We’d booked a property through Cumbrian Cottages (www.cumbrain-cottages.co.uk) early in December to take advantage of their late offers and were lucky to get a cottage right in the middle of Ambleside.
The cottage was called Le Gite and it had an open fire, two bedrooms and a large bathroom so there was plenty of space. It took us over five hours to get there as the weather was abominable, with heavy rain and strong winds, much like the rest of the year really! However, once we arrived we were really pleased to step into a warm cosy home with a Christmas tree already set up, complete with lights and a lovely bottle of wine as a welcome from the owners.
The views from the bedrooms overlook the town and in the distance you can see Wansfell, Ambleside’s very own little mountain. It was the first time my mother had visited the Lake District and sadly we didn’t get to see too many of the views as the cloud cover and volume of rain negated the possibility of too much sight-seeing. We think she enjoyed it though as she mentioned coming back again but with a group of friends…
Dean and I only really got one walk in and that was low level just around Rydal and Grasmere but it was still wonderful to get out in the fresh air. Our waterproofs were put to the test – we ended up calling into Gaynors to buy some re-proofing! We’ve got really good quality clothing so we bought both the cleaner and reproofing (www.grangers.co.uk) and it has restored them back to their original state.
Christmas was a really relaxing affair and the first one we’ve spent with my mum for at least ten years. Breakfast was smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and champagne and dinner was a gorgeous joint of roast beef. We’d bought everything from Booths in Windermere, a cross between Morrisons and Waitrose we think so we had no need to go out, except for the obligatory walk after dinner!
During our week there we also checked out the ‘aire’ in Ambleside that had been mentioned to us by friends. We’re off there in the motorhome come the end of February so it was nice to give it the once over. It costs £10 per night per unit and by all accounts it gets very busy – maybe because the chap who runs it uses a common sense approach and is one of the few to have adopted the scheme?
A few times we walked around the town, down to the Lake so mum could see it and around the shops, cafes and bars. All too soon though it was time to leave – what a horrendous journey home!
It took well over six hours to get back due to an accident on the M6. Then as some roads were still closed due to flooding, there was a massive detour onto the M50 so the world and his wife were on the motorway….that currently has miles of roadworks!
Mum set off home the next day having done all the driving and her and her car were brilliant, only to break down a week later in Oxfordshire – typical!