Lake District Travel Inspiration

Fat Bloggers Lake District Travel Tips

Stunning Coniston Water in the Lake District
Stunning Coniston Water in the Lake District

We know that we need to eat sensibly and exercise for good health. In our busy lives this is not always easy and for the food lovers among us, it’s downright impossible. What can we possibly do to remedy this? If like me you find exercising in a gym downright boring yet hate to catch glimpses of yourself in a mirror, I suggest regular trips to the Lake District.

Stay for a week in Cumbria and you will lose weight as well as tighten up those muscles hidden underneath the flab.  Carrying excess weight up a hill is quite a feat and as tempting as the thought of hiring an electric bicycle might be, restrict yourself to a bike ride as a special treat.

You do have to avoid places that sell unsuitable food which most probably means all the things you like that contain sugar, wheat and fat. Yes those puffy scones with clotted cream and jam look absolutely scrumptious but they belong in Devon and not Cumbria. Cumbria is all about Cumberland sausage with mash, real ale and Grasmere gingerbread. It’s easy to avoid the gingerbread when you visit Grasmere, the tiny shop cannot hold more than three people at once and there is usually a queue. Just tell yourself that it is high in fat and sugar and bad for you. Let all those skinny people eat them, they need the calories. You can then feel righteous and enjoy that small victory.
Another thing you do not need is Kendal Mint cake. Yes, ordinary walkers may need a slab of the traditional confectionary for emergencies but you are not an ordinary walker, you carry a shed load of energy around permanently on your belly and hips. Finding yourself lost on a mountain will be a potential problem, you can survive for days and maybe weeks on the surplus stores that you carry. Just congratulate yourself that you actually managed to get up the mountain.

You should go up in to the hills and mountains of Cumbria so that you can tell all the fat people back home how stunningly beautiful it is up there. Why should only slim athletic types be entitled to all that scenery? Try driving through the Hardknott Pass and you’ll shed a few calories through fear alone. Tight hair pin bends and steep inclines get the heart racing whilst you sit on your bottom and grip the car door tightly.

sheep in the Lake District
Sheep in the Lake District

You will notice lots of sheep out on the fells grazing constantly. At this point you could ask yourself why a sheep can graze all day and not put on an extra ounce whereas you cannot. I mean, have you ever seen a really fat sheep? They’re just skin and bone under that woolly coat. The answer is, it all depends on what you eat. Stuff yourself with green vegetables all day and you’ll be exactly the same. You might pass an inordinate amount of wind but you will not gain weight.

That would be such a boring diet, I hear you say. True. However, we are omnivores and can eat all foods, the trick is to just eat natural unprocessed food. Cook it from scratch and you’ll be healthier;  all that peeling and chopping burns lots of calories. Cave men lived on vegetables and the occasional bit of meat. They didn’t farm, didn’t have wheat or refined sugar to rot their teeth and make them fat.

One way of escaping temptation in Cumbria is to rent a cottage in a remote location, miles away from any supermarkets, shops or pubs. That is easy if you stay anywhere near Wastwater or Grizedale Forest. Do a big shop for good healthy food that includes lots of vegetables and fruit before you arrive at your cottage or en-route at one of the larger towns such as Kendal or Windermere. Cook for yourself and go out walking every day.  There are so many interesting things  to see in the Cumbrian countryside.  I recommend May when there massed bluebells in woodland and on the grass verges, gently nodding yellow Cambrian poppies and banks of white wild garlic that scent the air.  Prepare to be amazed by the number of streams and rivers that flow across the countryside and the constant birdsong. The sheep will curiously approach you and stare if you stand still long enough. Look upwards for the wide wingspan of a soaring bird of prey high in the sky. This is osprey country and you may just spot one near Esthwaite Lake and Trout Fishery.

The various lakes are quite remarkable and each has a character of its own. Wastwater has steep hills rising from the water on its eastern side and grassy banks and even sand and rocky beaches leading into the shallower waters of the western edge. This is a completely unspoilt lake. There are no eateries or refreshments here, no boats; simply fabulous views, sheep and a lovely place to walk.

Lake Windermere
Lake Windermere

Windermere, on the other hand, is equally beautiful except that it is much larger, ten miles in length and is home to marinas, boating and yachting of all kinds plus the various piers for the passenger steamers at Lakeside, Ambleside and Bowness with their associated naughty cafes. You could try your hand at kayaking for fun in the water and you will be exercising without even thinking about it.  There are also rowing boats at Coniston, Bowness and the Ambleside pier.

A real challenge would be attempting the aerial rope adventures offered by Go Ape in Grizedale Forest and a similar attraction at the Lakeland Visitor Centre. Climbing the ladders to get to the platforms in the trees is hard work, harder for heavy people who have extra weight to lift off the ground.  Once attached to safety lines, you make your way across rope bridges and intriguing devices up in the tree canopy. Zooming down on zip wires is an exciting reward at intervals and gets the heart racing.

At night, the sky is inky black above your remote holiday cottage. The stars glitter clearly and you can make out the various constellations.  Sleep comes easily after an active day and you’ll awake refreshed. With no snacks or treats in your cottage, it is easy to break the snacking between meals cycle and after a week your body will be retrained and so much fitter and healthier.

When you return home from your Lake District holiday, remember the remarkable beauty of the fells and make a holiday in Cumbria a new healthy annual habit for a new fitter you.

The Fat Blogger

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