When we chose – were given – our July date we knew that we wouldn’t be going on honeymoon straightaway. O is a gardener and just couldn’t take a lot of time off in the height of the summer (ha! what summer?). I also knew that I take a long time to wind down after periods of stress. Plus O thought planning our honeymoon after the wedding would give me something to do and look forward to.
We were, however still determined to have a few days away and enjoy some luxury straight after the wedding. As is always the way we had so much choice of where to go it was very difficult to narrow down where to actually go. After lots of "I don’t mind", "I'll go anywhere" and "that looks ok" but no firm opinions given I was ready to tear my hair out. Thankfully around the time when I was really losing the plot Cee told me of a trip she was taking to the Lake District – more specifically to the Drunken Duck. She had a great stay and we thought it looked fab so to save having to look any further we decided on the Duck!
Tuesday after the wedding we threw stuff in the car and made our way South. Unfortunately we got stuck in a huge traffic jam because of a particularly nasty accident. By the time we got to the Lake District it was quite late in the afternoon. We stopped by at Castlerigg Stone Circle – but not for very long. Once we got to the Duck we were offered afternoon tea but chose against it not wanting to spoil our appetite. It is very important not to spoil your appetite because the food is AMAZING! So so delicious I could have eaten everything on the menu. You need to book a table well in advance because they were fully booked even during the week.
We were a little disappointed by our room it wasn’t huge – although the bed was. The problem being that the bed was huge because it was two beds pushed together and there was a tendency to fall down the gap in the middle.
Wednesday morning was a bit drizzly so we decided to go to the spa to which you get free access to. We enjoyed leisurely swims, time in the jacuzzi and a bake in the sauna and the steam room – I wasn’t brave enough to try the ice shower. Once the weather had brightened up a bit we stopped in Ambleside to buy some lunch and headed to Coniston to hire a rowing boat – how romantic?! Until I turned into a complete wreck. I have no idea why or where the fear came from but I panicked that we were going to fall in the water, that all of our belongings were going to be ruined (camera, phones, car keys) and that we wouldn’t make it to shore. O being incredibly confident on the water thought this was hilarious and tried to show me how safe we were by rocking the boat. He stopped as soon as I burst into tears! I still don’t understand why I was such a wreck, I’m an ok swimmer and I'd have been able to swim to safety, there were lots of people out on the water so a passing boat would have helped. Once we were back on dry land I felt really bad because it should have been such a lovely jaunt out on the water with O playing the strong guy doing the rowing and I’d ruined it with my completely irrational hysterics.
After I’d disgraced myself we headed back to the Duck for afternoon tea. We lazed about watching the tv and I had a long bath before dressing for dinner, there have been very few occasions in my life where I have felt the need to dress for dinner, that is of course unless I’m not already wearing clothes! We had another wonderful meal and fell asleep stuffed and a little fuzzy round the edges.
In planning our trip we'd had a look round to see what was on in the area and came across Ambleside Sports and that is where we headed on Thursday morning after checking out. I’ve never been to a Highland Games of anything like it and Ambleside Sports seemed to be the English equivalent. There was fell racing, grass track cycling, Cumberland wrestling (with costume competition) and hound trailing, which we'd never heard of. They scent a path using aniseed and then let a pack of hounds loose to follow the trail. The first hound back wins the race – this was the only event where there was bets being placed. I wasn't aware that you were allowed to let packs of dogs loose in the countryside.
After a long day of fresh air and some sunshine we began the long journey across country to Leeds where we were had a free nights accommodation courtesy of my parent's house. Then on Friday morning we headed back up to Scotland.