Lakes, Peaks, Troughs and Cakes

June 10, 2009

Say that after a few drinks! I certainly chose the right week to take off for my staycation – the weather was fantastic. Picturesque Howtown, set on Ullswater Lake, was my home for the first few nights. Amid stunning scenery I triumphed on the walking front with a 660m climb up Place Fell and later troughed on some of the most delicious traditional English food I have ever tasted – slow-cooked lamb chops and mint sauce, followed by rhubarb and orange steamed pudding. Delicious! Before long it was off to the Peaks and Hartington – an idyllic village near Bakewell (yes, this is where the cake aspect came in!) and home to a cheese factory – one of the few in the country that is licensed to produce Stilton cheese. This was my first ever farm stay at the excellent Hartington Hayloft and chance to feed some very eager lambs who had lost their mum. There was no guilt trip about those lovely chops though! The walking here is also beautiful – not a soul in sight, and plenty of pretty dales and eerie caverns to explore. When the weather is good, for me, England is one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in the world. Sarah Belcher