The morning was bright and sunny so we decided to take a day trip to the Lake District. Traveling north up the M6 we left the motorway at junction 40 for North Lakes, heading towards Keswick. We turned left left toward Ullswater at the roundabout by the Rheged visitor center which is built into the hillside and is very popular. We went through a little village called Stainon where the village pub is also the post office, onward from there to Pooley Bridge passing an Alpaca Center on the way. We had a walk round Pooley Bridge, visiting one of the cafe's for an excellent coffee, then walked down to the pier where the Ullswater steamers dock from Glenridding.
Ullswater is the second largest lake in the Lake District. Leaving Pooley Bridge we traveled down the side of the lake passing the National Trust Aira Force where there are woodland walks around the waterfall. Passing through Glenridding we headed for the Kirkstone Pass, after reaching the summit we turned right opposite the Kirkstone Pass Inn and followed the narrow winding road towards Ambleside.
Ambleside is a very popular shopping area specifically for outdoor clothing and equipment. There are lots of pubs and cafe's for a welcome break, some of them catering for celiacs and other special dietary needs. If you are feeling energetic you could walk up to the spectacular Stock Ghyll Force waterfall but that was not for us this time. The weather was beautiful with plenty of people around even though it was late November. The ice cream vendors were doing a roaring trade. Having had our lunch we headed for Grasmere, one of my favorite villages, it always seems so peaceful even when there are plenty of people about. We visited Dove Cottage and museum also Wordsworth's grave in St Oswald's Church cemetery, the grave is under one of eight yew trees planted by Wordsworth during his time there. Having spent some time taking photographs of the area we then set off and headed towards Windermere and Bowness calling in at Rydal Mount another of Wordsworth's homes with its 4 acres of landscaped gardens designed by Wordsworth himself. I would say that Windermere and Bowness are the most commercial areas of the Lake District and not representative of the rest of the National Park.
Having spent a wonderful day site-seeing, shopping and taking numerous photographs we left for home just as it was going dark. The journey was quite uneventful despite the motorway was quite busy due to people traveling for the last night of the Blackpool illuminations. All in all a very pleasant day out.