Easter this year involved rambling around Cumbria's spectacular Lake District, marvelling over some of the most romantic scenery England has to offer. Being a complete amateur, my first walk was the 'gentle' Orrest Head, an easy 20 min ascent from Windermere village over the rolling hills surrounding the district's largest body of water, Lake Windermere. Affording the impressive view pictured above (top), the scene proved an instant panacea to my soot-addled, gin-blossomed, poverty-stricken London soul. You can see why famous Lake District rambler and author Alfred Wainwright characterised the view as 'an introduction to a dream'. Further south down the lake sits the larger town of Bowness, the starting point for another fabulous and easy walk, to Biskey Howe and Post Knott, pictured above (bottom). What these names mean...I know not. I did get chatting to a family on the walk however who, upon hearing my accent reminisced about their Christmas visit to my Antipodean home village, trying to remember the name of the beautiful cafe they visited there, Bygone Beauties. Well worth a peep if you're ever in those parts!
The rugged idyllic charm of Windermere was a total delight, matched by the genuine hospitality and warmth I encountered from the locals who went out of their way to make me feel welcome. On the winding bus route through wild landscape from Windermere to Penrith (where of course, I was planning to demand the finest wines known to humanity, then threaten to fire the old lady at the Penrith Tea Rooms), I met a very nice couple, Pam and Don who later drove back to Windermere to treat me to a delicious ale at their lively local pub in the next village of Ings. Don was off to climb a fell with his buddy while Pam and I hit the charity shops of Penrith after putting the world to rights at the atmospheric cafe inside the grand George Hotel. The Penrith Tea Rooms presumably having been closed down by Withnail & I.
The local hoodlums of Penrith clearly have a penchant for shoplifting whats more....
Watch Withnail and I's Penrtih tearoom anarchy below :
The Cumbrian natives seemed utterly attached to their dogs and Pam and Don were no exception, their friendly creature Topsy accompanying us like a treasured family member on our expedition to the Watermill Inn. This eccentric little watering hole actually included its own brewery on the premises (below), a smattering of amusing local personalities and of course some very fine ales indeed.