By: Blonde Two

What springs to mind when you think about Cumbria?

  • Long Lake District walks?
  • Cosy Lake District cottages?
  • Fun times at Lake District campsites?
  • Lake District weather forecasts?
  • Lake District wild swimming?

Me too but then I remember I’m not really very good at the Lake District.


Alfred Wainwright’s Lake District

I know lots of lovely people who eulogise about the Lake District. Alfred Wainright certainly did.

‘Oh, how can I put into words the joys of a walk over country such as this; the scenes that delight the eyes, the blessed peace of mind, the sheer exuberance which fills your soul as you tread the firm turf?’

But then, he was clearly very good, an expert in fact, at the Lake District.


Instagram’s Lake District 

It might be blasphemous to suggest social media has taken over from Mr Wainwright but Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are full of photo after photo of atmospheric hills, sunny valleys and tranquil tarns. Social media has also now of course extended to walking routes. Not that I think any of this is bad, just that my experiences have been different.

Very different.


Doing the Lakes

I am absolutely certain it’s not the location’s fault. I’ve concluded I must be doing the Lakes wrong. This phenomena has been going on so long I am now far more likely to head for the Scottish border than leave the M6 before Gretna. My experiences just don’t match the general acclaim. Here are a few examples.

  • My Lake District weather is always wayward
  • My Lake District car parking is never where I want it to be
  • My Lake District crowd avoidance never works
  • My Lake District maps are always the wrong ones
  • My Lake District tarn swims are tempestuous instead of calming


Living in hope

Being a determined kind of girl I live in hope. I have glimpsed hills rising steeply from the mist, whizzed past tempting waterways and read about walks that don’t start with a wrestling match for car parking. One day I will visit the Lake District, I will walk, swim, chat, eat, drink and relax in front of a wood fire.

If anybody has any advice about how I might manage to do that, I am all ears.


The Lake District – a new language to learn