Get Out of Town | The Lake District & York


Did you have a nice weekend? We did! We had an amazing time in the Lakes and in York. I'll give the unexpected combination of great weather + Christmas festivities the bulk of the credit, but man, we couldn't stop talking about how much fun we were having. (Which, to be honest, isn't always the case when traveling!)

I'll hit you with some of the highlights... and way too many pictures.

We started out Saturday with a visit to Wordsworth's Dove Cottage. It's situated on the outskirts of the tiny town of Grasmere, and the setting is just so beautiful. We played with the cat that lives in the garden, read some of Wordsworth's poems with my students in his garden, climbed around all the windy paths we could find, and got our shoes way too muddy.

While we were near the village, I had to stop and get us some Grasmere Gingerbread from Sarah Nelsons because I love buying it for my students. We always love having a little picnic of gingerbread and fudge in the church cemetery near the Wordsworth's family graves. Viola loved it, too. She is getting some molars in and this might be the first smile of the day from here.

We spent the rest of the daylight in Windermere- eating a cozy lunch at Sutherlands and wandering through the Beatrix Potter Museum. Viola was loosing her mind running from display to display. It was awesome. We had tea in the tea room afterwards and ate carrot cake and mini-cupcakes on pretty blue and white china. 

When I was booking hotels for our stay in Ambleside, I had the hardest time. We eventually found some rooms at Thorneyfield Guest House, and were really content with the find. I thought it was weird, but then when we arrived, we realized why: the Christmas lights were being lit that night. It was a huge party though out the village. Complete with a parade, real reindeer, ice skating and fireworks. We bowed out early to eat pizza in our room with a movie, which actually made it all the better to me.

After two nights, we drove on to York. We stuffed ourself with breakfast from The Apple Pie Bakery (our favorite!), tossed our bags in the coach and hit the roads. 

And then the roads smacked us right back in the face. The tiny roads getting us there were really hilly... and our bus driver won't be winning any awards for his driving in the foreseeable future. After about two hours, we begged for some fresh air. When the bus stopped, we all tumbled out, breathed in the air and tried to let our eyes focus on an unmoving object. Once we did, we realized we were standing outside an adorable Tea Room & Sweet Emporium. We went int and were delighted to find a bustling little country shop selling sweets from big jars. I bought bags of candy and some water that totaled up a final price tag of £3.15. 

York is such a sweet town. It felt so festive with little tents selling handmade crafts, the narrow streets playing Christmas music and an obligatory Egg Nog Latte from Starbucks. And seeing as we how we were in York, we also had to indulge in a Sunday roast topped with a Yorkshire Pudding.

Viola fell asleep in her stroller and I ducked into York Minster for Evensong to hide from the cold. It was very welcome break from the business of life lately. I feel like praying has become hard for me to do because it requires me to stop and focus on one thing. I tried to really focus and pray while I was there. (It was hard to do for the whole hour.)

And next? Well, I had to pop on a train and head back to London for a few classes today and tomorrow. I'll meet Tyler, Viola and the group in Edinburgh tomorrow night... but in the meantime, will be stealing cuddles from Amber's new baby, Maia!


Also, I've updated my travel pages for The Lake District and York with my new finds from the weekend. If you're headed there, be sure to check out my list for a few of our favorite places to go.


*images original to Aspiring Kennedy