The Lake District in England is one of the most beautiful places in the country. There’s actually no hyperbole to that statement – it truly is! So much so that it recently got UNESCO World Heritage status but if I am truly honest, it’s charm and appeal was totally lost on me till about 7 years ago.
Back then, the Lake District was just a place on the map of England and the closest I got to the Lake District was whizzing past on the train to Scotland. Then one day I saw some photos of it and it became a full-time obsession. (In fact, I think it was one of the big reasons why I became obsessed with wanting to spend more time exploring the U.K. even more…).
Since that time, I’d wanted to visit the Lake District and a couple of weeks ago, we finally did it!
Spoiler alert – The Lake District is everything they said it would be and so much more! It’s absolutely gorgeous and I’m hopefully going to show you exactly what I mean.
HOW TO GET THERE
The closest train station to this is Penrith; which is about 3 hours from London via train. From Manchester, it’s about 1.5 hours and same from Edinburgh.
From the train station, you catch a taxi; which takes about 10 minutes. (You can ask the hotel to help you sort one out prior to arriving).
WHERE TO STAY
This was probably the biggest factor in why we finally decided to visit the Lake District! After spending a few days exploring the amazing Watergate Bay in this beautiful hotel, I couldn’t contain my excitement when I found out they had a new hotel opening in The Lake District.
This new place is called Another Place, The Lake and it’s absolutely fantastic. There’s so much of what I loved about the Watergate Bay present here (the décor, the indulgent yet laidback feel of the whole place, how it fits into its surrounding, the food…I could seriously go on and on), yet Another Place manages to stand out and have it’s own different identity.
It’s different but feels absolutely familiar (to compare – check out the photos from the Watergate Bay here and scroll down through the photo of Another Place, The Lake and let me know what you think). First off, let me show you around the room some more…
…then let’s talk about that view from the room!
You can probably start to see why it was so easy to call this place ‘home’ for 4 days.
Ullswater is by far one of the best lakes to be located around in the Lake District. Unlike, Windermere (the largest lake in the Lake District), with its motorized sports and the constant stream of activity, Ullswater is calmer, quieter and lets you actually appreciate the natural beauty of the area.
This calmness, of course, doesn’t mean that you’ll be stuck for things to do here. On the contrary, there’s a fair bit to do here, while still leaving you with enough chill time (let’s face it – you come here to feel more relaxed, not absolutely exhausted when you leave) and so with that said, let’s get on with your itinerary for your time in the Lake District!
Afternoon – Arrive at Penrith train station from whatever your closest train station is – hop into your taxi. Your hotel can sort this taxi for you so it’s waiting at the perfect time for your arrival.
Afternoon (let’s say at some time between 2 – 3pm) – Check into your hotel and “Oooh!” and “Aaah!” at the place and the view. If you’re like me, you probably left London late (no need to get up early for the train if you don’t want to) and so you probably had lunch before you arrived. If you haven’t had lunch get some at The Living Space – it’s a nice chilled out part of Another Place, The Lake ; I’ll show you what it’s like and what the food’s like later on.
Late Afternoon (around 4.30pm) – Try your hands at Standup paddleboarding on the Lake. When we visited, there was absolutely no wind and the lake looked like glass! It was absolutely gorgeous and the light over it was spectacular. Talk about a welcome, eh?
Evening (around 8pm) – Head over to the Rampsbeck Restaurant for an amazing dinner. This is a fancier affair than lunch but you can still rock up in comfy clothes and shoes – it’s your holiday!
We started with halloumi swiftly followed by a juicy steak for myself and salmon on a bed of noodles in a savoury broth.
Dessert came in the form of a chocolate fondant with salted caramel sauce!
Every single dish was absolutely delicious and that dinner was just what we needed. The kind you enjoy slowly and brilliantly accompanied with some amazing wine. (I’ve come to realise that although I’m really good at it – pretty sure I could win an Olympic medal if there was one going for it – I’m not really a fan of eating food too quickly. I like to take things slowly and actually savour every single bite, especially when it comes to really good food).
Morning/Late Morning – (7.30pm to 10.30pm) Breakfast at the Rampsbeck Restaurant. Full English breakfast for Lloyd and freshly made waffles for me! (This one’s a favourite of mine even from our time at Watergate Bay – breakfast here is soooo good!)
You can get all kinds of coffees here by the way (lattes, espressos, macchiato…etc), Lloyd and I just went for regular ground coffees.
Late Morning/Early Afternoon ( 11 or 12ish) – Head out kayaking on the Lake. 🛶
You can take this as slow or as fast as you want. I went slow – partly because the Lake was still and glass-like again, exactly like it was the day before, but mostly because after my huge breakfast, I wasn’t in the mood for any kind of strenuous exercise. It. Was. Brilliant!
We started off trying to be all ‘serious’ about navigating the kayak on the lake. Thing is though, Lloyd and I almost always end up bickering (while having fun with it of course) whenever we have to do stuff like this in tandem.
I swear he has no sense of direction when it comes to rowing though he’d probably say the same thing about me too. I was in-charge of controls this time though (I made sure of that 😀 )!
