NEW! 5 Days in England's STUNNING LAKE DISTRICT - Waterfalls, Hiking, Food, Travel Vlog & Guide

NEW! 5 Days in England's STUNNING LAKE DISTRICT - Waterfalls, Hiking, Food, Travel Vlog & Guide

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In the North West of England, in the county of  Cumbria, lies a region known as the Lake District.   Spanning 900 square miles it is  for me, the most picturesque,   peaceful and awe inspiring  landscape in all of England.   Settling between its 16 lakes, you’ll find  welcoming small villages, some unique local   delicacies and thousands of epic hiking routes,  conveniently suited for all skill levels. In this video, we invite you to  join us during our time here;   showing you 4 very different hiking experiences,   food you wont want to miss, and all the best  villages to visit on your way.

And how certainly not to row a boat. Plus, at the end,  I’ll list off my personal top tips for everything  I wish I knew before embarking on this trip. This is Suitcase Monkey spending  5 Days in Englands Lake District. After 6 hours of driving like a boss, we  finally arrived at our hotel in Ambleside.   Now there is an abundance of great  accommodation in the Lake District,   but we chose this one due to its  reasonable price, close proximity to water   and central location to most of  the sites we wanted to visit.

Just a short walk from our front door sat  Lake Windermere. Stretching over 10 miles,   Windermere is Englands largest lake, with  Ambleside marking its northern most point. Since we arrived mid afternoon, today was more  about getting familiar with our local area,   and after a 20 minute meander, we  explored Ambleside’s main town. There are arguably 2 local foods that you  have to try when in the Lake District. And   the first was found in this sweet shop. Sitting  alongside some lovely looking fudge and chocolate,   was Kendal Mint Cake. A peppermint flavoured  snack made mostly out of sugar and glucose.  

It’s considered as the original energy bar and  is still popular with climbers and hikers today.   Taste wise there’s not much like it to be fair,  so it’s definitely worth a try for the experience.   It’s very minty and even though  the first bite is relatively hard,   the glucose dissolves quickly, filling  your mouth with sugary goodness. To set the scene for this vlog, we  are by no means, experienced hikers   so any energy boost we could  get from Kendal Mint Cake   would be appreciated. There was a very  real chance that at least one of us   would collapse during this trip. Our first full  day tomorrow would be to my favourite village   in the Lake District. And it would also mark the  starting point to our first hike up a mountain.

Looking out our hotel window, it seemed  the weather was still on our side. The   Lake District is, after all, THE wettest part of  England. We sat down for a Full English Breakfast,   then made our way to Grasmere. It was still  early in the morning and we quickly moved  

passed all the interesting spots as we’d  return here later. Our immediate goal   was to reach the summit of Helm Crag. Rising  400 meters, this is a relatively popular hike,   so we thought it best to start here,  since if we did have a heart attack,   there would be someone nearby. Indeed, one of my  favourite things about being on a countryside walk   is that moment where you pass another human being.  This man here actually acknowledged my existence.   We certainly weren’t in London any more.  Armed with the motivation of a total  

stranger saying hello, we carried that  through our footsteps towards Helm Crag. It was on our way back to Grasmere that I  started to draw similarities to our time   in The Cotswolds where you would see  houses made out of the local land.   In this region, it is slate that peppers the  landscape, visually tying all villages together. As mentioned, Grasmere was my favourite village,  and probably the most popular in the County.  

It’s well known for shops, art galleries,   pubs, cafes and just generally everything you  would want from an English countryside village.   Grasmere was also home to the poet William  Wordsworth, one of the founders of English   Romanticism in the late 18th Century. His house  and grave are both within walking distance.   We also stopped off at this lovely little cafe  that overlooked the river below. A tasty spread   of simple food dishes made for a great lunch  and we certainly hit the jackpot with our view. Grasmere is also home to the 2nd quintessential  food you have to try when in the Lakes. That  

being Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread which is  the best gingerbread you’re ever likely to taste.   Sarah started baking the spicy, chewy gingerbread  in the 1850s in this very cottage and selling it   to the locals. That tradition still continues  today albeit with queues and to a slightly   wider net of customer. It’s different  to any other gingerbread I’ve had before   and if you’re usually not a fan, I think it’s  still worth checking out as you may be surprised.   The recipe is a heavily guarded secret and can  ONLY be bought here or through their website. Still with some time in the  day, we made the short drive   up to Thirlmere. I would definitely  suggest this stop if it’s on your way  

