While our time in Edinburgh and St. Andrews was amazing, I was very much looking forward to the next leg of our trip – the Lakes District!
We took (another) early morning train ride from Edinburgh Waverley station to Windermere, England. With a few changes (at Carlisle and Oxenholme) it only took us 3 hours to get to our new B&B (and one of my favorite places we stayed our entire trip!).
Unfortunately, that was when the rain started… and it wouldn’t let up for 5 days!
Lake Windermere is the largest lake in England – which makes me laugh! While it’s certainly lovely, it is by no means “large” in my opinion (having kayaked across Lake Champlain – which is about 10x the size of Lake Windermere). Nonetheless, it is beautiful.
We dropped our bags off at our B&B and decided to take the 20 minute walk to Bowness-on-Windermere.
Everything here is made of slate. The pathways, the houses, the roofs, the walls.
By the time we got down to the waterfront, the rain had let up but it was still quite misty and foggy. Even with the limited views, Windermere is beautiful.
We had planned on renting a rowboat and taking it out on the lake for a ride, but with the gloomy skies and unpredictable weather, we thought better of it.
Instead we decided to splurge on renting a motorboat for an hour since it had a covered top. The term “motorboat” may be generous. There were 2 speeds on the boat – forward and stop.
We tutted and putted along and enjoyed the stormy views. And laughed. A lot.
We timed our boat ride perfectly, as soon as we got back on dry land the skies opened up. We spent the afternoon holed up in a coffee shop before scoping out the town of Bowness-on-Windermere. We were a bit shopped-out at this point, and just wandered about and made our way back to Windermere.
To fight off the onslaught of rain we sought comfort in a number of bookstores!
Also make sure to check out the Oak Street Bakery in Windermere – it’s an independent bakery and the caramel shortbread is AMAZING!
We stayed at the Ashleigh Guest House and it was my favorite place we stayed. They plan ahead for stormy, dreary, rainy evenings (the town basically shuts down at 5pm) and equipped each room with DVD players and have a huge movie library in the hallway to choose from. It was a nice break from the go-go-go of our trip.
The following day we picked up our rental car in Kendal.
I’m not sure how to describe the experience that day other than terrifying. We had a manual and the clutch is on the left side! Definitely the most confusing part.
We spent the morning a few miles north of Windermere – in Grassmere and Ambleside.
Grassmere was my favorite place we visited. I have said that about a lot of places, but Grassmere is in the top places I’ve ever been.
We walked along the Riverwalk Path – past a flowing creek, many ducks and fields full of sheep! You can see where Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter got all their inspiration!
Rolling hills. Lakes. Sheep. Happiness.
Country paths in the drizzling rain.
Original homemade gingerbread at Sarah Nelson’s eaten in William Wordworth’s daffodil garden.
We saw Wordworth’s gravestone and we read one of his poem’s for posterity’s sake.
Then we drove 10 minutes south to Ambleside. Ambleside has a larger village – home to many outdoor stores. There we visited the Apple Pie Bakery and enjoyed it next to a small river.
We spent the rest of the afternoon driving south (4 hours) to Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds.
While our weather in the Lakes District was very rainy and foggy, we loved it! If only it wasn’t so far away from Boston!
Next stop: The Cotswolds!