Published: Friday 14th Jul 2017
Written by: Alex Bell
As a long-time Windermerian, at the start of the year I embarked on a new life spending my days experimenting with becoming Langdalian during the days by coming on board with Good Life Lake District Cottages.
Windermere grew up around the train station where the branch off the West Coast Main Line still terminates today, although the grand station building is now occupied by Booths – one of the largest supermarkets inside the Lake District National Park boundary. These are subtle indicators of the slightly more extensive services that Windermere offers to help ease a city dweller into Lake District life!
If you head in from a town or city, you realise that Windermere is surrounded by countryside – the accessible Orrest Head viewpoint to the East and the Lake itself on the west through Bowness-on-Windermere; there are also viewpoints up School Knott in Windermere or in Bowness you can walk to Brantfell, Post Knott and Biskey Howe without worry of getting lost in the wild. From all these places the views of the Lake are supported by the dramatic Langdale Pikes leaping up amongst the peaks of the South and Central Lake District; so close and yet also a clear advert for the more rugged and sparsely populated Langdale valleys.
Up here are the walks that will take you out all day (stopping at a remote a pub for much deserved sustenance!) rewarding you with the remote, rugged and beautifully natural landscapes that’ll make you feel like a real explorer, the small villages that still centre on their local pub – the hub of all local business! Sheep mixing with the people in the villages and on the lanes; it really is a different world, far disconnected from the comparatively metropolitan Windermere!
Every day on my trip to work I’m treated to a new a landscape – one day a crisp and detailed view of distant fells, the next an overcast threatening sky from which those same fells seem to offer me protection and then, even on the wettest and most miserable days as you head into Elterwater the pikes quietly and graciously vanish mysteriously into another world in the sky – more awesome than any skyscraper or monument that men built!
Our offices reflect the histories of their locations – one in a building in Windermere from the time of the first boom in Lake District tourism and the other a traditional stone farm building in Elterwater, so much of which has been spared the obvious modernisation that comes with human visitors (although in our cottages you’ll feel right at home with plenty of mod cons like wifi!) I haven’t even mentioned Ambleside, Clappersgate, Troubeck and all the attractions I pass by on my way each day; the Lake District offers such a variety of experiences for visitors and residents alike, it really is true to say it’s #notjustlakes!