We’re really lucky that Colin’s parents live in the Lake District. This week saw a few days of actual hot, sunny weather across Northern England and so we decided to make the most of it. Cue a quick call to his parents et voila, we had somewhere to stay for a couple of nights. Trying to find last minute accommodation in the Lakes that doesn’t break the bank, especially in the height of summer can be difficult, so when I say we’re lucky I really mean it.
I’ve recently had a minor operation and, although I’ve recovered well, a long strenuous hike wasn’t on the agenda. Shame, because it was perfect weather and the views from the top of a mountain would have been amazing.
Instead we chose to make the most of the lakes themselves. I mean, it’s called the Lake District, but we always spend most of our time there up the hills! So, we chucked our kayak on top of the car, packed out swimming gear and off we went.
First stop was Derwent Water near Keswick, where I dropped Col off with his kayak at Kettlewell car park (National Trust owned so there is a charge to park there, unless you are a National Trust member). There is a charge to take a boat/kayak etc out on some of the Lakes, but Derwent Water is free to use. There were plenty of people at Kettlewell taking advantage of this. I’d best warn you now, the Lake District in the summer holidays is busy! It’s busy on a rainy, miserable day, but on a beautiful day it can be pretty manic. Get to places early if you want to park somewhere in particular, or leave time to hang around for a parking space.
Colin had a good few hours paddling round the Lake whilst I enjoyed sitting by the Lake, reading my book in the sunshine. Following a slap up lunch at Lordore Falls Hotel we decided to get away from the crowds to somewhere a lot quieter.
Crummock Water is only a 20 minute drive from Derwent Water, but is much, much quieter! At the foot of Grassmore fell there are plenty of small car parks and lay bys to park in. It was busier than usual, but we didn’t struggle for a space.A short walk down to the edge of the Crummock Water and we soon found a good spot to set up for the afternoon. There were a few people walking nearby, but we still felt like we had the Lake to ourselves.
After laying down out towels and slipping on some boating shoes we cautiously waded into the Lake. I’m not going to lie, it was cold! However, after paddling up to my waist to acclimatise for a few minutes I took the plunge and dove in. I always find with wild swimming that the first few minutes feel freezing, but once you get moving it starts to feel almost warm. It is better when you can just jump in and get the shock of the cold over with, but I love the feeling of swimming in cool waters; it makes me feel so alive and appreciative of nature! Being surrounded by stunning scenery and mountains doesn’t hurt either.
My husband wasn’t as keen and stayed in just long enough for me to snap some pictures as evidence, but I braved it a bit longer, swimming for around 15 minutes before my feet started to go a bit numb. The rest of the afternoon was spent warming up in the afternoon sun, before dipping back into the Lake when I got too hot. My idea of bliss and a day well spent in the Lake District!