At the end of May, the boyfriend and I headed out to Grasmere for a couple of days hiking and camping the in glorious sunshine we had. He has never been camping before so it was all new to him, and limited to one night just as a tester. I can happily report that he survived and even enjoyed it, so hopefully there will be more camping trips to come!
We stayed at Baysbrown Farm Campsite just outside of Ambleside, and it was stunning as it opened up onto the Great Langdale Valley. At just £6/ adult and £3 for the car it was a cheap and cheerful way to get a night away in the countryside, and there was plenty of space in the fields so you didn’t feel crowded despite how busy it was. The showers were clean and hot, which is amazing for a campsite, and there was a gorgeous small river as you came in that you can paddle or even swim in to cool down in the sun. There are also two pubs nearby, although we didn’t visit either as I wanted to show the boyfriend proper camping fun and cook on our own little stove.
After pitching the tent, we headed out on our first walk into the beautiful lakes. Although as a Yorkshire girl I’m very lucky to have the Dales and the Moors on my doorstep, the Lake District really did take my breath away with its scenery. We walked along the Cumbria Way which follows the River Brathay towards the village of Elterwater, and then on to the lake of Elterwater itself which was beautiful and our first taste of one of the Lakes, with the mountains rearing up behind it.
Heading off through rolling hills and pretty meadows, we followed the path to Skelwith Bridge to see the Skelwith Force waterfall- powerful and pretty but kind of small compared to what I expected. We then kept on the path to Colwith Force waterfall which was much more impressive but also a bit busier with lots of families taking photos and having picnics. Continuing on the Cumbria Way, we headed back towards the campsite through Little Langdale but breaking off at Fletcher’s Wood to follow the path to Baysbrown rather than straight back to Elterwater.
This was a quite easy walk and took about 3.5 hours with a break for lunch, and was the perfect way to get our walking holiday going. Fitbit reckoned I clocked up an impressive 25,000 steps from this walk, and climbed the equivalent of 95 flights of stairs, giving me the perfect excuse to drink too much cider and eat chocolate muffins for pudding!
Day two started nice and early with the sun coming up, and after packing up camp and a camp fried breakfast, we drove to Grasmere to start our second day of walking. It was about £8 for a full day’s parking which seems a lot for a Yorkshire girl, but the money goes to the upkeep of the National Park and a full day ticket gives you peace of mind as you don’t have to worry about rushing to get back so I guess it was ok.
We headed out into the woods behind the Wordsworth Museum, down the side of two lakes and along the river Rothay towards Rydal and the Ambleside, where we saw the famous Bridge House. However, Ambleside was absolutely heaving with tourists and on a hot day it really wasn’t our thing, so we quickly headed out again onto the path. This was a little difficult to find as it was at the end of a quiet residential street off the main road, but when we found it we quickly were in beautiful, quiet countryside again.
The path then took us up and around Loughrigg Fell- although we didn’t climb right to the top there was still quite a bit of hill to conquer. The views from here were amazing, and a perfect place for our picnic before heading down and back towards Grasmere for an ice cream. Unfortunately, the route back did involve some sections of road which is not great, but the views more than made up for it.
I gained two new Fitbit badges this day- the Trail Shoe for 30,000+ steps in one day, and the Rollercoaster for 133 flights of stairs which I was hugely proud of, but also definitely felt when I stiffly got out of the car after driving home and went for a nap!