We visited one of the most serene and beautiful places around the world i.e. the Lake District National park, UK. Apart from the place another interesting part of the trip was the company.
When different perspectives blend, true journey begins
The stereotype about people from the land of snake charmers and yogis makes it difficult to understand the real fathom of an Indian. Lately, our company decided to outsource a certain work to a company from India. The decision followed by five Indians arriving in London, for about 3 weeks, to understand the work process and have knowledge transfer. This situation landed me in an opportunity to work with Indians for the first time in my life. This highly dedicated team of youngsters was a lot better than what I had expected, but it was not until the recent trip, it was made clear that there is more than that meets the eye. 15th of August was the independence day of India, and since it was their last weekend here they wanted to celebrate it, by taking a road trip to Lake District and they wanted us to join them.
Drive from London to Lake District
We started early after having breakfast with some Bollywood music pumping in the van, especially on our request. The drive is about 280 miles through motorway M6 and takes 5 hours via Manchester, which can also work out as a good pit stop. It was a good decision to start early, the benefits are:
You can escape from the traffic while leaving London, which can delay the journey by few hours.
The drive is very scenic and takes you through an amazing countryside, with lush green fields. After Manchester, the drive will turn more interesting as you might also witness herds of sheep grazing.
Reaching by the first half of the day will give you ample time to explore the Lake District for the rest of the day and you can enjoy the evening in a pub or with a campfire.
Things we did in Lake District
We wanted to explore and wanted to get the most out of the trip, the first lake that we visited, which is also the biggest draws, Windermere Lake. The largest lake of England has a lot to offer, but a boat trip circling 18 islands within the lake is a must. The western shoreline is quite and has landscaped grounds of Wray Castle.
Next we took on to Dove Cottage which was home to the great poet William Wordsworth, where he spent nine years of his life. It is now converted into a museum and is operated by the Wordsworth trust. We made it just in time at 4:30 p.m. which gave us a window of an hour as the museum closes at 5:30 p.m. After the guided tour, we decide to arrive at the hotel and spend the evening relaxing and enjoying nature around us.
The next day we went for a hike on Scafell Pike as it would have been injustice with the trip if we wouldn’t have gone there. The weather also supported us as it not safe to go if it’s raining and you should always check the forecast before setting a foot on the fells. Scafell Pike if the highest mountain in England, still it is well within reach, but it’s a long way to the top. Once you are on the top, the view gives a feeling of you being king of the world, with wonderfully wild vistas across the valley of Wasdale. The round trip took about 7 hours and some of us were very exhausted by the end of it. After lunch at the hotel, some of us did a kayak ride in the river next to our hotel. In the evening, we left for London.
There are various options for a comfortable stay you can go by, depending on what you are willing to do and how much you are willing to spend. We wanted a little laid-back environment and wanted to feel close to nature and honestly did not have many options as it was an impromptu trip. But, Rothay Garden, Grasmere suited us wonderfully, filled with peace and tranquility, it is situated at the bend of Babbling River and has amazing architecture. Even though it charged us a weekend surcharge, which is usual for weekends, it was still great value for money. If you are planning to visit in high season which is from March to August, I would advise you to book in advance.
Having your own vehicle gives you a lot of freedom and ensures that you reach out to the most distant spots as public transport is not that great. The roads are narrow, winding and steep, so make sure you have a good driver. You should avoid out of the way spots during rains as roads turn slippery. We hired a minibus for 8 passengers, it worked out great. The vehicle was in good condition and the driver was friendly and was aware of the roads and spots, so we didn’t have to figure out anything while we were on the road. I am sure there must be more such service providers for London. Parking and traffic was not an issue and trip worked out to be cost effective as well