Last weekend began with a 4am alarm on Friday morning. Why is it whenever you are getting up for something other than work it’s far easier, no matter what the time is! The early alarm call was necessary as we had a 5 hours drive ahead of us to reach the Lake District. I was excited to getaway in January as December was rather hectic, fun but busy.
The Lake District is usually a summer destination for most, I’ve visited several times and always been quite lucky with the weather. It’s not unusual to see all four seasons in one day in the lakes so I count myself very lucky! But the lakes are still so beautiful in winter, snow topped mountains, frosty fields and bright blue skies, sometimes.
For 2 nights we were making Merewood Country House our retreat and it was perfect. Set on 20 acres of private land overlooking Lake Windermere, this 19th century house couldn’t have made a better base. Friendly staff and roaring log fires in every room instantly made a relaxed and cosy setting.
Friday was due to be the best day so we arrived and got our walking boots out straight away. Heading on a 4 mile walk to Aira Force waterfall and Gowbarrow Fells which have a beautiful panorama view of Ullswater lake.
After a lovely but chilly and rather windy walk, it was good to be back on flat-ish land again. Before checking into Merewood we stopped off at St Patricks Bay on Ullswater, overlooking Place Fell to admire some more of the stunning views.
By the time we got to the hotel it was getting dark so there was not enough time for any other outdoor excursions. We checked in, dumped our bags and freshened up before going downstairs and finding the most cosy spot in the place. We were set for the evening!
After one of the most relaxing and refreshing sleeps ever, we made our way to breakfast to refuel and plan the day. Saturday was not so nice weather wise, the well known drizzle and grey sky was back but that was not going to discourage us from enjoying a little of the outdoors. We planned a 6 mile walk through Grizedale Forest to Force Falls. Our logic was that we would be a little sheltered from the rain in the woods!
Although the nearly 4 hour walk was extremely wet and it rained continuously, I really enjoyed it. The woods were stunning and the sculptures were a little different to see. Not only that, but we didn’t see a single other person on our entire walk. That’s one of the benefits of visiting the Lake District in the off season I guess. We got back to the car feeling so tranquil and refreshed. Both of us work/live in London so sometimes it’s good to escape the city and have some fresh air, especially at the moment with pollution levels being so high.
We got back in the car and drove to Keswick for lunch in one of our favourite pubs – The Royal Oak. We had definitely worked up an appetite and needed a well deserved lunch.
For the rest of the day we went back to Merewood hotel and relaxed. First point of call was the bath! I was looking forward to filling the bath with bubbles and warming up after being in the rain all day. Then it was downstairs to our favourite spot by the fire again. It was a truly peaceful break and Merewood was so relaxing. Evenings filled with leisurely dinners, drinks by the fire and a board game or two. I’m proud to say I am still reigning champion of scrabble, however hard Tom tried to win 🙂
I hope you liked reading this post, if you are thinking of a winter getaway I couldn’t recommend the Lake District and Merewood hotel any more! It was one of the most relaxing breaks I’ve ever had and I came back feeling completely refreshed.