When I told a friend I was visiting the Lake District, she immediately exclaimed that she loves lakes! It might seem odd to express feelings for a natural landmark, but honestly, I would have to agree with her.
Home to panoramic and breathtaking views of mountainous landscapes and idyllic stretches of water, the Lake District has everything you could want from a country retreat. Complete with budding wildlife and endless choices of pubs, restaurants and cafés, you really are spoilt for choice.
Heading for the top of Lake Windermere, we stayed at the quaintly beautiful Ambleside. Crammed with character and scenic views, the rural landscapes are complemented by 18th century buildings and the iconic drystone walls. My personal favourite in the village was Ambleside’s famous Bridge House. Now owned by the National Park and used as a tourist point for visitors, it is a fond reminder of the history and culture that is so well preserved in the area.
To match the stunning surroundings we were visiting, I made sure our hotel fitted the tone. With high expectations and minimal funds it can sometimes be a bit of a challenge to find the right accommodation, but on this occasion I won the battle. After hours of searching, I knew instantly when I found the one. That one was Easedale Lodge.
Like all the buildings in the area, Easedale Lodge has the traditional stonewall exterior, fitting perfectly into its surroundings. Inside the interior takes a more modern twist with bold, warm colours combined with earthy furniture and décor. The owner Sarah has really taken inspiration from the landscapes around her and turned her guesthouse into a homely escape. Perfect to come back to after a day of exploring.
Arriving late afternoon, we took to the lakeside to enjoy a quick beverage while the evening fell upon us. It was while we took in the peaceful views, we first discovered the friendly locals and I’m not talking about the human kind. Ducks, swans and the occasional goose surround the lakeside waiting patiently for tourists offering bags of birdseed.
When hunger struck, we headed to a recommended Italian restaurant called Dodd’s. Once again, the interior managed to combine the rustic feel of Ambleside with a fresh and contemporary look. Placed in the window, we enjoyed great food and great service from start to finish, and all for a very affordable price! A recommendation from myself is the Lobster ravioli, which that alone I would go back for.
The next day we headed straight for Lake Windermere and boarded the boat to Bowness-on-Windermere. A 40 min journey with pleasant commentary, it really gives you chance to take in the fantastic scenery and see the magnitude of the lake itself. As the longest and deepest lake in the UK, Lake Windermere is much more than a record breaker. It connects the local communities and is the heart and soul of the whole area.
Bowness-on-Windermere offers a slightly more touristy feel than Ambleside but nevertheless there’s plenty to explore with bustling shops and cafés, and double the amount of ducks!
Returning to Ambleside, we took our second night to The Glass House. A Grade II listed building and old mill converted into a modern restaurant offering homely and heartfelt food. Like everyone we met in Lakeland, our hosts were friendly and exceptionally attentive providing us with a perfect evening for the end of our trip.
On our return journey home the next day, we detoured past Coniston Water, which though slightly smaller, is every bit as beautiful as Windermere. Tranquil and peaceful it was the perfect way to ponder our trip and take a few more pictures, before we said goodbye.
A true eye opener to the natural beauty you can find in Britain, we intend to return to the Lake District soon and challenge ourselves with a hike up the famous mountains that surround this picturesque district.