I’ve taken more road trips in the UK than anywhere else during the last ten years, mostly with the kids. These peculiar girls of mine, well, they just like rain; it’s simply their favourite country. I still remember the summer I dragged them to the south of France in 30° temps. “Nowhere but England, forevermore” was the war cry from my two overheated beauties then.

We’ve explored the south of England rather thoroughly, but haven’t gotten to the north yet – so I’m chuffed to bits to be seeing the fabled Lake District this week. This time, I’ll be out and about in England without the kids (almost sacrilege). But it’s school for them – and fun for me. C’est la vie!

Lake District
Ullswater from above Pattersdale, painting by John Parker 1825 (public domain). Llyfregell Genedlaethol Cymru/National Library of Wales.

Lake District

In the Lake District, blogger colleague Travelling Munk and I will be frolicking about the hills and dales. We’ll

  • boat on Lake Windermere, all William Wordsworth-like (he seems a bit stuffy to me, to be frank – but maybe I’ll change my mind)
  • time travel (you know how I like that!) on Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway, a steam train
  • have a look (and taste) at the Lakes Distillery
  • probably have afternoon tea; Scandinavians seem to have a penchant for this quaint old-fashioned British custom, so naturally it’s my duty to sample the goods; all in the name of research, you understand.
  • most importantly, have some seriously stunning hikes and walks in this gorgeous landscape. Can’t wait!

We’ll be staying at the lovely http://englishlakes.co.uk/waterhead/Waterhead in Ambleside.


But that’s not all. We’ll have a closer look at Manchester as well, thus nicely balancing out all that wholesome country living with some urban action. I’ve been a couple of times before, either stopping over on the way to somewhere else, or on business, so I haven’t really seen the city. Visit Manchester has kindly provided us with a fabulous menu to pick and choose from:

  • Visiting Whitworth art gallery: I hear it’s stunning.
  • Exploring the hip Northern Quarter, full of cafes, bars, record stores, small galleries, boutiques and quirky back alleys. Highlights: Manchester Craft and Design Centre, a beautiful place for creatives; and of course, the famous street art. We’ve even got this helpful guide on how to find it. And now you do, too. You’re welcome!
  • Wandering about in Ancoats, which keeps being named in ‘hippest neighbourhood’ lists.
  • Trying out the theatre, visual art, or cinema at HOME, a new cultural centre. Or just hang out in the bar and people watch.
  • Stopping for a nightcap at The Refuge, which just happens to be in our hotel. We have it on good authority (several, as a matter of fact) it’s a most wonderful bar.
  • An early morning run (or possibly a leisurely walk instead, we’ll see) along the canals and viaducts in Castlefield, with lots of markers of Manchester’s previous industrial heritage.

Wow! Did you know there was so much interesting to see and do in Mancs? And not one mention of football!

In Mancs, we’re staying at the newly renovated Principal Manchester. Looking forward to explore this grandiose building.

Want to know more about the Lake District and Manchester? Of course you do! We’ll be all over social media this weekend, on the usual suspects: Face, Twitter, Insta, and so on. As always, you’ll also get more in-depth articles here on Sophie’s World in the coming weeks (in both languages), as well as pretty pictures on Pinterest. We’ll use the hashtags #LuxLakeDistrict and #BestofMCR, so it’s easy for you to follow along.

Well, must be off. There’s a suitcase waiting to be packed.

Disclosure: I’ll be in the Lake District and Manchester as part of a collaborative campaign with Visit Britain and Visit Manchester. Naturally, I retain the right to write whatever I want. As ever.