Heading to the Lake District is the Russian Roulette of holidaying, the result being completely dictated by the weather. We’ve holidayed there as a family at least once a year for our entire lives, so it’s safe to say we’ve experienced it all; torrential rain and beautiful sunshine. More often than not the weather is a little grim, so when you get a week of blue skies and warm temperatures you appreciate it all the more. This year we got lucky and it was the perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy everything the area has to offer. Here’s a little inspiration if you find yourself in a similarly lucky situation!
Take to the water
There’s no better way to take in the scenery of the Lake District than from the water, and there’s plenty of ways to enjoy it, no matter what your fitness level. We generally like to row and kayak, realising long ago that we’re terrible sailors. There’s plenty of opportunities to hire boats- on Coniston Water you can take you rowing boats, kayaks and SUPs for really reasonable prices at the Coniston Boating Centre.
If you’re training for a triathlon or open water swim event, then it’s your perfect training ground. We swam most days and by the end of the week were definitely more confident in both technique and stamina. Make sure you have a safety boat with you at all times though- the Lakes are deep and vast and we never go out without one.
Hit the Fells
I’m not sure a few jaunts on our local fell qualify us as fell runners but it’s good fun all the same! Negotiating the steep and rocky terrain requires a lot of skill- we’re always amazed when we see real fell runners flying down the hills- light and nimble like mountain goats. Our version of fell running involves a few more expletives and a lot less grace, but it’s a great workout and the perfect way to take in scenery. If you’re really keen, look for a local fell race or join a local running club for a training session. Our brother’s biggest sporting achievement was turning up for a fell race as a young boy and winning it with no prior experience- he’s yet to repeat it!
If the ideal of running the fells doesn’t appeal then walk them instead! There are endless walks in the Lake District (we have a particularly enthusiastic father so know them well) Initially bribed with promise of sweets and now with a pub lunch. Some of our favourite walks include the Coniston Old Man, Bow Fell, Crinkle Crags and the Fairfield Horseshoe. Make sure you head out on a clear day- there’s nothing more depressing than reaching the summit with no views to reward you!
It’s also important that you’re wearing the right footwear- walking shoes or boots are a must. Having a fall on the fell is the last thing you want. This holiday we tried out the Brasher Women’s Country Master Walking Boot, which were kindly sent to us by Millets. We chose these particular boots as we really liked the appearance. It’s hard to describe walking boots as stylish, but these are probably the most stylish ones out there and remind us of classic Timberlands. More important than style is function, and we loved the Vibram outsole which provided amazing grip on uneven and slippy terrains. Thankfully the waterproof technology also lived up to it’s name and our feet stayed lovely and dry! The boots felt quite heavy, which I expect is because we mostly where trail shoes and weren’t used to the extra weight, but for the added ankle support it was worth it.
Head out on your bike
Bex and I are not particularly good cyclists, which was confirmed as teenagers when our Dad took us mountain biking in Grizedale Forest and we were seemingly unable to cycle uphill. That said, we still love to give it a good go when the opportunity arises! Grizedale Forest has miles of trails for cycling and walking, as well as GoApe and other activities for kids. If road cycling is more of your thing, then you’re in luck as the roads are quiet and the views endless. The perimeter of Coniston Water is 14miles and is a lovely cycle or run, depending on how energetic you’re feeling!
Have you been to the Lakes? If so, we’d love to know what your favourite activities are for next time!