Lesser known places and spaces can be the absolute best. Now I’m not about to divulge my experiences from my secret trip to outer Mongolia, but I am sharing my favourite *kinda* off the beaten track spots in the Lakes. Same thing. Towns like Windermere, Ambleside and Bowness are teeming with people all year round, and of course they’re fun in their own way. Today I thought I’d share others that aren’t quite so busy, whilst still being accessible to park up and enjoy a flask of coffee. Lots of nostalgia for me too!
During our mini getaway the plan had been a whistlestop tour of these places, with Monk Coniston was number 1 on our list. We’ve chilled there, shot there, drank our coffee there loads of times before and always loved it, and yet it’s nearly always really quiet.
Emphasis on nearly.
Of all the days, this turned out to be the one where 3000 runners passed through Monk Coniston on a charity walk. Hadn’t planned for that one! The entire shore path was lined with flourescent tabards and as for parking spaces? Lol nope. No access to our fave jetty. </3 So in lieu of a recent shot, here’s one from January…
And 2004, because why not go to town on notstalgia.
Nailed the blogger pose young.
Whilst Monk Coniston looks like any other jetty/shoreline, it’s been our long time fave for several reasons. You’d think that being called The Lakes, and containing 16 lakes, it’d be pretty easy to access the lake shore in the Lake District wouldn’t you? Not quite as easy as you’d think sometimes! Well, to find a secluded-ish spot without a requiring a long-ish walk, anyway. Enter this little gem, with car park, public toilets, plenty shoreline to set up your camping chairs and flask of coffee, and views that don’t hurt either. Coniston in generally quieter than Windermere, so if you’re after easy shoreline access with space to skim your stones and wander, I’d recommend. Jump in the lake like I did too, if that floats your boat!
Warning: one minute you will be in shorts and a bikini absolutely fine. Next you’ll be shivering like this.
The Kirkstone Pass Inn absolutely 100% definitely had to feature on my list. It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere – on the summit of the Kirkstone Pass, surprisingly. Highest road (open to traffic) in the Lake District… fun fact for you there! The dogs are the reason it’s on my list though. Yep, the dogs. 😀 😀 😀 Said middle-of-nowhere location makes it a perfect base for the search and rescue team to train, and they regularly pop along with the team of doggies. Many memories of cosy nights in the pub, chatting to the team, hearing their rescue stories, and petting the dogs.
Reality of Lake District travel: if you don’t get stuck behind a tractor at least once, then you’re something special. Countryside life!
Next on the list is Staveley, as illustrated by a bacon buttie. We stayed in Staveley for a week last summer and have stopped by every time we’ve been in the Lakes since. It’s the kind of village you’d just cruise past if you didn’t know what’s there, but it’s well worth the pitstop! In addition the quaint cottages, riverside pub and general ‘happy little village’ vibe, Staveley Mill Yard is home to a bunch of cafes, artist workshops, outdoor stores, a brewery… I could go on. But… food. Ahh this Bakery is so good! More? Artisan Bakery, home of the best bread in all the land. Many foodie memories of Staveley.
Still a fan of the livelier evenings and heading for cocktails and peoplewatching in Bowness. 😀 I’d love to hear if any of you have visited the Lakes or have similar favourite quiet spots!
lily kate x