Welcome to the Lake District, full of holidaying families, lots of potty spaniels, fell walkers, all shapes and sizes of generally very happy people, out and about and enjoying the most amazing sunshine. Except. Some local farmers not quite so happy for hikers to inadvertently enter their bull field (following a footpath sign) and attempting (probably inappropriately) to climb over a fence and wall. Loud expletives were bellowed in our direction and pretty much told to bugger off home! Oh dear. But, it didn’t spoil a truly splendid hike from Windermere to Ambleside following some fairly gentle contours hiking in amongst the fell sheep and cattle. Spring has just come to this area and it is gloriously bursting with bright greens of new leaves and emerging ferns.
Ambleside appears to be totally devoted to tourism with the streets taken over by B and B’s. The town is full of all hiking and climbing paraphinalia and some lovely little independent restaurants and bistros. Of note, and highly recommended is Lucy’s. Not inexpensive but we were all made to feel special and welcome. A delicious menu and great wine list, even including some Bauduc wines (Gavin Quinney, owner of Bauduc is Lucy’s brother!) Lucy, a southerner who made her way up north with her Cumbrian chap some decades ago, writes a little missive together with the menu, mentioning all the guests for the day for dinner, by name! The restaurant is fully booked for the next number of weeks, a little spaced out right now due to social distancing but Linda was quite happy to be sat next to a cardboard cut out of David Attenborough.
Day 2. Gosh. 3 days with sunshine, no rain and light winds. Some sort of Lake District record. And we hope they keep coming.
Today was a bit harder, longer and more hills. Just as fab. And the sheep, well just as sheepy.
Coniston has a great past, copper ore, slate and over 5,000 years of human habitation. Impressive stuff. But Coniston isn’t Ambleside for food. Nice cafe’s but just a few pubs doing the usual ‘pie and’ for an evening meal. We seeked out…. a curry house, Sara’s. Rather good, cash only (gosh, we had cash!) and bring your own beer / wine – no corkage! And the food was properly good! Some not great reviews on Trip advisor, but the ‘best’ restaurant was closed for ‘unforseen’ reasons. I would enjoy going back to Sara’s – with a bottle!
Gentle walk town to Lake Coniston. Odd. Amazing scenery, but no one there. There should be a really good restaurant, or even a smart pub. But, nothing. I guess ‘policy’ but done well, tourism can add not take away.
Tomorrow our hardest day. And a broken walking pole. Hope the weather is kind.