The hills will wait – walking holiday in Lake District, day three

21 March 2013

We wandered around Grasmere Village in the morning, feeling the sunshine filter through the barren tree branches on our faces, and putting Gingerbread crumbles in our mouth. I quite like bare trees in the winter. It’s very easy to see their shapes against a white sky.

I don’t generally like anything with ginger in, but Sarah Nelsons’s gingerbread was pretty special. £1 for a big bag of crumbs.


Grasmere Village in the morning.

We saw St. Oswald’s Church, Wordsworth graves, Dove Cottage (from the street). I don’t know much about William Wordsworth’s work (I didn’t choose British and American Literature in University). I don’t understand poems. I’m a lot more interested in Dorothy Wordsworth’s Grasmere Journal, about their years, their day to day life in the Lake District.


Grasmere bathing in the sun.

Then we headed towards Ambleside. We looked back at Grasmere on the way up the hill. It was bathing in the sun. I said “Grasmere is alright”. Andy said “you are spoiled by English countryside”. If Beatrix Potter could think, among all the lakes Esthwaite Water is the most beautiful, I can certainly think Ulls Water is the best. Plus I’m very happy and thankful I can be spoiled by English countryside.

The path to Ambleside was easy and straightforward. Only I injured my knee on the snowy mountain the previous day, it was a bit of a painful walk. And when the walk was too easy, it was a bit boring. There were a lot of snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils along the way. I also saw Lily of the Valley in the wild for the first time.

I love all the little lakes dotted along our route. I’m pretty sure most of the people have never heard of them. But they all had their own charms and characters. They were also always helpful for us to find where we were on the map.

We reached Hawkshead at dusk. Tiredness and the urgency of needing a loo made us head straight to the Youth Hostel. It was almost dark and I thought we could have a look at Esthwaite Water and the village the next morning. So we went to bed early. I was half dreaming when I heard an amber warning of snow in the news…


Accommodation: Regency style YHA Hawkshead.

It was the oddest Youth Hostel I’ve ever stayed in. A lot of room for imagination. The main house was pure white from the outside, but when we pushed open the huge door, there was this darkest entrance hall with muddy little children’s wellies and shoes all over the floor. It was so dark and so muddy, it felt like it had been forgotten for centuries and we just broke into Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Or if you like sad horror films, it felt like a deserted orphanage with little children’s ghosts haunted around.

Fortunately, our room was not in the main house. It was in a separate courtyard. I sat in the middle of the room and had a good look at it. It had very very thick walls, but only on three sides. The front side of the room was floor to ceiling windows, with bamboo blinds on all of them. Felt really Vietnamese (and they let quite a lot of cold air in).

The self-catering kitchen was very special as well…

Cultural Observation: the week just before Easter must be a popular time for school trips. We had a group of teenagers in Grasmere YHA and a group of children in Hawkshead (which explains the little shoes and wellies at the entrance hall…)


Again, all photos by Andy, my one and only ginger-head husband. No matter how much I tweak and enhance the photos, they never look as good as with my own eyes!

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