Video blog of the trip below =)
Wooohoo! From our super stressful term 2, we were very looking forward to this trip. Finally we have some nature and time to relax again!
We took a 05:35am train from London Euston to Oxenholme Lake District for £23 (with 16-15 railcard) and £36 (without railcard). It took around 3 hours arrived at 08:43, I slept like a pig on the train lol was soooo tired from catching the early train.
As it is a hiking trip plus we needed to save money, we tried to walk pretty much to everywhere if we can haha. Also you experience and feel the place so much more by walking =)
After about an hour’s walk into the city centre and explored a bit around, we stopped by a cafe to have a fabulous breakfast with coffee ❤ .. ahhh cannot live without my daily coffee now. Yes it was quite fabulous the place was nicely decorated, good food, nice service : the place was called “Birketts Outfitters” if ya’ll wanna haaavv a luuk.
Breakfast, finished. Now, en-route to Windermere! We found the main bus station and took their lake district bus service that goes from Kendal (south east ish side) to north of Lake district which is Keswick. Was like… 3-5 pounds for a ride which I thought was quite expensive.
Got off the bus,the first thing we saw was the visitor’s information center. We wanted to ask for directions and maybe see if they will give us a free map but… let’s be real no free meal in this world D= . We walked around the town, appreciating cute little places, shops, and made our way down to Lake Windermere. Was absolutely amazing, beautiful lake, peaceful environment, just us and nature. We saw there on the pier for 30minutes or so and continued our journey alongside the lake.
Time for food AGAIN! Had scones and tea.. one of my favourites ❤ but we couldn’t relax as much as we wanted to as we have to make our way to Ambleside now. A bit behind schedule, at the time we finished it was 4 and the hike will take around 2-3hours meaning it will be dark and late and dangerous so we needed to be quick quick quick!!
Finally, we reached our hostel Ambleside YHA at 7pm. Settled down, sat for a while, frustrated that the wifi is not working and that there are food serving in the hostel. We bought whatever there was to offer which was cake, soup and bread. Despite the not so satisfying experience with this hostel, as long as we have a proper place that’s good in hygiene and have a nice comfy bed, then okay fine we can’t ask for much more, was 19.5pounds per night. Not cheap for a hostel but in that area and in UK is especially more expensive, for a hostel price that is alright.
Aim is to hike Great Langdale, their pikes, around some lakes, valley other stuff which will take 8hours, 18-20km trail that go as high as 620m.
We had a full english breakfast for 4 pounds, sat at the window of the dining hall which is right next to Lake Windermere. Hiked into city centre of Ambleside which is a very small town, much smaller than Windermere you can almost see everything, bought a hiking map for central Lake District, and bought sandwich materials for lunch on our journey later. Cheap and convenient as we don’t know if there will be any place for food later!
We passed by so many different landscapes from swamps, lakes, river, forests, slate mines, valleys, farms, almost everything you can think of haha. I kept pushing both of us to walk “faster Natalie, faster”, “lets go!” . I am so sorry but was just worried that we would not finish our hike in time and make it to our hostel by night time which is again, very dangerous.
We finally reached the Old Dungeon ghyll which is the starting point to hike up the 600m mountain to Stickle Tarn which we still have no idea what it was or how it is like. The whole thing took about 60minutes to reach the top, you may think ahhh.. just 60minutes its not bad you hiked like 5hours already. But NO! It was the steepest, rocks and stairs that you can have in one go hahaha. Roads were starting to disappear and so we had to climb up (the rock climbing type for real) using our natural sense of direction and little help from the map. During the hike there were military jets flying past, between the valley! We were also higher than the jets!
— Hiking up the mountain to Sickle Tarn —
The moment we reached the top and when I saw Sickle Tarn, my mouth dropped and for the next 5 minutes I kept repeating “oh my god.. oh wow, oh my god this is incredible , this is crazy”. It was basically like a little heaven on top of the mountain, in the middle of clouds and the sky. How is it possible to have something so beautiful. Also you feel so so great and everything becomes extra magical when you’ve just had such a hard hike.
However, the not so great side actually, it is 5pm already and sky is getting very dark.. we are on top of the mountain with NO ONE. literally if anything happens, no one will be able to save us or even find us ahahah. During the day we heard a lot of birds, sheep, etc but up there, there were no sounds at all because no birds are so high and there were no trees for them to settle there.
” If we make it out of this it would be an adventure.” – Nats Bon
” If we don’t make it it would be a tragedy.” – Me
— Sickle Tarn view and on the mountain top —
After 1 – 2 hours on top of and getting down the mountain, getting wet from puddles and lakes, sliding down or climbing down or flying down or jumping down… we reached GRASMERE! of the must visit or small romantic towns of Lake District which is also famous for their gingerbread. Classified as best in the world.
Very very sadly, we managed to get the last bus to our hotel tonight the “Lodge in the Valle” but we need to give up our backpacks which contains our clothes and other necessity things as they are in last night’s hostel. We just couldn’t go back, pick up our stuff and go to the new hostel as planned because there are no more bus service.
We were exhausted, hungry, cold, but when we got off the bus near our hostel, we could’t find our place because we got off in the middle of no where. On a high way, surrounded by mountains and lakes, there were no lights at all. We had no idea where we were, no signs, no road markings, nothing. We just saw some lights of residences in the far distance and so we walked towards it. It felt like walking on nothing just because it was pitch black. We knocked on doors of houses wanting to ask for help, ask for location and direction but no one responded.
We saw a car coming on the drive way, quickly ran back in 100m sprint speed from the house to the road and I stopped them to asked for help. At that point, I can’t hold myself much longer anymore it was such a tough day and very dangerous so I really did everything I can. Okay long story short we reached our hotel. But there was no food again, only cakes and stuff like that. We each got a piece, ate in our bedroom with TV, took a warm shower, dried our clothes and slept.
We had no cash to take the bus back to Ambleside to get our stuff from first night’s hostel.
So .. what we had to do was to hike into Keswick to get cash, take the bus back to Ambleside, go back to Keswick to explore and head to Carlisle to take the Train back to local. On the way we passed the Castlerigg Stone Circle and ponies on the way!
Although there’s not as much on foot exploring today (still hiked for 3 hours) , it was still a great day touring on bus, relaxing on the front seat of the upper deck with full window. Passing through different towns in Lake district from South to North, a great way to end our trip.
LAST STOP! Carlisle! Took a bus ride from Keswick to Carlisle which took about an hour. I did not know it was that far north of England! Almost to Scotland it was right at the border already hahahah, which leads me to this. The train ride back to London was HEELLLL. omg … soo long and bored. I tried to do work and other useful self improvement stuff but also just was too tired didn’t want to do anything.
Lake district is a great place, although a lot of people drive around, but definitely go on foot for at least 50% of your trip. Visit some local cafe, restaurants, farms, talk and interact to people.
MY FAVOURITES or most VALUABLE:
The hike up the mountain of Great Lansdale to Sickle Tarn. Although it was also the most stressful moment of the trip but it was so rewarding when you reach the top with the most incredible view.
THINGS I MISSED BUT WANT TO GO VISIT AGAIN:
Definitely the Grasmere gingerbread. There are so many other places in lake district that are amazing as well.