Rachel Recommends… Getting away from it all in the Lake District
Have you ever had one of those weeks when no matter how hard you try to tick things off your to-do list is still seems to get longer? Well I recently had a week just like that, I thought the weekend was never going to arrive so when it eventually did I grabbed it with both hands and promised to make the most of every second! It was also my 31st birthday so my partner and I decided to dip in to the rainy day fund (whilst hoping it wouldn’t be!) and head to the Lake District for a couple of days R ‘n’ R.
After a quick look on the internet I found a discount deal for dinner, bed and breakfast at the Leathes Head Hotel in the unspoilt area of Borrowdale. With it’s classic Edwardian features and magnificent views of Derwent Water it was the ideal countryside retreat.
Before heading to the hotel we spent a few hours in Keswick and soaked up the atmosphere of the Saturday market, strolled round Fitz Park and cheered on the runners taking part in the Lakeland Trails. I could feel the stresses of the previous week start to drift away and it was only lunch time!
Speaking of lunch, I could have chosen from a vast array of traditional pubs, quaint coffee shops and fancy bistros, Keswick had them all! For me though there was only option… it had to be a picnic on the lake! I’d pre-prepared sandwiches, pies, olives and cheese and was all set for a romantic boat trip. I’d picked up a leaflet from the tourist information office in Keswick for a watersports company called Platty+ that was ideally located near the Leathes Head Hotel on the shores of Derwent Water, away from the hustle and bustle of Keswick that was getting really rather busy by mid-afternoon.
Platty+ offers kayaking, canoeing, sailing, power boats and even dragon boats but I opted for a good old fashioned rowing boat and coughed up £26 for two hours use. There were hardly any other boats out on hire and it felt like my partner and I had the whole lake to ourselves. So as he did his best Steve Redgrave impression, I tucked in to my sandwiches and enjoyed the tranquility which was only interupted by the Keswick Launch as it passed by on it’s 50 minute cruise stopping at seven lakeshore jetties – another great way to enjoy Derwent Water!
After handing back the rowing boat I took a short walk to the Lodore Falls, a stunning waterfall that cascades for 100 feet, it can be found just behind the Hotel that shares its name and it really is worth going off the beaten track for. Make the effort to climb to the top of the waterfall and you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views that will take your breath away!
When I finally arrived at the hotel it was everything I’d hoped it would be and more; traditional but not too chintzy with a wonderful restaurant and fantastic hospitality.
It’s amazing what a one night break in a relaxing location like the Lake District can do for your well being, I felt physically and mentally healthier as I returned home on Sunday. I might have turned one year older but I felt about ten years younger!
To plan your chilled out weekend in the Lake District check out www.golakes.co.uk where you’ll find a wealth of useful information and a really handy accommodation tool that searches out all the late deals for you. Enjoy!
About Rachel Kershaw
Rachel Kershaw is 31 and lives in Newcastle Upon Tyne but is originally from Rochdale. With parents who have never even owned passports, it was inevitable that Rachel would fall in love with holidays in Britain. It was her genuine passion that saw her win the opportunity to be VisitEngland’s Fan in a Van in summer 2012 – an adventure that involved ten weeks on the road in a vintage VW camper blogging about everything from bungee jumping, hot air ballooning and surfing to visiting museums, zoos and numerous British eateries! What a lucky lady!