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Archive for the ‘Windermere’ Category

The Lake District

Posted by Heliocentrism on January 1, 2018

Tuesday, August 29th – 31st

Before we left Liverpool, Mark picked up a car. He was tired of dealing with public transportation in England. The buses and trains in the city are fantastic, but out in the country they come by only every once in a while. Also, there is seldom a direct route to where you want to go, unless you are going from one hub to another. Taking the train from Liverpool to the YHA in Windermere would have taken many transfers.

Mark had driven stick before… in college a long time ago, in a land far, far away… on the right side of the road. He had to quickly remember how to shift, with the other hand, while negotiating the traffic in Liverpool. I couldn’t help. Not only have I only ever driven automatic cars, but adding a second driver when renting a car raises the cost. So, Mark was on his own.

Also, roundabouts are the bane of an American’s existence. Yes, we do have a lot of them in Washington, D.C. But, when I lived there I cursed the Marquis de Lafayette every time I entered one. I have always assumed that he, somehow, had something to do with the absurd number of traffic circles in DC.

Typically, Americans don’t encounter roundabouts. I hate them. They make everything in your car pitch to the right, or left depending on what country you’re in. All this just so you don’t have to stop? How much time can it possibly save?

Once Mark left the city and the roads got less congested, he relaxed and it was smooth sailing to Windermere. The YHA there was very nice with a good view of the lake and some nearby trails. But, this time we weren’t restricted to just these trails. We could drive to any we liked.

We hiked a few trails around town. But, since we had a car we mostly drove to different spots then walked for about 15 minutes. Most of what we did, did not require us to bring snacks, water, or even a map. We still had fun though.

I understand English… I think

One day Mark and I found a place called “Holiday Park” that was very near the lake. It sounded perfect for us. We were on holiday and we wanted to walk through a park. We drove over there. We were a little surprised when we found a gate at the entrance of the park requiring a pass-code. We parked the car and went into the nearby office.

We asked the lady at the desk if the park was opened. From her response I realized that there was a misunderstanding. We weren’t at a place called, “Holiday Park” we were at a holiday park.

Hoping that my American accent would explain my ignorance of holiday parks and that this lady didn’t assume I was a moron, I asked for more information. She gladly explained the rates and when the park was available, which did not help me understand what a holiday park was at all. I had to state my problem very plainly. “I know the words ‘holiday,’ a time away from work, and ‘park,’ a place where you go to be closer to nature. But I’m sorry, I’m just unfamiliar with the term ‘holiday park’. Is it a park or not?”

She gave us more information about contracts and request forms, completely missing my last few questions. She handed us a stack of brochures that said, “Windermere Holiday Park”. I turned to Mark and he shrugged. He didn’t know what was going on either.

“Can we just walk to the lake for now?” Mark asked, handing back all the papers we were just given. The lady told us we could as long as we didn’t bother anyone. “Also,” she added. “Parking in the holiday park is only for guests.” We awkwardly walked out promising not to break any of the rules and headed to the lake. “Okay, no parking in the park. Got it!”

A few yards past the gate we understood what a holiday park was. It was a cross between a trailer park and a time share. People rent these trailers during the summer or on weekends when they head up to the Lake District. This was not what we wanted, so we left to find a real park.


The United Kingdom

How to get there:

You can enter this country by land via an underwater tunnel, air, or sea.

Check with your local UK embassy for visa information.

Phone:

  • Use 112 or 999 for the police, fire department, or to get an ambulance

Website:

Data:

Videos:

Books: 

Notes:

  • If you’re going to do a lot of travel by train or bus, looking for a Rail card or bus pass before you buy your first ticket.
    • Railway Cards
    • Oyster Card
    • Even getting a day pass on a bus could be cheaper than getting 3 single passes, or a return ticket and a single pass.
  • If you’re going to travel around the United Kingdom, you might want to get membership at one of the following:
    •  English Heritage – £54 / year for 1 person
    • National Trust England – £64.80 / year for 1 person
    • Scottish Heritage –  £49 / year for 1 person
      • All of these are a little cheaper when getting a group or family membership.
      • Many come with discounts for other things, like:
        • The Scottish Heritage gives you 20% off at all of their gift shops and cafes.
        • English Heritage gives you free parking at many of their sights.
      • As a bonus, it helps you when planning what to do and see in the country.
  • If you are going to stay in hostels, join Hosteling International, or any of its subsidiaries.
    • YHA – England & Wales
    • SYHA – Scotland
      • Membership at any of these will get you the discounted rate at any of the other hosteling organizations.
      • These hostels tend to be better than most hostels.

Windermere

Basic Information

Websites:

Cost:

  • Free
  • Just pay for parking

Hours:

  • Daylight hours

Videos:

Notes:

  • Be safe while on long hikes.
  • Remember to close the gates behind you.
    • Don’t let any of the sheep escape.

Map:

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