22 March 2012

uk train trip -- Lake District

On the Monday morning I caught the train--with a few changes--to Windermere in the Lakes District. I decided to come up to this area as I've heard it mentioned numerous times that it's a beautiful area. The town was certainly a welcoming sight with it's delightful stone buildings and age old architecture. A pokey little village that reminded me with ease that I'm in England. I spent most of my daytime hours wandering about the area, feeling a cold until I'd been on the move for a while. I spent the evenings cosied up in my freely upgraded room at the Ravensworth with yummy snacks and movies I borrowed from the lounge downstairs.

It was only a short walk from my B&B to Lake Windermere but the path was utterly delightful. Winter stripped trees, loads of rock walls and moss creeping over everything as I snaked along inbetween pretty stone-built houses and wooden gates in the stone walls that have that air of leading to secret gardens. The chilly air and overcast weather made it mysteriously mystical. I felt potential stories lingering in every view. The rush and roll of the creek and my feet crunching over the dirt and pebbles were almost all the sound that accompanied me. Apart from one afternoon when I was walking around listening to Steph Geremia play her irish flute on my ipod. That was a bouncily happy afternoon. Parts of that walk were danced. I also climbed a hill for a view over Lake Windermere. This lake is the biggest that England has.

The day I arrived, after settling in to my room, I set about finding a day tour to book for the next day. I went to find Mountain Goats as that's the one that was recommended but the tour I'd hoped to do was booked. The lady said if there were maybe five people interested they could get another bus together. I said I'd visit the tourist information centre or call by the end of the day and see if they were getting another bus together. As I was talking to staff at the tourist information centre and looking over a brochure from another company a phone call came through to the centre to see if I was there still and that four others were interested. So I ended up being able to book the tour I'd originally wanted to do. In the meantime, while all that was being clarified and booked, I bought myself some sock from the tourist information centre purely because of the brand name. It was a mini thrill to find a selection of 'Gelert' products.
The day tour was...interesting. We had one girl throw up on the bus at the beginning of the day. Thankfully it wasn't too stinky. We also lost a couple in Keswick as they never returned from lunch and after waiting as long as we could we left without them. They made their way back to where we started and our driver later met them with their luggage which finished the tour with us. As for the scenery, the reports are true. It is quite beautiful in the Lakes District and I bet it's even nicer on clear sunny day. I think we saw 10 different lakes in all, lots and lots of drywall fences, loads of paddocks and a sprinkling of sheep all over the place.
The farm above is apparently where Beatrix Potter went when she gave up scrawling her children's tales. I think she was quite successful with farming too. Sheep farming of course. We also went on a boat ride around Lake Derwent. It was a little ferry-like vessel. I sat on the outside to better view the lake and surroundings where it was cold and was bored well before the 50 min round trip was made. Honestly, the Lakes District IS nice but I think I like the land part best. As for water, I think it's most beautiful in streams and rivers. After the boat ride we went into Keswick for lunch.
Towards the end of our day we visited Castlerigg. Yet another stone circle. There's certainly more of these than I realised. We also drove over Ashness Bridge which they say is the most photographed bridge in Cumbria. I don't know about the other bridges but this was pretty little bridge. And then there was a bunch more of the typical, beautiful scenery that makes up the Lakes District.

After wandering around Windermere on my last day there, I sat by the train station and ate a late lunch before making the longest of my train rides on this holiday.

Note: Double click a picutre to view them all more closely.

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