Tuesday, 5 July 2016

EXPLORING THE LAKE DISTRICT IN 4 DAYS

Now, I love Holidaying abroad as much as the next person..With guaranteed sunshine, a sandy white beach to relax on and beautiful new surroundings to admire, it really can be the most perfect, idyllic getaway from home, that everyone needs to enjoy from time to time.
However, just because we do encounter some of the most beautiful destinations overseas, that does not mean that you cannot also find new places to visit, which are just as beautiful, here in the UK. In fact, there really are some incredibly gorgeous Holiday destinations to discover all over the UK, that will offer you just as good of a time as what you would have in another Country..Just make sure you pack both an umbrella and sunscreen, as over here you need to be prepared for each of the Seasons, as you never know what weather you're going to get, unfortunately!
Since being little, I have had a family holiday in the UK pretty much every single year (amongst holidays abroad!), and honestly, some of these have been the best holidays imaginable and they hold the best memories for me as well! Due to Holidaying regularly in the UK, I have had some great opportunities to discover different, more rural areas of the country, which are so peaceful and so scenic that they really do make the perfect relaxing setting for a short break away from home. As much as I love the hustle and bustle of City life, I love nothing more than the Countryside, and the more rustic destinations like this, feel so much more homely to me..The countryside is my happy place which I like to escape to, when I need to get away from everyone and everything, because it is just so calm and tranquil. 

Earlier this week, I was invited to go with my boyfriend and his family to revisit one of my favourite places in the UK..The Lakes. I first went on a 5 day trip to The Lakes back in 2014, and I quickly realised that Holiday destinations in the UK do not come much more beautiful and picturesque than The Lake District National Park. There is a photo opportunity around every corner, with an incredible view that is enough to take your breath away! When I was offered to go back for a few days away at the same place where we stayed last time, I could not resist, so I booked a week off work and headed up there. This time around I stopped for just three nights and four days, so it was a short but sweet break, and honestly, it was the perfect length of time for me to just get away to de-stress and unwind from life's little worries.    

For the duration of our Holiday we stayed in a lovely log cabin lodge, on the Park Resort, White Cross Bay, which is situated on the Shores of Lake Windermere, in the very heart of the Lake District. With panoramic views of the Lake, surroundings of the Countryside, A Marina with direct access to the Lake and Leisure Facilities on site, White Cross Bay provides everything you need for a memorable and relaxing holiday. Being only a short distance away from both Windermere and Ambleside, it is close to all local attractions and with Bowness on Windermere also being just up the road, you are never too far away from the restaurants, bars and shops. White Cross Bay really is the perfect base from which to explore The Lake District.
The lodges that you can stay in on this particular park site are also absolutely amazing..They are spacious and comfortable and they also have a very luxurious feel to them. When you book you can specify exactly what you are after and you can then choose from the suitable lodges available. They have everything including, Dog friendly lodges, Wheelchair-user friendly lodges, Lake view lodges, Budget lodges, lodges with a hot tub and many more..Whatever your needs are, I am sure they will have something to cater specifically for you! This time around we stayed at the Three Trees Lodge, which is situated in the Calgarth area of White Cross Bay. Even though this is considered to be a quieter area of the park, all of the facilities, including the leisure centre, the clubhouse, the lake and the marina are still within a short five minute walk away from this particular lodge..It is in a pretty perfect location actually! Three Trees lodge is one of the three-bedroom lodges on the site, it has two twin rooms and one double master bedroom, so it sleeps up-to six people altogether. It also has a small dining and kitchen area, a large living room area and a family bathroom too. As well as all of this, possibly the best feature of this lodge is found on the outside, located on the spacious decking area..Yes, it is even fully equipped with its own private hot tub, where you can sit in and relax with a nice cold beverage. Could you really want anything more from a Countryside getaway?!
..I know I couldn't, and that is why White Cross Bay will always be my go-to place to stay within the Lake District. Albeit there is probably hundreds of other incredible places to stay and discover in the National Park, I just know that this place has everything I could ask for and more. If you are looking for the perfect Lake District family holiday then I cannot recommend this site enough..Not only does it have the most spectacular surroundings, but it is also ideal for all ages. You certainly won't be left disappointed!

As we spent the majority of our first day packing up the cars and travelling up to The Lakes, the entire day just seemed to fly past so quickly. By the time we arrived at White Cross Bay it was already gone 3pm, so we checked into our lodge straight away, and we just spent a couple of hours unpacking everything, settling in and re-familiarising ourselves with the surroundings. Once we had spent a couple of hours relaxing and we had got ourselves all sorted, the six of us decided to go and celebrate our first night of our holiday with food and drinks at Pedro's Restaurant Bar and Hotel in Windermere. I had never been to this restaurant before and I was honestly so impressed. It is a typical Countryside pub, with its characterful wooden beams and its wood burning fires, and it offers the most delicious variety of tapas-like Mexican dishes. With mouth-watering food, remarkable cocktails and great company, it was such a fun-filled evening, and it really was the ideal way to spend our first night away. To top of the night, we all headed back to the lodge, slipped into our swimwear and spent the rest of our first night, chilling, laughing and drinking in the hot tub..What a perfect end to a perfect night! 


