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48 hours in The Lake District

By Alice Phillips– 24th July 2020
Girl About The Lake District

A weekend in The Lake District

 

The Lake District National Park is 2,362km², the largest in England,  and is home to some of the greatest, most beautiful and dramatic scenery there is – in my opinion anyway! There’s limitless things to do here and although one person managed to run all 214 of the Wainwright Fells in 6 days, 6 hours and 5 minutes, it takes most people the best part of a lifetime. There’s plenty to do in-between as well so if walking mountains isn’t your thing there’s still so much to keep you busy.

The Lake District is also home to England’s wettest inhabited place, Seathwaite, but we get plenty of sun too and if you ask anybody the mountains look incredible in any weather. So, pack your waterproof (and your factor 50!) and get yourself to the Lake District!

Friday Lunchtime 

So you’ve hopped off the M6 motorway and instantly you’re hit with some fantastic views of the mountains. We are going to start our weekend right in the centre of the national park, Ambleside. It’s a busy, central hub and means it’s a great base for a weekend trip.

Head to the Apple Pie Cafe & Bakery and sit in or take out. Everything is baked fresh and, even though it’s a really popular place to eat, it still holds its ethos of ‘a local orientated, family run business.’ They have plenty of options and are really good for all the family. Also, make sure you try their apple pie whilst you’re here, it’s scrummy!

 

Friday Afternoon 

If you grab a takeout from The Apple Pie then you can meander around the town of Ambleside. Take a look at the 17th Century Bridge House, one of the smallest buildings owned by the National Trust.

Lake Windermere is only a little walk from the town centre as well so you can go and stretch your legs by the waterfront.

Alternatively you could go round to Wray Castle. It looks mighty impressive with it’s turrets and gothic looking towers – just like something a child would draw. The Castle has plenty of options for indoor and outdoor things to do. There’s beautiful lakeshore walks along Windermere and grounds to play in, then you can head inside to look at all the rooms, dress up and build your own castle.

 

Friday Evening 

It’s time to check in to your accommodation. If you’re here for a bit of luxury then book your weekend at Brimstone Hotel, situated in the Langdales about 15 minutes from Ambleside. You can have your own luxury suite and haven of tranquility. You can recharge in the spa and have a truly relaxing time.

For something a little closer to nature you can head just up the road to Rydal where you will find some quirky, but comfortable yurts. They are perfect for families and pets and make for being comfortable and cosy.

If you’d like to put on something lovely and head out for an exotic evening at Gilpin Spice. This is full of pan-Asian dishes inspired by countries such as the Philippines, Thailand and Japan.

If you’d like something a little more family-friendly then head to Misto for some Pizza and Pasta in a friendly and modern surrounding.

Ambleside is also full of lively, local orientated pubs, lots of which serve food. The Golden Rule is a practically unchanged pub full of character and atmosphere. It makes for a great place to pick up a bite to eat.

Saturday Morning 

Heading out of Ambleside you can take the drive over Kirkstone Pass passing by the highest pub in England, The Kirkstone Inn, to go over to Ullswater.

The journey down the winding road into the valley and along the lake is spectacular and you can pull over for a quick photo opportunity at any given point. Take your time on these magnificent passes and really soak it all in.

Down by the lake you can hop on an Ullswater steamer where you can see the whole lake and the towns and villages on its shore whilst taking in the vistas of some of England’s tallest mountains like Helvellyn and High Street. Take a walk off the steamer to go and see Aira Force, a 65ft waterfall that comes tumbling down into what looks like a magical fairy glen.

 

Saturday Lunch 

Once you’ve recovered from your sea (lake) legs you are going to head west to Keswick, one of the bigger towns in the Lake District and absolutely full of life. There’s plenty to do there come rain or shine, even a museum all about pencils! Look it up, it’s actually a great place to visit for all ages.

Anyway, for lunch you are going just outside of town to The Lingholm Kitchen. Their brunch menu is literally mouth-watering and definitely not to be missed, so it’s a good job it’s served until 3:30pm. Set in the beautiful grounds of The Lingholm Estate on the shores of Derwentwater and was the inspiration for ‘Mr McGregor’s Garden’ in the lovely Peter Rabbit Tales by Beatrix Potter.

 

Saturday Afternoon 

The Lake District is full to the brim of adrenaline-filled, adventurous, outdoor activities to do. One of these is at the top of Honister Pass standing at 1167ft. Take a drive down the beautiful Borrowdale valley and drive up to the top where at Honister.com there is the opportunity to take part in Via Ferrata, walking an ‘Infinity Bridge’ or Climb the Mine, all in and around the oldest working slate mine in England. This is a spectacular way to see the stunning scenery that The Lake District has to offer.

If climbing on rock faces and walking across wires 200ft of the valley floor doesn’t sound like your cup of tea then you can take a tour to see their world-famous Westmorland Green Slate that has been extracted there for centuries. There’s also plenty of walking to be done from here or you could grab a cuppa and a cake for their cafe and admire the beautiful view down into Buttermere valley.

 

Saturday Evening 

If you still have some energy left after climbing on some rock faces then head back into Keswick for your evening meal.

The Fellpack is a relaxed and informal restaurant that celebrates the best, seasonal, local food we have to offer. The dishes and their hard working staff are individual and always eclipse what the Lake District is all about.

The Pheasant is a local, traditional, Keswick pub. It has a small town pub feel and local ales to try. The more traditional ‘pub grub’ food might be exactly what’s needed after a long day of Lake District adventuring.

Alternatively, you can try and tackle the infamous Cow Pie at The George Hotel. Another pub with a traditional feel and local ales to try. It’s cosy feel in the bar is great for a cold night and the open fires will make you want to stay all evening.

If you need to stretch your legs after that then take the short 10 minute walk down to Derwentwater. The Lake is magnificent any time of day but if you time it then you can watch the sunset over the fells, illuminating their majestic ridgelines.

Sunday Morning 

Just before you have to head back to real life back home you can walk or drive to the beautiful little village of Grasmere. If you would like to then stop on the way at Rydal Caves. They are a magnificent show of a man made caverns, where a lot of the local roof slate would have been sourced. If you want the full experience then hop across the stepping stones to see – and hear – the immense space.

Grasmere itself is a lovely little village, well worth a wander around. Just on the outskirts is Dove Cottage, the poet William Wordsworth’s home from 1799 to 1808.

For a great brunch to fuel your journey home you could head to Lucia’s for some delicious cakes and pastries and specialty coffee. The homemade vibe is friendly and welcoming, somewhere great for the whole family.

Alternatively, dip into Mathildes for some simple, elegant and warming food. It’s set in a beautiful art gallery so there’s a feast for your eyes too.

Just before you leave, don’t forget to pick up your Grasmere Gingerbread. This is world famous and can only be bought from the small cottage next to the church. Tom Cruise is one of their famous customers too!

 

 

Five of my favourite places to stay in The Lake District

 

  1. Another Place, The Lake, Ullswater  https://another.place/
  2. Brimstone Hotel, Langdale  https://www.brimstonehotel.co.uk/index.html
  3. The Yan at Broadrayne – https://www.theyan.co.uk/
  4. Drunken Duck Inn – https://drunkenduckinn.co.uk/#food
  5. Lake District Yurts, Rydal – https://www.lake-district-yurts.co.uk/index.html
Girl About The Lake District
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