For the first time in 2017, we went on a trip with
Ankita & Shane Barb & Bert from 22 Nelson Street. We had grand plans of a “spring is here” weekend in the Lake District (which we think is the most picturesque place in England). However the weather dampened our hopes, literally! Only in the last 3 hours of the trip did we see the sun. Nevertheless, the weekend was a lot of fun (including an awesome home cooked meal Barb & Bert made) and we did “dry” activities while taking nature walks when possible. Hope this post helps folk stuck with wet weather in this part of England.
Top tip: Focus on the indoors attractions and drinks of all types if stuck with rainy weather. Dove cottage (William Wordsworth’s home), afternoon tea at Baldry’s Tearoom Grasmere & Hawkshead Brewery at Staveley are our top picks.
Walking in the footsteps of literary giants
We visited attractions related to two stalwarts of English literature – William Wordsworth & Beatrix Potter. William Wordsworth spent his 8 most productive years in the village of Grasmere and is also buried here. After checking out his grave and the adjoining daffodil garden, we walked towards Dove Cottage where he lived with his family for those 8 years.
Visiting Dove Cottage was quite a nice experience. We saw many of Wordsworth’s personal effects as well as portraits of his “bro”s who visited the cottage, Samuel Taylor Coleridge being the most prominent. As per our tour guide, we may have physically seen the couch referred to in the poem “Daffodils” (pictured below). The cottage also has a very nice garden with a view of the Grasmere lake.
Finally, we took off 20 years off our age to visit the World of Beatrix Potter which is definitely one for the kids to visit. It consists mostly of models depicting the famous children’s stories written by her and we thought we might have parted with our money without a good reason. BUT one of the very last room had 2 awesome things, an interactive touch surface showing the different Lake District locations associated with her as well as a full-sized tile puzzle. The 3 nerdiest of us got their thinking caps on and set ourselves to the task at hand while Ankita watched incredulously. It was fun and made up the price of admission. 😛
Take a couple of (dry) nature walks
As mentioned in our previous Lake District writeup, Dalek found the north of Lake District very attractive so he got the other 3 up early to take the long bus ride all the way to Seatoller. The hope was to take a walk to the hamlet of Seawaithe in good weather to reach the base of England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike. Unfortunately, our luck with the weather was just horrid and the beautiful landscape was obscured by the rain. However, we saw a good number of hikers taking that bus meaning it has to be a beautiful place in better weather.
We had better luck at the town of Ambleside with a full 20 minutes of no rain. This was the best part of our outdoors exploration and also gave us some of our best pictures. Ambleside is a very picturesque town and we highly recommend visiting it.
Beer! The secret to a good holiday
You might imagine that the weather had made us write off our trip but we spent our only 3 sunny hours making memories indoors at the Hawkshead Brewery. Absolutely no regrets, in fact it was one of the best parts of the trip. The brewery is located at the picturesque & easy to reach village of Staveley (part of the Windermere – Oxenholme line). They have over a dozen beers on tap and the quality was really nice. We drank our usual stouts, porter and IPAs and they’re all good. We also enjoyed the pub grub (battered haggis!!).
Getting in and around
- We took Virgin Trains to reach Oxenholme Lake District before connecting to the Northern service for Kendal (our AirBnb’s location, highly recommended for 4 people). The Northern train also took us to Staveley and connects to Virgin services seamlessly. Checkout our UK transportation guide for tips on how to save on train tickets.
- We followed our other post on seeing “The real lake district by bus” to cover a lot of the other places we visited. The optimal ticket for us this time was the Group NW Explorer costing £30 for up to 5 adults (we were 4, still cheaper at £7.50 per person vs £10.80 for a single pass).
- We had to take a taxi from Kendal to Bowness from Lakeside taxis (01539 239 239) who have an attractive flat fare of £20 (vs £24 on the meter).
© 2017 Beyond Our Horizons