I was little bummed to leave Edinburgh (it was so lovely there!) but we were headed to Lake District next (one of the best parts of the entire trip, aside from London) and how can I say no to big open lakes and nature everywhere?
Now Lake District is a large area surrounding Lake Windemere, so there are quite a few little towns and such around it. We will be setting camp in one of the more popular areas, Ambleside.
It was another long drive in the car, about 4 to 5 hours and a stop by Keswick before we got to our next stop. It was the very first time all of us had to hole up and sleep together in one room, because Ambleside is extremely popular during the summer (It’s 10ºC nearly every day so, what summer?!) for students and family vacations. My uncle managed to book us a night in YHA Ambleside, whose initials literally stands for Youth Hostel Accommodation – which means we all get to bunk in together into one large hostel room with bunk beds and a single toilet. How fun. *cringes* This place looks really fun though, and would be perfect to come again, with a bunch of friends.
The YHA diner downstairs serves decent food and house-mixed Pimm’s. We got to have dinner by the lakeside, with loads of greedy swans and ducks swimming along the banks, looking for a freebie. I love this place! There are boats everywhere and youths heading out for some water activities. We heard from the hotel staff that we are able to visit some of the neighbouring towns via a boat ride at the nearby pier, so we could keep our parking spot and not drive!
The YHA Ambleside right behind us.
Bright and early the day, we took a 5 minute walk to Ambleside Pier to catch the boat. There are various boats and routes, so be sure to know what you’re looking to visit before you buy your ticket. We took the Red Cruise at £10.30 each which will allow us to disembark and embark at two different stops before coming back to Ambleside.
#Tip: Snap a photo of the cruise timetable for the day before you go, just so you know when to catch the next boat.
It was a 30-minute ride towards our first and furthest stop, Bowness. It was quite an uneventful ride, but the scenery was lovely! I was freezing a little because the winds were so cold (again, summer my arse), but the older folks felt a little sleepy instead and dozed off for a bit. When we arrived, Bowness was not what I imagined. It was a sweet and eccentric little town with shops of all sorts lining the streets. And there were ducks and swans EVERYWHERE! I am afraid of birds, but we stopped anyways to feed them and take a few photos.
I think what surprised us most was that Bowness is the home to The World of Beatrix Potter! My mom and I are big fans, seeing as I grew up reading Peter Rabbit with her. The attraction was mainly for kids, so we decided to just peruse the gift stores and bought many varieties of merchandise. I even managed to get a baby gift for a friend here. 😀
Along the way, we came across many interesting hand-craft stores. One in particular stood out for my mom – they sell animal décor made our of recycled metals. She was so fascinated by them, she bought 3 different pieces from the very delighted storekeeper. Loads of other shopping to be done around here, especially if you love souvenirs!
We we scheduled to catch the 1pm boat to our next destination, so we stopped by a nearby Thai restaurant (because almost everyone misses Asian food. No me though, but majority wins) I don’t even remember the name of the restaurant, but it is terrible. If you ever stop by Bowness, don’t ever go for Thai food. I should have known better than to trust such an over-decorated restaurant in the West. You may be able to find decent Thai food in big cities like London, but definitely not in smaller towns elsewhere.
One of the three items my mom bought was this metal-spring-kitty.
We made it to the pier in time to catch the next boat to Brockhole. It actually looks like a really fun place, except that we were neither ready, nor dressed for it. Unless you are looking to join the kids jamboree, ride horses, climb trees and run obstacle courses, you needn’t bother to come here. It is definitely more suitable for families with overactive children, and dogs too. There are loads of open space and even a walking trail for the adventurous, but I think most of us were quite knackered by this point. All we did while waiting for the next boat was chill in the restaurant uphill and have some coffee.
We made it to our final boat and docked safely in Ambleside once more.
As we only booked a night in Ambleside (just to get a taste of Lake District), we jumped right back into the car and drove an hour or so to our next stop for the night – Grange-Over-Sands. Along the way, we stopped by a little place called Crewe Town to have lunch before moving on to our most beautiful stay – Abbot Hall Lodge.
It’s actually a place built by a Christian Guild company, and the entire hill area is covered with these quaint wooden lodges. Inside, it was so lovely! Wooden floors, walls and ceilings, with 3 separate bedrooms, a kitchen, a sitting room and one bathroom. The place was so clean and homey and it has a really nice view of the nearby hills and other lodges. It was perfect. We made a quick run to the grocery store to buy some food, just so we could make use of the kitchen and save a few pounds from dining outside. We made a simple masala curry chicken (with store bought sauce, which was really good), stir fry veggies and some sardines – to go with rice. Simple but homey and good. 🙂
The view from my room. ❤
The next day, we drove back to London for a quick stop before we drive South towards Canterbury – just in time for Christopher’s graduation – look out for the next post! 😉