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27 October 2014

Birthday Weekend in the Lake District

Within a few weeks of knowing Ken, the Lake District has always cropped up in conversation when discussing where we'd like to travel to together in the future. After travelling to Aberdeen and Manchester together before we officially a couple, we've both always dreamed of taking a break from work and University life to stay in a secluded cottage next to the Lake District during the Winter time. To my surprise for my 19th birthday, Ken treated me to a weekend away in the Lake District. We stayed in a beautiful part of the lake district called Bowness-on-Windermere.

After a 2.5 hour train journey from Edinburgh to Oxenholme, we got on a short 30 minute connection train to the town of Windermere. When we arrived, we dropped our luggage off at our hotel and headed out to explore the lovely independent shops around the town centre.

My childhood memories are filled with Summer breaks away to the town of Keswick in the Lake District where my family and I explored the Lakes and visited both the Pencil Museum and Beatrix Potter Museum numerous times. As I had experienced the Beatrix Potter Museum in Bowness-on-Windermere before, we decided not to visit the Museum, but instead go to the café for some afternoon tea. We had a coffee and tea each, scones with butter and jam, brownies, cupcakes and a delicious range of assorted sandwiches.

Later on in the day, we went to an Indian Restaurant called 'Lake Raj' for dinner. Both Ken and I had a Chicken Tikka Masala dish, Pilau rice and poppadoms washed down with a glass of wine. 

After our dinner, we spotted a cinema called 'Royalty' round the corner from the Indian restaurant. From the outside, the building looked really old fashioned and a change of scenery from modern Cineworld and Vue cinemas we were used to in Edinburgh. As soon as we stepped foot into the building, we knew instantly it would be the highlight of our trip. We received little old fashioned cinema tickets at the ticket booth and joined a small handful of locals in a little cinema screen. As both Ken and I are fascinated by vintage pieces and previous generations, we were fascinated by the curtain that covered the cinema screen before the film started and the appearance of a smartly dressed cinema snack attendee. To top the whole cinema experience, the film we saw - 'Fury' - was absolutely incredible and definitely a must see film.

We stayed in an Inn called the 'Royal Oak' for the evening. There were only around 10 hotel rooms in the building, but we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. Our room had all the essentials: a bed, TV, hairdryer, free Wi-fi and a shared toilet and shower room with the other guests - which we didn't really mind as the bathroom was always free when we needed to use it. Our room was surprisingly peaceful and noise-free considering there was a pub and restaurant underneath our room. The staff were super friendly and offered a continental/cooked breakfast the following morning as well as kindly storing our luggage in a locked room after we checked-out.

We went on a 40 minute lake cruise from Bowness-on-Windermere to Lakeside in the afternoon. It was a little bit too chilly and windy to sit on the top deck for the whole trip, but we managed to sneak up for a while to take some photographs. 

We couldn't find that much to do in Lakeside, I'm not sure if it's more of a walking holiday part of the Lake District, but we decided to stop at a Starbucks on the lake for an hour before catching the return ferry back to Bowness-on-Windermere.

To finish off our weekend away, we treated ourselves to dinner at a restaurant called 'The Lighthouse' in Windermere. I was craving cheesy garlic bread at the time, so I ordered a garlic bread pizza with fries and Ken had a Burger with fries. We both found the little tomato ketchup pots adorable.

After our meal, we looked around in the Lakeland store next to the station and had a quick beverage in a local pub before heading for our train back to Edinburgh.

The Lake District was such an incredible little weekend getaway for both Ken and I - I'd definitely recommend it for a quiet couples holiday, with your family or even alone. It was so nice to have a break from city life for a couple of days and to avoid thinking about the dreaded mid-term assessments I have coming my way soon (sigh!).

Have you been to the Lake District before? Which holiday destination would you go for a chilled weekend away?

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