I am a poor traveller, as I suffer from motion sickness. I used to take travel sickness pills as a young girl, and my first taste of airplane travel involved my sitting as upright as possible in my seat with the air nozzle blowing freezing cold air hard onto my face in order to counteract my nausea. I have since improved, but will still seek my bunk or seat when sailing or cruising whilst fighting a heaving stomach. I am, of course, an amazing passenger seat driver whenever we drive along elevated and narrow windy roads, alternately gasping with sheer terror as my husband edges a steep drop whilst telling him in the next breath that he must stop so that my insides can feel better again. The travel sickness can hit any time, whether I am travelling the motorway, a village street or a narrow pass. It all depends on the vehicle I am sitting in and the condition of the road.
The Lake District is of course crisscrossed by lovely narrow roads which beckon one to explore. I remember taking relatives and friends along one of my husband’s favourite drives – the Kirkstone Pass. This is the Lake District’s highest pass open to motor traffic. Accessing it from our guest house in Bowness-on-Windermere seems easy enough to begin with. True, the roads are not wide, but then they do not share some of the sheer drops which the Kirkstone Pass encompasses.
It is only a 5-minute ride from Blenheim Lodge to the Kirkstone Pass when accessing it from Troutbeck. Another entrance to the Pass may be found 15 minutes north at Ambleside, where a sign warning about the dangers of travelling the Pass in winter greets the unwary driver as soon as s/he crosses over a small brow at the top of a steep incline. The narrowness of the road makes it nigh impossible to turn around.
Despite my stomach’s inability to travel comfortably, I do enjoy touring the Lakes. I remember a cold but sunny day out with Hubby, traversing the little lanes of the Langdale Valley. I was much struck by how picturesque the area is, especially with small communities of traditional Lakeland homes and buildings dotting the landscape. This is what I like about exploring the Lake District’s byways: they usually traverse beautiful countryside and lead into small towns, villages and hamlets that are so picture perfect I wish I were an excellent artist or photographer able to record their form for all posterity.
One thing I have noticed about the Lake District is that the most unprepossessing opening by the wayside can lead to delightful vistas when one is least expecting it. A classic example, I suppose, is to take the footpath next to the busy A591 trunk road. As one steps onto the path, all one will hear to begin with is the drone of often heavy traffic. However, the trek soon joins a woodland walk that takes one up to Orrest Head, from which there are spectacular views over lake and mountains.
The Lake District National Park holds many lovely scenic secrets within its 885 square miles. I have lost count of the innumerable walks and viewpoints – both well and lesser known – from which photographers and artists have captured some of the most stunning shots of Lakeland scenery. Most everywhere, it seems, is a good place to walk a little or a lot as the case may be; and practically every spot seems to be a vantage point for incredible views or interesting natural features.
As Hubby and I travel the byways of the Lakes, we have learnt to scout out tiny roads that most tourists and locals might ignore. Our tiny store of experience has taught us that there is more to see than the main tourist areas; and our curiosity impels us to go forward and gently explore, all things being safe. Thus far we have found some lovely little spots that I never knew existed. I am sure we will discover many more given the opportunity and in time to come.
Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’