Monday, January 19, 2015

Our week in the Lake District

We had a slow start to Sunday. We had to shop for food in Keswick, and, while we were there, tried to find some waterproof, windproof trousers for Grace - mainly for use on the boat rather than for fell walking. On the way back, we stopped off at a lakeside car-park to enjoy the views and take lots of photos (some of which appeared in my last post). The rest of the day we spent in the cottage, playing games and watching videos.

On Monday, we felt more energetic! We didn't travel beyond Derwentwater, but did a lot of walking along its banks. The weather was mainly dry, but with a biting wind which gusted strongly at times. The water was higher than ever. 

We had lunch at Bryson's Tea Room, huge pieces of very tasty quiche with a huge mixed salad.

Afterwards, we visited those shops we'd not been to the day before, shopping for trousers for Grace. We failed, and finished the day around the north-eastern tip of Derwentwater, taking photos and enjoying the views. The sunset was wonderful.

On Tuesday, we walked into Rosthwaite village. It was smaller than expected, and the village store was no longer there; we'd needed bread. 

It snowed a bit overnight, and the next morning we set out to enjoy the newly-adorned scenery, parking at various lakeside car parks, and walking from there. My attempt to drive up a steep incline to the Bowderstone car park failed; the wheels simply spun on the slushy snow half-way up the road, and I had to reverse, nervously, back onto the road.

The long walks paid off; the lakes take on a new beauty, even in the lightest of snow.

In the evening, we went to the delightful Alhambra Cinema in Keswick, to see "Unbroken".
  1. "As a boy, Louis "Louie" Zamperini is always in trouble, but with the help of his older brother, he turns his life around and channels his energy into running, later qualifying for the 1936 Olympics. When World War II breaks out, Louie enlists in the military. After his plane crashes in the Pacific, he survives an incredible 47 days adrift in a raft, until his capture by the Japanese navy. Sent to a POW camp, Louie becomes the favorite target of a particularly cruel prison commander."
It was a really good film, although I was particularly offended by the scenes of extreme violence and cruelty. Understandably, though, director Angelina Jolie was only being true to the reality which Louie and so many others had to endure during the war.

The journey home was spectacular. It was sleeting as we left the cinema at around 8:00, and the drive back along the dark, often flooded, Borrowdale road, with heavy wet snow being driven against my windscreen by very strong winds was quite an experience!

Come Thursday morning, the snow had gone, washed away by overnight rain, so we did one of our favourite drives, the circuit around Derwentwater, stopping off at various points for photos or a walk.

Next stop was Surprise View, a high vantage point looking across the lake, and up and down the valley. The degree to which the water level had fallen in just a few days was very clear. Fuzziness of these photos was due to very strong winds in dull conditions!

We carried on along the Watendlath road to the village at the end,

and drove away as the weather started to deteriorate.

We arrived back at the cottage to find that it was one of seven dwellings in the area which had suffered a loss of electricity. The local Authority said that it would be up by 7:00pm - three hours away. Candles were lit, warm clothes left on from our walking, and games played. We were totally reliant on electricity, so there were no hot drinks or food until the supply was finally restored at around 8:30.

Come Friday morning, the snow was back again, and we risked a drive down the Newlands valley, then across the fells towards Buttermere. The scenery was fabulous.

Our progress along that route was finally stopped when the car failed to climb an incline of perhaps 1 in 6 because of the snowy surface. Again, I had to reverse down, away from the problem, this time as far as a widening of the road where I could turn the car around. It was a little scarey, to be honest! A car coming down the road stopped at the top of the hill, and the driver took one look down towards us, and turned around and drove back the way he'd come! We got back to the cottage safely.

On Saturday, we had to leave before 10:00am. Snow had almost gone from local roads, and the main roads were pretty much clear of it. The M6 and M1 were amazingly light of traffic, and our drive back to St Albans was really enjoyable. A fitting end to a very good week.

Final photos from the cottage...


  1. Beautiful pictures! I am very envious! xxx

  2. Thanks, Nome! It was all very photogenic. It was just a shame we didn't have more snow. xxx