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Boat at the dock

Autumn half-term is always busy in the Lakes, and this week the autumn colour was great – golden leaves on the trees and some dramatic skies.

We always get a bit of rain too, but that’s about right for the Lakes and if you wrap up warm, you can stll get yourself out and about.

We’d planned a photoshoot around the Windermere area, to gather some pictures for our new website which is going live before Christmas.   We went out with Mark Gilligan of Wastwater Photography who is quite well known around these parts, and is an award-winning photographer.   Jen, one of the Lake District Lodge Holidays team had offered to be our ‘real’ model for the day, and turned out to be a bit of a natural.

The day was set fair for working outside, enjoying the views and having some fun. Typical photographer – he doesn’t like having his pic taken, so here he is in action.

Jen – as well as being part of our customer service team, happens to have done all the Wainwrights during her young life – putting us all to shame! So her knowledge and experience of the Lakes is fantastic – if you ring us for booking advice she’ll also give you lots of ideas for great walks! Only a small or ‘lesser’ Wainwright today: Gummer’s How. But we had a bit more of a low key day, messing about on boats, walks by the lake shore and a quick view point.

My job was to provide ample food, water and coffee, and a bit of art direction and wardrobe management thrown in. e.g. ‘look that way, look over there, get that view in, smile, don’t smile’, and equipment support for Mark …. a tough job but someone had to do it.

The weather was dry, a bit chilly and with some dramatic clouds. Sadly no sunshine as we started off. But we are grateful for dry weather in the Lakes, and it was nice and calm too, so no wind issues.

We set off at the boat landings at Bowness, thanks to our friends at Windermere Lake Cruises who had set us up to go out on the 11.10am sailing – a lovely ride up the lake to Ambleside, and a chance to take in the autumn colour on both sides.

We sailed past Fallbarrow & White Cross Bay Parks, both of whom have some of our lodges and it was great to see them from this side of the water for a change.  Makes you realise too, what a cracking location they both are for any guests who crave being near the water’s edge, and within walking distance of the buzz of Bowness or Windermere villages.

We alighted at Ambleside -Waterhead –  and took a few more pics, then it was definitely time for coffee at the little coffee bar on the shoreline at Waterhead Coffee Shop.

Warm and cosy and excellent coffees, hot chocolates and cakes! Their blueberry scones and choc-dipped icecreams are something else…

Back to work, and the sun began to come out as we sat on the shoreline, watching the swans, the geese, and enjoying the warmth of the colours of the traditional wooden rowing boats. There were lots of visitors about too, enjoying the autumn sunshine, as it was half term. We hopped back onto the boat again and headed back south.

Next stop was a drive down the Newby Bridge Road, almost to Fell Foot and then a left turn up the hill to the Gummer’s How car park.

Gummer’s How is a fabulous viewpoint, easy to access and one to take the older or younger members of the family, who still want a great view over the Lake, but can’t walk very far.

Time for a sandwich stop, and more views right across the fields and down to the Lake.

Lovely paths lead up to the top if you do want to have a bit more exercise.

We were short on time, and headed off back down to Fell Foot, the National Trust lakeside park with lovely walks along the shore, tea-room and shop.

The Park has recently been awarded Heritage Lottery Funding and is in the throws of building a new sports facility: Fell Foot Active Base, for all manner of outdoor pursuits:

Sailing, rowing, kayaking, running, swimming; and can also be used for events and celebrations.

Lots of people were sat outside enjoying the autumn sunshine, having a cuppa. Lots of activity in the water too even though it was a bit chillier.

It was a great way to spend a Thursday – utterly bracing and uplifting. A great reminder of how lucky we are to live and work in the Lake District.

The day ran away with us, and we ran out of time, as we were hoping to go back up and get on a motorboat or a rowing boat –  all hireable from the boat landings at Bowness. That’s something on the list for next time.

Get out and enjoy the Lakes in this beautiful autumn season, everywhere is open and there is so much to do. Wrap up warm, take a brolly or waterproofs and you can’t go far wrong.

Photography by Wastwater Photogaphy, Mark Gilligan.

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