Off to The Lakes

It seems silly to drive 200 miles, a drive that takes over 4 hours, just so that I can go surf skiing, mountain biking and running, but that’s what I decided to do this weekend. Some people had organised something of a surf-skiers get together and paddle on Ullswater. I have a camper van and a sense of adventure so what better way to spend a weekend than camping and activities in The Lake District. It just so happened that I’d swapped my days around at work so had Friday off as well. With plans made and the van packed I headed off on Friday morning as Anna and Morgan headed off to work and school.There were still some large snow drifts throughout Wales and loads of roadworks so it was long drive but the snow disappeared by the time I was in England and I was soon heading North on the motorways. Before long I turned off towards the southern Lakes on the A590 before joining a minor road at the bottom of Lake Windermere. This weaved it’s way through the hills and then alongside the picturesque Esthwaite Water.

Esthwaite Water

Esthwaite Water

I turned left in Hawkshead up a steep hill to a forestry car park at Moor Top.

Riding at Grizedale

I arrived in the Moor Top car park in Grizedale Forest just after midday with plenty of time for a mountain bike ride. The red-graded North Face trail looked like the one to do. As far as I could tell the other way marked routes here were all on forest roads, only the North Face trail is a true mountain bike trail. The guides said it was 10 miles and takes 2½ hours. Perfect as a 2½ hour ride was just what I needed. I set off, having not been out on my bike for months. I soon got into the swing of things though and felt good.

The trail itself was rocky with lots of single track sections. This included lots of single track, technical climbing too. There were boardwalks, puddles, small drops, tight switchbacks and of course so amazing views.

Riding the North Face Trail

Riding the North Face Trail

Views of Coniston

Views of Coniston

Before I knew it I was back at the camper, having ridden for 1 hour 10 minutes. Without stopping I just headed out for another lap. This time I knew what to expect so it was a little quicker but I was probably slowing towards the end.

In the end my two laps took 2 hours 16 which was fine by me and left me plenty of time and daylight to get changed and washed, pack things away, have a coffee, write the text for this blog post and then go for a walk.

Into Hawkshead

Stupidly I hadn’t bought supplies in the way of food before heading off to The Lakes. Nor had I stopped to buy anything on the way here. I thought about this as I wandered across the hills towards High Barn.

An Evening Stroll

An Evening Stroll

About a mile into my little stroll it occurred to me that I could probably walk to Hawkshead from here. There might even be a shop there. I therefore walked back to the van to get some money and headed off again, this time a little more purposefully. I walked down the hill towards Esthwaite Water and then along the road into Hawkshead. It was quite a lively place. There were loads of inviting pubs which I managed to resist the lure of. There were lots of shops too, a chocolate workshop, a Peter Rabbit shop, a relish shop, a number of sweet shops, the Hawkshead Shop, an ‘unusual foods’ shops and plenty of other interesting looking shops too.

Chocolate workshop

Chocolate workshop

It was now however gone 5pm so they were all closed (except maybe the chocolate workshop). Thankfully though there was also a well stocked Co-Op where I bought some supplies before making my way back up the hill to the camper. It may have been a 6 mile walk and now getting dark, but at least I had breakfast and some biscuits for tonight. Besides, the walk itself was nice and kept me busy for a while. It’s good for the soul too. I then chilled (as much as I can chill) in the van for the evening. A good start to my weekend away in The Lakes.

1 Response

  1. Mark says:

    A nice review Alan.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.