Trip to the Lake District
I have just spent a fabulous few days in the Lake District, along with my photographer husband, Greg.
We booked a cottage through Sykes Cottages for five nights. Sykes Cottages have a search facility for “Walking” on their website, which points towards gorgeous cottages that are located in stunning walking areas.
The Studio, Nibthwaite Grange
We stayed at The Studio, Nibthwaite Grange in Low Nibthwaite, which is in a quiet, secluded corner at the bottom end of Coniston Water.
WOW! What a gem of a place!
We arrived at 7pm on Saturday night. We collected the key from the owners, Andrew and Georgiana, who made us feel very welcome.
The Studio is part of Nibthwaite Grange, with its own separate entrance and parking space for two cars.
As we unpacked the car, we admired the clear skies, filled with thousands of stars. There was very little light pollution, so we could pick out all the major constellations with ease. The silence of the evening was refreshing.
The Studio has been well-designed with a large entrance hall for coats and boots, as well as a spacious downstairs airing cupboard, for drying wet walking clothes. This was well used throughout the week.
Upstairs there is a large studio, which serves as both a lounge and bedroom. There were plenty of guide-books about the Lake District, as well as a large pile of leaflets about walks in the area. I was in my element and soon realized that five days was not going to be anywhere near long enough to do even a small fraction of these walks.
The Studio has central heating, as well as an electric fire, so we were snug and warm.
It has a separate kitchen and bathroom, both fully equipped with everything you could want, including a good wifi connection. Linen and towels were provided.
Greg is a keen photographer and decided he wanted to capture the glory of Sunrises in the Lake District. On two mornings he went out before 6am to set himself up at his desired locations. The results were pretty spectacular and well worth the effort.
I am a keen walker and like to get my legs going over a good distance. Greg, however, is a photographer, so he likes to linger in places, waiting for the right light conditions to take photographs. As I get cold and bored standing around, we have found a perfect compromise. I will often leave him taking photographs, whilst I go for a walk nearby. I let him go out by himself in the cold and dark mornings to take his sunrise shots.
On Sunday, Greg went out early taking photographs at Tarn Hows, which is a man-made area of water, with surrounding walks. We went back there later in the day and walked around the Tarn and Greg took photographs of the waterfalls (see this blog post for more details).
Buttermere and Castlerigg Stone Circle
On Monday, we took a trip to Buttermere, which is about 90 minutes drive away in the North Lake District. This is probably one of the most photographed bodies of water in the area and it did not disappoint. We also went to the neolithic Castlerigg Stone Circle. More details in this blog post.
High Light Haw
On Tuesday, Greg went out for an early photoshoot and decided he wanted to spend some time processing his photographs. He was concerned about the threat of approaching rain. Andrew Clowes had recommended a walk up the lane behind the Nibthwaite Grange Studio to the High Light Haw at the back. I did this walk by myself and I was delighted with the views from the top. I could see for miles. There is my attempt at my a video on my blog post about it.
In the evening, we went for a meal at the Farmers Arms pub at Spark Bridge, which is a coaching inn that dates back to the 14th century. We had a gorgeous meal of local pork, followed by sticky toffee pudding for Greg, whilst I indulged myself with a seriously large bowl of ice-cream. We sat in front of the crackling open fire and watched the rain outside get heavier and turn to sleet and snow.
Old Man of Coniston
Part of my desire to go to the Lake District was to walk up the Old Man of Coniston. I had done it a couple of years ago on a brilliant Summer evening in July and wanted to conquer it again. I wanted to celebrate completing my #walk1000miles on a real mountain.
We had been undecided all week as to which was going to be the best day to go up there. This was partly due to the weather and partly due to getting our walking legs sufficiently geared-up to tackle the climb.
In the end, we decided we decided we would do it on Wednesday. On that morning, we awoke to a white, winter wonderland. However, undeterred, we set off on our journey up the mountain. It was awesome. You can read about our adventures in the snow and mist on the Old Man of Coniston on this blog post.
Thursday came all to soon, and it was time to say good-bye to The Studio at Nibthwaite Grange and to Andrew and Georgiana, who had been wonderful hosts. When I booked for 5 nights, I had not realized that it was the same price to stay for the full week and we could have stayed until Saturday. I really wanted to stay on and explore some more of this area, however Greg had his photography course back in Tamworth that evening, so we needed to leave.
I felt very at home here and I am looking forward to going back as soon as possible. The Studio at Nibthwaite Grange is a great base for exploring the Lake District; close enough to towns and villages to buy the necessary supplies, yet far enough off the beaten track to enjoy total peace and tranquility.
I have just found out that the Lake District is bidding to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. I thoroughly support that bid and I think it will bring a lot of value to the area. #lakedistrictbid
Amanda and Greg