Walking in the English Lakes

Today we had a visit from Jeff, CEO of Best Loved Hotels. Blenheim Lodge has been with Best Loved Hotels (www.bestloved.com/hotels/hotel-blenheim-lodge-in-bowness-on-windermere-cumbria-the-north-england-uk.php) since being signed up about 5 years ago. The editor came to visit and did a write-up about us for their website. Best Loved Hotels chooses the accommodation they advertise very carefully, and accommodation providers do not get to write their own descriptions for their website, although we do get to check that facts are correct. This same policy is espoused by the AA, which correctly inspects Blenheim Lodge without first giving notice on an annual basis. (The AA has rated Blenheim Lodge with 4 stars for all the time we have been in residence at our B&B.)

A view of yachts bobbing about Lake Windermere from our lounge windows

A picture perfect view taken from our lounge at Blenheim Lodge: yachts bobbing on the waters of Lake Windermere with Old Bowness village in the foreground and snow-capped mountains in the background.

Well, Jeff arrived and I showed him to our lounge, where he was simply vowed by the views of Lake Windermere and the tranquillity of our location – there was not a sound to be heard! We got to talking about living in the Lakes, and he asked me whether I went walking very much. Unfortunately, the answer is ‘not as often as I would like to do’. However, talking with Jeff about walking got me thinking of one walk I did with my mum, sister, and two guests from Canada who were on their 4th visit with us that year.

At that time, Mum, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, was still able to walk mostly unaided and was still quite capable of getting enjoyment from a day out in beautiful countryside. My sis loves walking and drove us to Elterwater, where we also took along with us John and Grace, both of whom are elderly. At that time, Grace was just beginning to show signs of Alzheimer’s too, and John is almost blind. (By the way, many of John’s photos can be seen on our website’s ‘Rooms’ page: www.blenheim-lodge.com/rooms.php. Despite his inability to see properly, he is an avid photographer.)

Beautiful Elterwater, with the Langdale Pikes in the background. The Langdale Pikes can also be viewed from several of our bedrooms at Blenheim Lodge. This is one of my favourite lakes because it was the last one to which I walked - but never quite reached - withMum, who had mild to moderate Alzheimer's at that time, but who now has succumbed to severe Alzheimer's, so much so that she is unable to recognise her own children. (Photo courtesy of www.cumbriaphoto.co.uk.)

Well, it was a jolly group that made our way to Elterwater, where there is a lovely and easy walk from the car park towards the Lake. It was rather drizzly that day, and my sis and I were conscious that we should tread carefully as we did not want Mum or our B&B guests to trip and fall while walking. Suffice to say that they all did well, but when it started to become rather puddly, we thought that we should turn back. Visit Cumbria tells us that ‘Elterwater is a small lake that lies half a mile (800 m) south-east of the village of the same name. Both are situated in valley of Great Langdale.’  (www.visitcumbria.com/amb/elterwater.htm)

Elterwater is only 20 minutes’ drive from Blenheim Lodge, and one meanders through some pretty countryside lanes to get there. As one enters the walk to the lake, there is a little bridge, to the side of which is some rough water. We enjoyed seeing people trying to paddle up the little rapids. I have to admit, though, that I would not have wanted to try it myself as it looked very very cold and wet!

Once through the incline that leads to the more level walk that we took, it was plain sailing. We found picturesque countryside dotted with sheep and mountains in the background. There were a couple of benches here and there for anyone who wanted to rest their legs. Meanwhile, John shot picture after picture with gusto.

The walk was a success and it is so good now to think back to that time, especially as two members of that walk now suffer terribly from Alzheimer’s and do not even recall the names of those they love, much less remember the joy they took in the walk we shared.  We all returned to Blenheim Lodge after a couple of hours out enjoying some fresh air – and felt the better for it! As I write this now, I wish I could go walking at Elterwater some time again soon. For some information about walking at Elterwater, do take a look at this website, www.walkingenglishman.com/lakes13.htm, which is a personal account of a walk from Elterwater to Skelwith Bridge.

A photo to whet one's appetite for exploring the English Lakes. This is Colwith Force, near Ambleside and not far from Blenheim Lodge. (Photo courtesy of www.visitcumbria.com/amb/colwith-force.htm.)

‘Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’

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