The charm of going on overseas assignment, for any travel buff, is exploring a new place. Hence, while on a short assignment near the famed Lake district in UK, my plan was to use all weekends to their fullest and explore the beautiful English countryside. Fortunately, with me was a group of like-minded colleagues, equally keen on discovering Britain before it was time to leave. The fact that I had taken an international driving permit was a boon since adventure and public transport do not really go well together, at least not in UK.
So the first weekend after friendship blossomed, my friends and I set off on our maiden voyage across Lake district! Not wanting to waste any time, we left on Friday late afternoon, directly from office. Lake district is famous for its quaint bed and breakfasts, and rather than booking any hotels, we decided to just stop wherever the sunset, find a B&B and rest for the night.
Windermere, our first stop on Friday, is probably one of the most beautiful destinations in UK. Our plan was to stop somewhere near Windermere, go trekking for a while in this trekkers’ paradise, and leave quickly for the next stop. However, as we entered Bowness-on-Windermere, the dainty storybook houses with ‘B&B Here’ signs and porches overlooking the lake were too hard to resist, and we decided to halt for the night.
Lake Windermere is a quintessential lake district village. A pristine lake with the backdrop of green forests, winding roads with enthralling views, victorian cottages with white lace drapes at the windows and tiny restaurants with homely English food paired with superlative wines. Lucky enough to find two rooms in a beautiful B&B overlooking the lake, we dumped our bags in the rooms and started our exploration of this utopian village that looked like a movie set. After a trek around the gorgeous countryside and a short evening cruise around the lake, we stopped for dinner at an inviting little restaurant by the lake. Some superlative fisherman’s pie, grilled fish and roast lamb later, we were ready to retire for the night.
The chirping of birds woke us up early next morning. Our elderly hosts were already up and had set up breakfast in the cozy dining room. After a hearty English breakfast and a long chat with our hosts about the history of Windermere, we bid adieu to Windermere, with Keswick as our next destination.
A591, the road going through the lake district national park, is picturesque, and the driving experience is absolutely out of this world. With vast green expanse, serene lakes, majestic mountains and spectacular view all around, the A591 is apparently one of the best driving routes in UK. The spectacular scenery of this land has inspired countless odes to nature and has given birth to many poets, William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge the most famous amongst them.
As we stop every 10 minutes to gawk at nature’s bounty and capture it on our cameras, it takes us half a day to cover the 22 miles from Windermere to Keswick. Over a late lunch, we decide to make Keswick our base and dedicate the entire weekend to the Windermere national park region, rather than save it for another day. For, there is no day like today, and no time like right now, to behold the beauty of nature.
Tip: Plan for at least a week to take in the majestic beauty of the lake district in all its glory. The lake district offers some of the most amazing food in England, coupled with warm hospitality. Check http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk for details on route, map etc.