It has taken me a few weeks to write this blog post – I kept starting and then having to go off and do something else. Finally have managed to put something together to share with you about a fab few days away.
We’d taken the scary decision that our son is old enough to leave at home alone for a few days and booked a B&B in Bowness on Windermere. I haven’t had any time off work since last November so couldn’t wait for the break. In our usual way we hadn’t planned an ‘easy relaxing few days’ as some would, but planned on running and exploring. I have been to the Lakes before but not for quite a few years.
Monday morning madness of trying to pack, sort out the child / house / dogs…… finally we got on the road (why does it always take far longer than you think it will to actually get out of the house??!). We weren’t in a rush to get there and had decided to stop off on the way to pick up a few bits of clothing we both needed – missed the first shopping centre due to chatting too much (oops!), but stopped near Harrogate for a pit stop of shopping and food. On our way again we made our way over to Windermere and after a couple of tries found our way to the car park of the B&B. Langdale View B&B – would definitely recommend! Run by a friendly couple, who we found out happened to be runners, maps and route details to borrow, food fab, rooms lovely. We will definitely be back to stay here.
We had a bit of exploring around Bowness and then out for something to eat at the Indian that had been recommended (Raj Palace – very good!), before we headed back to the room.
Despite visiting the lakes several times before, I have never been to Grizedale Forest which meant that seemed as good a place as any to start on Tuesday. Over breakfast (very good!) we planned routes and then headed off to the visitor centre. As the ferry across Windermere wasn’t operating we drove around the south of the mere – we actually really enjoyed doing this to see a bit more of the area. Eventually found the main visitor centre and kitted up ready to head out. We don’t carry a lot of things, but wanted water, a couple of snacks and a waterproof – just in case we got caught out! Quick stop inside to pick up a small map of the routes to take with us and off we went.
First route we picked up was the Carron Crag Trail – Climbing to Carron Crag, the highest point in Grizedale at 314 metres, this circular trail offers fine panoramic views to the Lakeland Fells, the Howgills and Morecambe Bay.
We then swapped onto the Millwood Trail for an alternative return back to the visitor centre, before heading off in the opposite direction on the Grizedale Tarn Trail.
In total we did about 7.5 miles. This was a tough run but very enjoyable.
I decided that Wednesday should be exploring day – using the OS map and heading off wherever we felt like. The B&B owners made some suggestions and we started by heading to Biskey Howe view point which is still within the town. Picking up a public footpath we skirted around the outskirts of the town before heading out and towards School Knott. This route was beautiful – especially the tarn we came across which had lots of dragon flies darting about.
For the first time, in addition to the printed OS Explorer map, we were using the OS app. Loved it! I’m not too bad at map reading, but this made it very very easy. When you buy an OS map, there is a code that you input into the app to enable you to download it to the phone (no need for internet to access the map once it is downloaded). It is much easier to quickly get your phone out to check, rather than a big map and the fact that it would show your location on the map was brilliant. This made me much more confident to explore and follow different paths knowing that I wouldn’t get lost. You obviously have to consider battery life – we’d said carrying a small power pack wouldn’t be a bad idea – but it didn’t seem to drain the battery too much.
We again ended up with just over 7 miles, and our legs were really aching after this one!
Thursday and it was time to head home. Instead of going back the way we came we took the scenic route via Hawes. This is an area we are planning on visiting to do more exploring (so any good routes please let me know!).
I loved our time in the Lakes and hope that we come back to do more exploring. We are heading to Keswick for the Lakeland Trails 15k race in a few weeks….. need to do more hill training!