Normally, I try to travel to at least 4-5 places each year, and normally this means travelling abroad for a weekend in Europe.
But this year, I am trying to explore our own United Kingdom a little more, and having booked a hideaway house deep in the Lake District a while ago, the time finally came to start my adventure.
Now, firstly it came as a surprise to me to find out how far the Lake District is from where we live (near London). For those that know me, it won’t come as a surprise to know this pretty much sums up how spontaneously adventurous I am. So after browsing through many webpages and looking at scenic pictures from the many travellers and bloggers before me, I immediately booked a weekend at a country house on the hillside of the Lake District. Once I received confirmation back in June, I thought nothing of it till a few days ago, as I thought I should call the house owner and check he is still expecting me, and that the booking is still secure.
Once the conversation had progressed, I asked him whether it would be ok to arrive in the afternoon as I would be driving from near London and it would take me 2-3 hours. He replied cautiously “2-3 hours? I think it would take closer to 5 hours my friend…” I thought to myself he clearly does not drive very fast…”5 hours? surely not, the district is just east of Manchester isn’t it?”. He laughed saying “Haha…Noooo that’s the Peak District, the Lake District is way past Manchester, further up past Blackpool, it’s about 250 miles my friend…” I did what any other person would do…laughed nervously and hit Google search.
Many friends will remember my trip to the Brecon Beacons and how dangerously we embarked on that voyage. So this time, I packed sufficiently. A thing to note here, whenever I go on a hiking trip I will always bring my walking boots. Never rely on trainers, they are not built to perform on difficult terrain especially in the deep uncertainty of mountains.
People often get confused about the term mountains, it is commonly pictured as a rarity, found in completely nature dominated lands capped with snow fledging hundreds of miles across, yet these only encapsulate less than half of all mountains in the world. Often, people find any vertically lifted ground covered in greenery as hills, but in fact they are also mountains, just not cold and isolated as the others. So be certain, prepared and ready when voyaging for a mountain hike.
Now in my mind 5 hours seems like a very long time to drive, and for the record, it is a long time. But you can make a long car journey like that a lot easier, if you give yourself a break every so often. I decided to stop twice, once around Birmingham and another further up towards Preston. These little leg stretcher sessions proved much needed and made the journey a lot more comfortable.
On arrival, the country house which I stayed in was extremely hidden away, it was tucked half way up the hillside deep into the green. In fact, once you turned off the main road and ascended up the hill, it took 3 miles before arriving at the house. It was very pleasant, I love the tranquility the Lake District brought me, and it was even more enjoyable to have that same level of tranquility at the house as I did hiking in the hills.
My picture on arrival even made it to the Lake District Instagram story 🙂
Now as usual, I do not like to follow what others have done, so naturally at breakfast when the house owner decided to offer some local insights and knowledge, I only had one question. How fast is the mountain rescue time around here, it’s the only thing I need to know.
I got in my car after breakfast, and drove through Keswick, which is the nearest town and fortunately it was market day, so I managed to stock up on fruit and veg for my hike. I then drove through the town towards the mountain region, I did not know where I was going to be honest. I just drove towards the hills, and when a junction arrived I tried to stay in a northerly direction to ensure I arrived somewhere at the base.
I found a little indentation in the rock formation to the east of the rocky mountain side, just off a one-lane passage which to me made for a perfect parking spot, so I slotted my car in, donned my boots and backpack and was ready to adventure.
The hike itself was quite challenging, it was extremely steep from the get go. It would have been nice to have been able to ease in, and gradually embrace a steeper gradient throughout the day, but it wasn’t to be. Instead it sort of provided for a staggered approach, it would be steep for about an hour and then level out for 20 mins before returning to the steep gradient. I decided to embrace the climb and use the levelled out parts as welcome breaks and photography sessions.
Now, the day itself was a mixed bag, it started very sunny and warm at the base, but as the climb progressed the temperature of the wind became cooler. I was wearing a jumper and a jacket for pretty much the entirety of my hike, with moments where I took the jacket off to cool down. But generally it was a pleasant day, fit for a day out hiking.
The whole hike was enormously pleasing, both from a perspective of a hiker, who enjoys the physical challenge but also as an adventurer who loves the unexpected spontaneousness beauty that the Lake District provides. There were even moments where I would sit and just take in the view, knowing I was in probably one of the most scenic places in the country.
Many times do we get caught up in our systematic corporate lives and objectives. Too often we get weighed down by the burden of expectancy and almost never take pride in the life we live but instead bask in a distant dream that frustratingly remains out of grasp. If there is one thing I always advocate to people, it is this. Travel and enjoy the life you have now. Tomorrow is a fictional place, it does not exist yet, so why burden yourself for the idea of a better tomorrow, when today pains you so deep.
Extend the aura of positivity that you find in your meditational sanctuaries and be a giver. Reflect all the positivity in all directions, on to people and to the world. We have but one life, it is unbelievably precious and undoubtedly a gift. If you do not treat your life today as a gift but instead as a burden, how do you then expect to find joy and happiness from it?
Remember, life is a journey, the destination doesn’t really matter, as you have no idea where you will end up. All that truly matters is the journey, the constant positive steps to happiness you thrive on every single day of your life.
I recently lost two close friends, which made me feel extremely sad and confused. Life has no set path, it has a compass of its own. Be a source of positivity and you shall receive bounties of multiple value. I believe we all have our own troubles and negative thoughts, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. But it is also human to want to find the remedies, to find peace and bask in its essence.
It isn’t hard to be happy, it’s hard to pretend.
It isn’t difficult to be sad, it’s difficult to find self-love.
It isn’t easy being at peace, but it’s easier than you think.
Each and every person has their own way to reflect, meditate and recalibrate their focuses in life, my own involves travelling and self-discovery. It comes as no surprise that indeed this was a very welcome trip which I thoroughly enjoyed and completely recommend to all. My love for adventuring into the unknown probably stems from the way I see life, and how I do and intend to face it. Without fear, but endless opportunity.