or close by since it’s a quick walk down to  the shore and provides the perfect respite. Looking out our hotel window, it  seemed like a cloudy but dry day.   This gave me all motivation needed to indulge in  a full English breakfast. But the big news was,   that my feet were still holding  up, so we were ready to go again. Todays journey would be a little different. The  goal was to visit Keswick, an old market town   that sits at the top of Derwentwater.  To encourage another picturesque walk,  

we purposely parked the car at the south end and  walked alongside the lake for a couple of hours.   This is a really simple, flat walk with  the views making every step worth it. One interesting note to point out here, is that  out of its 16 lakes, only 1 is officially a lake   by name, with the rest being Meres or Waters. But,  although there are some technical differences,   I wouldn’t get too hung up on it, outside  of it being kinda interesting. Similarly,   I used the term mountain earlier and again  although technically true in some circles,   the word fell is actually more appropriate,  especially in the Lake District. At the North end of Derwentwater you’ll find  Keswick. A pretty small town that hosts a  

popular market running every Thursday  and Saturday. Similar to Grasmere,   you’ll find plenty of hiking  shops, art galleries and pub grub. But it was whilst in Keswick, that I clocked  on to just how many dogs there up in the Lakes.   They are everywhere. Take this clip here for  example. For the eagle eyed, and you can count   them, there are 12 dogs within eyesight. And when  you’re trying to set up that perfect Insta shot,   they would just wander by  without a care in the world.

One thing that was fun however, is the  opportunity to impress a loved one with   your rowing skills on Derwentwater. This hour had  all the romance of Dicaprio in The Titanic. Yes,   it had more in common with the the end of the  movie but… it took me 30 minutes to realise   that rowing backwards is a lot easier than  rowing forwards. So do keep that in mind. (In posh English accent) "Ahh, pardon me, do you have some tea?" (In Southern American accent) "Well, I do declare!" (In California accent) "Duuuude" (In Australian accent) "Awww, mate!" (In New York accent) "I'm walking here!" There are better ways to convince  the internet that you’re in another   country. With Private Internet Access, your  device will think it’s in another location,   with just a click, so you won’t even need to do  a dodgy accent. That’s because Private Internet  

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It’s available on all platforms and unlike most  VPNs, you can use it across 10 different devices.   There’s also a 30 day money back guarantee  and a highly skilled support team that are   available 24/7. And, as a special offer, you can  get Private Internet Access for just £1.50 a month   and get two months absolutely free. Click on  the link below to take a look and thank you to   Private Internet Access for allowing me to watch  the West Wing special that never aired in the   UK. Thank you and also thank you for supporting  this channel. Now, back to The Lake District.   With blue skies outside, I perused  the many, many choices on the menu,   finally opting for the Full English  breakfast. After 2 full days of walking,  

the body was no longer 100% but today  would turn out to be our best hike yet.   Our first destination was to Aira Force  Waterfall. Probably the most popular fall   in the Lake District, this 70 foot drop is  only a few minutes from the nearby car park. Although it’s this waterfall that gets the  glory, it’s worth pointing out that there’s   more to see just a 10 minute walk north up  the river. It’s much more quiet and spread   out here with countless mini falls making  an area greater than the sum of its parts.

After a brief rest, we made our way north  again. We knew when we started that this   would be our longest hike so far but we were  yet to learn it would also become our favourite. For dinner that evening, we visited the 2 most popular  built up areas of Bowness and its neighbour,   Windermere Village. Bowness is the the hub  for sailing and water sports and by far has   the most restaurants, pubs and things to do. The  World of Beatrix Potter is one of its most famous  

attractions here, especially for those with  children. We mostly used these two locations   for dining hotspots which I’ll cover more about  in the tips section of this video at the end. Our last day was a cloudy and damp and my entire  body had given up. There was only one way to push   through. And that… Was cheesy beans on toast. We  had one last challenge to climb so we gritted our   teeth and started the hike. Our final goal  would be to reach Easedale Tarn. A peaceful  

glacial lake that’s believed to have filled  with water when the ice melted 11,000 years ago. So, I think it’s pretty easy to say, we had a  great time in the Lake District. And now I’d just   like to share some things I wish I’d known before  visiting which will hopefully will make your trip   a little easier. If you yourself have visited  the Lake District, please share your tips since   these are all based on just our one experience.  And if you’ve gotten this far, please also leave  

a like below since it really helps the channel and  subscribe if you enjoy this sort of travel vlog. And with that, let’s dive right in. So I’ll start with some tips specifically  for those visiting Grasmere, since if you are   short on time, this is where I would suggest  you visit. Our first and last hike started  

