I have spent a week in the lovely Lake District, this hasn’t been my first time in this lovely part of England having visited the Lake District a couple of years ago. Last time I stayed at Ambleside but this time I am staying in Blencathra just ten minutes away from Keswick. If you are looking fo r things to keep you entertained for either a weekend or a week see what I got up too.

Keswick Town

Obviously our first stop was around Keswick town centre. There are lots of little tourist shops, vintage/antique shops and activewear/camping shops. There were also plenty of food places, we had ice cream at Casa Bella because every blog on Pinterest recommended the place. I can confirm the ice cream is worth getting.

On two separate occasions I got the Smarties ice cream (which tasted just like the McFlurry!) and the stracciatella ice cream (vanilla ice cream with lots of flakes in). We also ate at the Es Tapas bar, again the food there was incredible, we had the ciabatta, meatballs, chorizo piealla and goat’s cheese tortillas. I had the mojito which was good as well.

Whinlatter Forest Park

Ran by the Foresty Commission, Whinlatter Forest Park is England’s true mountain forest. Myself and my partner decided to go there for a morning of mountain biking! We hired bikes and helmets for £42 for three hours. There are three purpose built trails (Grey, blue and red). We decided to opt for the Quercus Route which is the blue route as we hadn’t been mountain biking for a while and with not having the right clothing (I was terrified of shredding my legs in my gym shorts!) and with not having our usual mountain bikes we thought it would be a good substitute.

It is a really good technical course with berms, rolling jumps and these wooden bridges. They are so so good! Me and James were done after two and a bit hours but if biking isn’t your thing there are numerous walking trails and also a Go Ape which is a ropes course. There is a lovely sculpture of an Osprey at the front.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

In the afternoon, we didn’t want to go far as we were knackered from the mountain biking and decided to go to Castlerigg Stone Circle. It is free entry (although you can leave a donation to the National Trust) constructed in 3000BC it is one of the earliest stone circles in the country. There are beautiful views of the Thirlmere Valley. After having a nosy we had a walk down one of the public footpaths. There was an ice cream van from Luchini’s which I tried because that is the other ice cream place that was raved about. I had the vanilla ice cream but I didn’t see much to rave about.

DerwentWater Launch

If you want a trip around the lake of Derwentwater I recommend the launch. £11 for a 50 minute round trip, you can hop on and hop off at any point around the lake. We hopped off at Hawes End as we decided to walk the CatBells and then got back on, dropped the dog off back home (as he was so noisy, we didn’t want him to disturb other customers) and then went on again for the rest of the round trip. It is a commuter boat, therefore you won’t get any history. But it is a lovely fifty minute route.

CatBells

Catbells is one of the walks to do in the Lake District, which doesn’t take an entire day out (unlike Scafell Pike which I walked a couple of years ago). We walked the route from Hawes End and on the way up, it offers stunning views of the DerwentWater. We took our dog with us and it was a really hot day, so it took us a bit longer than usual as we were stopping to make sure he was drinking. There was a couple of scrambles but as long as you take your time and wear adequate footwear (I saw someone walking barefoot!) you will be fine.

Blencathra

Also known as Saddleback, this hill walk is just outside Keswick and coincidently a stone’s throw away from my accommodation. It is quite an easy walk and fairly short about 4-5km up. On the day we went up we were about ten minutes away from the summit but we had to abandon as the cloud cover was so bad. You can approach the hill from many routes and the one we chose was via Blease Fell as it was close to where we stayed. Afterwards we went for a pub meal at the Horse and Farrier which was a lovely country pub with quite a wide ranging menu.

Buttermere

When I was googling places to go in the Lake District, Buttermere came up over and over again. You do need a car to get up there and you have to be a pretty fearless driver but this little village tucked away.

We had a wander down to Crummock Water and on the way back had the most amazing cake and tea at Syke Farm Tea Room.

St Bees

If you want something a bit different to the hills and forests then you can head to the coast. St Bees is famous for the Coast to Coast walk, a walk devised by Alfred Wainwright which spans the UK from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire. It is a pebble beach but we just dragged our fold up outdoor chairs and was fine!

Carlisle

Carlisle is a city about forty minutes away from Keswick. I hadn’t been shopping in a while and wanted to browse the main high street shops such as Primark, New Look etc.

Have you been to the Lake District? Send me your suggestions in the comments below.

Image of Keswick town centre

I had to admit when my partner told me we were going on holiday to the Lake District, I was a bit dubious. However, the Lake District is one of the most beautiful places I have been too. Here is my mini guide on what to do and where to eat in the place that has been awarded World Heritage Site status.

Lake Windermere

Image of Lake Windermere

The largest lake created by glaciers and the reason why everyone visits the Lake District. The cruise across Lake Windermere is a must as the scenery is so beautiful. We stopped on Belle Isle, a lovely little island where you can walk, cycle and even have a BBQ and partake in water sports. There are some people that do live on the island and there are even little holiday homes you can stay in. Myself and my partner walked around the island and it wasn’t difficult at all and there was clearly marked paths.

