Image Credit: Chloe Roberts
At the end of week four, I visited the Lake District with the Outdoor Society. We stayed two days and nights at a youth hostel in Buttermere, a small village located between the two beautiful lakes of Buttermere and Crummock Water. The scenery of the lakes, which are surrounded by peaks, was stunning, and no two views were the same. From York, it takes three and a half hours to drive to Buttermere, but once you’ve entered the National Park of the Lake District, the scenery and landscape distracts you from the long journey.
We travelled through places such as Cockermouth, Keswick, Borrowdale, and even drove along the Honister Pass. You can also get a train from York to Keswick, the only train station in the Lake District, costing around £30-40 return.
Staying in Buttermere allows the option to do low level lake walking; the lakes were clear and tranquil, while the surrounding forest was full of life with waterfalls, rustling trees, and even sightings of red squirrels! Buttermere also allows you to explore some peaks such as Haystacks, Dale Head, Robinson, and Grasmoor. These peaks range from 597 metres to 753 metres, which can be a challenging ascent but well worth it for the views you finally encounter.
However, for those who are not as confident in their walking abilities, but would still like to experience these stunning views, Haystacks is a must. This summit is the favourite of the influential guidebook author, Alfred Wainwright. This peak is slightly lower than its surrounding peaks, however it allows a great view of all of them. You also get a breathtaking view of the two lakes below, and when we summitted Haystacks, we could see Scotland and the Irish Sea.
Buttermere is a small village, however there were two pubs, one tea room, a hotel (if you do not want to stay in a hostel) and a YHA hostel, which is cheap and affordable, especially for university students.
However, when arranging a trip here, ensure that your transport is planned in advance, which we unfortunately learned the hard way! At the end of our trip the society had a problem with the coach company. On Sunday morning, we were getting the coach back at 1pm, so we ended the weekend with a lovely pub lunch and were all ready to go home. However, after waiting for the coach for over 40 minutes, the transport officer called the company to make sure a coach was actually coming to pick us up. It wasn’t. Our request for a coach was not processed through the coach company, even though a large amount of money was taken out of the society’s account. As a result, the company sent out a coach from York to meet us halfway, and also sent out a local coach to pick us up at Buttermere, however this was going to take over an hour to arrive.
So, this was an excellent opportunity to discover what else the Lake District has to offer. At this point it was a choice between the tea room or the pub. Guess which one I picked? We waited at the pub until the coach picked us up at 4pm (only three hours too late) and we were on our way back home.
The words beautiful, stunning, tranquil, and breathtaking all describe the pleasant scenery of the lakes, and despite being synonyms of each other (yes, I am an English student) they really emphasise the beauty of this rural national park. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone as it is accessible to visit, just a short distance from York and a place you will never forget. So put down your books and give yourself some fresh air.