Wednesday, 18 April 2012


A refreshing week in the Lake District with family and boyfriend, bikes, wetsuit and trainers.

We stayed in a rural cottage, the Coniston Coppermines. Gorgeous setting with the most amazing views over the mountains and down to the village and Coniston Lake. The cottage was set back from the village, a mile up a gravel track which didn't fair so well for the road bikes, but so lovely to be in such a peaceful location.

Day one, 7am and a brisk fell run to explore the mountains behind the house. Dodging parts of the old coppermine, sheep, and their newly born lambs, then run took us up above the house and over the first peak to give us a clear morning view of Coniston Lake.

The cycling in the Lakes was second to none (apart from the driveway to the house). The roads were smooth and clear, the drivers were patient and considerate - very different to the hustling cities of Bristol and Bath where the majority of cycle training takes place throughout the year. 

For me the Lake District is a second home, from the age of 10 or so, my parents owned a lovely country cottage in Great Langdale, home of the notorious Langdale Pikes. We had the house there for just over six years and holidayed there most weekends and school breaks, the rest of the time it was privately let. The Lakes is just a huge playground there to be explored. And doing so by bike, was fantastic.

We cycled through all the local parts, Ambleside, Coniston, Windermere, Grasmere, Kendal, Hawshead, and it brought back many memories to see all the old sights and areas in which my sister and I had grown up in.

The westuits had been gathering dust in the suitcases for the first part of the holiday, so on a chilly Tuesday morning we decided to give swimming in Lake Coniston a go. 6 degrees and three swimming hats. The water was not welcoming, the worst part was  not cold hands or feet, but a cold face. Putting your face in the water was surreal, and rising to the surface after you would feel most disorientated and dizzy. The water was cloudy and of a pale green colour, just clear enough to see my hands as I pulled the water back with each stroke and to see the bubbles of my fellow swimmer.

The rest of the day that we braved Lake Coniston, it snowed. 8hours of blizzard and wind. We couldn't have picked a better day for it ;)

The time we weren't training or submerged in icey cold lakes, we engaged in as many activities as timely possible in the local area. Mountain biking in Grizedale Forest (a must for anyone!), munching on fudge and sipping Victorian Lemonade in Lakeside cafĂ©'s, eating the world wide famous Grasmere gingerbread, climbing peaks, or sitting in front of the log fire in the cottage, baking marshmallows and chocolate.

For anyone who is looking for a week away from city life, with a bit of training thrown in, the Lake District is perfect. The cycling was second to none, the running fantastic, and the swimming - refreshing? 

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