Two years ago this week, Way Out Far Visited The Lake District up in the north-east of England. Beforehand, we really had no idea about the area, asking ourselves ‘What so magical about The Lake District’? yet it was a trip that would end up changing our lives…
Planning Our Trip
Our intention was to drive up to The Lake District for 3 days, staying in Barrow-in-Furness in the south of Cumbria, using it as a base to go and explore the rest of area from. We hired a car via Car Hire 3000 and took off from London at 9am, arriving in Cumbria around 3pm. It can get very expensive up in the Lake District with luxury options like The Gilpin, or you can do it on a budget at one of the few YHA hostels. We opted to stay at The Duke of Edinburgh hotel in Barrow-in-Furness which cost us £130 for two nights.
The hotel was grand enough with lovely dark-stained wood everywhere – perfect for wedding receptions (one of which was going on during our stay), but in hindsight, Barrow-in-Furness wasn’t the most idyllic place to stay. It’s pretty much a seaport town with lots of industrial buildings and docks and the centre of town resembles most “clone-town” high streets seen throughout the UK. A little exploring just on the outskirts of town in the south led us to the docks that take passengers over to Piel Island which is one of the Islands of Furness. The island’s known history dates from the time of King Stephen who, in 1127, gave the island to the Savignac monks as part of a land grant for an abbey.
What to See in The Lake District
We managed to fit in quite a lot of driving over two days with our drives focusing on exploring Coniston Water, Lake Windermere and Ullswater plus taking time to drive down the west coast. Our first day took us through very rainy landscapes which you can see in the pictures below. It really wasn’t the weather for walking, so we decided to park up and have a look at various scenic spots from the car.
I think I found it rather strange to drive past the SeaScale, where the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site lives. It is for me a symbol of my 1980s childhood as the WindScale site had finally been decommissioned, becoming part of Sellafield. I remember lots of items on the news showing people protesting at the gates. We’re less vocal about the use of nuclear energy these days and to be reminded that the site is on the other side of one of the beautiful places in the UK, tucked away almost, makes we wonder why we accept it so readily these days…
On a lighter note, later that day I managed to step right into a bog at the side of Coniston Water and get mud all the way up my legs. Josh found this rather amusing as you can imagine although wasn’t laughing so much when it transpired that I wouldn’t be able to get back in the car with muddy legs. I should really learn not to wear skinny jeans whenever I am going to the country: if they get wet then they don’t dry very well plus you can’t make big steps over bogs. I had to sit on quite a few plastic bags with my legs underneath the car heater and try to fashionable cover up the mud by rolling my jeans up once they were dry. A great look!
Probably one of the most memorable areas that we visited was the Aira Force waterfall just near Ullswater. We had spent the morning rather quiet in the car and I wasn’t quite sure if Josh was OK as he hadn’t really been starting any conversations or looking at me. As you can imagine this had created a bit of friction and by the time we got to Aira Force, I wasn’t feeling that happy about how our day had been going, to the point where I was being quite short and unhelpful if Josh did say anything.
We managed to get just a short walk from the car park to the falls when he blurted out that he wasn’t being moody, he just wanted to marry me. As you can imagine, I had no idea what to say as my head had been in another direction completely and so I burst into tears. Then said yes…
There had been a Wishing Tree just before we had got to the falls and I wonder if Josh had put coin into it and hoped that’s what the answer would be as he said he had a bottle of champagne in his bag and also a train ticket home in case I said no! We spent the next hour walking around the waterfall chatting more in five minutes than we had a done all day, excited that we were both getting married, me relived that Josh’s quietness was because of his nerves and he relived because he had actually taken the plunge and proposed. I as so excited that I didn’t actually take any pictures of the actual waterfall, which you can see here:
It really wasn’t a bad place to get proposed to and we will remember it fondly for many years to come I hope. We headed up to Edinburgh after that and passed through Gretna Green, both wondering whether it was a little too soon to get married so soon after getting engaged? Spoiler alert: we waited!
We hope that you have enjoyed reading about how Josh and I became engaged and the some of the pictures from our trip. We’d love to know if your own engagement stories were in any interesting locations, or if you have any fond memories of The Lake District in the comments below. We read all and love responding!