The Lake District, is one of the most beautiful areas of natural beauty in the UK. We visited for a mini-break to explore the vast lakes, mountains, and eat lots of ice cream!
Lake Windermere is probably the most famous lake the Lake District, and the nearby villages of Bowness-on-Windermere and Windermere form a must-do part of any trip to the Lake District. The down-side of this is parking – this is a very popular part of the Lake District so sadly there is plenty of traffic. There are large car parks provided but all are payable.
There were a LOT of tourists, and coach-loads of Chinese tourists. We saw them earlier spilling off the bus at a patrol station and taking selfies with sheep in the nearby fields, so I knew we had a Disneyland-type experience in store!
My Mum and I were eating fish and chips on a bench when the lady sitting next to us introduced herself in broken English. She was from Beijing and was astounded when we told her that we had been there. Suddenly she reached out and took my Mum’s fork. We both watched transfixed and a little horrified, trying to understand what was happening! She proceeded to put Mum’s fork in her own lunchbox and mimed that she was giving my Mum her chicken. We hurriedly declined, as with a massive portion of fish and chips each we were not in a position to take any more food!! All in all, a very odd but amusing lunch break!
When the lady proceeded to stroke and pose with the massive swans, I decided to take my leave. I was always taught to give swans a wide birth as they are very strong and can break your arm.
As we were passing the local church, we noticed a wedding about to start. A typical British affair – with the lovely bride in white, surrounded by bridesmaids in long peach gowns. I stopped to watch and was amused to see that the perimeter wall of the church was surrounded by tourists with long-lens cameras trying to capture this happy event from a respectful distance. Then, a couple of Chinese tourists broke through the perimeter – going in the church gate and right up to the bride. Sure enough others followed, all snapping copious photos. Before long the poor bride was surrounded by what looked like the paparazzi. The tourists continued to circle, and even followed them into the church when the procession started! I must say I found this quite amusing, but also felt very sorry for the bride and her father, who looked non-too amused.
Anyway, after all that excitement, we explored the town. There are plenty of shops and cafes, including a lovely Peter Rabbit shop, and the local Bath House selling lots of smelly bath products.
We also enjoyed a lovely walk from Bowness around the lake, and plenty of marinas to explore. You can also take a lake cruise if you have time, which would be a lovely relaxing way to see the lake.
We also visited a nearby National Trust property called Townend which is a preserved farmhouse from the 17th century. Most National Trust places are large stately homes, and it was interesting to see how someone of more modest means would have lived – (although I’m sure they were very well off compared to most!) and it was fascinating to see how they smoked their meat, and all the hand-carved chairs.
We also visited Fell Foot Park, another National Trust property which has vast lakeside lawns where you can have a picnic on a nice day. There is also a small shop and cafe in a cute mill-house setting.
Overall, I really enjoyed our visit to Lake Windermere and surrounding area – what a charming area and a lovely mini-break!
next blog: Coniston, Lake District, UK
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