Leaving Cotswold behind, we proceeded North towards Lake district.
While researching Lake District, I had spent a long time trying to figure out where to stay as we needed three rooms and most hotels were sounding too expensive. I then chanced upon Winster cottage at Masons Arms, Strawberry Banks, Carmel. The rub was that this cottage was situated above a pub, and again I had to quieten the apprehensions of the family about potentially noisy surroundings with drunkards around. They were not convinced but I was quite impressed with the reviews and pictures and we went ahead. This place is off the usual touristy trails, and after traversing some thickly wooded areas, with the road winding through small hills and dales, we finally made it.
Despite everyone’s apprehensions, it was fantastic. A huge multi-bedroom cottage with lovely skylights, bunk beds in one room, wooden floors, well-equipped kitchen… you could choose to go self-catering or ask for meals.
The cottage had a separate entrance overlooking the most dazzling vista, rolling hills, and ditzy sheep gamboling in the rain. And with the temperatures plunging down, in comparison to London, we loved it. Not a wee bit of noise from the pub nearby. We even liked the wooden floored bathroom, great for cold mornings. The minor hiccup was one bathroom for all of us, but it was manageable.
I surprised everyone with dinner at Masons Arms, the pub downstairs, preceded by a round of ales.
While the expectations were of a noisy pub meal, the folks had reserved a huge dining table (that could have seated 12 for the five of us) in a private dining room! The food was good, and the ambiance was perfect. DW loved that she had the freedom to open a window and enjoy the beautiful weather! The menu was vegetable soup, lasagna, pasta, and honey-glazed ribs, for me the only omnivore.
The next day we went to the Windermere tourist center, got a map, were suggested a walking route, and set course.
Saw a bunch of school kids launching a yacht under guidance, peacefully walked around a bit, and then drove towards the next lake, Ambleside.
Ambleside, in memory, would always be associated with a huge scone with cream, blackberry, and strawberry compote, that I managed to successfully divide into five! It really was huge!
We decided to drive to all the lakes in the district, at least the major ones, and halt when something fancied our eyes.
We passed by a quiet, pretty little, English village called Grasmere, and I recalled reading somewhere that their gingerbread was good, so we decided to take a break. While having pizzas, and looking for gingerbread, we noticed two ladies having a triple cone of ice cream. Mom being the intrepid person she is, went up to them, cheerfully talked to them, and asked them where they got their ice creams from.. We promptly set out and had this crazy slurpy delight, and have pictures to prove.
One of the most beautiful of the lakes on this car ride was Ullswater. It’s the second-largest lake in the region, and surprisingly free of tourists, tranquil with ducks coasting quietly and hills in the background. DW insisted on taking time out in this peaceful location.
In the evening, after leaving the car, we took the walking trail, up Windermeyer Lake, traipsing along the winding path, crossing quaint bungalows, woodlands, and fields till we spotted the placid lake and spent some more time here watching the sun go down.
The next day we set course for Scotland. Our GPS went crazy, probabaly due to overcast weather, and routed us through tiny hamlets and villages, with steep one-car-worthy roads, stunning to behold but challenging to navigate, till we finally reached a main road… The two most frustrating statements our Aussie accented GPS would say, about a km after a turn.. “recalculating..” And ” lost satellite reception”!
Somehow, there’s not much to write about Lake District,..but our memories and the incredible photos say tons more!