6.25.09 Arrive- York, England to Lake District

windemere Travel Blog

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Hike through the pasture

6.25.09    Arrive- York, England to Lake District

 

The 6 am ferry wake-up announcement came early.  Really it was 7am our time, but we snagged our coffee/tea/hot chocolate delivery and promptly went back to sleep.  Only the Captain’s announcement of an early arrival got us up. 

 

We really enjoyed the ferry, although it always seems way too short.  By the time you enjoy the sailaway sunset “Come sail away, comes sail away…” and log onto the rare internet in the bar, it’s time for rocking to sleep with the gentle waves, then awaken and off.

Charles climbing the fence right before he got caught
  The kids enjoyed the ball pit play area immensely.

 

“Drive on the Left,”  we reminded ourselves as we drove off the boat in Hull.  A nice lady at the drive-thru immigration booth stamped our passports.  Then at 8am we drove in bonnie, bonnie, busy England to York. 

 

The roads were busy and usually 2-lane, so it took about 1.5 hours to get to York.  We parked at the Park & Ride, where a sign requested the campervans “check in at the office.”  So the nice attendant unlocked the gate for a special motorhome lot and helped us park.  He was from Dublin and jokingly asked if we were giving Irish people a bad name, which was hysterical because we sing this Bon Jovi song whenever we (frequently) mess up while driving called “We give Ireland a bad name!”  Ha! 

 

RV’ers Tip:  Park & Rides are RV’ers best friends.

Lake District National Park
  They are located outside of cities, usually ringing them in all directions, offer plenty of free parking, and the bus comes right there frequently.  If you’re not staying at a campground in that city and you want to visit it, look for the bus parking signs or find the Park & Rides.  Usually the GPS has them listed.

 

York was a delightful town and very walkable.  It is a popular medieval town that was awarded 2007 Tourist Town of the Year.  We hiked onto the old town wall which rings much of it and enjoyed the entertaining info boards about whose head was spiked there on display, etc.  There’s a museum that could explain it all, actually several museums in town, lots of stores, a huge cathedral (2nd largest Gothic cathedral north of the Alps), tea shops, an outdoor market, and leaning very old buildings. 

 

People come there to holiday for a week at a time.

Lake District National Park
  It was bustling with tourists from England, people were very nice, and we really enjoyed pretty York.  It is definitely a place I’d like to return with Ned.

 

But a tourist town is a tourist town and our mission is not to relax but to explore.  So we headed out to see more of the north of England.

 

Lake District National Park was our goal.  It took maybe 4 hours to get to Windemere.  The final GPS-inspired road was so tiny that at times I had to stop Sugar to let another car pass.  As I headed North through the Lake District, we were always up against the tall hedges that encroach on our lane.

Lake District National Park
  I just will not take Sugar through scraping trees, so it can get a little stressful trying to maneuver and get over so lines of vehicles behind me can zoom on. 

 

But the scenery was incredible:  the stone walls, rolling green hills of tall grasses, pasturelands of sheep and horses, tiny stone cottages, tall purple foxgloves, and trees so thick that we’d remove sunglasses to see. 

 

Lake Windemere is extremely popular too for tourists because it is such a picturesque town with a gorgeous long lake and significant boat dock.  The town was hopping on this gorgeous sunny day of perfect temperature and soft breezes.  Sugar wiggled through and we found the campground.

 

The campground was full!  Blah!  No overflow parking, reports of the other campground being full, but the nice Caravan Club lady gave us directions for 2 other campgrounds 3 miles away.

English countryside

 

Continuing on the only road headed south from Windemere, we found Hill of Oak campground.  We parked at the top before traversing a long winding road.  It turned out to be nearly half a mile in there, which was a nice walk along pastureland and then the lake.

 

A sign on the door indicated 4 sites were open, so we found one and the girls held it while Charles and I hiked back.

 

But we took a little shortcut… up the “Squirrel Trail,” which was aptly named as we scampered through the woods up the hill.  Then we took the “Farm Trail” and lost our path.  We ended up crossing the pasture, under a fence wire, over a log, up more hills, scaring a sheep, arousing interest by 2 horses, and then over the fence, whereupon Charles got caught by the campground owner who was just driving down the road!  Ha!

 

“Free Access” is a wonderful law in England!  It means that land is available so walkers can roam the hills.

English countryside
  Every year they have a massive “Trespass” day so that every trail is walked at least one time a year, which is the requirement to keep the paths open.  Owners who lock up gates or otherwise block access get reprimanded and so this delightful idea allows us to go exploring.  So really getting caught is not the same as facing the trespassing charges that you would in the U.S.

 

Anyway, we explained the marked paths from the campground that we’d attempted to follow and that we were returning to Site 24 with the campervan that she’d just passed parked up the hill, so she kindly bid us good day and asked that we just sign in at the office in the morning. 

 

Later the next day, when pressed, she admitted that when a gate is tied in a complicated manner, it’s probably a sign that you missed the path.  Gates are special swing kinds (swing it forward, walk through, swing it back- like a U so an animal cannot get through) when they are part of the pathway.

English countryside
  But she certainly wasn’t admonishing us for wandering through the pasture and jumping over the gate.

 

Hill of Oak Campground was lovely, with huge spaces and lots of trees.  I was surprised to awaken and not see another RV right beside me this morning!  We had no idea of the cost and could not believe when we paid this morning that it was only 15 Pounds!  It was right on Lake Windemere and we highly recommend it.  We could have enjoyed a week in this peaceful place, particularly if we’d had a boat with us to use their entry point.

 

It was a scrounge-the-fridge dinner and to bed after a long day!

 

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Hike through the pasture
Hike through the pasture
Charles climbing the fence right b…
Charles climbing the fence right …
Lake District National Park
Lake District National Park
Lake District National Park
Lake District National Park
Lake District National Park
Lake District National Park
English countryside
English countryside
English countryside
English countryside
English countryside
English countryside
English countryside
English countryside
Hull ferry port
Hull ferry port
Ball pit fun on ferry to Hull
Ball pit fun on ferry to Hull
English countryside
English countryside
English countryside
English countryside
English countryside
English countryside
English countryside
English countryside
English countryside
English countryside
York
York
York
York
York
York
York
York
York
York
York
York
York
York
York
York
York
York
House we bought for Ned!
House we bought for Ned!
York
York
York- thought Jazys friend would …
York- thought Jazy's friend would…
York
York
York Gate grisly info
York Gate grisly info
York wall -steps up
York wall -steps up
York
York
York- walking the wall
York- walking the wall
York- walking the wall
York- walking the wall
York- walking the wall
York- walking the wall
York- walking the wall
York- walking the wall
York- walking the wall
York- walking the wall
York- walking the wall
York- walking the wall
York- walking the wall
York- walking the wall
York- walking the wall
York- walking the wall
York- walking the wall
York- walking the wall
York cathedral
York cathedral
York cathedral
York cathedral
York cathedral
York cathedral
York cathedral
York cathedral
York
York
York- shortest road
York- shortest road
York- shortest road
York- shortest road
English countryside
English countryside
Hay truck driving through towns in…
Hay truck driving through towns i…
What are these?
What are these?
Big hills in the English Countrysi…
Big hills in the English Countrys…
English Countryside
English Countryside
English Countryside
English Countryside
English Countryside
English Countryside
Tea time!
Tea time!
English Countryside
English Countryside
Windemere
Windemere
Windemere
Windemere
windemere
photo by: TessaHill