But even despite all the rain, we had a great time - how can you not in one of England's most beautiful regions? We really only scratched the tip of the iceberg on this trip, but here is how we explored the Southern Lakes:
1. Taking the scenic walk from Grasmere to Ambleside
I realize that not everyone loves hiking as much as I do, but you can't travel to the Lake District and not go for a walk - it's England's walking paradise after all! The scenic route from Grasmere to Ambleside, also known as the Coffin Route, is perfect for everyone looking for an easy and not too time-consuming path and passes along a mountainside through a gorgeous little valley.
Grasmere is a small, but adorable little town and also the site of the grave of the poet William Wordsworth who lived there with his sisters for a couple of years and whose home, Dove Cottage, can be visited. I would have loved to spend more time in Grasmere - there seemed to be a lot of cute little cafes and stores - but the heavy rainfalls urged us on.
In the afternoon, we walked up the Loughrigg Fjell, which was an easy, but at times steep climb. If you have good weather, you probably have a great view over Windermere - England's largest lake, but luck wasn't on our side so we turned around the same way that we can when the wind got too much and dawn started to set in.
Ambleside lies at the shores of Windermere, England's largest lake, so it was given that we would go on a short lake cruise. Our train was due to leave from Windermere - which is also the name for the Lake District's largest town and only train station - so we decided to take the boat from the Ambleside to Bowness, traversing the Northern part of the lake. The Ambleside harbor is located about a kilometer outside of town, but our hostel was located right next to the pier.
We stayed at the YHA Ambleside that had an unbeatable view of the lake. There were mainly families staying (youth hostels are very popular for families in both England and Germany - they're not Backpacker Party Hostels, after all), everything was really modern and at 25 Pounds per night for two people, it was a real steal for us. I would definitely recommend it if you're looking for budget lodging in the area.
If you're ever going on a short cruise - and this goes for both lakes and Norwegian fjords - definitely sit on the upper deck, no matter how windy it is. The views are just going to be so much better and your pictures are going to turn out a lot better as well if they're not taken through a window.
We didn't get to spend a lot of time in Bowness and Windermere, but in comparison with Ambleside and Keswick, they seemed like pretty large towns, but not as charming as the other places we visited in the Lake District.
Visiting the Lake District is a great experience, no matter if you visit the Northern or the Southern Lakes - and you should definitely try to make the time for both! The Lake District was the most expensive area we visited in the UK so far (more expensive than both Cornwall and Scotland), but it's well-worth a visit anyway. The landscape is beautiful, there are plenty of things to do and it's fairly easily accessible with public transport if you don't have a car. You won't be disappointed!
HERE IS HOW IT WORKS: