Summer is finally here! Well, that's what I hope to be at least. Once you live in England, you realized that the English weather has its own rules about the weather. I completed my second semester exams and thought that it would be a great idea to explore another part of the UK that I have been wanting to visit for ages.
I decided to go on a short trip to the Lake District. Now, before you get confused, Lake District and the Peak District are totally different things. Both are national parks in England but what differentiates them is that the type of nature and scenery they offer. I have never been a hiker or an outdoor climber, so I found myself pretty limited in exploring the Peak District. On the other hand, if you are a walker - likes walking up mountains and hills to see beautiful sceneries, then Lake District is definitely the place to go.
However, the Lake District is a really famous tourist area and it can be expensive to stay at hotels. I stayed at a host's place using Airbnb. I highly recommend this (if you're comfortable in living at someone's house) because it saves cost and you can get personal tips from your host on where is the cheapest place to eat! It was great not falling into those tourist traps.
Before I go into more details, let me tell you from my experience what you should and should not bring or do.
These are a few tips if you are deciding to visit the Lake District:
1. The weather is unpredictable.
Mother nature can unleash her wrath any moment and then, showing its glorious rays a minute later. I made the foolish mistake of not packing a poncho or a rain jacket because I took the weather for granted. While I was high up in the mountain, it began to rain heavily!! The very next day, I purchased a poncho from a local store even though the weather forecast stated it would not rain. Guess what? Yep, it rained.
2. Budget, budget.
Lake District is an expensive area due to its high popularity amongst tourists. Everyone has their own preference and style when it comes to travel. But if your style is like mine: budget and student friendly travel, then hear me out. Don't stay at hotels or cottages; these will cost you far too much. Instead, search for local b&bs or try the Airbnb websites.
And like all budget holidays, you need to plan ahead and book in advance. I got a fairly reasonable place because I booked a month before I travelled. I'm pretty sure I missed out on more budget places because I did not book in advance enough. So do your research carefully, know which area is the cheapest to live and book in advance. Sometimes it pays to stay a bit further than staying right in the heart of the city.
3. Research and Plan.
Great! Now you have a place to stay, what next? Plan at least for the first two days of your trip. This will give you a rough idea of what you want to do and to do the appropriate planning.
In the Lake District, the best way to travel is by bus - and it is not exactly cheap but it is the cheapest mode of transport. If you are going to do a lot of travelling and sightseeing on that day, your best value would be to purchase an Explorer Zone Ticket which cost £10.80 or a Central Zone Ticket which cost £8.50 (I think)? Don't take my word for it, as prices can change! And depending on which zone you are in, you can only purchase or use a certain ticket. So please keep this in mind.
4. Make the most out of it.
Whenever I travel, my goal is to make the most out of the trip because I may not visit that place again. This does not mean tiring yourself out, but rather, having the motivation and excitement to try and see new things.
The company you choose to go with matters a lot. I was lucky to have a really great company who understood my whininess from time to time and kept up with my pace, when I felt I needed break from climbing. And that made all the difference.
That's me. Hi.
An interesting fact: It got so foggy that we could not see where we were heading at first. Thank god for this sign post that climbers and guides put up!
It was a magnificent view.
It was about to rain, but I was prepared this time!
This was one of my favourite views. The view of the lake was just breathtaking.
And this too.
I hope this gives you an encouragement to visit the Lake District. The best way to explore is by foot. You can't imagine the amount of trails I walked and discovered, and it was honestly one of the best travel experiences I had. The beauty of the nature gave this sense of serendipity; I am definitely returning back here to conquer more mountains and hills!
International Office Ambassador for Malaysia