Here’s a few things we got up to during my recent trip to the Lake District. It’s by no means a guide, since I was only there for a couple of days and we didn’t exactly have a full itinerary – my main aims were having a break and eating cake!
Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House
Having brought on the rain with our arrival, we spent most of a day at Blackwell, and it was quite easy to do so. While very much a show home for period furniture and decoration, there were lots of window seats and you were encouraged to sit in them. That meant you could really enjoy the rooms and see them from different angles. Plus the views were awesome and there were beautiful hand-printed curtains and cushions (including designs by William Morris) to examine.
There’s also a terrace garden with sculptures and lovely views of Windermere, a gift shop with lots of ceramics and a couple of exhibition rooms so there’s quite a lot to see. Plus of course a tearoom, which was really good.
The holiday park we were staying at was close to both Windermere and Ambleside and they were both nice for a wander. Ambleside is where we had the cake tasting plate, at the Rattle Gill Cafe. More places should offer this option – my favourite was a date flapjack that I would have been unlikely to order otherwise.
Detail is a cool gift shop with branches in both towns – they have a pretty excellent range of stuff from lots of indie designers. The big thing in local design appears to be Herdy – colourful sheep products.
We also visited the flagship Lakeland store, which was fun. I bought an awesome small purple duster, but I really want one of these instant-ish ice lolly makers. If we’d been around longer, the cafe looked good too.
And we were also quite taken with Booths, a local supermarket chain that’s something of a cross between Waitrose and Whole Foods. I was sad to leave behind the pick ‘n’ mix nuts machine.
Lakeside and Coniston Water
Our final day’s plan was to get a boat across Windermere to Lakeside but sadly it was too windy and all the boats were cancelled. Instead we drove round and had a wander through Fell Foot Park and a stop to see the steam train. We went over to Coniston in the afternoon and the boats were running there so we got a boat trip after all, though just around the lake. I didn’t actually take any photos of that as it was so warm and sunny inside the boat and it was nice just to look at the waves and the scenery. There’s also a really nice cafe there, The Bluebird, plus we got bonus ducklings!
As you can probably tell from just these photos, we had ALL the weather from blue skies to hail and back again in a matter of hours. So it’s probably best not to go with any firm plans in mind. If you want to see more photos, I have some on Flickr and my sister posted lots more including the now obligatory one of me pointing at nothing.