The green sheep pastures of the Lake District in England were so stunning that they actually caused me to go into spontaneous dances of joy. I mean, if you know that you’re completely and truly alone with only a sheep as witness is there really anything else you could do?
I reckon not. I made a pact with myself at the beginning of the trip that I was going to teach myself a cartwheel by the end of this year of traveling. I still can’t do it (drats!) but I spent a good while frolicking in the pastures practicing and it was lovely to simply be in this gorgeous area.
This region of England inspired poets such as William Wordsworth; Beatrix Potter of the Peter Rabbit stories also lived here for most of her life. Potter donated all of her land in the Lake District to the National Trust and it is thanks, in part, to her generosity that tourists like me are able to wander through the lightly marked paths zig-zagging the countryside and enjoy the lakes. Her home is now a museum and pristinely preserved; definitely worth visiting even if you don’t have kids – you can just imagine that Peter Rabbit is about to pop out of the gardens around the house!
The tourist information office is spectacularly helpful and well organized because of the huge volume of tourists that come through every summer. A short visit to the office and I had a handful of classic walks to take ranging from easy-peasy to walks that really got my blood pumping.
The Oyster Head walk had some of the most stunning views in the Windermere region and the start of the walk is just a short distance from the Windermere town center. I packed a lunch for the hike because after making it to the peak the helpful woman at the information center recommended a lightly signposted path back to town that does a large lazy loop through the surrounding farms.
She issued the six words I love/hate to hear: “Don’t worry, you can’t get lost.”
Well, I assured her that I could and would and that it doesn’t bother me in the least. With an apple, water, and boiled egg and cheese sandwich packed into my daypack I set off to explore the rolling green hills and gently sloping mountains around Windermere.
A word of caution: although the walk to Oyster Head is short and close, take directions from the hostel/hotel/information center because it is not well marked! Even with my directions I backtracked several times before I got there.
The view was stunning.
I sat down and ate my lunch from a small stone bench at the top and then had a grand time winding my way back through the green fields, baa-ing at the sheep in their pastures the whole way back to town. Although the Lake District area is crawling with tourists I didn’t see another soul once I hit the pastures.
Check out the rest of the Lake District National Park Series:
Take a Video Tour of Lake District – A short three minute introduction to this gorgeous region!
Cruising the Lake District – Boating on Lake Windermere
Charming Walks in England – Exploring Ambleside and the nearby waterfall
…and more photos from the Lake District region
This post was last modified on June 21, 2011, 3:48 pm