Lake District, England
From Scotland we drove back into England, through strong gales and storms, and headed for the Lake District. The unpredictable weather severely hampered our efforts to explore the region, with the sun, wind, rain and hail all appearing at various times, and none lasting more than half an hour. This didn’t stop us from persevering though.
Our first stop was Keswick, where we wandered through the market to find the Information Centre. This turned out to be an almost impossible mission, despite endlessly following the signs up and down the road. As we were about to give up, we overheard another tourist asking a local resident where it was located. It turned out to be inside a huge tower standing prominently in the middle of the main street, clearly marked and easy to spot. I don’t know how we missed it.
Armed with brochures and maps, we drove via the mesmerising Derwentwater on our way up to Castlerigg Stone Circle. We stomped through a muddy field to reach a bunch of rocks that had been deposited in a circular shape about 5000 years ago. Not that exciting, to be honest. But for us it wasn't about the rocks; it was all about the views of the countryside in every direction, which were fantastic.
Driving through the Lake District was beautiful, with actual mountains (rather than small hills) lining each side of the road, waterfalls pouring down from the peaks, and never-ending green fields. We stopped off briefly at Ambleside, a picturesque town comprised of identical stone buildings with grey slate roofs. Despite the horrible weather, the tourists had overtaken the streets, making our exploration an annoyingly crowded one. We didn’t spend long here.
Finally, we headed to Windermere, where we made the half hour hike up another mud-caked track to the Orrest Head viewpoint. This was possibly the windiest place on earth. I could barely lift my camera to take photos. I'm not sure how I didn't lose my hat or my umbrella, which were useless in the squally winds anyway. We did manage to glimpse a little of the scenery before dashing back down to safety in Windermere, where we took shelter in a toasty warm café. The Lake District is definitely a beautiful region; I just wish we had the chance to see it during summer.