As we had not made any pre-plans before our visit, we did not have a set itinerary for what we wanted to do each day, so on the morning of our Second day, we all sat down together with a cuppa tea and decided between us how we wanted to spend our first full day in The Lake District. We wanted to find a day trip or an activity that we did not do on our previous holiday there, and after taking the time to look through all of the brochures and the visitors guides, we eventually decided to take a trip to the South-Lake Safari Zoo. This is somewhere that is similar to a standard Zoo, but it does in fact have a whole different concept to it which makes it extremely unique..Rather than being like an average zoo, South lake safari zoo was actually created to be more like a Safari that you can travel around on foot, to get a closer look into the animal kingdom. It was the World's first ever Safari Zoo to be created, and what a phenomenal place it really is. At the Safari Zoo you can discover 1000's of the rarest, most endangered animals in the world, and because they are homed in unique, natural environments, it means that visitors can get as close as physically possible, to experience sights, sounds, and smells of some of the most amazing creatures that we share our planet with. As you step into this animal kingdom, you will spot all different animals including Tigers, Lions, Bears, Jaguars, Snow Leopards, Hippos, Giraffes, Penguins and many, many more..And you can even get up close and personal with some of them! As it is a natural park, with free roaming animals, you are actually able to wander amongst the likes of the kangaroos, wallabies and emus, you can walk through the cage with the beautiful macaws and be amazed as they soar straight overhead, you can walk in and interact with the lemurs and the penguins, and if you are feeling incredibly brave (Which I was not on the day of my visit!) then you can even venture into where the condors and vultures fly free. During my visit at the Zoo, I even had the opportunity to do something which I have always dreamed of doing, and that was to feed some of the animals myself. Every day you get the chance to join the keepers, and you can hand feed the Lemurs, the Penguins and the Giraffes, and this was possibly one of the best experiences of my life (no exaggeration!). Feeding Penguins in particular is something that has always been on my bucket list (Ever since watching, Good Luck Chuck!) and I never thought in a million years that I would of got the chance to it in the Lake District, of all places! Because of this, this is honestly a day that I will never forget and I cannot recommend the South Lake Safari Zoo enough for a family day out, as it is a great day for all ages! This Safari Zoo is like nothing I have ever experienced before and it is such an innovative and incredible adventure..To be able to surround yourself with some of the rarest, wildest animals on the planet, it really is quite a surreal place, which offers plenty of 'pinch me' moments!

In typical British Summer Style, by our third day in The Lake District, the weather was looking a little bit dull and rainy..So, while we avoided doing any boat trips or taking any scenic walks around the park, we still made the most of the day by exploring some of the surroundings of Windermere. Our first stop was The Mortal Man inn, for a quick lunch break before heading off to explore the town. We returned to The Mortal Man after we visited a couple of years ago, and I was just as impressed this time as I was the last. Situated beneath the rugged fells of Troutbeck Valley, it resides over the wondrous panoramic views of Lakeland mountains, which are absolutely mesmerisingly beautiful. It is everything you would imagine an English Inn to be, and being just a five minute drive from White Cross Bay, it is in the perfect location if you are after having a delicious lunch with a breathtaking view.
Once we had filled our stomachs, we left the inn and we carried on driving further up the road until we ended up at Bowness On Windermere, a popular tourist town located in South Lakeland, on the banks on Windermere. With its many shops, restaurants and bars, this is one of the busiest spots in Cumbria, where people come to enjoy anything from shopping, to eating or even to sailing and water-sports. It is also a lovely place to visit if you are just looking to relax for the day and enjoy the atmosphere of the area and the towns delightful settings.
Bowness on Windermere is also the home to the Bowness Pier, so if you fancy getting out on lake and seeing a bit more of what it has to offer, then you can book yourself a ticket on a day cruise and get exploring! There is a wide range of cruises available to choose from, all of which visit popular local attractions and each one offers amazing views of different areas of the lake..Treat yourself to stunning views of mountain scenery, secluded bays or even the many wooded islands! While the weather held me back from doing any cruises this year, I did venture out on one during my last visit back in 2014 and it was such a wonderful experience..It is a great day out and a perfect way to see around the lake! 

Our forth day seemed to come around in the blink of an eye, and in all honesty, I ideally could of stayed for a couple more days of relaxation and peacefulness..I was not ready to get back to the reality of life's mad moments! As we had a fair few hours of travelling in the car ahead of us, we did not feel like doing too much on the last day, so we did not make any plans to visit anywhere, and instead we spent the majority of our last few hours lounging around the lodge, and soaking up the scenery of White Cross Bay. We got ourselves ready slowly, we took a stroll around the park, I sorted out some last minute blog pictures, we packed up the suitcases and got them in the car, and we also had a little tidy up around the lodge..While doing all of this we each consumed about four cups of teas and three bacon butties within 3 hours..It was a morning well spent! 
By the time we had got everything sorted and we were ready to leave it was about 1pm, and before heading home we all decided to drive back down to Bowness-on-Windermere once again, and we stopped right next to lake to enjoy a box of fish and chips before our journey back..May I add, they were possibly some of the most delicious fish and chips I have ever tasted!  
After lunch we decided to start our journey home to avoid hitting any traffic on the roads later on. Just as we started to drive off along the road, heading out of The Lake District, we drove past a small lay over which looked over the most incredible view of the lake and the countryside hills, so of course we pulled the car over for a short while so I could take some obligatory blog shots, and we could enjoy some last minute scenic views..What a beautiful end to a perfect UK holiday! 

Finding places like these ones that I have been lucky enough to discover in The Lake District really makes you realise what a beautiful Country it is that we live in here in the UK. And, as nice as it is to have a beach holiday abroad to look forward to every year, for those times when you just need a short break away to escape from everything and just relax, a log cabin in the Countryside, really is the ultimate hideaway destination. 
Do you enjoy holidaying in the UK? Have you ever explored the Lake District before? 

Thank you all so much for reading. Do not forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to make sure you do not miss out on any future posts, and in that case, I will speak to you soon.

Lots of Love,
ALICIA
XO
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