THE LAKE DISTRICT

 

If you have a few days to devote to the trek

up to England's Lake District,

do it.

 

You'll feel like William Wordsworth floating lonely as a cloud,

or Beatrix Potter's carefree animal friends roaming her quaint farm,

or Miss Elizabeth Bennett forgetting the Darcy's of the world

and breathing in deep of nature.

 

Or maybe, you'll just enjoy being out of cell service

for a few days someplace really beautiful.

Read my travel posts on the Lake District here.

 

THE LAKES

 

DO

WINDERMERE: Regardless of where you stay in the Lakes, plan to spend a half-day meandering around the "big" town of Windermere. You'll find cute shops, little tea rooms and boats for rent around the lake. 

DOVE COTTAGE: Go visit William Wordsworth's home in the Lakes. See where his family crammed into a small home and the land that inspired him to write many of his works.

HILLTOP FARM: Visit Beatrix Potter's charming home in the Lakes, Hilltop Farm. See how her drawings and musings over little animals ignited something truly special in children's literature. Her work and legacy are seen so well in that sweet little place.

THE WORLD OF BEATRIX POTTER: After skipping this stop over the previous years, I finally decided to give this stop a chance. Woah baby, this was way cuter than I imagined. If you have a kids -or fond childhood memories involving Peter Rabbit- make this stop when you go to Windermere. (And, if you're in the lakes, you should go to Windermere.) There are gorgeous "It's a Small World" like scenes for each of the stories by Beatrix Potter, sans the boat ride, unfortunately. Complete with a stop by Mr. MacGregor's garden, tea + cakes at the cafe downstairs, and a knit hat complete with bunny ears from the children's shop- this was a fun way to spend the afternoon. {Editor's Note: You don't need to pay to enter the cafe or gift shops.} Admission for adults: £7.

 

EAT

SARAH NELSON GRASMERE GINGERBREAD: The birthplace of gingerbread is a tiny shop near the church in Grasmere... and the women working in the closet-sized shop wear old-fashioned aprons & bonnets. You may be a bit surprised at the biscuit-like (read: "cookie-like" if in America) consistency of this forerunner to Starbucks gingerbread loaf. Oh, and get some homemade fudge while you're there. I mean, you might as well. Then take the spoils of your visit and wander lonely like a cloud through the church cemetery and pay your respects to the Wordsworth family.

APPLE PIE BAKERY: This sweet place is a favorite for breakfast when in Ambleside. In fact, after landing their the first morning we ever were in Ambleside, we've never ventured anywhere else.

HOLE IN THE WALL PUB: When you're in Windermere, eat lunch at The Hole in The Wall Pub. It's completely cozy and ticks all the boxes your mind will have for the stereotypical British pub.

 

STAY

AMBLESIDE CENTRAL HOTEL: I always try to stay at the Ambleside Central Hotel in, well, Ambleside... It's a tiny hotel that sits above the hotel's Italian restaurant. It's nothing to write home about, but I love spending a few nights in this cozy hotel. I always make a haul at the grocery story for candy to watch movies on TV at least one night we are in town.

THORNEYFIELD GUEST HOUSE: If you're looking for an affordable option with a homey feel, Thorneyfield will have all you need. With it's sweet owners, Alan and Alison, you'll feel right at home... and the perk of waking up to the smell of fresh bread is hard to beat. Don't expect frills and posh digs, but go for cozy and kind.

RED LION GRASMERE: Also a good option! Less to choose from at night for dinner since the town is much smaller, but the hotel was super cute & cozy. (I think it's also part of the Best Western franchise, if you're into collecting BW points.)