Lake District

Lake District
Lake District



A Lake District Photo Diary | Windermere & Grasmere

Apparently I've taken a bit of another unintentional blogging break- whoooops. It only just occurred to me today that it's now the middle of October and I still haven't posted anything this month; not ideal! However, I'm back now with lots of (hopefully consistent) updates to share over the coming weeks. I might even try that thing they call "scheduling posts", that would be a first.

I've been getting the year abroad blues pretty badly recently. It may be something I'll go into more detail about at a later stage but at the moment it just sucks being so far away from everything I know. I never would have called myself a homebird before, but these last few months in Spain have been a very real challenge for me for all sorts of reasons. I miss absolutely everything about the UK: the people, of course, but also the food, the landscape, and just its general familiarity. 

A couple of weeks ago the yearning for home got a bit too much for me and I ended up booking some cheap flights and jetting back to Lancaster for a bit of a refuel. It was a brief visit, but a completely blissful one. It's crazy how much you appreciate the banalities of your normal everyday after you've been away from it for a while.

While I was in Bilbao I had been dreaming of a weekend in the Lake District, so Carlo and I planned a little trip there during my visit. We turned out to have great weather, even at the end of September/beginning of October, and it really was just exactly what I needed.

We set off for the Lakes early, though not quite early enough since we missed the bus we were supposed to get; but as is life. We just ended up getting the train instead and arrived in Windermere around midday. We hadn't really planned our trip too much apart from having booked a guesthouse in Ambleside for the night, so we decided to stay in Windermere for a little while and have some lunch. According to Trip Advisor one of the best places to eat was a place called Brambles Tea Rooms so we gave it a go and I definitely think it deserves a mention here because the staff were really lovely and the food was delicious! I'll surely be back again next time I'm in the area.

After our quick pit stop in Windermere we caught the 555 bus to Grasmere. The 555 service runs from Lancaster all the way to Keswick and stops at Kendal, Windermere, Ambleside, Rydal and Grasmere. You can get a day pass for around £10 or just over which allows you to hop on and off anywhere on that route. It's a really scenic journey and a really good deal if you don't have a car to get around the Lakes with.

Grasmere is my absolute favourite Lake District village out of the ones I know well enough. It's so beautiful and quaint and is full of lots of lovely shops and cafes as well as quite a few places of historical interest. The poet, William Wordsworth lived in the town for fourteen years and is buried there in the churchyard of St. Oswald's church. Grasmere is also home to the famous Grasmere Gingerbread Shop which sells gingerbread baked according to a special recipe invented by Sarah Nelson who began selling the gingerbread from her cottage home in 1854, where the shop is still located today.

Outside the Gingerbread Shop there's a spoon garden. It's a bit random, but definitely not in a bad way, in fact it really brightens up the shop's front. Visitors are invited to send the shop a wooden spoon they have decorated to be put in the garden, and each month a winner is chosen out of the newly planted spoons to receive a gingerbread mini hamper! It's a quirky idea but one I very much appreciate.

The Wordsworth graves, those of William himself, his wife, their children, and his sister are right beside the Gingerbread Shop and I always visit when I'm in Grasmere, out of fascination as much as the fact that they're set in such a peaceful location.

The graves look onto Grasmere's Daffodil Garden which sits over the river Rothay and was planted in ode to the poet. It's meant to be a visual representation of his poem 'Daffodils' ('I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud') and in springtime hundreds of daffodils bloom here. Unfortunately it was the wrong time of year for us this time!

While the garden was being constructed visitors were able to buy a paving slab with their name and home town or region inscribed on it to be placed in the garden. Carlo and I spent a while looking through them to see if we recognised any of the places. I found quite a few from Northern Ireland!

At the garden's edge there's a stone slab bearing the poem's final verse:

"For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils."

We spent the rest of our time in Grasmere wandering around the shops, including a bookshop where I went a bit overboard on purchases. In fairness, it was the first English bookshop I'd been in for a long time!

After Grasmere we headed on to Rydal, though this post has gotten a bit on the long side so I think I'm going to have to post a second instalment later this week.

Have you ever been to the Lake District? What's your favourite place there?

1 comment

  1. Gorgeous photos, love the style. Nothing better than browsing a bookshop!


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