Lakeland bags…

A good day for a gentle stroll in the Lakes

After Lockdown 1 and that first escape to Oxford in July 2020, our second escape took us back to very familiar territory – the Lake District.

As both of us have visited the area on many occasions, you might think that packing our bags for the trip would be an easy one, but there were complications thanks to the weather and the potential activities over the course of the four days we were there.

We’d taken a close look at the forecast and whilst there was a favourable outlook, Friday looked like it was going to be wet – and it was!

Whilst I was up for a walk or two, Caroline wanted to get an off-road ride in if she could hire a bike for at least a day (the new car’s a bit small to get her hybrid in the back and we weren’t sure that there would be secure storage at our B&B to keep the bike safe and sound).

There was also the little matter of being a bit smarter on an evening when searching for places to eat in and yes, there were post-lockdown rules to follow too… like mask wearing.

So for the day times it was a mix of smartish t-shirts plus practical trousers, a thin fleece and a choice of either a softshell jacket (all from Rohan) or waterproof (TNF for me, Berghaus for Caroline) that went into the bags for walks and mooches. 

Shoe choices for the walks were simple – Oboz approach shoes or Clarks sports sandals for me and a pair of TNF Hedgehogs plus a pair of Ecco sandals for Caroline.  

As a bike had already been booked for her Friday ride Caroline packed a Rohan tech t-shirt, a Cycology bike shirt, a pair of Altura leggings, an Endura waterproof plus her Salomon Gore-tex lined shoes – and boy, did she need some waterproof stuff…

Choice for the restaurants, pubs and cafes mostly came from Rohan (although we’d packed, a few items were added after visits to Rohan’s clearance floor at their Long Preston shop and their Ambleside store.

In my case it was jeans and travel linen polo shirts that made the cut along with a soft shell for the after-dark walk back to the B&B once meals had been downed and some fine ales quaffed afterwards (yes, even Caroline sampled the local beers rather than her usual ciders).

Did it all work? Yes. 

Friday was as wet as the forecast promised and whilst I had the luxury of driving around in the car hoping for breaks in the weather in order to get some good photos, Caroline was a bit wet when she arrived in Hawkshead and joined me in Minstrel’s Gallery Tea Rooms.

Sheltering from the rain…

By the time she got back to Ambleside and returned the bike to the hire shop, she was both wet and muddy… 

“Looks like you had a good ride!’ was the comment from a passing American lady – to which Caroline replied, “Oh yes!!!”.

But it took two washes to get the mud out of her cycling clothes…

About Keith Rickaby

I’m a writer and photographer who has worked in the tailoring trade and the outdoor/travel clothing, equipment and footwear game. Past lives include working as an outdoor instructor, managing three bands and doing PR work through an agency or my own contacts. Was a student in the mid-90s and I'm originally from the North East, but now based in Yorkshire and back to home life after three years with a travel and outdoor activity based retailer.
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