Although we do love going abroad as a family, we also love a staycation and with two children we now find that this is a much more cost effective way to holiday and we have just as much fun.
We spent (roughly) 24 hours in the Lake District at the start of the week, sleeping in a tipi near Troutbeck, courtesy of YHA Winderemere and we had an amazing time. I love the Lake District, the sheer mention of a possible trip there makes me smile and the minute I arrive I feel at peace, like I have arrived back home. Yet that’s the weird thing, I have never lived in the Lake District, in fact I have never stayed there longer than a week at a time and only manage to go once a year at the most, if not every couple of years. Yet it still feels like home, like there is a magical pull from the lake to my heart.
Despite the minited time I have stayed there at any one time I have formed so many special memories from my time there and it seems to play a significant role in my life. As a child I visited with school and canoed on the lake for part of my GCSE sport assessment, as a teenager I visited with my family and stayed in some beautiful cottages dotted around Windermere and Ambleside, with one up at the top of Troutbeck with a monster of climb to get to. Then as a young adult I returned with my then fiance whilst pregnant with our first child and then again for our first year wedding anniversary and pregnant with our second, I completed the great north swim in Lake Windermere despite it not being the closest event to me and have stayed in everything from cottages to youth hostels.
What I noticed the most on this visit was that we really had left it too long this time. The eldest could recall bits from previous visits but the youngest who is now 4 could remember very little apart from the fact that there was a thunderstorm that took place on our last visit and considering I feel at home in this place and so attached to it I have vowed to bring the boys more regularly.
As we only had a couple of days I wanted to show the boys everything I loved about the area and as soon as we were checked in we set off on a whistle stop tour of the Lakes, or at least my favourite parts of it. We started with a trip to Ambleside where we went to the cafe on the waters front and enjoyed a hot drink and breathed in the fresh air before walking further up and discovering some old Roman ruins that you can explore and read all about.
After this we jumped in the car and headed for my most favourite place of all, Hawkshead. Here we did a bit of shopping, including new jumpers for all of us, some fudge, chocolate and the most delicious jams and chutneys you have ever tasted. We then went for a walk up through the church grounds showing the boys the views for miles around and cooing over the baby lambs in the nearby fields before stopping for tea at the White Lion pub.
On day two we headed to Windermere for some more shopping, exploring, stone throwing, swan feeding, arcade playing fun. We had planned on taking a boat out on the lake but the tiddler was already complaining about ear ache and we were worried the cold air would make it worse so we will have to save that for our next visit.
Then we drove on to fell foot park, where the boys enjoyed playing and climbing on the park, especially in the balance bean section, followed by a walk by the lake for more skimming and accidental splashing, before we had to head home to Chester.
Despite it being only a short visit we managed to fit in so much fun and I think it is safe to say that the boys are falling in love with the Lakes just as much as I have. Hopefully one day I will be able to really call it home until then I hope the pull it has on my heart never breaks.