English Weekends: The Lake District

This past weekend, I traveled to one of England’s natural scenes: the living Lake District. The town our group visited was Windermere, home of England’s largest lake. This, of course, lends to a beauty beyond measure even with the hallmark grey and gloomy English sky looming above. I must say, however, that we were very, very lucky… The temperature was 50 degrees (F)! Just right for a day spent wandering around the beaten footpaths around the lake and through the fields, into the cozy English town just up the hill with winding side streets and small shops, ice cream parlors, and boutiques. Highlights of my day include stumbling upon a Beatrix Potter attraction (and the kind gentleman collecting donations for… Owls! Four of them sat out just waiting to be loved on, questioned about, and pet, all of which I engaged in.

After seeing all I could by foot, I wandered into a tourist center where an informational video was playing so I took a seat and learned a bit to share with you all:

  • As I mentioned, Windermere is England’s largest lake at 10.5 miles in distance. It is well known for its steamboats and tourist trips on the waters. In fact, the cruises are the number one source of tourism and possibly even the economy. However, there were originally protests against the steamboats, worried for the health of the natural beauty.
  • The Lake District contains 27 miles of coastline! This brings about 12 million visitors annually which unfortunately has caused a lot of damage to the terrain which environmentalists are in the process of trying to save.
  • Jennings’ Pub is known for processing beer from the lake water. Apparently, it’s a big hit!
  • Similar to the situation in Scotland, sheep hearding is one of the great English traditions… But in reality, sheep often become “heafed” or territorial meaning that hearding isn’t exactly necessary as they fail to wander in the first place.

Oh, and to keep in line with my highlights on Scotland, let’s talk about The Company and The Reminders…

The Company: I went through my university’s Give It A Go program which provided transportation by coach. I wandered on my own.

The Reminder: A Beatrix Potter book! The Tale of Peter Rabbit. I read a suggestion online for souvenirs that literature by English authors actually printed right here be purchased and I adored the idea.

And to add to the mix…

The Bites: Now we didn’t try anything Scottish though we meant to go for some haggis so I thought I’d try something new to me here. Like I said before, the littlest things that we don’t have in the US fascinate me. Anyway, the bite of the day? Mint cake! It originates in Cumbria. When I first grabbed a bar from the stand and asked the lady working at the counter about it, she offered me to try a piece which I, of course, agreed to and explained to me that it was used by the Walkers for energy and a sugar boost of sorts to stay alert. I wasn’t a fan on the plain white type, but I did pick out a nice chocolate covered bar of it for one pound. Similar to a York mint that way, but the texture is that of pure crystallized sugar. Mmm.

Here’s to another week back in the school groove and a hopeful future week away.

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About Toni Lupro

"I've got a plan, I've got an atlas in my hands."

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