An escape to the Lake District – 1

I had heard many things about the Lake District before visiting this area…For some, it is a “boring place where you can’t even get a proper wifi” and for some others it is described as “wonderful wild spaces, with many beautiful lakes, dense woods and small mountains”. As for me, the Lake District appears as an amazing part of this country, a combination of cultural places and far-reaching views of the countryside.
For sure you have to appreciate nature when you go there, but as a city-dweller I shall admit I was stunned by this surrounding beauty and the extraordinary light! Let’s discover some places I enjoyed a lot.

Windermere – Beatrix Potter’s Attraction

Windermere, this “largest natural lake in England” may be the most famous place in the Lake District. This very accessible part of the Lakes was also Beatrix Potter’s home and the many towns around Windermere (sometimes excessively) refer to the author.
And like other tourists we did visit the “World of Beatrix potter’s Attraction” in Bowness-on-Windermere. Which was very well-thought and really respectful of Beatrix Potter’s imagination and literary works.
At the beginning of the venue you can watch a film presenting her main characters and a bit of her life. Then you follow a path where you can admire the many characters in situations taken from Beatrix Potter’s books.
That was truly a nice attraction and we all felt like we were back in the time of Beatrix Potter…which was perfect as we had planned to go to Hill Top to visit her house.

Windermere – Beatrix Potter’s Home at Hill Top

Beatrix Potter bought a 17th-century farmhouse near Hawkshead, on the west side of the Windermere Lake, with the money from her books. Leaving Bowness-on-Windermere, we headed for it and took the ferry to cross the Windermere Lake.
 This is incredible to go there as Beatrix Potter made a legacy to the Trust, leaving all her belongings which you can see inside the house. There you can confront some drawings she made for her stories with places either inside the house or outside, in the gardens or the nearby hills. Everything is made to show you her environment…and nothing really changed since her death.

Windermere – Hawkshead

 Hawkshead is a nice town with a real beautiful church at the top of a hill. The houses are all made of this typical grey stone, which gives the impression to be in the Pyrenees, the mountains in south-west of France…
A gallery in Hawkshead displays Beatrix Potter’s original drawings and watercolours.
Beatrix Potter was an expert naturalist and from an early age she was fascinated by nature and animals, which she sketched in a perfect way. I was very surprised by the quality of her drawings, some of them reminded me of Durer’s ones.

Windermere – Wray Castle

We continued our trip to the north, all along the Windermere Lake and arrived at Wray Castle on a sunny day. The building is very impressive and the surrounding landscape is as peaceful as beautiful. Only sheeps break the silence there…
The Wray Castle is located near Ambleside on the shores of the Lake Windermere. Inside, you can find some brief historic facts about the building and be aware of famous visitors visiting the castle at the golden years of the castle (including Beatrix Potter who spent a summer there)… but don’t expect furnished rooms. The Castle just offers an external architecture and the inside has been thought in a funny way…

This is an amazing place to come to with kids. Everything is organised for them to have fun … and for parents to have a rest! Many rooms have been designed for kids, with many activities like dressing up like a King or a Knight; building a castle; playing on a reconstituted boat deck, making fun pictures…They can hardly leave the castle after some time inside!
For lunch you can picnic in front of the Castle and admire the landscape…I have never ever had such a view for a picnic!
There are many other treasures at the Lake District, which I will present you very soon…If you have some good memories from the Windermere Lake area, please do share your experience!


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