The Lake District Beckons…

So my daughter and I are talking on Skype the other day as she has recently finished her Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award, for which I should say here a hearty “well done”. I am slightly guilty of not knowing exactly all that she went through to get it completed, but I know it was really hard work. I intend to talk about it with her a lot next weekend, as she and I are going to spend our first ever weekend with ‘only’ each other, i.e. just her and me and nobody else – how exciting is that?

The Skype conversation basically went as follows: {Becca} “Dad – will you take me up to the Lake District?” {Me} “Yes!!!” I should put this in context and tell you why I mention this here as I have. For the last 16 years she has almost never asked me for anything, even when prompted. Every Christmas it is usually “what would you like for Christmas?” followed by “Umm, I don’t know…”, then birthdays “Umm, I don’t know”, and when we are in a restaurant the question “what would you like to eat?” is almost invariably followed by the same answer. Now some Dads would find this frustrating, but as I know she gets it from me (I am as indecisive as all get up) then I really don’t complain or mind. So given the fact that she actually came and asked me for something must mean she really wants it, so how could I say no? I have to say that I wouldn’t have even considered saying no for a whole host of reasons, the most important one being that I love her with all of my heart, and therefore to spend a whole weekend just me and her is like a dream come true.

Plus she wants to go walking in the fells! I think I said in a previous post that I dearly wanted to get back up to the Lakes after some years in the wilderness, plus I haven’t actually put my new boots on yet, despite having bought them over 6 weeks ago, and so this is the best excuse that I could get to go and christen them.

Now the Lake District, for all of you that know it, is most certainly known for its weather. It certainly gets lots of it. Walk past any typical touristy shop in the Lakes with postcards outside, and you will see the ubiquitous postcard entitled “summer in the lakes” and the front of the card will be just plain black. In fact here is a statistic that I just found when googling:

“..The Lake District is England’s wettest region. This is because of its location on the north western coast of England and the mountainous geography of the region. The average annual rainfall for the Lake District is more than 2,000 mm; there is, however, a great local variation with some areas of the region receiving considerably more rainfall than others. For example Seathwaite in Borrowdale receives on average of 3,300 mm of rainfall a year, making it the wettest inhabited town in the United Kingdom; whereas Keswick situated at the end of Borrowdale receives 1,470 mm of rainfall every year; and Penrith receives only 870 mm annual rainfall.

Sprinkling Tarn is the wettest area of the Lake District and receives over 5,000 mm of rainfall every year. The wettest months of the year are October through January and the driest are March through June, but the low level areas show little difference in rainfall between months…”

OK, so we are going to get wet it seems, but I don’t really mind – you sort of get to accept it there. We are going to stay in Ambleside, which is my favourite place in the Lakes. It also contains my favourite pub in the whole world, The Golden Rule, of which more in a subsequent post. Oh and the Lakes has many other things that I love – one of which is my favourite shop (which sells my favourite thing to eat:)):

http://www.grasmeregingerbread.co.uk/

Anyone who has ever had Sarah Nelson’s gingerbread (actually with only one exception that I know of personally) just wolfs it down and cannot get enough of the stuff – I absolutely love it. Seems my son does too, as he made a point of asking me to bring some back for him, and he was probably 7 years old the last time he was there as far as I can remember, and is now 18.

Oh and then there is my favourite artist – Alfred Heaton Cooper. His family (there are several of the Heaton Coopers) studio is in Grasmere, which I also love. Here is the website:

http://www.heatoncooper.co.uk/eshop1/

In fact if you look at the first page there there is a picture in the middle of the screen of Ullswater (which happens to be my favourite Lake:)), and that same picture has been in my possession for as long as I can possibly remember.

So anyway, enough of my ramblings for now – I will save more on the Lakes for another day. The trip is booked, we will be there next weekend. The question is which walk to take? I think that perhaps the Fairfield Horseshoe awaits. Or maybe we should do Hellvelyn, or the Langdale Pikes, or Scafell? In fact, Ummm, I don’t really know………:)

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