Day tripping in The Lake District || conquering Haystacks

** Warning: take time out to read, its a long one**

So, hubby knew the weather was going to be good in The Lake District on Easter Sunday. No, he's not a weather man, his phone told him so! The Midlands was set to be a bit cloudy, so he suggested we go to The Lake District in search of the sun, FOR THE DAY!!!!!!!! Yikes, I hear you say, and yes it's a good 3 hour drive for us, but for us that's no problem, we really don't mind about taking a long drive anywhere just for the day, although when I say we, I don't actually do the driving, so of course I don't mind, but Mr C doesn't either, he's the one that always suggests these mad ideas, we've even driven to Weymouth for the day when the kids were younger and that's 4/5 hours away. Yes we are mad but YOLO and all that!!!!! :) Emily was in all day rehearsals for her upcoming show and Tom was out too so just the two of us set off early.

Mr C went to the Lakes for the first time last year with work and told me how breathtaking it was and has been pestering me to go ever since. 

It took us three hours and the drive up was a cloudy, dull one, but the minute we got near The Lakes the clouds drifted away and left us with the blueist skies, I made Mr C pull over so I could take a photo and this was my very first view! 

As we continued our drive in we became surrounded by hills as far as the eye could see. I was speechless. 

I needed to use the little girls room at this point (bladder the size of a pin head!!) so we headed over a hump back bridge, down a don't know what you'd do if you met a car coming the other way kinda lane to quaint little tea shop and parked our backsides in the sun for 5 minutes. 

The ducks came to say hello.

Enjoying a brew with this view, I mean, come on, just wow! And the bloke's not bad either. With the huge hills, the stream and peacefulness it really reminded me of somewhere like Canada or somewhere like that, not that I've ever been but you know what I mean.

I could have sat there all day soaking up the rays, listening to nothing but the sound of the stream and chatting to the ducks but we had to move on and make the most of our day. We headed to Buttermere.

Lake District Cumbria Haystacks Mountain Climbing Walking

Obligatory selfie!

The sheep are multi-coloured and prettier in The Lake District!

We parked the car right on the edge of the lake, well not literally on the edge obviously as that would be rather dumb, but right next to the lake, we were lucky as it was very busy and we just managed to get the last spot. I couldn't wait to get out of the car and go for a walk. We took our walking gear with us just in case so we booted up, didn't need the coats but took them and other layers as the weather can be so damn changeable and off we set.

We walked along the lake and headed towards Haystacks. We knew it to be Haystacks because Mr C went to the top of it last year, has read loads about it and looked at numerous maps! As we got nearer I looked up and wondered in my arthritic state if I would be able to get anywhere near the summit. We agreed that as we were here we might as well do a little walk, and with the weather being so spectacular and all, we couldn't not, and when I'd had enough we could turn back. So, off we set in the footsteps of Alfred Wainwright. 

We'd only be walking for 10 minutes and I found myself out of breath, I'm so bloody unfit again, but in my defence it was a bit of a steep-ish climb up to start off with, after I got going and got into a rhythm I was much better. Mr C said to take small steps all the way, no big strides, not that I would have been capable of striding up a sodding mountain!!!!! We stopped a few times on the way up to rest and take in the views and Mr C was spot when he said it would take my breath away, yes I was a bit breathless and I was kinda speechless too. He also said until you've been to The Lakes you can't put into words how truly beautiful it is, and he was right about that too. 

Lake District Cumbria Haystacks Mountain Climbing Walking

Lake District Cumbria Haystacks Mountain Climbing Walking

Mr C asked me several times if I'd had enough and did I want to go back? Hell no, I was enjoying myself way too much. I wasn't in pain (thanks to my rheumatologist) and I knew I just had to get to the top whilst I was physically capable of doing so. I'm not ashamed to say that I was sweating like a pig at this point, it was so blooming hot, (not complaining), the sun was beating down and we were cooking. We didn't take any suncream with us, and before you all start shouting, it's not something we're proud of but we never in our wildest dreams imagined the weather to be like to was. And yes, we did burn, but tell us off another day!

Lake District Cumbria Haystacks Mountain Climbing Walking

Haystacks is not very high compared to some of its big neighbours but for a newbie like me it was great to start off with. There are paths you can easily follow but it's always rocky underfoot so you really have to be careful and ALWAYS watch your step, if you don't look where you're going you could easily twist your ankle and theres no way you'd be able to walk back down. I never took my eyes off the path ahead for one minute. 

Lake District Cumbria Haystacks Mountain Climbing Walking

It's an easy-ish walk up, a little strenuous but not massively difficult and I was enjoying every minute of it. If I remember rightly after passing through Scarth Gap you have a steady climb and then the path deteriorates a bit. This is where you have to do a bit of climbing, it's not technical or really challenging but more pulling yourself up and using hand on rock (climbers talk!), being careful about where you're placing your feet. I have to say it was the hand on rock climbing I loved the most. Just call me Mrs Grylls!!!!!!! 

