Following our lovely, but rather disastrous holiday in the Lake District in June (you can read all about that here), we decided to go for my 30th birthday at the end of August to get our mountain ‘fix’!
We had the most amazing week, so I thought I’d share our latest adventure with you.
We arrived in Ambleside late afternoon, dropped our bags off at the apartment and headed down to Lake Windermere to stretch our legs.
The weather was a bit rubbish on Saturday, so we decided to do our food shop for the week in the morning, and then go for a walk around White Moss in the afternoon. We got the best of the weather on our walk, and the kids walked all the way with minimal complaining!
There are lots more photos from our day here in our What the Children Wore JoJo Maman Bébé AW17 post.
On our last visit to the Lakes, we had chatted about visiting Eskdale steam railway, but then sickness conspired against us… Anyway, on our trip down to the Lake on Friday, we noticed that the boat office offered a ‘boat and steam train’ combined ticket on the Lakeside & Haverthwaite steam train which we hadn’t heard of before. Rather than spend an hour in the car to Eskdale, we decided to opt for the more local train.
Oh, how I wish we had gone to Eskdale!
The boat journey was novel for about 30 minutes for the children (and it went on for an hour and a half!), the steam railway was very commercialised (the first 10 minutes of the 15 minute journey was the ticket inspector on the tannoy trying to sell us things), and the ‘beautiful village’ on the other side of the line consisted of a train station next to a dual carriageway, with very rude restaurant staff. We decided to go for a walk and find a pub for lunch – and we ended up at The Anglers Arms in Haverthwaite. The landlord was lovely, the food served its purpose, and we only received a couple of ‘you’re not from round here’ looks!
After lunch we headed back to the train station and had a walk up the hill, which had a lovely view of Coniston Water. We killed the rest of the time until the next train in the fantastic playground next to the platform. The kids had a fab day, but we just felt it lacked the warmth and authenticity of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, which is near us in Yorkshire.
Monday was our favourite day! We decided we wanted to do a gentle walk with the children, so headed up to Tarn Hows with a picnic (National Trust members get free parking too – YAY!). Wow – what a view! And the gentle walk went out of the window when Busby discovered the waterfall walk. It was very steep, but utterly stunning, and the waterfalls kept increasing in size the lower we descended.
We stopped for our picnic at the bottom of the trail, and the kids paddled in the stream and explored the water. It was so quiet, and a complete contrast to Tuesday which had been jampacked with tourists.
After a couple of hours of paddling and throwing stick in the stream, we decided to have a clothes change (they were very soggy!) and follow the path to see where it would take us. We ended up walking back up the mountain, returning to Tarn Hows, where Busby had an ice cream and H-Bear had a snack.
The children did amazingly well, with minimal complaining again!
Grasmere is my favourite place to visit in the Lake District – we always visit every time we’re in the Lakes – so we decided to take the children to Allan Bank House (our favourite National Trust property) and wander around Grasmere on the Tuesday.
We had a picnic outside the house where a lovely lady commented that we were the “perfect family summer scene”, sat on our coats on the grass, eating homemade sandwiches in our walking boots and wellies!
Afterwards we had a walk up to Mr McGregor’s garden where the children did some drawing, and then a further walk up to the top of the property where you can see Helm Crag clearly.
The children wanted to go in the house after the walk, so we started off in the art room and then into the playroom.
A visit to Grasmere isn’t complete without going to the Gingerbread shop, so we popped in and bought a few bags before going back to the car.
H-Bear didn’t sleep very well on Tuesday night, so Wednesday was a bit of a write off! Nevertheless, we managed to go swimming at Kendal Leisure Centre (which was very old school and VERY dark!).
After swimming we decided to go for a walk around Ambleside, and consequently for a delicious blueberry scone and hot chocolate at the Waterhead Coffee Shop.
Thursday was my 30th Birthday! So after a morning of present opening, we headed to Windermere for a delicious brunch at my favourite coffee shop Homeground.
I wasn’t feeling very well in the afternoon, so I had a lie down with my book (which was a novelty!) before we had cake and pizza!
We made our way home on Friday after a very busy week of adventures! Our August visit definitely made up for the sickness in our June visit, and I can’t wait to take the children back next year.
On our list for next time:
- Eskdale railway. We will visit here! We will!
- Tarn Hows again… but we plan to walk around the actual Tarn.
- The coast. I’m desperate to visit the Cumbrian beaches.
- Coniston Water – I’d love to do the walk around the water and perhaps catch one of the steam yacht gondolas.
- Cartmel. We stayed in Cartmel when we went to L’Enclume on honeymoon, so I’d like to revisit the beautiful village.
- An even higher walk!