The Lake District is one of England’s most gorgeous places but it’s taken me 10 years before visiting. I’ve been to the dales a plenty, once to the mountains of Wales and on a stunning day trip through Scotland’s landscapes but never set foot in Cumbria before. After going on the train ride between Carlisle and Leeds earlier this year, I realised what I’d been missing out on. So when the girls asked if I fancied a weekend away near Keswick, I couldn’t say no. On a side note, I pronounced Keswick with the w the first time I said it and people laughed. I get that it’s funny but why include letters in words and then not bother voicing them?! 🙂 Anyway, here are my first impressions of the Lake District.
We stayed at Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat quite far north in the Lake District so driving from Leeds, we drove through big parts of it. Sadly it got dark before we arrived but from what I could see, it’s a huge area filled with hill tops making you feel small. I love the feeling of being close to tall buildings and high hills as it makes me feel tiny and the world a humongous place.
On our second day we went on an excursion, driving half an hour or so away from the lodge retreat, via Keswick and again, I saw plenty of gorgeous landscapes and hill tops to admire. I wanted to stop every second for a photo and go exploring to see what’s around the corners.
Don’t get me wrong, the Dales are great for nice walks and most are very breathtaking but walking in the Lake District, I think this area tops it. Sorry Yorkshire but this place has that extra umpf. It’s a very small difference, like seeing a landscape on a cinema screen vs a TV screen. The Lake District just feels a little bit bigger and more grande when looking around. Bear in mind, I’ve only seen a small part of the Lake District but it’s given me an urge to go back soon and explore more.
I love water! I grew up by the seaside back in Sweden and if it’s one thing I miss, that’s it – the sea. The Lake District has plenty of lakes and other sources of water and it makes me so happy. On our walk, we crossed the Ellers Beck, stopped for photos at Derwent Water, involuntary waded through a massive flooding, admired the impressive Lodore Falls, trecked along Watendlath Beck and Reecastle Crag and snapped more photos in front of Watenlath Tarn. It was the perfect spots to showcase my new jacket and hat from Rydale*. They’re a Yorkshire country clothing brand with plenty of attire to choose from for walks like these. I wore the wax jacket for the Flamborough day out too. It’s great for windy days and reaching higher heights where it can get a little bit chilly.
This is definitely the place to go if you’re looking to escape city hustle and bustle. As soon as we crossed the border, I felt calm and stress free. You won’t have time to think about day to day life in surroundings like these. Our cottage was close to others but we never heard our neighbours (they might have heard us on in the hot tub) and I’m sure wherever you stay, the venue will be all about giving you a relaxed feeling. At the Lodore Falls, we walked past a stunning spa hotel and I’d love to go there. The Lake District seem to be the perfect location for a spa. If you want to find a country spot to sit down on your own admiring the views, there are plenty of opportunities. We met and were passed by other people during our walk but on many occasions we found ourselves completely alone.
This was the perfect weekend. Two nights away, escaping the city, with plenty of fresh air. It was lovely catching up with fabulous friends over prosecco and hot tub sessions. I can’t wait to go back!
Have you been to the Lake District? Where do you recommend to stay and what areas and walks should I explore next?
*I was kindly sent the jacket and hat from Rydale in return for featuring in a blog post. All words, views and photos are as always my own.