My Northern England road trip ended with a pass through some of my favourite spots in the Lake District, breaking my own rule that it’s normally best not to visit the area during summer. My final overnight stay was at Best Western’s Castle Inn, situated near Bassenthwaite in the North Lakes and part of the BW Signature Collection portfolio.
The small village of Hawkshead is situated five miles southwest of Ambleside, near Esthwaite Water. A youthful William Wordsworth attended school here, and continuing the literary interest, the countryside around the village was later home to Beatrix Potter.
Grasmere was the first place I stayed at in the Lake District, and I have returned there several times over more than four decades. The village, named after the adjacent lake, is situated 12 miles south of Keswick. Continuing the Wordsworth connection mentioned above, the poet lived at Dove Cottage for 14 years with his sister Dorothy. One of Grasmere’s best loved features is a tiny shop selling homemade gingerbread.
One of my favourite drives in the area is Keswick to Cockermouth via Borrowdale, the Honister Pass, Buttermere and Crummock Water. It’s a route that shows the Lake District at its wildest, and on this occasion it made me glad to have selected a rental car at the smaller end of the spectrum.