You can always hope for, but never entirely expect, a full week of sunshine in The Lake District in early April but that’s exactly what we got when we were there last week. Day after day of endless blue skies, sunshine and the odd fluffy cloud for good measure. It was both glorious and much needed, and that sweet kiss of warmth was like the icing on the cake.
For the first time ever we ventured to the Western Lakes and around the Peninsula. Kind of like the forgotten sibling of the family, it sits just outside the boundary of the National Park. It doesn’t quite have the glory of the Central Lakes but I’ll let you in on a little secret: it might not be stunning scenes all around you but it definitely has its charms. Miles of golden yellow sand, lapping blue waves and mountain scenery to be glimpsed just around that corner…
You don’t have to go very far to find some of that glory either. Most of the places we ventured to were less than 20 miles away from our house and the drive there and back was inevitably mouth-wide-open wow. In case you were planning a visit there yourself I can highly recommend:
Muncaster Castle and Gardens
Travelling with a giant yellow dog in tow can often have an impact on where you can and can’t go, but in this instance Muncaster Castle was wonderfully paw friendly. You couldn’t go in the castle itself (kind of obvious really) but the grounds more than made up for it. 77 acres of absolute joy from start to finish! We saw bluebell woods, mountain ranges, mile after mile of rhododendrons of every size, shape and colour, sun dials, daffodils, birds of prey display and please don’t forget The Terrace walk – heart eyes emojis does not even come close to this beauty! At £12 a pop per person it was worth every penny!
We originally planned to go on the Eskdale Railway, but when we looked into it a bit more we were nervous of the size and wondered if the giant yellow hound would go on it…turns out we were right to be cautious. The carriages were absolutely TEENY and his tail would probably have poked out for the whole way! I think when they say dog friendly, they mean little dogs that can sit on your lap and watch out the window…
Never to be put off we decided to go to Dalesgarth anyway as the Falls walk sounded amazing, and I’m so glad we did, because it truly was! Literally just along the road from the station (which serves up a mean fruit scone with jam and cream by the way!) you can either walk on the road or go via Anne’s Walk to get to the Falls. Thanks Anne, cos that walk was brilliant! Up, up, up we climbed, clambered, stepped and even hauled (the dog couldn’t quite jump over the tiny stile on the *very* narrow bridge!) until we got to the top and it was magical! I clambered my way even further up to get close up and it was amazing to feel the spray from the Falls hitting my face. So so worth it. An absolute must-see from me.
We only decided to venture here on our final day and I was gutted that we hadn’t explored it sooner. An absolute gem of a market town, we had yet another cracking scone with fruit and jam (starting to see a common theme here…?) before walking along to Wilson Park which was vast, empty and absolutely lovely! There was also an unbelievable grocer shop just behind the market square that was unreal – a deli counter of dreams was packed with cheese of every colour, olives, pickles and crunchy crackers. Call me *devastated* that we were travelling home that day so couldn’t buy anything. Wahhhhhhh! A good reason to go back though for sure!
HerdwickS in Millom
If you want pizza of dreams then venture no further than HerdwickS in Millom. You’ll find them through the campsite at the end of Haverigg, left a bit at the hill and then follow your nose. Absolute belter! Sweet potato fries were the perfect crunch, Dave’s meat feast pizza was ahhh-mazing and my margherita was flipping deeeelicious too. We contemplated pudding…but couldn’t physically fit anything else in our over stuffed bellies…but I’ll bet it would have been flipping lovely. 10 out of 10, the pizzas are not to be missed!
If you only have time to go to one of the Lakes then Coniston Water is 100% my recommendation. Glittering blue, shallow enough to have a good plodge for a pretty decent way out and the home of many a childhood memory, we spent a good couple of hours sat by the waterside munching on sausage rolls that we picked up from the artisan bakery in town (drool-worthy: way better than Greggs, ha!) and an icecream from the Bluebird Cafe.
Head into the village for a slow ramble, a cheeky coffee or two before wandering your way up the hill towards the Sun Inn, the last watering hole before the long climb up the Old Man. Adorned with green leaves and that killer view, it’s basically a beer garden made of dreams.
And there you have it. The end of a truly delightful week. I’m already getting excited for our next break (Kew Gardens *finally*) and thinking about where we might go after that. Where’s next on your list?