After Edinburgh, we went on more place before heading back to the States -- the Lake District in northern England. I am not sure that we were smart in making these plans. The area was super, super crowded, especially since this is a beautiful area that is popular with British folks vacationing. But now that I have had time to think about it, here are a few reasons why I am glad that we included the Lake District in with our itinerary:
1. Cat Bells: We first heard about this hike via a Rick Steves PBS episode (the clip below also highlights the town we stayed at including "The Dog and Gun," one of the pubs we visited a few times:
And this view is the real deal! After about an hour and half of hiking from the boat launch at the bottom of the climb. you too can make your own seat on the side of the mountain (like Rick Steves is doing!) and enjoy the view below. Just saying this was spectacular is not enough -- it's just amazing (and even cooler when you see British military jets zooming by below you!). Luckily, we had nice weather, met some cool folks, and enjoyed a boat ride as part of this adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed this hike and hope we get to do something like this again soon!
2. The Owl Sanctuary at Muncaster Castle. I love, love, love owls! Here are a few pictures that I took on a delightful day of touring a cool castle (Muncaster Castle has the most haunted castle in the UK apparently) and hanging out with owls! The last picture are wild herons -- the castle feeds them everyday at 4 PM and that was pretty cool to watch!
3. Seeing Dove Cottage, the home of Dorothy Wordsworth (oh, and her brother William!). Amazing! I wanted to see this the last time I went to the Lake District (many years ago) but I was a poor student and couldn't manage the entry. This time I went in! And there was a special exhibit going on of Dorothy's journals so I had a wonderful time (I think Jim was a little on the bored side, though!).
I know I will sound like a poetry geek when I say this but I was just so moved by the whole experience of being there, the very place where these two talented people "did their thang"!
Well, I guess those are the highlights of the trip! Jim and I had a blast driving around Scotland and northern England and I will always think about this trip as a much needed break ... and we have already started thinking about our next adventure!