World Heritage, My Heritage

The Lake District recently gained World Heritage status, and it got me thinking about how truly special the area is, and how lucky I am to be around 2 hours away from its sleepy villages, market towns, and stunning scenery.

I remember reading that Roald Dahl's father would encourage his mother to walk in nature, as he wanted his unborn children to absorb its beauty and enter the world adoring it, and it's almost as if my parents followed his advice. Since I can remember we have spent weekends exploring coast and countryside, particularly The Lake District, and my mum has always said that Keswick is her favourite place. As a child I took it for granted, but as I grow older I become increasingly grateful to my parents for passing on their love for The Lakes.

pink and red flowers embroidered on a stripy t shirt
a bowl reading 'water for your dog, or short people with low standards. We don't judge.'

We visited Keswick again last weekend, and I must admit that it looked significantly less lovely as we drove towards it in torrential rain. It was like driving through a car wash, so you can imagine my face when we parked up and I realised my dungaree straps had been trapped in the door the whole time and had been thoroughly soaked!

After breakfast, and a futile attempt to dry off, we moseyed around the shops. Keswick has a huge Oxfam shop, which always has interesting items, and a Booths, which is always a novelty as my hometown definitely isn't posh enough to have one. The rain still didn't cease as we made our way around, but we walked over to the park and lake nonetheless, and I'm so glad we did. 

a variety of wildflowers in the rain
macro shot of yellow and lilac wildflowers with raindrops

The entrance to the park is a tunnel, where stands the most incredible busker you will ever hear. Sadly he's not on social media and doesn't even display his name, but his folksy/blues style works beautifully with the acoustics, and he has an amazing voice. No visit is complete without pausing to hear him play, and I love his music so much that it's a common feature in my wedding-related daydreams.

Through the park you can reach Derwent Water, which was getting more watery by the second as we approached. Mother Nature must have seen my camera, though, as the sun suddenly broke through the clouds and allowed me to take some snaps of the scenery I have loved all my life. I've lost count of the times I have stood on that same shore, seen those same boats, but they will never, ever lose their sparkle in my eyes.

wooden boat moored in the rain at derwent water
a small boat out on derwent water with an island in the background
wooden boats moored on derwent water with cloud rolling in the background

With the sun bringing the landscape to life, we drove over to Ambleside. The route itself is breathtaking, with waterfalls weaving through hulking hills and flooding into the glassy lake.

Ambleside is a smaller town, but it's a popular tourist trap, always busy and bustling. You will never go hungry there, it seems that for each shop there is at least one cafe! We enjoyed ice creams as we pottered through the streets, with my mint choc chip happening to be the best I've ever had. I like to imagine that the furry friend I made wasn't only interested in me because he had spied the cone in my hand...

Like Keswick, I've visited Ambleside since day dot, and yet we had not realised that it was home to waterfalls. Although we didn't pay them a visit on this occasion, I love seeing new sights, so I'm afraid I must ignore common advice- I will go chasing waterfalls!

sign pointing 'to the waterfalls' on an old stone wall
whatlyddid eating ice cream in an ambleside street
a black labrador with white muzzle and bright brown eyes
whatlyddid stroking a black labrador outside a shop

Now, if you know me, you'll understand that no weekend is complete without a trip to the garden centre. I jumped onto the succulent bandwagon and picked up 5 dinky delights to make a feature for my room, then happily watched the bees crawl along the flower heads, heavily laden with pollen. 

a pollen-covered bee on a deep red flower
a variety of small red, yellow, and orange peppers on bushes

Despite the downpours, I had such a lovely day, and just like the plants and the lake, I felt refreshed and cleansed of the stresses that had been building up. Spending time around my family and nature will forever be my favourite thing to do, and I really do feel so privileged to have made so many memories in Keswick and The Lake District. 

Where are some of your favourite places?



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