from here so it really does have everything.  There’s also convenient public toilets along   with a mini supermarket for water and snacks  to fuel your walk. To park the car for hiking,   I’d suggest The Lancrigg Hotel. The  cost for parking can be redeemed for   food and drink at the hotel and it  was a great rest spot after the hike. We walked passed the Gingerbread shop  4 times and it always had a long queue,   apart from its last hour of trading. It was  tasty enough that it would have still been   worth the wait but bear the wait in mind. There  was also a side entrance that people didn’t  

seem to be aware of that sold most of the same  products as inside so check if that’s open too. The hotel we stayed at was literally in  the middle of everything we visited in this   video, with everywhere being easily reachable.  Grasmere, Ambleside town and Bowness were all 15   minutes away, with Keswick and Aira Force being  30 and 40 minutes away. The included breakfast   was clearly good, Lake Windermere just a  minute away, along with its ferry that can   take you further south. For our dates the room  and breakfast was £120 per night. I’ll leave a   link in the description below to check prices for  your dates, along with other options in the area.

On the subject of paying for stuff, since  Covid, England is becoming more and more a   cashless society, which personally speaking for  me, is great. But for international tourists,   just something to keep in mind as several places  wouldn’t take any cash at all. Amongst others,   the pub we visited in Keswick was card  only, the gingerbread shop was card only,   and even the 40p entrance fee for  the public toilets were contactless.

But don’t melt your gold down just yet. On the  flip side, some parking machines are still coins   only so its worth having a stack of change  in the morning. Most did have options but   the one we parked at for Derwentwater was coins  only. It’s also definitely worth downloading  

both the PaybyPhone and Ring Go app before  arrival. Between them, they covered most car parks   and allowed you to top up the meter remotely. I  say download them before since the countryside   isn’t known for its fast internet speeds and  downloading a 100MB app is not fun on 0.5G. Overall, on the subject of driving,   I actually found the roads a lot easier to drive  than say The Cotswolds trip we had last year.  

There weren’t as many tiny country roads and all  destinations were connected by duel carriage-ways.   As a direct comparison to The Cotswolds as a  holiday, I think the landscapes are definitely   more epic in the Lake District but The  Cotswolds feels more uniquely English,   if that makes any sense. So it depends on what is  more important to you for a countryside getaway. Also, for the countryside I was actually  surprised by how many buses there were.  

It clearly wasn’t London frequency but they  seemed good enough that you could do most of   what we did without a car. It would lose a  lot of the convenience obviously but I’d be   interested to hear in the comments how people  have found using buses around this region. One place that didn’t make  this vlog was Glenridding.   This was a lovely little village just a few  minutes drive from Aira Force Waterfalls.  

We found a nice little coffee shop to refresh our  energy levels and was perfect as a quick stop. Not that this was a massive issue, but there were  a couple of nights where it hard to to find a   table at a restaurant. So if you really have your  heart set on somewhere, book ahead when possible,   even if it’s just a few hours. I’m never sure  at the moment how much of this is covid related  

but on one night we called 4 different places  and were turned down by all of them. Which yes,   almost lead me to say, “do you know who I am?!”  But I didn’t. Despite a seemingly long queue,   the place we did visit in Windermere was great and  I would recommend if you’re in the area. The staff   were switched on and efficient, the vibe good  and the food really tasty and reasonably priced. For any novice hikers like ourselves, here’s a few  potentially obvious but definitely useful tips.   For all our routes we used the All Trails app.  

It’s how I found many of the treks in the first  place and then how we navigated them on the day.   There is a paid Pro version which allows  you to download the map for offline use,   but for us, we had enough signal that we  were able to follow the routes easily. Second, bring plenty of water. We just  bought a bunch of bottles on day 1   and refilled them with tap water each day after.   Plus, Kendal Mint Cake really does give you  an energy kick. Do not underestimate it. There are loads of hiking shops in  every town and village we visited,   that all stock anything you don’t already  have and didn’t even know you needed.  

And generally we found that with such  competition, they were usually pretty well priced,   so buying at the last minute isn’t necessarily  the worst idea. Hiking boots are the number   1 but we also bought hiking socks while we  were here and they really helped too. I’ve   also heard enough people rave about walking  sticks that I’m sure they make a difference.  

Prices for those ranged from £10 to over  £100 so I’ll leave that choice up to you. Congratulations on making it to the end,  please leave a like and a comment below,   which tells YouTube to suggest this to  more people like yourself. I’ve now also   got 11 Patreon videos including vlogs from Oxford,  London, Kent, as well as a monster 35 minute video   explaining my entire editing process. Until the  next one, thanks for watching Suitcase Monkey.

2021-08-26 10:57

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