Exploring the great outdoors

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Lake Windermere — © Julian Thurgood

As the term has begun and lectures are in full swing, you are probably looking for some ways to relax and avoid any reading, seminars tasks or quite simply anything university related. So, what better way to escape reality than to journey to and explore the wide variety of options around the Lancashire area? Most family members probably told you before heading to Lancaster University that you were going to one of the most picturesque parts of the country and, well, they are quite right. We are lucky enough to only be a short train ride away from the Lake District which plays host to many activities that will keep you busy.

After a short 40minute train journey, you can find yourself exploring Windermere. A quaint yet glorious village with lots to do and see.

Whilst exploring the village you can soak up the stunning scenery. Not only is it friendly on the purse strings but there are numerous designated walking areas and paths that range in mileage depending on what you are after. To find out more visit Lake District website. However, if walking is not for you then don’t despair, why not pick up the pace and explore the surroundings via a bicycle. Country Lanes bike shop offers a variety of different bikes and located by the railway station, so locating the shop isn’t too much of a trauma. Prices start from £20 and vary depending on the model. They also include information regarding routes to take, so there is no need to worry about getting lost in the wilderness.

Some other activities to try your hand at are boating, climbing, horse riding and crazy golf. If you fancy an adventure on the water then you can hire canoes and kayaks from £20 for four hours and a wetsuit for only £3. There is no experience required for the sit-on-top kayaks and they are also available in tandems. Lessons are also available if you feel this could be your new found calling.

If a trip on a boat tickles your fancy, but you would rather not do the work, then you can book onto one of the many cruises offered on Lake Windermere. Prices start from £2.45 for a single trip to the Ferry House or you can opt for a longer trip, lasting approximately 45 minutes. This ‘Island Cruise’ costs £6.75 and takes you around the many hotspots around the lake. For more information, see http://www.windermere-lakecruises.co.uk/cruisedetail.php?id=7. There are many other options to choose from catering for everyone’s taste. It will most definitely allow you to capture the sights and take a photo or two.

So, with the many options offered at Windermere it really is a day trip not to be missed. However, with winter drawing near be prepared to wrap up warm.  Why not also take some time out of your day and watch the world go by and catch up with some friends. Make sure you stop for a hot chocolate and a cake in one of the many cafes in this quaint little town and the small shops and craft stalls can be sure to keep you amused.

Useful Information

  • Trainline.com – Trains run regularly from Lancaster to Windermere Railway Station. Prices around £8 return (with railcard) on off-peak hours.
  • Country Lanes Bicycle Hire – 015394 44544

Opening hours: 9am-5pm.

  • Windermere Canoe Kayak – 015394 44451

Opening hours: 9:30am – 5:30pm.

  • Windermere Lake Cruises – 015394 43360

Opening hours: Vary

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