I like going on mini breaks in the UK. Over the years, I’ve covered pretty much everywhere, from York to the Cotswolds, to Cornwall and Kent, and I’ve got to be honest – although I love it, I really didn’t think England could surprise me anymore.
Recently we really needed a break, but my husband has just started a new job and couldn’t get a lot of time off so we decided to stay in the UK. The Lake District just stuck out to me as a place that, weirdly, I’d never been, so as we had four days, we booked a little cottage with a hot tub in Pooley Bridge, and last Friday made the long road trip (made longer by me drinking a large Costa caramel latte and needing to stop for the loo roughly six times) down to Ullswater Lake.
And honestly – I was amazed by how stunning it was. I have honestly never seen scenery like it in real life. We dropped our bags in the little cottage and walked out onto our little veranda and just stared at the view. Even in the rain, with the sheep huddling under the trees for shelter, it was so gorgeous.
I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen snow-topped mountains in real life and it just felt like every direction we looked, it got more beautiful. We spent the first evening in the cottage, eating dinner and trying out the hot tub, which – despite it being freezing cold and raining outside, was really enjoyable!
It had rained solidly for 24 hours on the Friday and so we were happily surprised to wake up on Saturday to beautiful sunshine. We made the most of the morning by completing Keswick park run – I’ve written about my love for park runs here, and this one, which took you through a winding wood, past waterfalls and over bridges, might be the most fun one I’ve ever done. Not my fastest time by any means, but so worth it!
After recovering via eggs and avocado, we headed to the Ullswater Lake where we spent our first day. The second largest lake in the Lake District, and often considered the most beautiful, Ullswater Lake is home to the Ullswater steamers – boats which take you across the lake from Pooley Bridge to Glenridding.
We followed a typical walkers route, getting the steamer across to Glenridding – where we had a little wander and warmed up with a cup of tea – and then back to Howtown, before we walked the 6 miles back to Pooley Bridge.
I love a good countryside walk. In London, everyone is always rushing everywhere, and it’s so nice to just wander along in the sunshine.
Just the act of putting one foot in front of the other and not really think about anything. The views were insane and we also took a little detour to see the Cockpit stone circle, a prehistoric site which – like Stonehenge – is something of a mystery.
It’s a bit smaller than Stonehenge, though!
We arrived back at our cottage, tired but happy, and celebrated with drinks in the Jacuzzi! It's a great length walk - about two and a half hours with lots of different terrain and views so you don't get bored. Fully recommend it.
Afterwards we headed into Pooley Bridge for a well-deserved pub dinner at the Pooley Bridge Inn.
We chose our location in Pooley Bridge completely at random, based on the accommodation available. Since then, a lot of people we’ve spoken to who know the Lake District well have said we were lucky to pick Ullswater rather than some of the better-known tourist destinations (like Windemere/Ambleside). Having not been to the latter, I can’t make a comparison, but I will say that Ullswater Lake was so beautiful we are already making plans to return, and that our cottage was the perfect base!
Have you ever been to the Lake District - what did you think?