Before we were lucky enough to move to the Lake District we really enjoyed an annual holiday to Ambleside. We would plan for weeks the places we wanted to visit, the pubs and restaurants we wanted to dine at, and the Wainwrights we wanted to “bag”! So, it’s got me thinking, if I had just one weekend now, to visit the Lakes and cram all that I wanted to do in just 48 hours what would I do? It’s a pretty tough task putting it all into such a small window, but here goes…

It goes without saying that I’d book into Rothay Manor! It would have to be a dog-friendly room, because Bailey loves the Lakes as much as we do!

18:00 After the dreaded battle with the M6 we would be pleased to check in to one of the large rooms (and perhaps have a G&T on the terrace), before enjoying the fine dining menu.

Day One
08:00 Life always starts early when you have a dog who has no concept of “holiday” or “lie-in”. So after Bailey’s morning constitution we would indulge in a hearty breakfast to set us up for the day!

09:00 Time to wear out the dog and stretch our legs so we would take a little jaunt up to Todd Crag and Lily Tarn. It’s a short circular walk, only about 5km with around 100m of ascent/descent. The views of Lake Windermere and the Langdale Pike are simply breathtaking. Bailey loves to stop off at the tarn for some stick throwing and swimming!

11:00 I can’t believe we’ve been in Ambleside for a whole morning and haven’t ventured to the shops yet! Ambleside is a mecca for outdoor wear with the renowned Gaynors Sports, where you can often grab a great bargain year round. For technical gear head to Adventure Peaks or The Epic Centre. There are also some lovely galleries and boutique shops to mooch around.

12:30 Retail therapy complete we head to Mr H’s where I’ll pig out on a jacket spud (because that’s the way I roll), and the Husband will have a Ploughmans.

14:30 After a little refresh at Rothay Manor we’ll head to Waterhead (about a 10minute countryside walk) to hop on a Windermere Lake Cruise. I don’t think any visit to the Lakes will be complete without this superb tourist attraction. We would choose to hop off at Wray Castle and take the footpath walk to Ferry House, which would probably take about an hour and keeps The Dog exercised! We’ll hop on the Launch to Bowness and have a quick refresh at The Fizzy Tarte, then it’s back on the boat for the trip back to Ambleside.

19:00 It’s just a short walk into Ambleside for our evening’s frivolities! We’ll head for a little pre-dinner drink to The Golden Rule (hands down best pup ever!), I’ll have a Tasting Bat of Ale and The Husband will have a pint of Cumberland. We’ll then go to Dodd’s for dinner. I love Dodd’s – it’s the mix of friendly service and downright fabulous food that keeps me going back for more! The Husband will have the Cumbrian pizza (he is a creature of habit) and I will struggle to decide from the delicious pasta choices, and the specials, and the mains selection. We will wash it all down with a nice bottle of Italian

22:00 The late night revelers that we are, we will be tucked up in bed nice and early, but for those who like a nightcap or too The Lily is a great place to stop off at on your way back to Rothay Manor.

Day Two
08:00 Yep, these 8am wake up calls get a little tiresome, but at least we get to see the best of the day!

09:00 One of my favourite walks is Red Screes, it’s not as popular as some of the better-known walks, but it is a lovely hike. It’s about 10km, with a good 600m of ascent. The walk starts in Ambleside and heads up via Old Sweden Bridge (another of Bailey’s favourite swimming spots!) then climbs up to the Scandale pass, then up to Red Screes. It can be boggy in places, with a few streams to cross, and the path up to Red Screes can a bit of a clamber, but the descent back down to meet The Stuggle is so enjoyable. It is mainly grass and track (with a few rocky sections) with outstanding views of Lake Windermere all the way!

14:00 Back in Ambleside, with a ravenous appetite we head to Copper pot for a spot of lunch. We may even be swayed into having one of their burgers, after all that walking we must have burnt a fair few calories!

15:00 After heading back to Rothay Manor (where we left the car) it would be time to leave the Lakes and head back home again, feeling completely refreshed and revived after a magical few days exploring the lakes and fells of Ambleside.