TRAVEL UK

Five ‘Leisurely’ Activities In The Lake District

Take on the walks and the water of the beautiful Lakes.

While some girls’ holidays involve copious amounts of alcohol, hangovers from hell and, more often than not, a few bad decisions, others do not. Why? Because simply, it isn’t for everyone.

If it’s not for you, why not arrange a ‘leisurely’ few days exploring the Lake District instead?

With cosy cottage in the middle of nowhere, a forecast of unpredictable weather and, most importantly, a car boot full of a hell of a lot of food, the perfect girls’ week of resting and relaxing can be had.

Well, sort of…

CLIMB TO THE SUMMIT OF HELVELLYN

Despite standing at an impressive 950m high, Helvellyn isn’t actually the highest peak within the Lakes (that would be Scafell Pike at only a slightly taller 978 metres above sea level). Don’t let that fool you however, as regardless of its competitor, its still a pretty tough climb. At a leisurely pace, and with a couple of photo stops and a lunch break at the top, the whole hike is pretty much spot on six hours. Six hours of manoeuvring over rocks, gravel, grass and streams – and around the odd sheep (there are only a few…) – up to the summit, and then all the way back down.

The clouds may mask your view along the way but, when they do clear, the views down onto Thirlmere and the surrounding miles in multiple directions make the next day DOMS (and we mean some serious calf pain) are worth it. Almost.

TAKE TO THE TREE TOPS AT GO APE, GRIZEDALE

If you’re looking for outdoor activities with a difference, Go Ape is your go-to. The usual tree-top adventure has been tackled by most people, however in Grizedale (not Grizlydale as it’s so easy to mistakenly call – whoops) a zip trekking adventure can be had. You’ll take a short road trip up into the mountains and then just as quickly work your way back down to ground level via eight speedy zip lines.

TAKE A BOAT TRIP WITH ULLSWATER STEAMERS

The lakes are pretty much all untouched, however on Ullswater, boat trips up and down the lake are a popular pastime of tourists and locals alike. With several stops along the route, including Glenridding, Howtown, Pooley Bridge, and a separate boat that heads to Aira Force, there is once again plenty of valleys spend your hours in exploring.

It’s possible to walk from certain stops on the main boat tour to another, however these are likely to take a few hours to complete and most definitely aren’t over flat ground, or visit Aira Force to see the tumbling waterfall drop an impressive 65ft.

HIKE UP HALLIN FELL

At only a fraction of the size of Helvellyn, Hallin Fell sits at a reasonably manageable 388m high. But, if you’ve climbed the former only a day or two beforehand, it’ll still require a bit of grit and a hefty amount of lower body strength and endurance. There are easy(ish) to follow paths to the top, therefore no dangerous rock climbing is required. At all…

As with any other mountain in the Lakes, the views from the top are beautiful. And when the sun is shining, it’s easy to forget you’re still in the UK. The long ferns that require wandering through and the blue waters of the lakes below could easily be comparable to the national parks found in South East Asia – just on a smaller scale.

HAVE COFFEE AND CAKE IN GRASMERE

Okay, as we should probably include at least one actual leisurely activity in the Lake District, tucking into coffee and cake in Grasmere is the ideal pit stop to refuel. There are plenty of quintessentially English tea rooms and coffee shops to choose from and, if you’re willing to join the queue to get in (most Brits are normally more than happy to oblige), the Lakes’ most famous gingerbread shop ‘Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread’, can be found nestled away here.

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