All the Lake District Fun!

Day 1: Armed with a stack of little green Beatrix Potter books, a phone full of the Beatles and my copy of School Education for our entertainment (okay, throw in some Melissa and Doug water wow books too ;-) and we were off. A couple hours later and we were walking Ambleside, finding Charlotte Mason spots. 

Scale How

                                                                    Mason's Grave

Then off to Beatrix Potter's Gallery and Hill Top home. The gallery was small but fun. It was also were we learned our GPS likes to take us to the front door of places and not the parking lots which wasn't always the best choice. Hill Top was also small. I definitely wouldn't go for the gardens alone but the house had re-opened. Craig waited outside with the dog and then we swapped - and I saw a couple other dog parents doing something similar, but even so we were a group of 5 which meant we had to wait until a room was completely empty to enter. But that actually worked in our favor as the sweet old lady maning the front door pulled out some blown up illustrations from the different books and pointed out the inspirations spots - the front door and some gates, different stoves and things. As much as we have read the books, I don't think I would have recognized them just from memory but seeing the illustrations at the same time was really neat. And most of the other people didn't see them! 

If only I had known I would have dressed the girls in white and Jonah in blue. 

I adore both of these women so much it's hard to pick what stop was my favorite. They are pretty similar in ways - lake district residents around the same time; nature love; having an amazing love and understanding of children, neither was a mother but both are still impacting mothers today. Charlotte Mason's education philosophy has influenced not just the school days hours and how I educate our children at home but really the whole atmosphere of our home life. And Beatrix Potter's work was a real life example of truth, beauty and goodness and what this type of education could look like. Beatrix Potter whet our appetite and Charlotte Mason helped me figure out how to make it happen. I'm so grateful for the work of both of these women and my day of "geeking out" in their spots. Bonus points because they happened to live and work in one of the most beautiful places I've ever been too!

Day 2: Swallows and Amazon's Forever!

We did a short hike, then took the Steam Yacht Gondola around Lake Conniston to see "Wildcat island" and other spots from Arthur Ransom book series. It was a bit windy on the boat but don't worry we weren't duffers and we didn't drown. I know the mothers in Swallows and Amazons aren't real but I had to keep reminding myself of that so I didn't feel like a completely helicopters parent in comparison. I knew it wasn't just a little pond but wow, to be kids exploring that land on there own all summer - bliss! We meet another home ed family there with a little girl who put on her Nancy Blackett hat as soon as she got on board and it was just as adorable as you'd imagine. 

Then we hiked and picnicked at Tarn How which was beautiful and a great simple hike for the kids. Then a pub dinner. 

Day 3:  Our really only wet day which considering the rainy day stats in the Lake District, is practically a miracle. And even this day wasn't too bad. The drive up to the Aira Force waterfall was really foggy but once we got there, it had cleared up. Wordsworth wrote several of his poems at the waterfall and I see why, it was quite scenic. The kids had grabbed a trash picker and bag at the national trust parking lot and we managed to bring a small bag back to the ranger in exchange for some fun badges. 

Then we headed up to Wordsworths home and garden. I thought this was very well done. 

Then the actual rain started but the kids and I explored Grasmere while dad was what we call the "daddy martyr" and waited in the rain for about 30 minutes to get us the famous Grasmere gingerbread. 

I wasn't sure it would be worth it - but it was. We sat out of the rain under some trees next to Wordsworth's grave. 

Here's Jude completely ignoring Wordsworth's grave in favor of the construction going on at a nearby church. I need to start a photo album named "Travel is wasted on toddlers." 

Day 4: My favourite. Actually, the days just kept getting better which was fun. We dropped the dog off at a farm/doggy daycare for the day so we could do a driving tour of the northern Lake District area complete with a Slate Mine tour. 

Then we picked up the dog and visited a really cool stone circle. Although Jude just wanted to wave to the sheep! See what I mean about that photo album?

The day had worn out the kids so Craig took them back to our cabin for some down time but dropped me off at the Armitt for some more CM fun...and a bit of snuck ice cream. Secret chocolate just tastes better. But I did buy the kids a fun new card game so they didn't miss out on ALL the fun. 

Day 5 we sadly had to head home. But first we visited some roman ruins 

Then we drove through the Yorkshire Dales National Park on the way home and saw a few things, like the Ribblehead Viaduct

and Fountains Abbey. I think I prefer Rievaulx abbey but this one had the pretty gardens so it was worth a stop. 

And that's the Lake District! I just loved it. It felt like the Colorado of England which is basically my dream combination! I really hope we go back again before we leave.  

Older Post Newer Post