When: 27-29 May 2017
Normal people don’t waste six hours of their lives in the car just so they can stay somewhere for a day and drive back home for another six hours. Clearly, we’re not normal because this is exactly how we spent this weekend (and many others).
It was a gorgeous, hot and sunny day when we left Cambridge and we assumed that the rest of the country would be equally beautiful. In reality, we were brought back to earth within an hour or so; the further we drove, the heavier the cloud became, and the more I questioned the whole idea of going to the Lake District. The drive was long, the stay was short, we had no campsite booked (during Bank holiday weekend!) and the weather was shitty. To top it off, by the time we arrived it was pissing down with rain, it was getting dark, and the campsite was full.
NEVER GIVE UP
I never trust these information boards which say that the campsite is full until I actually hear it from the receptionist. Nine times out of ten they confirm what I already know, but sometimes luck is on one’s side. This time it was and we managed to get into the Low Wray National Trust Campsite, located just by Lake Windermere. We pitched our tent and enjoyed the lovely surroundings of the verdant forest while sipping delicious, cold beer. It even almost stopped raining.
Time was a limiting factor during our getaway so we simply had to go for the most popular activity in the Lake District. Half of UK must have had the same idea because I’ve never seen so many people doing exactly the same thing, which, in this case, involved hiking up Scafell Pike. This is the highest mountain in England with a challenging elevation of, wait for it… 978 m. Yep, it doesn’t even reach 1000 m. I initially laughed at the scale, but the higher we got the more I realised that I had underappreciated the mountain. It was pretty steep, the weather was muggy and I was dripping with sweat. Luckily, the view from the top rewarded all the pain that I had to suffer on the way up. The peaks of neighbouring mountains protruding from the clouds looked absolutely stunning. I’m not sure if people usually pay attention to this, but I found it extremely interesting that the summit of Scafell Pike was covered with boulders. When I think about boulders, I imagine a beach rather than a mountain peak so it was definitely not something I expected to find. But there it was, apparently the highest-altitude example of summit boulder field in England (according to my favourite source of information – Wikipedia).
It would be a waste if we didn’t utilise our magnificent camping location next to the Windermere, the largest lake in England. Also, this time (unlike many other times), we were prepared for every eventuality. This means that we actually packed an inflatable kayak! It’s almost as if we planned that weekend carefully… Anyway, we got the kayak out and launched it from a little bridge, located just three minutes walk from our tent. It was so peaceful and relaxing to float on the water. Out of curiosity we paddled to the nearby Wray Castle to look at it from lake level. There was not much that we could see so we came back the following day for a quick wander around the building just before we left the, always beautiful, Lake District.
As always, the weekend away proved itself to be worth the long drive as really there is no better way to forget about everyday problems than just leave everything behind and go somewhere different. Even if only for a day.