Hola! So I’m writing this post fresh from my weekend at the Lake District. I literally just got home and opened my laptop before I forget all that happened over the past few days. Since getting back from America in early July I’ve been craving an adventure style weekend, which is quite strange for me but something happened when I was in Yosemite that ignited a passion for the outdoors. Life is a funny thing. With that in mind Charlie and I booked a spontaneous weekend to the Lake District, somewhere neither of us had been before.
Location: Ambleside, The Lake District
Length of Stay: 2 Nights
Vital Info: Pack a waterproof and your comfiest pair of walking boots
Where to Stay
My eagle eyes noticed one of the vegan gals I follow (Cath Kendall – here Insta is here) had recently stayed at Yewfield, a vegetarian guest house situated just four miles out of Ambleside. After a little research we decided to book it up. There’s another guest house that’s part of the same family which is located more central to Ambleside but I quite liked the idea of being a little further out. Using our trusty phone maps we found ourselves there with no problems (just a huge traffic queue on the M6 which made our journey seven hours long, that was fun). The guest house was a big beautiful building in the middle of nowhere offering stunning views and such a peaceful atmosphere. Our room was clean, spacious and had a lovely view overlooking the greenery.
The main draw for me was the fact that Yewfield is vegetarian and caters for vegans (yay!). I enjoyed a breakfast of soy yogurt, fruit and chia pudding followed by vegan sausages, tofu scramble, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans and toast. Oh and they also had a delicious vegan smoothie which I enjoyed both mornings. It made a nice change being able to order a fully vegan breakfast rather than just fruit which is the usual thrilling case in hotels. Our stay came to £200 for two nights which I think is very reasonable especially as it includes breakfast too. I couldn’t fault it, and would highly recommend if you’re ever heading to the Lake District.
[The beautiful view from our room]
What to Do
As you would imagine, the Lake District is quite an active place unless you just want to lounge around the hotel which I wouldn’t judge you for. There are tonnes of hikes, but we decided to hire bikes from Brockhole, an activity centre and head off to explore. It cost £25 each to hire the bikes out for four hours and this includes a return boat trip to the other side of the lake. Overall we biked 8 miles, and by the end of it my thighs were WEEPING and dying a slow death. It was a shock to the system but I’m glad we got them as walking that trail would have taken forever and a day. We cycled up to a viewing point as well as a castle which offered a nice setting to stop and grab a drink…ideal as we hadn’t packed a bottle of water. Why would you think to pack a bottle of water for an 8 mile cycle? Face palm.
PHEW that was a long trek but at least we got to burn off all the delicious food we ate (more on that in a mo!). Our bike ride took up the best part of the day, so afterwards we just had a little mooch around Windermere, relaxed with a nice cold coke and then jumped in the car and headed back to Yewfield. Although Windermere is lovely and cute, I actually much preferred Ambleside and would definitely always veer towards staying here again in the future. Just in case you need convincing here a few photos from our final morning spent wandering around the town before embarking on the long drive home…
Ambleside is so quaint and I love how higgledy piggledy (are they real words?) all the buildings are. It’s bursting with charm and I could have happily spent an extra day or two here.
Where to Eat
Now onto the really good stuff, THE FOOD! Who knew this part of the UK would cater so well for veggies and vegans?! I actually pre-booked dinner at the two Ambleside based restaurants owned by Yewfield Guest House as both are strictly vegetarian. On the first night we ate at Fellinis, after a seven hour drive in the rain I couldn’t tell you how relieved I was to sit down in a restaurant with a beautiful atmosphere and yummy menu. For starters I went for my favourite – olives with a side of bread and Charlie opted for the soup which smelt (and tasted – as I kept dipping my bread in it much to Charlie’s delight) divine. We then both chose the moussaka (I had the vegan version) which was absolutely delicious!
On the second night we headed to Zefferellis, again the restaurant itself was very snazzy and also brimming with people. The menu offered a great amount of vegan options, I kept it casual with a pizza and side of wedges (plus vegan mayo -score!) and it was all very nice indeed! Zefferellis is also home to a jazz bar and cinema which is worth noting if you fancy checking those out.
I would whole-heartedly recommend both restaurants but it’s also worth having a look at the Happy Cow app as there were a fair few other restaurants with veggie and vegan options which is always great to see.
I’m so glad we chose to head to the Lakes, despite the gruelling journey up there! We had plenty of adventure, ate tonnes of great food and had lots of laughs especially when Charlie fell off his bike. A real highlight. If you’re after a fun weekend away in the UK then definitely add Ambleside to your list, I’d definitely love to return in a year or two for another beautiful weekend.