This weekend we headed up to Ambleside in the Lake District to get out of London and do some walking. Tim and I took the opportunity to ride up, leaving after work on Thursday to travel to Leicester, and then through the Peak District and up to Ambleside on the Friday. Tim had hired himself a Triumph Bonneville, I had the trusty bumble-beemer, and from Leicester we had a sunny ride through the Peak District taking all the minor roads we could. Stopping in Bakewell for a pudding and a look around we were then back on the bikes out to the motorway before turning off to wander the side of Lake Windermere before arriving at Ambleside.

The ladies had taken the quiet comfort of the train from Euston on Friday morning, arriving just after lunch.

We were staying again at The Old Vicarage, where we spend a night on the way up to Scotland last year, and it is great. Very friendly, very clean and ideally located.

It was going to be a pretty relaxed weekend so the first port of call after arriving at Ambleside was to head down to a pub right on Lake Windermere for a couple of pints. Dinner was at Matthew’s Bistro where all the food was great.

Saturday was the first day of walking, and the first track was around Loughrigg Fell. The start was a bit ambiguous so we made our way into town to the starting point before heading off. Morale of the story here is check the route before starting off as we just walked back past our hotel again as part of the route.

About 10.5km all up with some great scenery all the way around, but particularly when you come to overlook Rydal Water. Also the discovery of a nice little tea room a few km’s from home was a winner. Cups of tea and scones with jam and cream were just the thing, and oh so very English!

After the walk it was back to the pub again and this night we were doing a take away option from the local Thai restaurant and eating at the B&B. Lots of food, lots of drink and trivial pursuit took us into the early hours with Tim and Bettina securing victory before heading to bed.

Slower start on Sunday, but the full English breakfast had us ready for a bigger walk. This time is was a 14km walk to Red Screes. Straight out of the blocks with a belly fully of breakfast we were going up, up, up. The first half of the route had a pretty long steep climbs in it, but we weren’t in a rush so we could take out time and enjoy the scenery. We had some nice stops beside the river in the bottom of the valley as well as on the steep sections. We worked our way right to the top before the return half of the loop. The final stages took us along the tops of the hills before dropping back down into Ambleside. While the walk up was hard going, the walk down was a killer on the ankles and knees.

After the walk we took the opportunity to soak the weary limbs in the pool and hot tub at the B&B before heading out for dinner. Again a great meal, this time at Sheila’s. Doesn’t sound any more Australian than that.

Monday was the ride home for Tim and I, with the ladies taking the return train in the afternoon. We headed off straight after breakfast to make a day of it, and enjoy the countryside in Yorkshire and Derbyshire. From Ambleside, we headed out of the Lakes, across the Yorkshire Dales and down through the Peak District before joining the M1 back to London. We had a great ride through changing countryside before getting back to the motorway. Managed to find a pub that sold the biggest portion of fish and chips you could ever need. The first one arrived and we assumed they had joined our orders together on the same platter (yes, platter), but they hadn’t and another was on its way. They also had a very interesting selection of beers.

All up we did about 10 hours of riding on the Monday and boy was I happy for a lie down by the time I got home.

Here are some photos of the weekend as well as the route we took on the bikes.