#tbt Travel Diaries - On Top of the World in Lake District
Welcome to part three of the #tbt Travel Diaries series, as I revisit my study abroad adventures in England. The travel bug was officially in full swing as I planned another day trip just 3 days after going to Blackpool. I also had more time on my hands then I knew what to do with, and the only thing I could think to fill that time was travel, travel, travel. And so a quick day trip up to the Lake District it was, and what an unexpected surprise this trip was. So hopefully you guys enjoy coming down memory lane with me on this next one:
Original Blog Post February 22nd, 2013:
Went to the Lake District this week, or more specifically, Windermere, Bowness-on-Windermere, AmbLESIDE (I kept calling it Amsdale), to the view natural beauty of the Lake District National Park. The train does not drop off directly at Lake Windermere but drops you off in Windermere, a little town about a mile up from the lake (despite the lake having the same name). You have to pass a lot of quaint and luxurious hotel/bed&breakfasts with their Porsches, Audis, and Ferraris out front to get down from Windermere to Bowness-on-Windermere, which is the town located in the middle, eastern side of the lake. These towns were exactly what I pictured quintessential England as, and Ambleside embodied that look especially.
Bowness-on-Windermere is where you catch the ferry either North to Ambleside or South to I forget what town but there is an aquarium there and that is all I know (The town is called Lakeside because apparently I was too lazy too look this up when I wrote the original blog post, smh). I headed North to Ambleside so I could go hiking up to the highest mountain in the Eastern Fells, Fairfield Peak. The ferry cost about ten pounds round trip. The ferry ride really gave amazing views of the snow peaked mountains in the distance with the shores of the lake with its many sailboats dotted along. The view was so different then what I normally see on American lakes that are filled with lake houses with motor boats everywhere. This lake was much more serene, there were still some houses and hotels dotted along the lake but only every now and then between the many farms and parks that lined the shores.
Now this is a lake house, or should I say was, now its a luxury hotel.
We docked at Waterhead just south of Ambleside, so technically the town center of Ambleside was a 15 minute walk from there. My goal was to walk through town and then find the hiking trail I found online to climb to the top of the mountain range.
I first made a quick stop at The Apple Pie Cafe to grab a drink and bite before making my trek, and glad I did because it was delicious. This is also the point where I learned that a lot of public restrooms in England are not free (so take note to have some coins on you), and if you know me, not only is it rare that I have cash on my but super rare that I would have change on me. After my little town excursion and fuel up I headed on my way to start hiking towards Fairfield Peak.
After a bit of time and climbing some of the steepest, narrowest roads I have seen since San Francisco, and not seeing a trail entrance yet I knew I had went down the wrong road to get to the entrance of the trail. Downside of having no smart phone during this time to look at a map. Probably served me right for only looking at the way to get to the entrance for a good minute and decided it would not be that hard to find and I would just wing it.
Just as I turned around and started heading back into town a sheep literally dug out underneath its fence and hopped from the rock ledge onto the road.
It literally did not stop and just kept walking down the road with me and literally all the other sheep that were up against the fence stopped whatever they were doing and just stared at the sheep walk down the road. Eventually it tried going up someone's driveway but they had a fence blocking him and he just stood at the end and watched me walk by. I have no idea what happened to him after that but it gave a good laugh.
As I got back into town I realized I took a right instead of left to get to the path. I eventually got to a trail I thought I was looking for. Surprise, surprise turns out that was the wrong trail too but at that point I did not care anymore and the path I was on brought me up to a point where I could look out over the lake and mountains. Pretty sure I was on some random farmers land, but oh well. I guess the entrance was a little harder to find then I thought. The trail I was looking for ended up being on the other side of the rock wall where I was, come to realize I just went one street too far for the entrance, but I did not have time to hike all the way to the top anyway as the last boat departed early in the afternoon (4 PM!) and would not have let me go too far along the mountain range anyway. Poor timing and research on my part. The view was still amazing regardless.
I really wish I could have been there for sunset as it was perfect pink setting that night, but the last boat back to town was early and I still had to hike back to the dock. The views though were really incredible though and the snow on the peaks in the background really made it that much more beautiful and looking right out over the town and the lake was just incredible. Definitely will have to try and go back when its warmer and actually hike around the mountain range. But just check out how the views I got waiting to board the boat back to Bowness with the sun starting to set.
Have you been to the Lake District in England? What was your favorite thing here?
See you guys in the next adventure!
-The Wandering Professional