A Weekend In The South Lakes

After a not-the-nicest year for my dear friend, (bar her wonderful engagement a few weeks ago) (hurrah!), my other pally Emma and I decided a few months ago we’d take her on a surprise weekend away for her belated 21st birthday + a we’resorryyou’vegonethroughsomuchrubbish trip – the surprise being she had no idea where we were going, but did know to book a Friday off work for a few days of fun and frolics.
We stayed in South Lakeland Leisure Village, a super snazzy, 5* wooden lodge holiday park with its own vast expanse of water and greenery all around. Ducks and rabbits were our neighbours, and the edges of the paths were coated in hawthorn, utter perfection. We wanted a self-catered accommodation where we were able to sprawl out, lounge around, and each have our own bedroom. Amy has a particular penchant for the Lakes, and although we weren’t quite in the thick of them being in south Cumbria/north Lancashire, the location proved a perfect distance away from home to become a proper getaway, whilst also having a taste of the Lakeland air and a good change of scenery, being just an hour’s drive away from home. 
Having made sure the accommodation was top-notch before booking, we wanted to take food with us in order to create our own meals, (along with the odd treat on days out whilst there) to save money, but also because, who doesn’t enjoy cooking up concoctions with friends?! Packed lunches were certainly one of our highlights 😉

We’re off! Friday’s journey: very warm. Halfway there we stopped off at Country Harvest for a picnic-in-the-car-jobby and a loo break. A sampling of the free food tester – pork noisette, also went down a treat. Obviously. I was designated driver for the whole weekend, and was very nervous about finding my way and returning home on the motorway safely. But all was o.k.a.y.
Me, Emma, Amy
Arrived! And the champagne is cracked open. My first proper amount of drink(s) since October. Pace yourself Pip, paaace yourself.
Cheers; a further glass of gin & lemonade; chocolate (belated birthday) cake pudding
After our stomachs had settled and our heads a little boozy, I rallied the troops for an exploratory walk around the park and lake. A beautiful evening with blue skies, glinting waters and wild rabbit spotting.
The park’s restaurant and reception, with a tiny golden beach just to the left of the buildings

Our lodge had 3 bedrooms; two twins and a double ensuite for the birthday gal. The kitchen and lounge area were spacious, with room for two decent sized leather sofas and a large dining table. We had a little decking balcony at the front with double-doors leading off from the living area.
Hello home!

On Saturday morning we drove to Arnside, a quaint village overlooking the River Kent estuary. Its beaches are silty and quite dangerous due to the quick-sand, but with plenty of rocks and trees lining the shores that help give the legs a good working to clamber over. This day was also one of the windiest I have EVER experienced. The mascara was running, the hair was knotted, but it was perfect medicine to clear our heads and clean out the lungs. The weather was a real shame because we’d banked on glorious sunshine to help wile away our hours in a region that isn’t really bursting with things to do.. Particularly if you’re under the age of 60 anyway..

Arnside’s rail viaduct connecting Lancaster, Arnside and Grange-Over-Sands
Lunch on a bench overlooking the water. We had the biggest bananas imaginable and it was great

Morecambe was our next stop. After walking around the usual high-street stops, we popped into Lewis’s Coffee Shop, a nondescript establishment by the sea-front that has been going for decades. Run now by a whole host of delightfully friendly old women, we were welcomed by menu placards on the walls enticing the windswept customer with cheap-as-chips food and drinks. They clearly prided themselves on their dairy delights, with several ornate ice-cream sundaes coming out as we sat down to enjoy our refreshments. I had a raspberry ripple milkshake – Crusha with real dairy ice-cream, Amy had an ice-cream soda and Emma a cappuccino and cone. I always think it’s important to support local businesses, particularly eateries when there are countless chain coffee-shops and cafés at every corner in many towns and cities. 

After visiting the amusements and realising this is literally where all of the town’s residents had congregated for a few hours of trying their luck at the 2p machines, (Emma becoming a slight winner amongst them), we got a quick snap with old Eric and headed back home once replenishing the treat-supply with chocolate, biscuits and mango flavoured wine… A sure winner for me.
An intimate moment.

On our way back we stopped off at Aldi for some (discounted, (whoop whoop)) curries which were quickly devoured along with more wine, gin and everything else in sight.
Much too soon we were packing up our belongings, handing in the keys and preparing for our homeward journey. Before this however, was a short day in Lancaster, just 15 minutes down the road. Being a Sunday, many shops didn’t open til a little later, or not at all, but we entertained ourselves, heading over to  to the museum in the heart of the square full of Lancashire’s history and various wars’ memorabilia. I also bought a pair new sunglasses as the others had broken, which are divine, and the girls had hot chocolates as a last “rejuvenater” before a very hot, but lovely drive home.

This was quite a meaty photo-diary, but I wanted to show off the gorgeous surroundings we were in, despite the weather not quite doing its job properly for June(!) The getaway came to an end very quickly, but was needed after I had been away at uni for several months, and the girls currently in the midst of manic job duties and wedding-plannings.

Have you ever been on a “staycation”? Where did you go and what did you do? : )

TTFN, P x 

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