system in action I was fine with it.  Fail to follow the rules though and you can red carded and booted out!

Grizedale

The obstacles include wooden bridges, tight ropes, zip wires, ladders, and two ‘tarzan swings’. The tarzan swings represent the scariest elements but as long as you have faith in the cables holding you then you’ll be fine.  I was fine but boyfriend did have to take a moment at one point.  We also overtook a couple who were struggling to get through one challenging element earlier on.Grizedale

The only problem with Go Ape is that between each obstacle is a platform where three people are allowed to wait.  And this caused some queueing especially at the beginning as you have to wait for slower parties to complete that section of the course before you can proceed.  I would recommend it but would say the thrill factor very much depends on the individual, much scarier after you hit 30 and have already started to contemplate your own mortality.  The kids had no fear!

Grizedale

The Grizedale Forext Visitor Centre also has a nice shop, there was an impressive display on Environmental Photography, and an uninspiring cafe.  We headed home tired but satisfied.

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Touring UK- Windermere and Grasmere, The Lake District

WindermereWindermere1

On our second day in the Lake District we went to Windermere.  Windermere is the largest natural lake in England. There is also a town of the same name about half a mile (1 km) away from the lake. We parked up in the town and then wandered along to Bowness-on-Windermere, another town on the lake.  Bowness is really nice; a quaint town with picturesque scenery.  Unfortunately, everyone else in the entire world was there too, and those that weren’t clogging up the pavement were driving their cars along the busy road.

We attempted to find a nice walk along the lake but struggled to find a path by the water and kept getting suck walking along the main road. So we headed back to Bowness to rent a row boat only to find a queue of people trying to likewise and not much activity.  We gave up and headed back to the car.

Windermere

GrasmereWe drove to Grassmere.  Grasmere takes its name from the adjacent lake, and is associated with the poet William Wordsworth, who lived in Grasmere for fourteen years.  There was the Lakeland Sports Fair (log throwing, fell running, dogs etc).  There was about an hour left and cost £9 each and looked like a million people trapped in a pen surrounded by parked cars.  So we decided not to visit the show.

We walked through Grassmere, visited the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden (not enough daffodils), the church, and the river.   We also stopped by the Grassmere Gingerbread shop which is tiny and you have to queue to buy the famous gingerbread.  It’s pretty good, although how it’s different from any other gingerbread I couldn’t tell you.

Grasmere

GrasmereWe had some time before dinner and headed up to Easedale Tarn (a tarn is a little lake).  It’s a short walk but the climb does get a little steep and you have to watch your footing.  Still we managed there and back in under two hours and you get some spectacular views of the Tarn, and hills, and the valley.

Grasmere

For dinner we drove up the road to the Green Valley veggie restaurant in the Lancrigg Hotel.  There’s a relaxed atmosphere there and really nice food, it’s not cheap but two mains and two drinks cost us £33 which is just about within budget!  I had polenta pancakes and chilli and boyfriend had mushroom roulade, both yummy.

Grasmere

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Touring UK- Kendal, The Lake District

KendalMy mum has a new cabin in the Lake District so off boyfriend and I went for our bank holiday weekend together.  The Lake District is England’s largest national park and includes Scafell Pike England’s highest mountain.  There are also well populated towns such as Windermere, Ambleside, Keswick, and Bowness-on-Windermere, as well as many more villages.

The cabin was only 15mins from Kendal which is in the Lake District but just outside the Lake District National Park. Kendal is a large town with a population of 28,586, and used to manufacture wool, the latin town motto “Pannus mihi panis”, means cloth is my bread.

KendalMy first priority in Kendal was to obtain food, after a few false starts we found Baba Ganoush.  Baba ganoush is the name of an aubergine dip, it is also the name of a Kendal deli (unknown to us at the time was that they had a sit down café just around the corner).  They do soup and sandwiches but we went for the salad bar; I got the veggie box which was 3 salad choices, plus hummus, plus baba ganoush, plus olives, plus stuffed vine leaves.

Since they were out of vine leaves and I don’t like olives I got 5 salad choices instead; mustard mayo potatoes, sugar snap peas, coleslaw, onion chutney, and cous cous.  There was a lot and it was so filling I couldn’t finish it.  My only criticism was that I needed bread with it.  They also have cheese and meat which you can get if you chose the other ‘box’ options.  It was healthy and at £5.45 a box it was good value too.

We walked around Kendal which is an odd town imo.  Typical of the Lake District it is dominated by a very busy main road running through it and a constant stream of visitors and locals. But in the background is the calm and beautiful countryside surroundings.Kendal

It is full of all the usual high street shops and there was little of interest there.  Instead we enjoyed walking along the river, past the church, popping in to the library, cowering from the hailstorm under some trees.  Ah yes, also typical of the Lake District is the…interesting…weather; it is extremely changeable and after the 20min rain and hail storm past it was gloriously sunny and we headed to the ruins of Kendal Castle.

The remains of the Castle aren’t very extensive but it was fun to explore and on a clear day you get an excellent view of Kendal town.  Also on a sunny day I bet it’s a nice spot for picnics, just a short but steep hill to get up first.

Kendal

In the evening we went back into Kendal to the Brewery Arts centre where they have a cinema and theatre, as well as a restaurant and bar.  We went to the cinema but I recommend sitting outside the bar on a nice day and looking at the view.

Kendal

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