A Lake District autumn



We spent some time up in the Lake District last week, staying with my parents in a house in Bowness-on-Windermere. It was such a breath of fresh air and felt like a real chance to take a bit of time out as things have been, well, just a little bit hectic lately.

I’ve never stayed in the Lakes before and it was such a great place to explore for a few days. I’ve previously only been to the area for day trips, so to spend a bit longer seeing what was on offer was a real treat. There’s just so much to do for families, from taking a boat trip on Windermere to mooching round the shops and cafes in the surrounding villages like Bowness and Ambleside. If you have older children you could try walking in the fells, younger children would love The World of Beatrix Potter museum.

We spent a brilliant day taking a boat trip from Bowness to Brockhole, which has a brilliant adventure playground, cafe, zip wires and our favourite part – Treetop Nets. The nets stretch between the trees to make giant bouncy trampolines on two levels complete with net tunnels you can climb up or slide down in big plastic sacks. As soon as we saw it, Sam was desperate to go on, and although it was pretty pricey at £16 each we went for it and it was worth every penny.

Family on hols in Bowness

I have to say I was a bit scared at first as when you get up on the nets you are quite high up and have a very good view of the floor below, making you feel a bit on the wobbly side. There were a few moments where I looked at some of the other children on there and said I was a bit concerned about taking the slide, but the looks of disdain on their faces said it all and my pride wouldn’t let me not have a go. They were right, it wasn’t scary at all and just a complete laugh, an experience Sam declared was ‘the ride of his life’ and ‘the best thing he had ever done!’

I was so proud of him when we came off and walked up to meet my mum and dad and Flo. He was absolutely buzzing!

From Brockhole, we got back on the boat and sailed to Ambleside pier, where after a bit of stone skimming and duck feeding, we caught a bus up to the town centre and had a coffee before trying to find a bus to take us back. It was Sunday afternoon and starting to rain, so when we did get a bus going in the right direction we just stayed on it back to Bowness, to save the long wait for the next ferry home.


Treetop Trek Brockhole

The next day we took a trip to Wray Castle, just a few miles from Bowness. The winding road leading up to it led to the most breathtaking view from the top of the hill down to the lake and beyond. We were lucky enough to arrive just in time for a pumpkin carving session, so we had great fun hollowing out and cutting a massive pumpkin between the three of us. Then on to the dressing up room, where the kids could probably have stayed all day if I’d let them, trying on costumes and playing in the little model castle there. Sam quickly made friends with two little girls and it turned out they went to the same school as my nieces and nephew, so we had quite a lot in common with their family! In what was a really lovely coincidence, we ended up spending the afternoon together, checking out the den building and adventure playground in the woods next to the castle and taking a walk down to the lake just before it started getting dark. Hi Lisa and Guy if you’re reading, it was really good to meet you!

We had such a good break, and although the sadness of losing Rog never goes away, I really felt like we had had a nice time as a family and Sam and Flo absolutely loved spending so much time with their granny and grandpa. I did too for that matter. When there are other adults around it really brings it home how much work I have to do on my own, and it’s nice to offload a bit of that every now and again. I know the Lake District is not exactly a hidden gem, but it was for us and it’s now one of my new favourite holiday destinations. Bring on the next trip.

x Julia

Flo boarding the ferry


Pumpkin carving at Wray Castle


Windermere from Brockhole

Sam and Mum

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  • Reply
    A Cornish Mum
    November 3, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    That adventure playground sounds amazing! We’ve never been to the lakes but I’d love to at some point as it looks beautiful.
    Stevie x
    A Cornish Mum recently posted…Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies with CloverMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 3, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    What gorgeous photographs xxxxx

  • Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Your lovely photos are as lovely as your words (two lovely’s, that’s nice)

  • Reply
    Carol Ramsay
    November 4, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    So pleased that you enjoyed yourselves. We stay on Bowness whenever we can, it’s a wonderful place.
    My mum and Dad took us as kids and we take our kids now. Mum and Dad want their ashes sprinkled in the Lake at Brockhole one day. It used to be a convalescent home and my Nan had to stay there in the 1950s for a few months but sent postcards and letters home often to her 6 children. She always spoke about its peace and tranquillity and so Mum and Dad found it and go up regularly now to have a moment thinking of her. It’s been amazing to watch how much it has expanded from the place we knew.

  • Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Sounds like a well deserved, happy break for you all. X

  • Reply
    Hayley (@hayleyfromhome)
    November 4, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    Love your photos, I have such a soft spot for the Lakes. My husband went to uni in Ambleside and every weekend I’d dart off up the motorway to stay with him, he lived just a few yards away from the lake and I would love to go back with the boys soon. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, sounds lovely. The Brockhole thing sounds great, I have a friend who goes with her four year old and he loves it. I bet it was nice for you and Sam to do it together, so much fun. Nice for you to get a bit of breathing space too I bet, parenting always seems that little bit easier somewhere new xxx
    Hayley (@hayleyfromhome) recently posted…A Little Bit Lately #20My Profile

  • Reply
    Lisa Dickie
    November 5, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Hello Julia!
    Well the week in Windermere and the lovely afternoon spent with you at Wray Castle seems ages ago since everyone is back at school and into the usual routine! It was so nice to meet you, and the girls had such a great time dressing up and playing princesses in the tower with Sam and Flo. Great pictures! I haven’t met your sister as yet but I’m sure our paths will cross at some point…. Hope all is well with everyone, Lisa xx

  • Reply
    Windermere Lake Cruises
    November 6, 2015 at 10:35 am

    What a great trip! It looks like you all had fun and made the most of the excellent family attractions around Windermere.

    If anyone else would like to visit Brockhole (home to treetop nets) by boat , you’ll need to get on the Red Cruise from Windermere Lake Cruises. The ticket allows you to break up the journey and get off at each stop, just as Julia did. The Red Cruise goes from Bowness – Brockhole – Ambleside – Bowness and operates every day apart from Christmas Day. In the summer season (Easter to October), you can also get across to Wray Castle by boat on the Green Cruise (Brockhole > Ambleside > Wray Castle >Brockhole).

    Hope this helps anyone in planning their trip around Windermere.

    Thanks again for all the photos Julia, and mentioning us on your blog.

    Windermere Lake Cruises –

  • Reply
    Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely
    November 6, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Gorgeous photos, Julia. I love the Lake District. There and the Highlands, I don’t care if it rains because it’s just so beautiful. Water and hills … and unbeatable combination x
    Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely recently posted…Imaginative interiors for little onesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mini Travellers
    November 7, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    such gorgeous photos, I love that part of the world. My mum took the kids to Wray Castle recently and I really want to go myself. #mycapturedmoment
    Mini Travellers recently posted…Mister Maker Live – #IamAShapeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Polka Dot Family
    November 7, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I’m originally from Cumbria and love seeing all the beautiful photos from Lake Windermere #MyCapturedMoment
    Polka Dot Family recently posted…Changing Faces Week Forty-Five {2015}My Profile

  • Reply
    Christina Meneaud
    November 7, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    I live in Ambleside and found your comments on the Lakes cruises page and my daughter works at Beatrix Potter so that was why I read your review , didn’t know your story but was quite emotional after reading more , good luck to you and your family x

  • Reply
    Heledd - Running in Lavender
    November 9, 2015 at 12:08 am

    What a beautiful virtual post card from the Lake District. I’ve never actually been to that part of the UK but you’ve really tempted me. I absolutely love Beatrix Potter and those nets sounds amazing, I know Lili would love them. Thank you so much for linking up to #MyCaptuedMoment xx
    Heledd – Running in Lavender recently posted…Things I’m Loving Lately {October}My Profile

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