Keswick

Image of Keswick town centre

Keswick is a small town which myself and my partner stopped in for a bit of shopping. The middle of the market town is charming with a lot of original buildings which fits in with the surrounding area and lots of little one off shops if you are looking for an original gift.

Galleny Force Waterfall

Image of a waterfall

Located near Keswick, Galleny Force was a lovely quiet place to have a walk and picnic in relative peace. Parking is quite difficult as the nearest village is Stonethwaite which has quite limited parking.

Ambleside

Image of a runner, running in Ambleside

Where we stayed and it was absolutely beautiful. There was so much to do in Ambleside lots of walks, a thriving place to do a little shopping (I loved the independent bookstore!) and of course home to Bridge House a little house that stands over Stock Beck.

The Sourdough Pizza Company

Image of a pizza from the Sourdough Pizza Company

We stayed just down the road from this delightful little gem. The pizza crusts are all handmade for home delivery. I had the Row Row Row your Goat pizza which consisted of goats cheese, mozzarella, caramelised red onions and spinach.

Walnut Fish Bar

Another night, another takeaway. Wulnut Fish Bar served the best fish and chips, well deserved after summiting Scafell Pike.

Aira Force

Part of the National Trust, Aira Force is 65ft high with water crashing over. It is a lovely little walk which lasts about an hour if that,so there is no need to take the day out. There are benches where people have pressed their coins in.

Image of Aria Force

Coins pressed in on a bench at Aria Force

Scafell Pike

Image of Scafell Pike

I had to admit walking Scafell Pike was challenging, the views were beautiful. I have to admit you have to be exercising fairly regularly to not find this hard work. I have written a previous blog post about this, which goes into more depth. However the feeling of achieving the summit was amazing, two scary parts was when it completely clouded over at the top and I couldn’t see very far in front of me. The second part was when I slipped over and banged my elbow so hard that I nearly passed out.

This is what I got up to on my trip to the Lake District, is there any places in the Lake District that you like?

 

 

Scafell Pike

So I have officially climbed up the tallest peak in England and have climbed up a mountain! I had to admit when my partner said to me that we were going to climb Scafell Pike I was thinking ‘really’ but I thought as I was here I may as well and also as I have the half coming up it is extra fitness! If you are thinking about climbing up Scafell Pike or are doing the Three Peaks challenge (you’re mad!) have a read about my experience.

Becky on the summit of Scafell pike

Before the trip

Like with most outdoor walks, you need to check the weather beforehand. We were originally going to go on the Tuesday but it was tipping it down. Therefore it is best if you build it as part of your trip rather than planning it on one day.

The path is easy enough to follow, however you should as standard bring a map and compass as if the mist comes over you (like it did with me) then it makes it very difficult to see anything too far in front. Also bring food and water to keep you going.

I would say you could walk Scafell Pike in good sturdy trainers, however walking boots is best. Especially if the rocks are slippery. I would also wear waterproof trousers and coat and bring a bag that you carry on your back (not a shopping bag like I saw one person doing!). A small first aid kit may be handy too. I had a little ‘medical’ moment myself, I slipped in the river and banged my elbow on the rock so hard that my body started to go into shock, I felt really faint ( I had fainted before and knew the warning signs), was boiling hot, felt that I was going to throw up and my hearing started to go. My partner helped me over on the other side where I got some water and laid down for five minutes and carried on as normal. Although I didn’t need any medical attention it goes to show things do happen!

Small waterfall at Scafell Pike

How long will the trip take?

It depends on your fitness levels. I am quite fit but struggle with anything that is on an incline so it took about 3 1/2 hours on the way up and 2 1/2 on the way down. There was one person who I spoke too that took 5 hours just for the way up!

Gravel path on Scafell Pike

What is the terrain like?

Being as it is a mountain, you’re going to expect rocks! The route starts along in a right of way footpath in a field fields you start heading up almost straight away. Then it turns into a rocky/ gravely type of path for a while. After you cross this small river it turns into rocks for a while until it settles out into this gravelly path. Half an hour before you reach the summit the path is just entirely rocks.

James, Becky and Lbs on the summit of Scafell Pike

Extra tips

Start in the morning or around midday at the latest if you are a novice. I saw people that were clearly novices walking up at three o’clock as I was on my way down. It is dangerous because you are not leaving yourself much time if you get lost or if the weather suddenly turns bad. The mist was really bad when I went and personally I felt it was too dangerous for anyone trying to reach the summit after us.

There are two main walker routes up but you need to make sure you get the same route back. This is because you can’t get to the other start point without it being a near two hour car journey.

There are toilets at the beginning where I started (Wesdale Head) the start of the trail isn’t well signposted.

I have to admit it has given me the bug to at least walk the other two summits in the UK, so I am going to try and do that next year. Snowdon will be easy enough for me to get too. Ben Nevis will have to be a holiday as I live quite far away from the place!

Have you climbed Scafell Pike? Have you done the three peaks challenge? Let me know in the comments below!

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