Following on from the success of last years two week long holidays [1, 2] in dog friendly accommodation, and to continue the pursuit of visiting the 10 most dog friendly beaches, we decided to head off to the Lake District for a week. As a child, most summer holidays from 1980 until probably 1990 were spent in the Lakes, staying with my Godfather and his family. Amongst all of the beautiful spots, one place stood out, and that was Wastwater. Consequently, that was where I decided we should base ourselves close to.
After a bit of searching, we came across Scafell View:
a three bedroom cottage in the small Hamlet of Santon, in the Western Lake district, a 10 minute drive from Wast Water
This seemed to meet most of our requirements for a holiday home:
- dog friendly (up to 3 well-behaved dogs allowed)
- garden (enclosed)
- well equipped kitchen (shame the dishwasher didn’t work, but otherwise all good)
- double bedroom
- parking (garage parking for two cars with off road parking for a further two cars)
- near a dog friendly pub (less than a mile walk)
- have walks from the house
- have a bathroom with a bath and a shower
…so we booked it.
On our first morning, we headed out armed with an OS map and quickly discovered that it pays to check the gradient of a “short stroll”. We had walked over the top of a fell and down the other side, which of course meant we had to do the same again in reverse. A lesson learnt. At least the views from the top of the fell were lovely, giving Richard his first view of Wastwater, and reassuring me that it was as beautiful in real life as it was in my memories.
On Monday we headed out to St Bees, somewhere I don’t recall every visiting as a child, and walked a little bit of the Coast to Coast as well as ticking off another of the 10 most dog friendly beaches.
Tuesday found us at Buttermere, following the easy track around the mere, enjoying the scenery, and feeling justified for a stop at a farm cafe for a cream tea before getting back in the car. This was another area that I don’t remember visiting as a child, and another lovely place to spend time.
Wednesday found us fulfilling an ambition I’d had for a while, to walk around Wastwater. Looking at the OS map there was a definite footpath over the screes, but as we discovered, there is no path, more like a set of rocks and scree to scramble over, something that was a bit disconcerting at times. We’d parked at Wasdale head and tackled the walk in a clockwise direction, heading over the screes whilst our legs were still fresh. This was a sensible decision.
We had our packed lunch under the trees at the far end of the lake, looking across it, before heading past the beautiful Wasdale Hall youth hostel and on along the shoreline.
Thursday was the one wet day of our week, so we headed off to one of the more forested areas, Ennerdale Forest, and explored that, trying to keep out of the rain.
Our final full day, and we headed off to see what else we could find. We started off at Mile Fortlet 21 where Skitters had a good run along the beach until she got distracted by the wildlife.
To avoid further doggy distraction, we decided to head off to Dodd wood, and go for a walk in the woods, following the Dodd Summit trail to get some wonderful views over DerwentWater and Bassenthwaite.
Our final morning, before starting the drive back to Brighton, we headed to Ravenglass, just a short drive down the road for a pre-drive walk wandering past ruins of a Roman castle, and along the river banks before walking back through the very pretty main street.
So, a combination of old and new places for me, almost all new for Richard, and probably all new for Skitters. My memories of Wastwater weren’t exaggerated – it is a most beautiful place. And all in all, another great week spent in the UK with comfortable accommodation, and exceptional weather (there is a reason why there are Lakes in the North West!)