I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
- William Wordsworth
A couple of weekends ago, Aaron mentioned a trip over Valentine's Day weekend. Just the chance to get away and see or do something we hadn't done yet. We tossed around a couple of ideas and eventually settled on a trip down to the Lake District. I had been anxiously hinting at a trip there and it's just over two hours from Glasgow.
We found a charming B&B in one of the two Troutbeck's in the Lake District and couldn't have been happier. It was situated in a lovely valley with beautiful views, excellent food, and informative hosts.
Our first day there we ventured down and stopped to see Wray Castle which was temporarily open. The castle was built in the 1840s, but designed to look rather Gothic in architectural design. The rooms are empty and it has only been open to the public in the past few years. It's a huge draw for parents with kids because empty rooms and expansive grounds mean they can run wild with minimal damage. It's owned by the National Trust and parking costs £2 for two hours and admission is £9.50 for adults and £4.75 for kids. The cafe is free admission though if you wish to just pop inside to get a look around.
Next up we headed to the Beatrix Potter house, called Hilltop and explored the village a bit (I'll do a post on that because there was SO MUCH TO SEE!). I loved every second of it!
Sunday, we got up and headed home via an alternate route to see part of the west coast. This drive is not for the faint of heart as it is a winding, one lane road through mountain passes with stunning views, but lots of twists and turns.
This was wonderfully death-defying. To the left is a drop of about 50-100 feed. Not a guard rail or even fence in sight.
But the views at the top made it all worth it (even though I was a bit green from car sickness...)
Of course, we were nearly at the end when a car going the opposite way pulled up and informed us in the thickest English accent I've ever heard, that there was a dangerous corner covered in ice and we wouldn't get past without wrecking our car. We thanked him and continued slowly on. Of course, we found the turn (a lovely S curve that was partially in the shade and nearly completely slick with water run-off from the hills. Aaron and several other drivers went down to test it out on foot before attempting to assist a Mercedes in coming up and around the turn. Nearly 45 minutes later they had pushed the car around the curve and everyone scrambled into their respective vehicles. Aaron drove our little rented hybrid around on the ice like a pro and didn't even come close to wrecking it. It was a fun little adventure but I'm so thankful we made it to the valley in one piece.
Once we got down to the valley, we saw the ruins of a Roman fort called HardKnott, and we're never ones to ignore history, so we walked up and looked around.
It was obviously a large fort and very minimal repairs have been done. There were some excavations done in the 1950s and 60s where various articles of clothing and such were discovered.
During the Victorian Era, they laid slate down and added some height to the walls, but otherwise, very little has been altered. It was impressive and exciting to see something so old and ancient, still in decent condition in the English countryside!
After that, we drove all the way to the coast, saw the dramatic coastline of St. Bees before we headed back up to Glasgow.
Overall, it was an incredible weekend and I'm so, so anxious to drive back down and explore even more of the Lake District!