Our destination following goodbyes to Ruth, as per my previous post, was to the Lake District, widely acknowledged to be the wettest place in England, and with its weather reputation I wondered whether the visit would be a damp squib. On the way we stopped off at Lancaster for Kirsty to do some of her own reminiscing following my own the day before… and I will leave her to tell you about that on her blog; however, before the reminiscing began Kirsty was repeatedly phoned by one of the little Kirsty’s with a home-emergency and so I was booted out of the car to avoid hearing her Bob-voice.
Our first port of call in the Lake District was the busy town of Windermere, where we stopped by the lake for a little wander around… as well as a photo or two. With time marching on we drove the rest of our way, past Ambleside and Conniston lakes to our overnight stop, a pub called the Bower House Inn at Eskdale, without a break; the countryside along the way was increasingly impressive as we neared out destination. We didn’t check in until nearly 8.30 so after a quick change into a dress for Kirsty and me, already avec-dress, into a posh pair of heels, we hurried into the bar with five minutes to spare before ordering. The starters didn’t really grab us so we went straight for main courses… and it was a good job we did as the dishes were heaped – I had the biggest lamb chop I have ever seen, cooked medium-rare to perfection, and served with yummy mustard mash and assorted vegetables… and dessert was pretty good too; the waitress serving us was very pleasant. The bar was busy with locals, particularly a group of middle-aged men… and there was us, two girls, minding our own business, chatting away, with nobody taking any notice.
Alas we woke the following morning to awful weather – hale, rain, grey skies – and once ready we donned raincoats to simply walk across the car park to the restaurant for breakfast… though when we stepped outside it miraculously stopped raining and brightened up; cooked breakfast was pretty good… even if it was served with plastic bread for toasting. I had worked out a kinda inverted-S-on-its-side-shaped route taking in many of the lakes in the area, and we set off for the first one where we had planned to do a walk, at the far end of Wast Water – the lake itself is very impressive, with steep sides, and the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike, at its end. Alas the peak was buried in low cloud, and the surroundings quite bleak beneath grey clouds and a cold wind, and as we neared the walk it started to rain; with gloomy weather all around we both decided to forego the walk in favour of some stops further along my route… and we were very glad we did as we were able to do little walks, along several of the lakes, including Derwent Water, and up to the impressive waterfall of Aira Force above beautiful Ullswater; the weather was very kind to us, and although there was quite an amount of rain, mainly around Buttermere, we did most of our walking in sun. Alas it was finally time to go and, after a coffee stop on the M6 motorway, panic set in as Kirsty’s iPhone indicated we would arrive at the ferry too late to board… but with some Lewis Hamilton-style driving and overtaking we got there with time to spare… although by that time we had almost been driven mad by the phone’s satnav-type app which fell flat on its face every time it tried to pronounce Stranraer! The ferry was very quiet, and we had a good seat right at the front – presently a waiter came around and said “Would you like anything from the menu, ladies?” Ladies! We both ordered ‘gourmet’ burgers, Kirsty beef and mine chicken… and she obviously made the better choice because when mine arrive it was stone cold! So, not one to have my evening spoiled, I took it to the kitchen and complained in my most sullen, disappointed tone… and the waiter soon returned, all apologetic, and I was allowed to order something else. After a while my replacement meal was brought by the chef himself, who was almost devastatingly sorry… and we ended up not having to pay for EITHER of our meals!!! So it never hurts to complain! At almost 10.00pm we had docked and were driving off the ferry… and less than an hour later Kirsty and I were hugging on my driveway, our holiday sadly over. But it was fun, with some good memories.