Lakes Day Two…

Bridge House, Ambleside

After a reasonable night’s sleep, showers and coffee made in our own cafetieres were a great way to start the day before breakfast.

Our choices had been made the night before with Caroline choosing the lighter breakfast whilst I went for my first morning full English in months. 

Wearing masks into the breakfast room wasn’t a problem for us or the staff, but it appeared to be for one or two others over the few days we were there.

We were up early, largely because Caroline had booked a hire bike from Ghyllside (ghyllside.co.uk/content/12-bikehire), one of her favourite places to hire bikes from. 

The forecast wasn’t that good for the first part of the day, so I was pleased that I’d opted to drive around to Hawkshead to sus out a potential lunch spot before meeting Caroline at the half-way point for the ride she was doing.

Why? Because it wasn’t long before it was hissing down and thoughts of taking quite a few photos disappeared…

After a mooch around a couple of shops in Hawkshead and buying a copy of Lakeland Walker magazine, thoughts turned to coffee and sustenance.

Which came in the form of coffee and fresh scones at Minstrel’s Gallery Tea Rooms next to the King’s Arms pub in the oldest part of the village. 

The phone eventually rang when Caroline checked in to see whether or not I’d found somewhere to chill out, got directions and then entered the tea rooms in a slightly bedraggled state.

Drying out and warming up…

After this, Caroline headed up to Grizedale Forest whilst I headed into Langdale. The weather hadn’t improved, so I went in search of some hand gel and a couple of snacks for later on in the afternoon.

With Caroline on her way back to Ambleside (in an area that isn’t noted for good mobile phone reception), I headed back to Wanslea, parked up and wandered in to various shops to see what offers there were on footwear – Caroline’s shoes were letting in water, a sign of their age rather than the effectiveness of the waterproof membrane.

Once back at Ghyllside and the bike returned, it was rather obvious that an outside café experience was needed because of the mud and skunk stripe Caroline had acquired on her ride. After coffee and cake, we booked a table at a restaurant for that night before the search of new shoes.

Which was easier said than done. I’d seen a couple of options whilst waiting for Caroline but getting anyone to served proved difficult. Someone turned up eventually but wasn’t interested and whilst it was tempting to intervene, I wasn’t being paid to do so and after a discussion we went into John Gaynor’s and sealed the deal on a pair of Merrell shoes.

Next up was back to Wanslea for showers and a change of clothes before exiting for our evening meal – which wasn’t taken at the place we’d booked!

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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