Training, Travel

Lake District guide and Helvellyn route

August 10, 2020

I have been eyeing up Another Place Hotel on Instagram for so long, and I am pleased to say that it more than lived up to expectations and was all the more sweet that for the first time ever, I got sun in the Lake District! 

Obviously all of my holiday plans went out of the window this year with COVID, and due to my boyfriend’s plans to be in Ibiza that weekend got cancelled last minute, we found ourselves with a free weekend and fancying a bit of a staycation. 

It was by complete chance that the hotel had ONE room left available, it was also at a slightly discounted (still painfully pricey, but worth it!) rate for that particular Saturday. 

We drove from Yorkshire at around 8am Saturday morning (obviously we intended this to be a 6:30am set off time, which quite frankly was never going to happen!), we drove straight to the hotel to have a look around and to book the swimming facilities for the evening before our dinner reservations. 

We then drove into Glenridding to park the car and set off on our run/hike up Helvellyn – we took the route up Striding Edge and along the plateau to Lower Man and White Slide and then down back towards Glenridding – basically this route pushed the standard one out and around a bit to rack up a bit more mileage, and it also made it way less congested on the way down. As you can imagine on a beautiful and unusually hot day in the UK when we can hardly leave the country, pretty much the whole of the UK had headed to the lakes so it was a slightly busy route, though still runnable. Here is the route we took and I would highly recommend.

As with most of these peaks, there’re plenty of sections which become more of a hike, though I did think this route had a nice amount of running and the route we opted for on the descent was as good as they get (I hate descending!). The ridge across the top is slightly unnerving and definitely a slower section for me who hates heights, but definitely achievable to most – just be careful if you are bringing a dog, they would definitely require being lifted/lowered on some of these bits and could be quite dangerous if you’re not competent/confident doing so. 

We ran straight back down into the village and headed for an ice-cream at the start of the trail – what more could you want!?

As mentioned above, we had pre-booked the use of the pool at Another Place which I would highly encourage doing so – you can only book 24 hours ahead so that’s something to remember if you choose to stay there. The pool is exactly the IG photo-shoot friendly scene you would imagine, and the outdoor hot-tub with a view is exactly the kind of recovery you want after some mountain running!

After showering, we went for a drink in the outdoor area of “The Living Space” restaurant which is the more casual of the two in the hotel – we can highly recommend the local Lakeland Moon gin and tonic for a pre-dinner tipple. 

We had made reservations at The Rampsbeck restaurant in the hotel (again, I would recommend booking) and enjoyed what I thought was an extremely reasonably priced (£41pp) x3 course ‘fine dining’ kind of meal with the addition of a bottle of red to go with it. 

What we ate and would recommend: 

Starters:

Em – ‘Hand dived scallop, cauliflower, sea herbs’

Rory – ‘Cumbrian lamb fritter, nasturtium, mint’

Mains:

Em – ‘Grilled halibut, smoked salmon risotto, lemon, watercress’

Rory – ‘Cumbrian lamb, lamb broth, summer vegetables’

Desserts: 

Shared – ‘Bitter chocolate fondant, frozen mascarpone, cherries’ and ‘British strawberries, vanilla cheesecake’

It was all very delightful and actually pretty good portions for fine-dining type food. 

After dinner we retired to what is like a sitting room for a bottle of Rose (yes, that’s our second-bottle of wine between the two of us, after gin… and yes, probably the wrong order too!) 

The following day we had every intention of getting up to run pre-breakfast, but as per usual that kind of went out the window and we decided to enjoy a lie-in in the comfy hotel bed instead. The breakfast was lovely – both opted for the full english + a side of yogurt and fruit to go with it – great portions and extremely delicious!

After breakfast we decided to walk it off with a trip to Aira Force waterfall – this claims to be around a 45 minute walk but actually ended up being more like 25, so definitely worth a quick visit if you are in the area as it’s beautiful.

We then drove to Lake Windermere and hired Kayaks – we took them out for a couple of hours, docking them at one of the islands on the lake and going for a swim. Even though it was slightly freezing, i would highly recommend doing this – it was so much fun and it’s so beautiful, you definitely warm up again by the time you have got back to the shore, though we did take a towel in a dry bag on the kayak with us and this was a lifesaver! 

Thankfully we weren’t too cold from the swim to enjoy an icecream from here – I opted for white chocolate and hazelnut and chocolate – SO GOOD. 

We finished the day with a drive into Keswick and ate a delicious final meal at Merienda – though I would also really recommend Fellpack for anyone who hasn’t eaten in that area before (we would have gone if it hadn’t been full). 

I would highly recommend the hotel and basically everything we did on this mini-weekend trip and can’t wait to go back!

Em x

 

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