Once more into the Lakes…

As I mentioned on Monday, both Caroline & I have visited the Lake District on several occasions and know the main areas pretty well.

Bridge House, Ambleside

We’d not stayed in Ambleside for a few years though and that’s why we chose it for our first post-lockdown visit to the National Park as we could wander around the village, head off on foot to other villages or as in Caroline’s case, hire a bike and explore on two wheels.

Getting there from home was easy and didn’t involve maps, route cards or any form of tech to get there, just good old-fashioned nous, memory and familiarity with the roads.

As Caroline had been on twelve-hour nursing shifts on two of the three days before we headed off, we didn’t have an early start. 

We made a brief stop at the Rohan shop in Long Preston for a retail therapy raid on both sale and previous season’s offerings before heading to Wilf’s Café in Staveley for lunch and a couple of cold drinks.

Which was great in theory, but we weren’t expecting the car park to be that full, so we headed off in the direction of Ambleside to park up, have lunch, explore some more and then head to the B&B we were staying in.

After one circuit of the village, we parked up and walked out to Fresher’s Café (fresherscafe.co.uk) at The Courtyard on Rothay Road. 

Ordering a full English with a cold Coke was a no-brainer for me whilst Caroline chose the Quiche Lorraine and sparking water. Coffee followed, as did a wander around before coffee and cake beckoned at Zeffirelli’s.

With the car park ticket running out, we headed for Wanslea Guest House on Lake Road to park up, check in, unpack, snooze and change before we took a walk into the centre in search of food first and a pub visit afterwards.

We looked at quite a few places on our way through the centre. Some were closed, others far too expensive for our budget (and not to our tastes either having looked at the menus) and then we came across Sheila’s Cottage (sheilascottage.co.uk), a place I’d visited before – in the 1970s when killing time at the end of a school trip to the Lakes.

After a couple of very good mains, desserts, mineral water and coffee, it was time to head to one of my favourite pubs in AmblesideThe Golden Rule.

Rules were in place for choosing and serving, but with a good selection of ales and ciders to choose from, neither of us were disappointed at our respective choices of ale for me and good cider for C.

It may have been a long day, but as the food and drink had been so good, it was time to walk back to Wanslea and do a very important task – fill in the breakfast order!

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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