We actually ended up spending almost all our time just lazily kayak while nattering away to our instructor who was local to the area and have some of the best stories of the Lake and it’s residents!
Afternoon – Lunch at The Living Space. My expectations when it came to food here were pretty high and I was not disappointed.
I went for a steak (again, I know but it’s really good here!) and sticky toffee pudding for dessert (that sticky toffee pudding is just something else – soooo sooo good).
Lloyd went for a crispy chicken burger (which he enjoyed so much he wouldn’t even let me get a bite) and warm scones with clotted cream and jam. Another winner!
Late Afternoon – Chill by the pool for a couple of hours, before heading off to an hour-long massage.
I’m so awful with massages in that I love having them (in Bali recently, there were times when I had two massages per day – one to start the day and one just before dinner) but I struggle to stay awake throughout. I think I stay awake for about half the massage and fall asleep for the rest. In fact, in Nepal, I remember falling asleep pretty much for an entire massage I had one evening (I woke up thoroughly relaxed though, so I guess that still counts). 🙂
Evening – Dinner at the Rampsbeck Restaurant. The menu changes so this time I went for crab cakes to start, Lloyd went for the Carpaccio.
Mains were fish for me but a vegetarian curry for Lloyd.
Dessert was a pear tart with ice cream for me and the cheese board for Lloyd.
Everything was absolutely great! I’m not usually one for pear-based dessert (I like pears as a fruit but in anything else, I’ve never been able to really get into it) but I figured I’d take a risk with the pear tart and boy was, I was pleasantly surprised! 🙂
After our busy day or relaxing (Ha!), I pretty much fell asleep as soon as I arrived back in the room. (The things that fresh mountain air will do to you, eh?)
Morning – Have breakfast early! Your day is about to be filled with adventures… or at the very least, a front row seat in understanding why the Lake District is so special.
And, yes… I got those waffles again. I don’t get freshly made waffles every day so I’m gonna over-indulge when I get the chance. 🙂
Late Morning (around 10/11am) – Head over to Pooley Bridge (it’s just a few minutes away, Reception can call you a taxi). At Pooley Bridge, you catch the Ullswater Steamer to Howtown. It’s fairly cheap and takes like 20 minutes.
The Ullswater Steamer is one of the oldest transport boat crossings in England that’s still in operation today – it’s over 150 years old and the oldest boat still in the fleet is from 1877! Suffice to say, it’s a piece of history that you shouldn’t miss here.
Late Morning/Early Afternoon – Hike up to Hallin Fell – one of the mountains in the Lake District. 🏔
There are a lot more strenuous hikes you can do here but this one has the best balance of being able to soak up that natural beauty of the Lake District as you ascend into the mountains without it being so difficult that only a select few can do it.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a 60 – 90-minute uphill hike (you’ll probably get distracted by other sights on the way over) but it’s a hike that you can do fairly easily.
Word of advice, when you start heading up to Hallin Fell from where the old church us, just carry on heading straight up, don’t veer off to the right like we did.
The route straight up (which we took on the way back down) is actually the most convenient route and although the view is still as spectacular from both sides, you’re in the Lake District to have fun so don’t feel the need to stress yourself out. 🙂
The view from Hallin Fell is absolutely stunning – not just of the Lake but of the other mountains and rolling hills that have come to define this part of England.
Oh! Take a picnic with you. You could pop into the local pub for lunch but having your own picnic with that view just makes it all that bit more special (we actually got one from the hotel so it’s worth speaking to them to see what your options are).
Late Afternoon – Head back to Another Place, The Lake. After your hike, you can choose whether to head over to the pool, steam room and hot tub (like we did – swiftly followed by a long soak in that amazing bath for myself) or just go back to your room for a well-earned afternoon nap. Or maybe just down to The Living Space for a pint or two. Totally up to you.
Evening (8pm-ish) – Go for dinner at Rampsbeck Restaurant. Lloyd went with the fish steak and I went with the pork belly to start…
..followed by salmon for Lloyd and steak for me! *licks lips* 😋
Dessert was pear crumble for me (clearly, I was spiralling into a pear desserts obsession here… 🙂 )
…with the cheese for Lloyd (an obsession that started here and till this date still carries on wherever there’s cheese on the menu – as you may have seen on Instagram from our recent trip to Brittany in France).
Late Evening – Head down to The Living Space for a drink. I had no plans that evening but to just chill and over at the living space, I found two adorable dogs that convinced us to get gin and tonics as an excuse to cuddle these cute balls of fluff! 🐶
Early or Late Morning – Breakfast at the Rampsbeck Restaurant. I went for an English Breakfast here. Lloyd would not shut up about it so I figured I might as well go for it. Totally worth it.
Late Morning (11.30pm) – Check out. Sad but hey ho, it’s gotta be done I guess… 😉 Still, though, you can still use the pool and spa area so just head over there to chill out.
Afternoon – Have lunch at The Living Space. I went for pretty much the same lunch as I did on Day 2… hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 🤣
Afternoon (After Lunch) – Catch your taxi and head home… with a promise to return here again very soon, of course! 😍