We arrived at Penrith Railway Station on Friday afternoon around 14.30. Check in was still one and half hour away so we visited Penrith Castle right in front of the station. It’s more of ruined castle and there was nothing much to see. We had quick lunch on the bench before continued walking to our guest house.
I booked a guesthouse 10 minutes walking from the station and it is located near the supermarket since we traveled without kitchen. Our room was a triple bed in the attic. It was nice and clean.
Right after checked in, we went for a walk to see around the city center of Penrith and since it is a small town, we could just walked around for two hours. More, in the current situation, almost all the shops were still closed. The streets were empty and people were rarely seen. We just went home after a short visit to Sainsbury to buy some snacks and water.
As it is another nature trip, we booked a car for the next 2 days. Day one turned out to be one of the grumpy days in my traveling diary. We were ready to go according to the appointment with the car hire person and took a cab to the office. We were a bit early so we waited first. Until 15 minutes, there was no sign it would come so I asked the trip planner to call them. It turned out they would be late because of so many things and the earliest they could arrive was 11 am.
The grumpiness started.
It was 10.20 and we decided to return to the guest house as we left something too. We called the same cab to send us back and asked the driver to pick us once again at 11.10. The car office was only 7 minutes away. Not long after we arrived at our room, the car person called that they had arrived. We practically wasted 10 pounds on cab. The car hire company agreed to give us some compensation about making us waiting for them without a prior notice.
After everything was clear, we’re good to go and I was so ready to execute my most wanted itinerary. But, as the wise words said : bad things never come alone.
The first destination was Ullswater and it was only less than 30 minutes away from Penrith. But, when we arrived there, parking spot were packed. Not only that, the parking along side the road were also full. The city people were spending weekend by swimming, hiking, and camping. Apparently, my picnic plan should wait a little bit longer.
We proceeded to the next stop to Aira Force. Small waterfalls near Ullswater and it said we could have some picnic too. I wasn’t really sure since I had a very specific picture about kind of picnic that I wanted to do and it was certainly not a picnic by the waterfalls. Arrived in Aira Force, turned out another jammed parking spot so we just stuck there for few minutes and continued.
The grumpiness level was rising.
We only had two days in Lake District and had spent more than half of the first day in car.
As we already had a booked boat trip in Windermere and it was impossible to miss it, we had no choice but heading directly there. We arrived an hour early and thankfully, no more parking spot struggle. While waiting for the boat, I saw a perfect picnic spot on the other side of the lake. But again, it was impossible to go there within an hour. I should accepted my picnic ransum to be finished inside the car instead by the lake.
My mood had been so awful for the rest of the trip. Even the slightest thing irritated me and my heart almost lost all interest in everything. The beautiful view of Windermere outside the boat window couldn’t make the eyes wide opened and they chose to sleep along the trip. The weather was quite fine. Some blue and grey skies took turn. The trip took an hour back and forth.
The next destination was Grasmere where there was a famous gingerbread man store which only opened until 5 pm. On the other side, we had already promised the little girl to go to playground. We had Brockenhole in our itinerary where there was playground. We supposed to go there before the boat trip. Since the plan changed, so did the itinerary.
We accidentally found a pretty decent playground on the way to Grasmere. We made a stop there and let the little girl played for a while. There were quite few people, big group of moslem families to be precise, doing picnic and barbeque although there was a clear sign of no camping, no fire, no barbeque. Shame on them.
One of the advantages of summer trip is the long daytime. So we proceed to Grasmere and when I saw the little vilage from the car, the hope to have a picnic by the lake soared. Grasmere is a beautiful little village, the town was slightly busier than Penrith. I always love town walking trip. But sadly, we couldnt do that in this trip. Also, most of the shops were still closed.
We bought dinner from one of the restaurant and still tried find a spot for picnic but ended up with nothing. At that time, all I wanted to do was went home and sleep.
The mood was slightly improved when we visited our last itinerary : Castlerigg Stonecircle. It looked just like mini Stonehenge without entrance ticket and the crowd. It was located on the top of mountain with incredibly stunning view. The view reminded me of the Heidi and The Swiss Alps book.
Albeit all the beautiful landscapes, day one spent with heavy heart and dissapointment.