Sunday, 18 February 2018

Escape to the Country: A Weekend in the Lakes


Today I've got a bit of a mish-mash of pictures from last weekend. February is pretty special for us as it's when we got together (a whole nine years ago now!) and also when we got engaged, on Valentine's Day two years ago.

At Christmas, we got a really thoughtful gift from Chris' family of a one-night getaway voucher. If you follow me on social you might've seen that we recently booked New York for our wedding anniversary in July so we thought it'd be nice to use the voucher for a little break between Christmas and the big trip!

Even though I'm from North Yorkshire and fairly near the Lake District, I've never actually been for longer than a day trip. We'd been saying for a while that it'd be nice to spend a day or two up there so it seemed like the perfect opportunity!

We found the perfect little base at the wonderful String of Horses Inn about 15 minutes from Carlisle - a great location for the North Lakes.

As we couldn't check in until 3pm on the Saturday, we headed into central Carlisle for a few hours first.

Outside Carlisle Castle
Pizza at Dutch Uncle

Now, I have been to Carlisle a few times before and I wasn't really sure what we'd have to do there...

We decided to head to the castle first but having set off later than we wanted to, it had just closed by the time we got there! We had a little wander along the castle walls as you could walk all the way around the exterior.

You might be getting the impression by now that we hadn't planned this trip particularly well...

I was under the impression that Hadrian's Wall ran near enough through the city centre too but after trekking up and down a few of the trail paths, we realised that it was probably a few miles before we would reach anything resembling the wall.

With that, we gave up and did what we do best - went for some food and a beer! We came across the brilliant Dutch Uncle, tucked away within Carlyle Court, not far from the castle grounds.

This casual bar/restaurant was just what we were looking for with a small but interesting street food-inspired menu, cocktail list and great beers at good value.

We shared a Nduja, Prosciutto and Rosemary Pizza with a side of Dutch Truffle Fries with Garlic Mayo which was insanely good!

With that, we headed to the hotel.

String of Horses Carlisle Bedroom
String of Horses Faugh Heads Nook
String of Horses Room Carlisle

The String of Horses is based in the small village of Faugh, Heads Nook, just outside of Carlisle. It's a traditional coaching inn; I LOVE old pubs, especially having worked in one back home for around 6 years.

I must say, I didn't know what to expect of this one as a hotel but it completely blew me away! Our room was so lovely and the whole inn itself has so much charm - with proper oak panelling, brasses and ornaments lining the walls, wooden beams, leaded windows, open fires, winding corridors and low ceilings.

Satin duster jacket - Lavish Alice (sample sale)
Off-shoulder choker tee - Tobi*
Green tassel earrings - H&M
Leggings - Tobi*
Polka dot socks - Joanie
Gold holographic sandals - ASOS

Our voucher included a meal so we chilled out in the room a while before getting a little dressed up for some hearty pub food for dinner!

I've been living in these black moto leggings from Tobi lately! I teamed them with my off-shoulder choker tee - I love that it shows off my new roman numerals shoulder tattoo.

String of Horses inside pub
String of Horses Carlisle Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sunday was earmarked for exploring the Lakes. Being at the north side of the area, we chose Keswick for our day trip.

Our minuscule amount of research took us to Derwentwater, a three-mile long lake in Keswick, surrounded by dramatic peaks.

We weren't really equipped for much walking so we parked up by the lakeside and strolled around the water's edge and took a little trail up to the Friar's Crag viewpoint. Even though it was on-off raining/snowing, the views were beautiful!

Derwentwater Lake Cumbria
Keswick views Lake District
Keswick Lake District
The Lakes, Keswick Derwentwater

A brief stop in Keswick town centre for lunch and we were off to our last activity - something I booked in advance and was really excited about!

I can't remember how I came across Alpacaly Ever After (great pun), I think it was on Tripadvisor, but it was such a good shout!

We spent Sunday afternoon with Farmer Terry (super friendly and knowledgeable) and his rescue alpacas - even getting to feed them and take selfies with these cute and goofy animals. A perfect day!

Apacas Keswick
Alpaca Farm Lake District

I'd love to go back with some proper hiking gear in the summer and do some further exploring.

Have you been to this part of the Lakes before?



  1. You definitely need to get some hiking in. Conniston or Grasmere is where we usually stay - near all the good mountains! Looks like you had a lovely weekend x

  2. Oh wow, I didn't expect such a gorgeous, modern bedroom in a cosy country inn! I've visited Keswick hundreds of times but never heard of Alpacaly, I'm so glad I read this post so I know to check them out next time I'm there.


  3. I love the Lake District. My husband and I try to get there at least once a year. We normally stay around the Windemere area but this looks so interesting! We'll have to look at here next. Great post!


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