Tranquil Windermere


Tranquil and Windermere, not two words that often go together, normally heaving with tourists, Windermere can be an absolute delight especially on a winter weekday.  This is my second visit in the last month and it rewards every time.  It’s extra special to me because it’s the closest lake, the scenery is great, everyone I meet is friendly, it’s close to my favourite breakfast cafe, it allows for the combination of a long walk and a cycle ride, there’s a good mid way cafe at Waterhead, I have lots of happy memories of coming here with the kids and in winter the parking is free.  Today marked perhaps only the second day in the Lakes without rain recently and I’ve been here on both of them!  I drove to Waterhead (Ambleside) and locked my bike up, drove back to Bowness, walked up to Bowness Cafe, where they know me well, took the ferry to the west shore, walked up the west shore and around the north end of the lake to Waterhead, popped into the pier cafe for a Tiffin and cycled back to the car, superb, but tiring.  My foot was sore for perhaps half of the walk and I was feeling a little weary today, unsure why, I’m going to put it down to having a brownie for breakfast – never again, or it may have been the coke I had to wake me up, also a mistake.  I have two tins of coke I found in the garage and I’m finishing the last of them off as I write this, maybe my last coke ever?

The day started well at 6:30, I’d had a slightly disrupted sleep but I forced myself awake and was quickly outside putting my bike on the rack (I put the rack on last night).  I’m getting pretty good at using the rack, fitting the bike in a couple of minutes and driving to Caffe Nero Lytham by seven, just as it opened.  I stayed there until eight when I had woken up nicely and had a smooth drive.  After unloading my bike and parking up at Bowness I went into my cafe and had brunch.  The ferry was on the far side of the lake when I arrived so I had a fair wait, I spent it chatting with another walker and his wife, the lake was ripple free, no wind at all.  For some reason the ferry was moving very very slowly, I don’t think I was imagining it, it hardly caused a ripple. 

The west shore walk was excellent, lots of friendly people, no wind, no rain, perfect views and an amazing, quirky book to listen to ‘A Primates Memoir’ really interesting and funny.  By the time I arrived at Waterhead I was very weary, my foot was sore and I was dreading the ride back to Bowness, but I popped into the cafe and after half an hour was feeling nicely refreshed.  The ride turned out just fine, although it’s quite hilly, the lack of wind made a difference. As I was popping my bike back on it’s rack a lovely old couple came up and started talking to me about my day, the lady must have been over eighty, but she was very sprightly and was well kitted out in walking gear.  They were just setting off for their walk, but apparently they also regularly cycled.

The drive back was uneventful, but I was struggling to stay awake.  I tried the whole journey without Red Bull as an experiment, but I think I will be putting a stock back in the car tomorrow (cheap Morrison’s version).  By the time I got home I was desperate for a nap, but I managed to unload the car, take a quick bath, wash my walking gear and sort out the rest of the washing and prep dinner.  I then slept of 45 minutes and finished dinner, the kids favourite Baked Potato and ‘all the trimmings’.  Debbie, Tess, Anna and I sat down for a lovely dinner, I then washed up, made Debbie’s lunch, made supper, cleaned up and finally collapsed in my recliner to write these notes. 

Debbie surprised me with some excellent felt tip pens for my colouring book and a funny book – Sheds – to read too, I’m looking forward to tomorrow, hopefully I will have a nice relaxing day and find time to colour and swim, I’m also meeting John for a catch up at Caffe Nero.

I love these long hikes/rides but I really need to plan them on days when I don’t have any household responsibilities!

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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