Monday, 30 April 2012

Zzzz - time for bed!

So – you've come to the end of your tour of the Lake District – and now you need somewhere to have a good night’s sleep – zzzzz

As in many areas which cater for visitors and tourists, there’s a huge range of places to rest your head. You name it, you can find it!

From 5 star hotels, with swimming pools and spas

To bivouacking in the woods or on the fells

In between those two extremes, there are many other alternatives, and all within a very small area. You can stay in a hotel or guest house in one of the towns or villages, or you can choose a farmhouse out in the country. You can opt for having your meals provided for you, or you can self-cater. There are hundreds of cottages and converted barns which are available for families and small groups, and the Youth Hostels Association also has over a dozen properties in the Lake District, offering budget accommodation for individuals, groups and families.

You can hire a caravan, buy one on a site there, or take your own. Many’s the time I’ve been stuck behind a convey of caravans on the road between Windermere and Ambleside, or on the even narrower road to Hawkshead!

And, of course, there’s camping, which again ranges from the basic to the luxurious. Evidently the luxurious style is now known as glamping i.e. glamorous camping, and some site have luxury yurts where you can stay. But even the basic is much less basic than it used to be, with all the modern equipment available, and, of course, most sites now have flush toilets and showers.  

Those of you who have followed my A-Z know that we had a family caravan near Hawkshead for over 30 years. When we first went there in the 60’s, there were just 2 vans in our field. Later that was increased to 5. There were no ‘mod cons’ – no electricity so all cooking, heating and lighting were provided by a large canister of calor gas. No water either – we had to cross 2 fields to collect water in large plastic containers from an outside tap near the farmhouse. And no mains sewerage. There were a couple of flush toilets in a farm outbuilding, and we had a chemical toilet in a small wooden hut near our caravan – not ideal if you wanted to go in the middle of the night when it was pouring with rain! And I won’t even start to describe the worst job of all, which was emptying that toilet after lifting a manhole cover over a cesspit! Gradually things changed – we got electricity, so no more struggling to light the gas mantles, and we could also have a fridge – sheer luxury. We got water too, with a tap only a few yards from the caravan. No mains sewerage though – we still had to empty that damned toilet! Now, 20 years on, everything has changed. There are now 5 luxury lodges in ‘our’ field – and I bet they don’t have to empty their toilets down a manhole!

So - we reach the end of this year's A-Z April Blogging Challenge, and I'd like to thank everyone who has left comments for me. A special thank you, too, to all my friends from the Facebook GBE2 and Writers' Post groups, for your support. I love you guys!
I'm delighted that so many of you have enjoyed my tour around the Lake District.  As a result, I've decided to extend the tour, although not a daily basis! But I'll take a different letter each week, and tell you more about North West England in general. I think I'll make it my 'Thursday Tour'. Hope you'll join me!

Also, now that you know more about the Lake District, you might enjoy my two novels which are set there: Fragrance of Violets, available from Whiskey Creek Press and Amazon, and Changing the Future, which will be released on May 15th. 

Last, but definitely not least, very many thanks to Arlee Bird and all the A-Z team for setting up this annual challenge. It's been a intense month, but I've really enjoyed it! 


  1. I've really enjoyed your posts and yay us! We made it!!! :)

    It'll be nice to get back to the daily blogging and I look forward to reading yours!

  2. All look like welcoming places to lay my head after a long day exploring. Thanks for all this month's wonderful posts and I look forward to continuing the journey on Thursdays!

  3. You've had some fascinating posts, and I learned so much on your blog from this A to Z Challenge! Thanks for sharing!

  4. What a great way to end the challenge! I've enjoyed your posts. :)

  5. yes, I feel like a ZZZZ. As if I just handedin my last paper for the semester. Stay in touch.

  6. Nice ending Paula, congrats on getting to the end!

  7. Thanks, Mimi - and yes we made it! Not sure I can keep up the daily blogging, but I'm aiming for 3 or 4 posts per week.

    Amy - hope you'll enjoy my Thursday tour of North West England.

    Shelley and Dana - thank you, I'm so pleased you've enjoyed my posts.

    Sandra - we made it, woo-hoo! Will definitely keep in touch via Writers' Post.

    Claudia - congrats to you too!

  8. Seems the Lake District offers enough places, big and small, for us to rest our heads!! Wonderful post!!

    Cheers, Jenn

  9. Congratulations on reaching the end! Great job. I traveled to the Lake District with my parents when I was a child. I remember we had a tour guide named Monty and I used to write to him (I also wrote to the Queen). I still have his letter (and the one from the Queen's Lady in Waiting). It was a great trip!

  10. Congrats to you on completing the challenge.
    I thin I'd be good in a guest house.

  11. Great job--I want to visit!


  12. I loved the month long tour of England. I always suspected it was a beautiful place and my suspicions proved correct. I would love to see more of your homeland and would look forward to a weekly travel blog. Congratulations on completing A to Z.


  13. Totally awesome tour, Paula - and I now have Fragrance of Violets on my Kindle (um, or waiting to be downloaded). Looking forward to reading it with my new appreciation for the area.

  14. Jenn - some places get booked up very quickly, especially in the more popular areas, of course.

    Jennifer - I don't have any letters from the Queen, but I have seen her (close-up) a couple of times, though didn't get to speak to her!

    Ruth - the guest-houses are usually quite small and 'homely'.

    Thanks, Beth - hope you do get to visit sometime.

    Kathy - I'll show you some more places in North West England on my Thursday tour!

    Goddess - I do hope you'll enjoy Fragrance - let me know once you've read it!

  15. I'd love to visit the Lake District one day.

    Congrats for making it to the end of the challenge!

  16. Another wonderfully pleasant look at where I have not been!
    Nice plug at the end and I am among your fans already, but have not yet started Fragrance yet..little time for book reading this month! lol
    Thank you for sharing your little part of the world with us in such a loving and enticing way.
    I'll be around for the Thursday tours, for sure.
    ♥ Great job Missy.

  17. Lynda - thanks and congrats to you too.

    Thanks, Jo - and I know what you mean about not enough time for reading. Hope you'll enjoy Fragrance when you get around to it! Look forward to 'seeing' you again on my Thursday tours.

  18. your A-Z posts were great.. and what a fun way to end them... i look forward to reading more....

  19. A wonderful tour of the Lake District, Paula - well done on earning that zzz!