So, what do you do when you need some time to think and have a child free weekend? You head off to the Lake District of course to visit your oldest and greatest friend. Mind you, as she has two children under 4 the chances of peace and quiet are pretty slim, but those hills, even if I only really got to look at them beckoned...
The weekend away was also a chance to test out our marvellous new purchase to the Greenacre Outdoor empire, our Nissan NV200 Combi. He has been christened Rozza due to his number plate, but is just known as 'The Van', and we LOVE him! Small yet spacious The Van has fast become a cherished part of the family.
Anyway, I digress, you don't want to hear about a van, you want to hear about the glorious part of the world that is the Lake District and find out what I got up to while I was there. Well, between you and me I would have loved nothing more than to go up and be completely selfish and have taken myself up on the Coledale Horseshoe but once I had arrived I was sucked in to my friends gorgeous kids and decided that I was going to spend time with them rather than on my own.
It is a rare day that my friend and her husband have a day off together, but that is exactly what they had. So, we were able to head out for a proper family day. Keen outdoor enthusiasts themselves, the idea of a softplay centre and an ice cream didn't cut it, even with a 4 and 2 year old. We were off for a walk and explore.
uttermere and the Bowder Stone were our first port of call. The pathway enabled the kids to walk, scramble and play as we ambled along which was fantastic; there is after all nothing better than getting the younger generation into the great outdoors. The sun was shining and we slowly made our way up to the epic site that is the Bowder Stone.
One of Lakeland’s most famous features, this 2000 ton stone, some 30 feet high, fifty feet across and ninety feet in circumference, rests in a state of delicate balance. It did not topple down from the mountain side like most visitors assume, for it is not a local rock. It was most likely carried here from Scotland by the glaciers of the Ice Age.
The exciting thing about the Bowder Stone however is that you get to climb up it. The National Trust who manage the site were undertaking some maintenance the day we were there so we scrambled through their equipment and took the kids up on to the rock. Now this is not for the faint hearted, there are no barriers up there, no flat viewpoint with a handy little bench. Nope. The top of the rock is much the same as the sides; uneven, slippery and treacherous. The kids loved it! With our hearts in our mouths they scrambled on up to the top with their Dad for the obligatory photoshoot. It is so refreshing in this day and age of Health & Safety gone made to have a place where people can truly experience an adrenalin rush. Long may it remain in this untouched, open and free state.
Next time you are driving down the road to Buttermere, trust me, take 30 minutes of your time to park up and walk along for a look. It is a beautiful setting with lots of smaller boulders for kids and adults alike to scramble on, and if you are a keen climber then have a go at some of the bouldering routes on the Bowder Stone itself. Good luck with that is all I can say!