Oooooh boy. The whole week of travelling to and from Lake District, and even around Lake District itself was a literal nightmare. Which was really strange because Lake District is mind-blowingly dreamlike.
We really did have quite a horrible start and end to our trip – bus delays, missed flights, a desperate, overnight stay at a King’s Cross’s McDonald’s outlet… Okay, that’s just too many apostrophes in a row. And we had an equally hard time navigating around Lake District – mainly because none of us could drive, or had any sense of direction.
Driving definitely would have made our lives 10 times easier because we just couldn’t grasp the public bus timings. Also, we were lost almost 100% of the time. But, the beauty of Lake District is that no matter where you go, it still remains scenic and breathtaking – truly a Romantic poet’s dream.
For instance, we took a bus to get to Ullswater but as luck would have it: 1) we didn’t end up at Ullswater 2) there was no return bus. We ended up stranded at a pier (no, our return destination wasn’t part of the boat’s route as well), and thank goodness for the lovely cafe assistant who offered to drive us to the nearest train station. We ended up goofing on the pier for the next hour waiting for the cafe to close for the day, and look at this view we were still awarded:
On another day, we decided to follow a self-guided trek to the Ashness Bridge. So trek we did… Under the drizzling rain that went on for the whole 2-3 hours we were trekking.
A fun story aside: I once participated in an orienteering competition. Why I was selected still remains one of the greatest mysteries in life. Needless to say, we lost. No, scratch that, we didn’t just lose. Of course not! We were actually disqualified. I mean, if you already suck, you might as well go all out.
By now, we all probably know where my story is headed: we didn’t find the bridge. What we found instead were a group of adults who excitedly exclaimed that there was “an incredible stone formation” just a few kilometres away. So we figured, heck, why not? There was no way we were going to find the bridge, so we ended up at the stone formation, accompanied by ice-cream and a field full of animal shit. But for all that it’s worth, it really was quite an interesting stone formation as stone formations go.
On our way back (yes, there was a return bus back this time round!), we decided to hop off at a lake we passed by earlier in the day. Once again, we were treated to this gorgeous sunset:Yet, immediately after that, we were plunged into complete darkness. Yes, I know that’s how the sky works. I just didn’t expect it to be so dark, okay? I literally could not even see my hands. So we waited in the dark for the last bus back, successfully boarded it… and guess what? In true fashion of how terrible we were, we missed our stop. And we didn’t even realise it until we ended up at Oxenholme train station (which was about 30 minutes from our accommodation).
Long story short, we ended up having to wait two hours at Oxenholme for the next bus, and this time round we made pretty damn sure we alighted at the correct stop.
All in all, I’m not gonna lie: Travelling around Lake District by public transport/walking was tiring. And retrospectively, I was really sad because Lake District is truly gorgeous and I wished I had more time. If I’m ever back in the UK, I’ll definitely return to Lake District. With a car. And a better sense of direction.
Or better still, I’ll find someone who will bring me around because I am obviously dreadful.