Friday, 1 July 2016

Our Lake District Mini Break :: Part Two

 Hello Lovelies,
Monday was our only full day in the lakes. Thankfully, after a comfortable night's sleep, we woke to dry weather. As we left for the day I snapped a couple of photos of Ambleside Youth Hostel.
 Isn't it a lovely building. That's our room, the upper bay on the right......


A little bit of research has revealed that the building was formerly two hotels. The Youth Hostel Association took it over in 1971 and at the time it was their biggest hostel......


The view front the front looked extra pretty with added sunshine........



But as you can see the cloud was building......


Our twins are explorer scouts and when I said we were going to the lake district they straight away said...oh great we can go canoeing...that wasn't what I was thinking of but ...ummmmm. OK

We decided to head off to Coniston Water for this activity. The drive was so pretty and had me pointing my camera out of the car window trying to capture the view........



We parked in the almost empty car park ( the joy of going to the lakes away from a weekend or the school holidays ) and noticed the steam yacht gondola was moored at the jetty. A ride on that would be nice I thought......



But we had come to do some canoeing. We rented two boats and it was lovely to be instructed in the safety and techniques by our confident 16 year olds. Eldest and I were in one canoe, with hubby and the other two boys in the second.......


I liked the way you paddle a Canadian canoe, facing forward with just one shortish oar. We made our way down the lake, I really wanted to get to Peel Island as it is thought to be one of the places that inspired Arthur Ransome when he wrote Swallows and Amazons.

But starting from the opposite end of the lake it was just too far away. Instead we stopped about half way down for some cake and a drink.

The boys were loving being on the water and they soon got back in the canoes for a paddle with no grown ups.......







Picnic over we all got back in our seats. As we paddled back up along the opposite bank I loved the sunlight playing on the fells.......


Eldest was very patient with me when I kept stopping paddling every few minutes to take another photo :0)


It was a good distraction to the slight feeling of unease I had about the depth of the lake and what would happen if we fell in.....


At one point I looked up from my concentration on the oar and saw the other canoe leaning at a scary angle. Apparently a wave hit them as youngest was leaning over the edge....thankfully the took action to counteract it immediately and disaster was averted. Phew. I was a little more keen to get back to dry land after witnessing that though!




By early afternoon we were back in our room. Middle son had a headache and wanted a lie down.
Youngest was happy to stay with him as there was wi-fi ! :0)

I saw a window of opportunity...maybe now I could go for a walk up one of those hills. Checking my e.mails from my lovely pen friend Jo, who lives in Cumbria, she suggested walking up Todd Crag.



I got out my OS map and realised that was the very hill I was looking out of the window at.


So we set out, hubby, eldest and I. We passed the Herdwick sheep. "Hello Sheep".......


Walked beside a pretty river........


Following  the route was made much easier by using the mobile download you now get with every OS map purchase. The map is there in your phone and you get a handy red arrow telling you exactly where you are and your direction of travel....wonderful.........


We walked past a pretty and typical Lakeland bridge.........



Then began to climb........


It was a steep ascent, but that meant you soon got great views........


we crossed streams......


and climbed higher......


It had started to rain at this point, making this rocky path even more tricky to negotiate.......



Now we were high enough to see distant mountains.......


and the sun came out....off with the waterproofs again :0)



as we reached the top of the hill we admired pretty Ambleside laid out below us.......


then set off on the well trodden paths between the fresh green bracken......


How I loved the pretty little succulents in bloom..........


and the wild foxgloves.........


Eldest made nothing of the final steep climb, striding up the hillside like a mountain goat......


Oh, the light. It was always changing, and quiet wonderful..........


I knew a view of lake Windermere could not be far away, just one more tricky rock to climb.....



And WOW, there it was...stretching out before us.......



I'm not keen on how I look in photos these days, but I thought this moment warranted a selfie for posterity :0).....


We sat around on the grass admiring the view.......


Look, there's Wray castle.........


and a cute little white house hidden in the woods nearby...........


I rummaged around in my back pack and found some choccy to share.
Doesn't this sort of treat always taste amazing in the outdoors, after earning it climbing a hill :0).......


We could see the ferry pulling in at Waterhead pier.........


Hubby treated me to a new camera for my birthday ( I wear them out) ...and I LOVE the zoom!
Look, there's our room ......


Eldest went off to scale the other peak.........



That boy, he looks like a man..........



I loved the view to our right too, such rugged beauty........


I kept looking over to see if eldest was ok. He was taking photo's with his phone......


Well who could resist.......


All too soon it was time to say goodbye to the lake........


and walk across the high paths......





Past the Bog Cotton........


And a flower I have failed to identify......


I wonder if any of you lovelies know what this is?..........


We carefully picked our way down the steep paths, and admired the view when we came out onto the lane.........


Pretty houses.......


pretty gates......


shady woodland......


Green valleys with a mountain backdrop........


 and waterfalls........


These are all things that make me smile.

Back in Ambleside I admired the old stone houses............the big ones .....



and the tiny ones. It was nice to see bridge house in the dry........


It's a national Trust property and you can look inside, it was just a shame it was 5pm and the lady was closing up...plus we didn't have our National trust membership cards on us. How lovely are the pots of flowers and the ferns growing out of the walls........


Here's the view from the other side...yep, it's officially tiny :0).......


One up, one down, but cute as can be.......




I loved this view of the river running between houses too.......



This whole area has suffered badly with flooding in our recent, very wet, winters. This is such a tranquil scene but to see what it can be like take a look at THIS you tube video I found. Scary.

But on Monday it was mostly fine weather and the town looked great. There's Dodd's, where we had pizza the previous evening.........


And there's a typical, very smart, flower bedecked Bed and Breakfast establishment.......


Oh, and don't forget to look up. The light on the hills is always changing.......


I was very good and only bought one thing in Ambleside that afternoon....A postcard of the amazing view from Todd Crag :0)


Happily the weather stayed fair and we were able to enjoy an al-fresco evening meal by the lake. Delicious it was too.........


with the best view.........


As we were all out we managed to get everybody on a little walk, up a steep path we soon had a view down onto the lake........


Once again that OS app in my phone was invaluable to guide us though pretty woodland.........


It was just a mile or so, but knowing there were footpaths to make a little circular route was great.



Back down by the lake a little later the sunset was quiet beautiful.........


and this was the view from our room at the end of the day..........


It had been a full and tiring, but such an enjoyable day. I hope you enjoyed sharing it. Well done if you have managed to get this far:0)

Jacquie x

Back soon with part three !