The Lake District is an incredibly popular destination thanks to its rugged demeanour and outstanding beauty. Thousands travel to the north of England every year for Kendal’s delicious mint cake, Windermere’s lake tours and some of nature’s finest hikes, trails and hidden beauty spots. Funnily enough, now please bear with me and my facts, but despite the name Lake District hinting that the area must be filled with lakes, there is only one lake and the rest are mere(ly) bodies of water! (Pun intended!) Anyway, on to the story of our 3 day adventure with our good friends Asher and Harvey….
On our first day we had a long lunch overlooking Lake Windermere, which was completely filled to the brim by tourists due to the beautiful weather we were lucky enough to have! From experience, I would only recommend Lake Windermere if you wanted to hire a motor boat for the afternoon, otherwise try to head to other areas such as Ullswater where it will be a lot less crowded and touristy but still offers beautiful views and watersports on the water. Ullswater was where our campsite was situated and it was both beautiful and unspoilt. After a good hour trying to figure out how to set up our tent, we headed to the Sun Inn in Pooley Bridge which was only 5 minutes down the road. This little village was a sun trap with 3 lovely pubs all within seconds of each other, creating a very sociable and friendly atmosphere.
Afterwards, we spent the evening by the waters edge, as our campsite had its own beach and sidewalk to enjoy the sunset falling behind the rolling hills. The campsite was called ParkFoot and was set at the very tip of Ullswater. It was a superb location and very cheap for the bank holiday weekend, although I wouldn’t recommend choosing such a big campsite if you are looking for peace and tranquility. Despite the location being near-perfect, it was easy to forget you were in the rural Lake District with so many people around – but it is all down to personal choice, and if you are a big group or with kids then this could be a great choice for you!
We woke up early and headed out to climb Helvellyn mountain, one of the tallest peaks in the Lake District. The sun was already shining and we were ready to start climbing by 9am! It was mesmerising to be walking in such a rugged and aesthetic landscape with some parts of the hike looking like the set of Lord Of The Rings! (I am a big fan and urge those who haven’t seen it to do so!) To reach the natural tarn ( body of water ) that was situated just below the peak took us around 2 hours uphill, and was an incredible surprise to see after sweltering in the sunshine! As we scrambled back down, we came across a hidden oasis with a little water fall to jump off! It was absolutely freezing cold but exhilarating being able to wild swim in the clear water that had trickled down the mountain of Helvellyn! Having dried off in the sunshine, we headed to Lake Windermere to take out the motor boat that we had booked the day before, and only cost us £60 for 2 hours between 4 people! I’m a lover of being by water, and so it was the perfect way to relax on the lake – away from the crowds of Windermere’s shores – as we rested our tired legs and navigated our way around the lake, trying to avoid the waves from the bigger boats! We finished off our incredible day with a BBQ on the beach, prosecco in hand and overlooking the water as the sun went down.
All in all, it was great to explore new undiscovered parts to the Lake District with great friends, and I would always suggest trying to avoid the ‘popular’ destinations and try to discover some lesser-known parts to really relax and take in the natural surroundings and fresh air. Camping is a fun way to get away with friends if you only have a weekend and don’t want to splash the cash. It’s a great way to add a real sense of adventure to your trip, and a fantastic way to allow you to explore new parts of England, which are usually overlooked as we rush to book flights to any European destination and ignore the beauty on our doorstep. Grab your tent and get out there!
It is so easy to sit back and let the days past by, we always live by waiting for tomorrow to arrive, yet when tomorrow becomes today, we sometimes fail to take action and blame the inevitable fact that the timing isn’t right. The timing will never be right, but it is down to us to realise what makes us happy and how we want to spend our time – the only real commodity we have that matters and that we can control.