I have always wanted to make a spontaneous getaway. Over the past years, we have met a number of guests who have done just that. They telephone at the last minute to check availability, price and suitability to their needs, and book if they like what we have to offer. Last minute bookings are often made within days or hours of arrival – and I think it must be fun to have such flexibility.
However, I think I must have been hardwired from birth never to make spontaneous getaways. As a child and young teenager, I relied on my parents to take me on holiday. This always involved much planning and holidays always took place in December. When I was a student in my late teens to mid-twenties, I was more concerned about meeting essay deadlines and working on my theses whilst simultaneously working in order to help pay for my education. Thus, there was never any moment when I could simply pack my bag and just go.
Then, when I got married and had kids, holidays were, as per usual, planned to the last detail. We had to fit them in with school terms and work schedules. We always booked our accommodation in advance because we could not leave it to chance with two kids in tow. And when our family expanded to included the four-legged variety, we had to book the kennels in advance for each little breakaway, whether it was to be a weekend or a fortnight.
When I think back now, I wish I had had the gumption to just up and go when I was still in my late teens and twenties, before marriage and the kids came along. However, Mum and Dad had brought me up to be responsible, so work always came first. Moreover, I was a poor student at that time, relying mainly on my parents’ largesse, which made me feel guilty about spending their money willy nilly.
Then, when Hubby and I moved to Howgate and set up home in a cottage tucked away in this (then) tiny hamlet, we felt like we had arrived in the most delicious setting of green fields and low rolling hills. The scenery from our back garden was so stunning, we felt like we were on holiday all the time. In the winter, with a thick blanket of snow covering the roads and everything else around, the feeling I got was always one of being cocooned in a timeless and benign environment.
Of course, now that we run a guest house in Bowness-on-Windermere, it is nigh on impossible for us to make any kind of spontaneous breakaway. We now have to plan our breaks with military precision, taking into account any travel delays that might affect our duties at the guest house. I remember vividly our dismay when weather conditions in the UK meant that our return flight to Manchester from Malta was cancelled. We had guests due to arrive at the guest house two days hence, and our dogs were in kennels, waiting to be picked up. In a last ditch attempt to return to the UK, we paid for new tickets routing us to Edinburgh. We then took the train from Edinburgh back to Windermere, finally arriving back in Bowness approximately 18 hours after leaving Malta.
Since then, we have always made sure that we leave more than enough time to get from A to B. Thus, making quick last minute decisions to get on a plane and fly to never never land will never be an alternative. My dream, however, is not to fly off into the sunset, but to take off with Hubby on a week-long driving tour of the UK, perhaps with dog in tow, and simply to trundle along until we find a likely place to stop for the night. Now, that would be spontaneous indeed!
Meanwhile, let me end this post by saying that we do enjoy welcoming people to Blenheim Lodge on both planned and last minute breaks. We are tucked away from the main streets so it is not easy to find us unless you know where we are already. Thus for holiday makers who wish to drive around and book on the spot, Blenheim Lodge might not be easy to locate. However, if you take our phone number with you, then you could always ring us first for directions. This might involve a tiny bit of planning, but I think it still qualifies as a spontaneous break, don’t you?
‘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.’
Visit our website: www.blenheim-lodge.com
Phone: 00 44 (0)15394 43440