Saturday, 23 July 2011

A Day on Lake Windermere

Yesterday we took advantage of both being off work on the same day and drove up to the Lake District.

There wasn't a surplus of parking spaces to be found in Bowness, but I managed to squeeze the car into a space and we paid to go up to Waterhead at the top of the lake on the regular sailings.

These go every twenty minutes from Bowness Pier and you can get off at Waterhead and return on a later boat which is exactly what we did.

It's a half hour journey from Bowness to Waterhead and here we are, approaching Waterhead Pier. We took the small somewhat ramshackle bus into Ambleside. The bus is an electric vehicle and I suspect may have started life as a milk float... Still, it's cheap and cheerfull and takes you from the pier to the Lion Hotel in the centre of Ambleside.

We had some lunch - well a breakfast actually - in Daisy's Cafe with a mug of "milky Nescafe". Ooh! Much better and far less pretentious than Star(after your)bucks or Costa(fortune). And we got a decent normal sized mug of excellent coffee instead of having to buy a bucket full of froth over too-strong espresso!

We walked the mile back to the pier at Waterhead to catch the returning boat to Bowness. On the way Miss Franny graciously ordered - er... I mean allowed - me to buy an addition to the Lilliput Lane cottage collection which over the years has grown from a hamlet to a sprawling conurbation. She came out with three new cottages. Three!!! Well, to be fair one was a freebie, but even so, where she's going to put them I don't know... It's a good job they don't come with streets and cars because there's no space between the houses to drive anything wider than a scale pram...

We had an ice cream at Waterhead whilst waiting for the boat to come. They do a chocolate dip ice cream. Which means an ice cream cone dipped upside down into molten chocolate which solidifies all round it. Somewhat scrummy, though quite messy to eat. I had my other hand full of camera and bags of cottages so had to put up with Miss Franny laughing whilst cracked chocolate stuck out from my mouth and melting ice cream ran down my chin... At least I had the camera and could avoid photographic evidence...

Half an hour later we arrived at Bowness again. Miss Cumbria was just setting off with a full load of passengers on her tour. The "Lakes" attract people from far and wide. You are as likely to hear Japanese and American accents as northern English accents. The Lake District was famous for its poets and artists and authors.

We walked back to the car, past the rapidly growing funfair being set up next to the car park and thanked our lucky stars we had not gone up there today. There's a huge air show today at Windermere with the Red Arrows appearing. Unless you arrived about 7:00am this morning there won't be a single car parking space available or a single road without a massive nose-to-tail queue...

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