The Lake District. It has been a home away from home for a long time now. M and I have some beautiful memories from our time spent wandering the fells.
We have long wanted to take our son for a visit and share this love with him. It was last summer (yes, it has taken me over a year to write this long over-due post) and J had been kitted out in a pair of handsome walking boots and waterproof jacket. He was all set for his first adventure in The Lake District.
We spent a week in Bowness-on-Windermere, a bustling tourist town on the eastern shores of Lake Windermere in the southern Lakes. We had rented a self-catering accommodation a stone’s throw from the centre of town and a short walk away from the lake. Our reward was spectacular views to the lake from the upstairs window.
The entire week was spent doing what we love best as a family – walking, exploring, having lots of adventures and eating delicious local food. It was a holiday of firsts for J for a lot of reasons and not just because it was his first visit to The Lakes.
It was the first time he sat skimming pebbles on the lake shore, his feet carefully tucked under him so he wouldn’t get his shoes wet.
It was the first time he scrambled up a rock and stood proud, taller than his Aai and Baba. It was the first time he dipped his toes in the cool waters of Lake Windermere. It was the first time he waded in and splashed in The Lakes.
It was the first time he wielded a little fishing net. He caught tiny fish and then let them slip back into the water, the shimmering silver of the water fading in the gleam of delight lighting up his little face.
It was the first time he saw a stream, a babbling brook. It was the first time he let loose and ran ahead of his parents, clambering down a rocky path to stand and gaze at the water as it gurgled past him.
It was the first time I have seen such abundant, uninhibited joy on my son’s face. The first time he discovered the exhilaration that comes with a successful ramble. His tough little legs belied his age as he climbed 629 feet to the top of Brant Fell.
And followed it up the next day with a circular walk to Loughrigg Terrace from the picturesque village of Grasmere.
It was his first time eating Kendal mint cake and Grasmere gingerbread.
It was his first time sailing, first in one of the large cruise boats that sail all day on the lake. And then in a little traditional wooden launch that took us from Ambleside to Wray Castle and the quieter western shore of the lake.
A memorable week it was then, when we went on holiday in The Lakes as a family of three.