Lake District Adventures - North Lakes in Autumn

** This is a previous post written in October 2015 when we spent a long weekend in the North Lakes. ** 

Autumn in the Lake District is quite something. The hills are a riot of golden shades and jaw-droppingly beautiful. Add to this the way the light dances, one minute dark and gloomy, the next bright white breaking through the cloud to form little areas that appear almost mystical. You can appreciate how many poets and writers have been drawn to the national park for inspiration. We didn't really have any set plans of how we were going to spend the weekend. It was more about embracing the slow pace of life and enjoying the beautiful scenery. 

On Saturday we enjoyed a lazy morning at the Shepherd's Hut before heading to Keswick. It was very busy, lots of tourists and walkers and it was market day.  I did want to visit Merienda for coffee and breakfast as I'd heard good things about this place and I wasn't disappointed. A filling brunch of pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup went down a treat before we headed off to Borrowdale to explore the lake there. It rained on and off all afternoon but we carried on regardless and really enjoyed our walk and watching the ferry go up and down dropping passengers off at the various stops on the lake. The Boy climbed trees and built little dams, it was nice to see him being like a kid again instead of the stroppy pre-teen that we live with most of the time. 


On Sunday we appreciated the clocks going back as it gave us that extra hour of not doing anything other than sitting in the hut reading and enjoying a long, lazy breakfast. As we'd joined the National Trust a few months ago, one of the places I wanted to visit was Aira Force, the 65 foot waterfall at Ullswater. We decided to take advantage of the ferry service from Glenridding and enjoy the view from the boat window. It's a lovely crossing and only takes about twenty minutes before it arrives at Aira Force pier. A quick walk up the path and there is the National Trust cafe where we had lunch before heading off up the woodland trail. It's a fantastic walk and the waterfall is spectacular, with great viewing opportunities at the top and the bottom.  It's worth exploring some of the other trails too and we were happy to find the Money log, an old beech tree that visitors have tapped coins into - it's now entirely covered with them. After a few hours there it was back to the pier for the return ferry ride and home to the hut for dinner cooked in a wood-burning range, candles lit, a glass of red wine and a cosy night under the stars. A lovely slow autumn long weekend.