Lake District Stories and Tips

Windermere to Borrowdale

Windermere - Talking to Sheep Photo, Lake District, England

On the train from York to Windermere, our first stop in the Lake District, we met two nice Australian girls. That evening, the five of us walked into town and had a few pints at a pub called 'Hole Int Wall', where Dickens is said to have written a few chapters.

In the morning, we all went for a hike in the hills around our hostel -- Lake Windermere lay in the distance. Our hostel was about 3/4 of a mile back from the main road, with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.

The sheep in the hills were really funny at times. Melissa, Kath, Dominic and Brian never tired of talking to the sheep (who talked back). We spent our third and fourth nights in Ambleside.

It rained on our fourth day, when we took a hike from Ambleside to Grasmere. We scrambled down through lush greenery, to the base of some falls near Rydal Mount, Wordsworth's final home.

On our fifth day, Dominic and I rented mountain bikes and cycled from Ambleside out through the Great Langsdale valley. The scenery was rediculously picturesque, lush and green.

We stopped and sat on a large rock for a moment of quiet, and then continued the the end of the valley. The snowy mountain in the far distance became much less distant.

Near the end of the valley, the stone fences (for sheep) finally ended, and we rode through almost completely undisturbed countryside.

At the very end of the valley, a pass goes over the mountain, a rapid stream comes down it and we found what we assume is a sheep pen to offer us a bit of shelter from the wind while we ate our lunches.

On our sixth day, we hiked from Keswick south to Borrowdale, with part of our route taking us around Derwentwater. As we headed up into the hills, a glance back from a stone bridge gave us an amazing view of Keswick and Derwentwater.

Dominic and I took our lunch break at a striking lookout spot over the south end of Derwentwater.

After dropping our packs at the hostel in Borrowdale, Dominic and I headed up the mountainside again, and found an old abandoned mine.

My legs were about to collapse, but we were so close to the top that Dominic had to continue up the mountain to touch the snow.

I could see him, ant-sized, making a snow angel in the very lowest white patch. He brought a snowball back down the mountain, which he then proceeded to crush over his head as soon as I had immortalized it on film.

We spent our final exhausted evening playing a rousing game of Monopoly. . . Dominic took the opportunity to crush me unmercifully and gleefully took my final pound.

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