It’s been a while since we last posted, and the reason for that is pretty much down to the 15 month old we have been blessed with.
However a few months back, our new family went on an impromptu adventure, to the north west of England. A 4 hour drive north, to the county of Cumbria, was always going to be a challenge with a child who has not traveled before, but to his credit he was extremely well behaved.
Every time we reach the entrance to the Lake District National Park, a part of me just relaxes. It may be just the first sign of the rugged terrain, or maybe the fresh country air but something just clicks. This break would be a lot different to previous adventures, where we have hiked the highest peaks in England including Helvellyn and Scarfell Pike. This break was more about spending time as a family – and that is exactly what we did.
We stayed in the sensational Hollywood Guest house bed and breakfast in the beautiful town of Windermere – highly recommended.
Windermere is just perfect location for any Lake District holiday, as it retains its sense of quaint Cumbrian town while bordering Bowness – the busiest tourist location in the Lakes. Don’t get me wrong Windermere can get very busy especially in peak times but nothing compared to the crowds of Bowness.
Taking a morning walk down the hill to Bowness to catch a boat to the town of Ambleside was our first priority. We wouldn’t usually do this route as it is very touristy , however as this would be Rhys first boat trip it was perfectly acceptable. And guess what? He loved it. It’s an amazing feeling to see him smile at any point but especially the first experience smiles. As the boat nipped down the edge of Windermere Lake his eyes widened and a look of elation came over him.
Having a picnic lunch at the park adjacent to the boat docks, just the three of us, was again a heart-warming moment, even with the slightly chilly weather. Ambleside was its usual sprawling self, and gave Bowness a run for its money for the busiest town. Ambleside is always worth a visit with a lot of independent shops and hidden restaurants.
Back to Bowness to feed the ducks was the scene for a lasting memory. The array of birds on the shores of the lake is great; however it is astonishing how tame they are. We witnessed child stroking the largest of resident swans, something we would never attempt.
Anyhow back to the moment, Rhys loved watching the wild water birds and at one point sat with mum and dad had a curious goose take food from our hands. What an incredible memory!
We also decided to revisit a number of gentle walks which we know well, from previous visits to the Lake District. The first of which was Tarn Howes, just off the idyllic remote village of Hawkshead. Tarn Howes is actually a reservoir but you wouldn’t know it. The beautiful secluded tarn resides at the top of hawks head hill and offers a real remote feel with stunning scenery. On this visit we went with my aunt and thoroughly enjoyed the circular route. We followed it up with a trip to the village for lunch which was just superb!
Second was the easy but idyllic stroll from Elterwater to Skelwith Bridge set within the Great Langdale Valley. It’s just a simple flat walk but contains such magnificent panorama, inclusive of a gorgeous river, hidden lake and small waterfall. At Skelwith Bridge there is also a lovely little café overlooking the river. You couldn’t ask for a more baby friendly walk within the Lake District. We were also visited by twin RAF Hawk jets flying low with in the valley. Rhys stared in awe as the supersonic jets shot passed in the sky…
Last but not least we took a small walk around the village of Grasmere, where Megan and I got married. The obligatory selfie with Rhys at the ‘scene of the crime’ was a must, plus a wonder around the small quaint shops followed by a cream tea.
All in all we had a magnificent time as a family, and were lovely to also catch up with our aunt and uncle. Beautiful scenery, fantastic food and some lovely family time was exactly what we needed!