Lake District Cumbria Haystacks Mountain Climbing Walking

Lake District Cumbria Haystacks Mountain Climbing Walking

Shortly after you reach the summit and the views are spectacular. I felt such a buzz that I'd done it. I know it's not Everest but even so, just he biggest sense of achievement. I'd climbed a mountain, albeit one of the smaller ones. With my bones and pain being so bad the last six months I thought I'd not be up to much walking again, never mind doing this. I felt like I was on top of the world!!! I was a tad emotional. We were surrounded by mountains, some still with a covering of snow on top, breathtaking and majestic, so we stopped for a little while to gather our thoughts. 

See that one over there? That's my next one! Well, maybe a little ambitious? 
Lake District Cumbria Haystacks Mountain Climbing Walking

After resting, only for a little while as Mr C kept harping on about the fact that time was getting on and it was a long way back down to the car, we started on our decent and took the path towards the Innominate tarn. A tarn is a small mountain lake (thanks Google) and the innominate tarn is where Alfred Wainwrights ashes are scattered. Out of all the mountains and walks he did and ofcourse documented, I can see why he wanted the innominate tarn to be his final resting place. The shot below is my picture of the tarn and again we sat for a short while. Such a tranquil and peaceful place on this beautiful earth. 

Being at the top of a mountain is a magical feeling. No mobile phone signal, so no technology beeping away constantly, no traffic, no crowds, it kind of cleanses your mind. I never gave a thought to the worries or concerns that are normally whizzing around in my brain on a daily basis, all stress just seemed to drift away and all I was left with were the beautiful surroundings and the (almost) cloudless sky above.

Lake District Cumbria Haystacks Mountain Climbing Walking Innominate tarn

Coming down was a lot harder than I thought. My legs were tired and a bit shaky as you're using your muscles so much, keeping your balance as you look to place your feet on the rocks as you go. I was weary at this point and quite frankly on the verge of being very miserable. Mr C could sense it and knew it was becoming difficult for me. He kept asking if I needed to rest but I knew if I did I wouldn't get going again. Still, the numerous tarns, waterfalls and streams dotted here, there and everywhere helped to keep my spirits up. 

Spotted this weird looking skull thing in the rock too! 

Eventually we got to the bottom but then still had a long walk back to the car, however, the end was in sight. Back to civilisation and some very photogenic sheep!! 

We'd been walking and climbing for six hours and boy did I need a drink! It was 6pm and most of the tourists/walkers had long gone, there were only a handful left. As soon as we got back to the car we hopped in and followed the road up another mountain where we pulled over to watch the sunset with a little bottle of fizz. 

We sat and toasted our achievements of the day. Mr C kept on telling me how proud he was of what I'd done, and we'd already started to talk about our next visit all with a rosy glow on our faces and bubbles up our noses! 

As the sun was going down we were lucky to witness a beautiful cloud inversion. This is where the air pressure pushes the cloud down lower than the surrounding mountains and hills. Doesn't happen that often apparantly. It was rather spooky and in minutes everywhere was blanketed by clouds and you could not see. I was so thankful we got down that mountain just in time!

Lake District Cumbria Haystacks Mountain Climbing Walking

Lake District Cumbria Haystacks Mountain Climbing Walking Inversion

Lucky for us there was a chip shop open on Easter Sunday. Just what the doctor ordered before the long drive home. Next time we're stopping over!

Easter Sunday 2015, the day in The Lakes with my soulmate, the day I climbed a mountain is a day I will never forget. It was so very, very special, and magical beyond words and I cannot wait to go back for our next adventure. 

Before you click off please take a look at this very short video of us climbing. It looks quite hairy and more dangerous than it was so don't be too worried for my safety! 

Do you like walking? Have you been to The Lake District? Have you been climbing there? Tell me, tell me! 



  1. Beautiful, beautiful photographs, Steph. Just stunning! We love the Lakes and have walked there many times. So many gorgeous spots. Well done, you! What an achievement! Lynne xx

    1. That you so much Lynne. I can't stop looking at the photos! It's such a beautiful part of the country and I can't wait to go back there. xx

  2. Fantastic pictures Stephanie. I have never been to the lake district before, it looks lovely. That is one long walk though
    Laurie x

    1. Thank you Laurie. You should definitely visit if you get the opportunity its breathtaking and thanks for stopping by! xx

  3. Stunning pictures Steph! I would love to go there one day!! Well done again, fab achievement!!
    Heather x x x

    1. Thanks Heather, I keep going back to the pics myself to have another look as it was such an amazing day. Love Mrs Grylls, ha ha !!! xx

  4. What fabulous pictures!! Looks like you had a great time. I'm lucky enough to live in The Lakes (Keswick) so can appreciate these views daily!!

    Emma x

    1. Err........so jealous Emma, how amazing to have all of that beauty on your doorstep! Lucky you. xx


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