Gettin’ touristy: a day out in Bowness, Part 1

Here’s the thing about the Lake District towns and villages: most of them are overrun with people like me. Cameras glued to faces, day pack at the ready filled with water bottles and snacks, likely not completely prepared for the quick changes in weather but most likely, at least, to have an umbrella. I like to think that I am a respectful traveller, not a tourist. I prefer to dive in to a location rather than just drive through it. Though I’m sure you’ve noticed that by the deep immersion countryside walking we’d been undertaking in the past few days.

So having done the walking thing, we decided to spend our last full day in the Lakes doing the one thing we haven’t done yet – and seemed so obvious to us to finally do – get out on the lake.

But first: Sausages!

The afternoon after we did our walk around the valley, we enjoyed a lovely pub lunch and then decided to hit the village shop down the hill. Our little suite, the Cartmel Fell, came with a full working kitchen, so why not grab some local vittles for breakfast the next day?

Some sausages for the hob, a few seeded rolls for the toaster and a pat of butter later and it was breakfast.

But what about the brown sauce? Well, we just begged some off the kitchen – TIP: they have gorgeous homemade brown sauce.


Add the morning paper and a big, piping cuppa and you have a beautiful springtime (remember, it’s May) outdoor breakfast. And with these views, one cannot help but smile like a demented clown. Even the lens flare can’t kill the overall joyful morning breakfast on the patio.

The plan for today:

1) Pack up belongings for housekeeping to move to another room for the night. We elected to stay a third night but had to move to a 2 bed self-catering townhouse style flat instead. Bummer.

2) Take a few photographs of the Cartmel Fell Suite to remind ourselves how awesome it was.

3) Take a wander around Ambleside. It sounds like a lovely village.

4) Wander around Bowness-on-Windermere, taking a walk down DH’s memory lane.

5) Return to the pub, grab a pint, sit outside and read as long as the sunlight will allow us, then our last meal in the dining room.

6) Sleep.

Shall we begin?

List item #1 did not need photography. So moving straight on to…

2) Take a few photographs of the Cartmel Fell Suite to remind ourselves how awesome it was.

Okay, okay, I’ll put away the camera.

Next on the list? Ambleside.

I’ll be honest with ya. Despite the pretty, quaint local stone built buildings and adorable village lanes like this:

I was having serious culture shock. Having been surrounded by peace, quiet and sheep, the sudden thrust into civilisation was stressful. Being away from people really does remind you just how stupid they are when you are around them again. Now I know how the island hideaway kids felt from The Beach when they went to Ko Phi Phi or wherever.

I’ll stop being so dramatic. It wasn’t awful, just annoying. People walking without looking where they are going – forcing us to walk in the streets. Cars everywhere. Traffic, even for a small country village it was astounding just how many cars there were. And when we decided to check out the local church – you know how much I love an old church – a guy even asked us to stop taking photographs because he wanted to park where we were standing. I told him to wait a second and snapped a quick pic.

Despite the loveliness of St Mary’s, my hackles were definitely up, especially as there were signs saying “Church parking only” and this dude immediately left the property. And we had the audacity to pay for parking in a lot like everybody else!

We had to leave this dreadful little town immediately. We headed to Bowness instead, thinking being by the lake might bring better vibes.

And we were right.

4) Wander around Bowness-on-Windermere, taking a walk down DH’s memory lane.

Bowness-on-Windermere is just as it says, it’s on Lake Windermere (unlike the village of Windermere, which is uphill and inland a bit, so as not to confuse you).

We parked up in a pay lot and gave ourselves 2 hours for a bit of a visit. Maybe some lunch. Meet Pixie, our little motor:

Such a happy lass, don’t you think? Basking in the lovely lakeside sun, and we on to discover Bowness.

That reminds me, I’m hungry. Maybe the Hole in t’Wall is serving? Hmm, looks deserted. On to the lake!

We sat down in a little park across from the promenade and took in our options. We wanted food. But also wanted to go on a boat.

But we didn’t have very much parking time left. One thing at a time, let’s off to look for chow. And we found it, after finding the Beatrix Potter Experience.

When DH (dear husband) was young, his family came on a little trip to the Lakes. They themselves went into the Beatrix Potter Experience. My memories of DH’s memories are pretty vague. Ok, this wasn’t a very interesting story.

What is interesting is the segregation between regular children and those in pushchairs. Unfair don’t you think? Oh, and what about the parents? The pushchairs can’t very well push themselves can they?

Forgive my insincere sarcasm, but come on people. Let’s think about our signs before have them made, shall we?

See? This is what happens to me when I get thrown into civilisation after a few days in the country. Even DH can’t take it anymore:

All joking aside, we have decided to grab food from the local Tesco to keep costs down, having ourselves a bit of a picnic before exploring the lake.

Cheese and pickle sandwich and twiglets anyone?

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