Saturday, 22 August 2015

The Lakes District

The Derwent Valley
The Lakes District is a picturesque area of England in the north west. The roads are even more narrow than the ones in the cotswolds. Instead of being lined with vegetation, they are lined with dry stone walls, which can be a little intimidating when confronted with a car coming the other way, one of you backs back and you then you still have to squeeze past each other. Many of the buildings are made with the dry stone. It is incredible pretty but also incredibly busy. Most people come here to walk and there are numerous walking tracks, but as we didn’t bring proper walking shoes and the treks I looked at were over 3 hours long, we stuck to driving. The first day we arrived it was raining and the forecast for our whole stay was rain as well, but luckily the meteorologists got it wrong and we had a couple of fine days.

Imagine having to drive along here every day
There are many circles of stones around the country
the Boat Launch
The lake is called the Derwentwater and you have the choice of rowing your own boat or taking one of the (boat) launches, one stop or as many as you want. You can do a hop on hop off round trip, clockwise or anticlockwise but you can’t change direction. When we got off the first time, there was no room for us to hop back on, and the boat only came once an hour. When the boat going the opposite way came half an hour later we complained and got them to take us back to the start. So even though we planned to do a number of hop offs, we only did one more to see the Lodore Falls as we didn’t want to get stranded again. The perils of going on a sunny day when everyone else wants to go too. Going past Hawes End we did see some walking tracks that ran along the water’s edge which would have been perfect, but by then we had gone past the dock, so it was too late to get off.

No, not us!
Many of these towns have very limited parking and wherever there is a small area to park you will find a ticket machine, even in the most bizarre places.

Parking meter in the forest!
Keswick is the birth place of the original graphite pencil and later the coloured Derwent pencils; my childhood favourite. I cherished my Derwents and hardly ever used them as I didn’t want to ruin them which seems so stupid now.

Lodore Falls
We stayed in a guest house right in the middle of the town of Keswick which made it very easy to walk to restaurants and the boat launch. It is advisable to book restaurants especially on Friday’s and Saturday’s as the towns are even busier than usual with English tourists.

Squeeze in

Just enough room, I'm glad we were behind the bus
Ashness Bridge



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