At the end of September, I had a week booked off work to go away with my (ex) boyfriend. So, instead of moping around, I gathered up the squad and planned a long weekend away to the Lake District. I’m incredibly lucky that my parents own a lodge on the most beautiful site in Troutbeck, Windermere.
There were four of us going all together but Alys and I went up a day early, it was nice to add an extra day onto the weekend. We drove up at midday and went to ALDI to do a huge food shop and stock up on wine! We had such a relaxed night with pizza, prosecco, face masks and Mamma Mia. It’s safe to say, I had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in weeks. Limefitt Park is so tranquil, it’s impossible not to sleep well during your stay.
We’ve had our lodge there for years and it’s honestly my favourite place in the world. I also feel so switched off and relaxed there. A few days there makes all the difference to your state of mind!
Kate and Bryony arrived on Friday at around 11am and we made some lunch which took us around 2 hours to eat thanks to several wasps flying around the dinner table which caused mass destruction. We also witnessed something horrendous… One of the bigger wasps actually ate one of the smaller wasps and was buzzing around with the head in its mouth. Is this a common thing to happen?!
We headed out in the afternoon to the Low Wood Bay Watersports Centre to go canoeing! It only cost us £10 each for 1 hour and it was honestly so much fun. Kate announced that morning that she was afraid of open water and there was a moment when I thought her canoe wasn’t even going to make it off the beach. See photo below to understand how excited we all were… Especially Kate at the back.
We then went to Ambleside and visited The Apple Pie Cafe & Bakery which I can highly recommend. The girls had Bailey’s hot chocolate (which they struggled to finish.) The cakes were all delicious! Ambleside is definitely one of my favourite towns in the Lake District. All the buildings are so pretty and it’s just a lovely place to have a wander around.
We headed back to the lodge, cracked open the wine and played Cards Against Humanity on the decking. We had so much fun and realised that we are all disgusting people. We were enjoying ourselves so much that we had to rush to get ready because we had a table booked at my favourite pub, The Queens Head! We had such a laugh up here, I ordered a burger without gherkins and all 3 of the girls shouted at me because they wanted my gherkin so the waiter took the mick out of them. When the food came out, there was a plate full of gherkins for them. If you’re ever staying in the Lakes and you’re near Windermere/Troutbeck, please go to The Queens! There was a huge fire there a few years ago and they’ve reopened in the past few years and it’s so cosy in there now. You can also stay in rooms there if you’re wanting a weekend away! The food is incredible and the staff are so friendly! I go up with my family for New Year’s Eve and they host such a lovely evening. (Also, the gin menu is banging.)
On Saturday, we made a big breakfast and chilled in the lodge for the morning before getting ready and heading into Bowness. We strolled around and went to a bar I’ve not seen there before. It was called the Lake View Garden Bar and like it says in the name, the view of the lake was lovely! There were outdoor heaters and umbrellas and you’re allowed to sit up there with dogs. It’s a little pricey but worth it for a couple of drinks! We sat and chatted there for a while then despite it being about 5 degrees, we got an ice cream!
I can’t believe how lucky we were with the weather! It almost always rains in the Lakes but we got blue skies and proper autumnal weather! We went back to the lodge and played another round of Cards Against Humanity then we made a veggie pasta bake together while we were all rather tipsy!
We then had a games night while we listened to music through the speaker and it’s fair to say that we all got a bit competitive when playing Articulate…
On Sunday, we woke up and had another lazy morning before heading to go out for a walk. I wanted to go to Tarn Hows because the views are stunning so we drove up Kirkstone Pass and down The Struggle and arrived at Tarn Hows, it was raining like mad at this point and I realised I had my Mums’ National Trust card but it was out of date so we couldn’t get free parking anyway. I decided to drive back down and head towards Rydal. I remembered doing this walk with my family when we were little and we used to park in a pub called the Badger Bar! We parked up here and had a cup of tea while we waited for the weather to sort itself out.
We then went for a lovely walk around Rydal Water and entertained ourselves along the way by singing Yorkshire chants and playing Alys’ game: strike a pose. Where we would have to randomly shout “Strike a pose!” and everyone would have to… Strike a pose. Ha!
It’s a lovely circle walk that isn’t too difficult or too easy and a lot of it is sheltered in a forest so it’s ok for a rainy day too! It’s near Ambleside and Grasmere if you’re staying near there. You can extend the walk by walking all the way to Grasmere too!
We then went to Bowness to another one of my favourite pubs called The Albert. We had a big Sunday dinner and played cards and it was just what I needed after the walk!
The Albert does giant portions so if you ever want a good feed, I can’t recommend it here enough!
We had another night drinking and playing games in the lodge – Cards Against Humanity, Who Am I?, Articulate and Bananagrams. I do not recommend playing Bananagrams after a bottle of wine – it’s incredibly difficult!
On Monday morning, we woke up and cleaned the lodge and packed the cars up. I really didn’t want to leave after having the best weekend with my girls!
There is a huge garden centre in Ambleside that has an impressive Christmas display up every year so we wandered around there and had coffee and cake in the cafe upstairs before heading back home!
I had the absolute best weekend with some of my best friends and we’re already planning our next trip away! I’ve been going to the Lake District since I can remember so if you’re planning a weekend away and want to know where you can go walking or out to eat or even some nice places to drink – send me a message and I’ll give you my best recommendations!
Thanks to these three for being the best all weekend and making me laugh ’til it hurt: