We’ve been to the Lake District many times and always headed for the lakes and the main tourist spots so this time we wanted to see what was beyond the lakes…
The kids wanted to know why I had booked the Lake District when it always rains; a phrase they had obviously overheard and repeated! However, low and behold it didn’t rain when we were there! We were heading to the South Lakes initially for my husband’s 40th birthday celebrations; the location picked as he used to live there as a child. We had a great time exploring his old childhood haunts and hearing tales of his youth.
We stayed in a beautifully restored Shepherds Hut called Woodman’s Huts near Haverthwaite; with everything imaginable that you might need for your stay available (even underfloor heating!) It was amazing how everything was designed for the small space with such craftmanship. The kids adored the bunk beds and after a game of rock, paper, scissors the sleeping arrangements were set!
We drove to the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway and took the journey from Ravenglass through the beautiful Cumbrian countryside, seven miles along the track to Dalegarth. We had about two hours till our return journey; just enough time to have a picnic, check out the play park and enjoy a local ale in the pub near the station (after all we were celebrating!) The return journey was just as picturesque and lovely to see the locals out waving to us on the train; it gave the whole journey a lovely feel good factor.
There was a sign for Grizedale from the end of our road and I had heard good things about Grizedale Forest which is managed by the Forestry England, so that was the destination for another of our outings in the South Lakes. We’d only been to one other Forestry England forest before, but what always strikes me is how clean and well maintained they are. They also have fantastic play areas and great trails for kids. At the moment they have a Gruffalo trail on; so we purchased our pack and headed out into the forest.
I’d downloaded the Gruffalo Spotter app in advance of our day out, which was useful as you can imagine the internet wasn’t great in the middle of the forest. I have to say I am one of those people who love technology and the app was a great addition to the trail and was really interactive. By scanning the image on the post, it used virtual reality to allow you to take photos with each of the animals on the Gruffalo trail and asked you to do actions to make the animals move. It was really good fun and broke up the walk for us.
At the end of the trip, we moved up to Keswick to stay there for a night so we did head down to the lakeside. We loved seeing what was beyond the lakes, but we couldn’t really head to the Lake District and not see a lake now could we!
Guest blog by Claire from @bay.and.beyond
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