A Family Weekend In the Lake District

Sometimes I'm amazed at how quickly things come together.

Flyfour and I started looking for a place to stay in the lake district just a couple of hours after he had mentioned wanting to walk in the rain in the Lake District. I found a converted Church, with three bedrooms in our price range in Kendal and within a couple of hours, we had it booked and Flyfour had worked out which walks we were going to do.

Which mean on Friday just gone, we were found whizzing up the M6 to Kendal so that we could enjoy a weekend in the Lake District.

Converted Church Airbnb Kendal

Saturday morning, after a semi-leisurely morning saw us walking as a family to view the Stock Ghyll Force, a spectacular 70-foot waterfall in Ambleside, just a short car ride from Kendal. As a family, we were all properly kitted out and on the walk up we were overtaken by just one couple who looked much fitter than we did!

Stock Ghyll Force

We had bribed both children into joining us on this short hike, by confirming that if after the walk and lunch they didn't want to join us on the long walk we had planned for the afternoon, that we wouldn't take offence and would take them back to the church we were staying in for them to do something they'd enjoy or wanted to do.

We were hoping that the promise of sweets (there were Haribo hiding in Flyfour's backpack in case we needed a sugar rush), the joy of family time and the exhilaration of having completed the first walk and having been fed would be enough to see them enthusiastically join us.

It didn't work.

Saturday afternoon, saw Flyfour and I hiking the High Sweden Bridge Circular (again in Ambleside) whilst the children enjoyed Kendal and the delights of completing their homework, but I think that there may have also been a little (a lot!) of gaming going on and I'm pretty sure Dan Jon made good progress in his binge-watching of Brooklyn 99.

The High Sweden Bridge Circular had been sold to me by Flyfour as being an easy walk, mainly because the website he'd found it on said that, but a little bit of digging after having completed the walk had me realising although it was marked as an easy walk on the website he visited, it was marked as easy/moderate walk on several other websites I visited.

As I wasn't sure what that meant exactly, I checked on the Ramblers website and their definition of a moderate walk has made me very glad I didn't find this out until after we'd completed the walk, as I am certainly not "people with country walking experience and a good level of fitness". I am however a stubborn so and so, and didn't want to be beaten by a 3.2 mile walk with an ascent of 226 meters.

Maybe one day I'll share the tale of the tears, the exercise-induced nausea or the threat to punch the next happy fell runner that without effort greeted Flyfour and I, but today is not that day.

a rainbow on the High Sweden Circular

Almost everything was forgotten, however, just before we made it to the High Sweden Bridge when Flyfour and I spotted a rainbow over the fell. Suddenly everything was better. I'd beaten this walk (it was now a downhill experience) even if it did feel like I was climbing a vertical mountain, instead of walking up a fell and it felt like even God was giving me a little thumbs up.

Sunday morning had us packing up our belongings, whilst joining in with our Church service via Zoom and heading off to complete our final walk of the weekend. A 2.3 mile walk through the woodland Red Bank from White Moss again near Ambleside. We had planned on doing the Lily Tarn above Ambleside, but a conversation with Flyfour whilst we were on the High Sweden route allowed him time to replan... basically I didn't think I could cope with it let alone our children!

It was a good choice, as the sun shone down upon us and we were happily only dealing with a 101m ascent rather than the 219m Flyfour had originally put us down for. Don't get me wrong, it was steep and at some points, I had some rather unpleasant thoughts about some other ramblers we saw who didn't appear to have broken a sweat, but it was the Sabbath so I made sure not to act upon them.

Grasmere seen from Loughrigg Terrace

And so ended our family weekend in the Lake District with just enough time for us to return home to prepare for a week at work and whilst I wish I could promise I didn't fall asleep in the car, whilst Flyfour drove home the walking we'd undertaken had an effect on me and I'm pretty sure I snored from Blackpool to Birmingham!

And yes, we are a little addicted now and yes we are going to be planning a lot more hiking weekends in the future.