Hello readers 🙂 Today’s post continues my celebration of a British Summer (you can read Part 1 here) by taking you to the Lake District – a destination generally for the active/outdoors holiday, where you can explore woodland, climb some of the highest hills and mountains in Britain, or get out on the water and sail round the beautiful lakes. Dad had booked us a short holiday, along with my sister, Jenn, where we were going to breathe in the country air and get climbing! Ever the ambitious type (and to my silent trepidation), Dad was planning a climb up Scafell Pike – the highest mountain in England. Personally my main point of interest for the visit was Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread Shop – more on that later.
However, with days to go before we set off for the Lakes, Jenn took a bad fall and sprained her ankle. It looked like Scafell Pike was off. (much to my silent relief!) But it also looked like anything in the form of walking or moving was off too. Jenn could not put weight on her foot and it was bruised and swollen. What was to become of our “active” holiday?
The day before we left I took a look on the Lake District website which turned out to be really useful for planning our not-so-active holiday. Predicting that Jenn might be able to do some light walking on Day 2 of the holiday, I looked up “accessible” walks, and found a list of 42 suitable routes on the website, under the section titled “Miles Without Stiles”. These are a collection of walking routes that are suitable for people of limited mobility such as wheelchair users, pushchair users, and the visually impaired. Each route was carefully explained in terms of accessibility, distance and gradient, and a map provided. There were so many to choose from that I picked routes off the list at random and eventually decided on one that looked easy enough and was adaptable – at most 2.4 miles and at least 0.3 miles.
So, our holiday began. I was the organised one with maps and plans. Dad was the driver (and with a 5 hour journey from Lincolnshire, he had a very important job!) and Jenn, well, Jenn was resting her foot in preparation for the light walking. (Sorry, Jenn!)
Without wanting to bore you by going into too much detail I will just pick out some of the best bits of the trip.
1. We drove to a woodland, spotted a red squirrel and Jenn managed to walk on her foot in the first time in days. (Yay!) We had a beautiful view of Crummock Water.
2. We went on a boat trip on Windermere, the largest natural lake in England.
3. We went to the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop, which is a tiny little shop by the church in Grasmere and is the home of Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread, a special and very secret traditional recipe. The shop is extremely popular, but it is so small that you can only fit a few people inside at one time. If you visit at a busy time expect to be queuing outside, and also try to look at the list of what’s in the shop before you go in, as there is not much room for browsing once you are inside! The smell of baking gingerbread is enough to tempt you to buy some – as well as a few packets of this, I also bought some fudge (ginger flavour of course). So far, it has all been delicious – definitely worth a visit if you enjoy sweet treats! 🙂
Route 11 of Miles without Stiles: A walk round Elterwater, to Skelwith Force waterfall and Skelwith Bridge.
This walk turned out to be perfect for Jenn, who could walk a lot better on her foot by the second day, but wouldn’t have been able to go on rough, steep or undulating terrain. She managed to do the full walk, which was 2.4 miles in total, from the village of Elterwater, round the lake of Elterwater, to the waterfall Skelwith Force, and finally at Skelwith Bridge, then back again. The weather was beautiful and we all appreciated the stunning scenery around us.
In the end, although Jenn’s injury seemed like a bit of a disaster just before a walking holiday, it actually made us look for some different things to do other than an ambitious climb (for which I am admittedly very grateful!) We discovered some new and beautiful parts of the Lake District that we’d love to go back to if we visit again soon. Personally, I truly believe that this is my favourite part of Britain, for its beauty, mountains, lakes, woodland, and of course, gingerbread 😉
I’ve provided a photo gallery of our visit – Enjoy!