While we did get married abroad, me and Jess never felt like we got a honeymoon. The trip was only short, and it was a strict itinerary we had to follow. Far from a relaxing, post-wedding break. We did have a trip to Mexico booked, but it was with Thomas Cook, which as you know, ceased trading just after the summer of 2019. The Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 would’ve seen that it didn’t go ahead anyway. But we felt like we needed a bit of a break. Besides, we were expecting, and aren’t “baby-moons” a thing these days?
Several years ago, I took Jess to the lake district for the first time. I had been several times growing up, and it is easily my favourite place in the UK. And as soon as Jess set her eyes on it, it was hers too. The first place we went to was called Pooley Bridge. Unfortunately, it was badly damaged in the floods a few years ago, so we hadn’t been back since, but this year, work was pretty much finished. We’d been to other places in the Lake District in the mean time, but we thought we would give this a try again.
We borrowed a tent, and found a campsite that sounded like it would do for a couple of nights away. There were no bells and whistles, it was literally a field on a hill, with a portacabin for a bathroom. But we did not regret our choice in the slightest.
We arrived on a Thursday, so the weekend campers were yet to arrive. This meant that the site was basically empty, and we could pick wherever we wanted to pitch our tent. Our spot had a perfect view of Lake Ullswater. Not only that, but while the rest of the country was hit with down pours and strong winds, our time camping was one of the best British summers we have ever known.
On the first night, we went in to Pooley Bridge and found a pub so we could enjoy a nice meal together. We got back to our tent quite early, and just enjoyed each other’s company and the serenity that was in front of us, before settling down for the night.
Obviously, Jess was pregnant during all this, so getting through the night without needing the toilet was out of the question. It just so happened that the toilets were quite a hike away, up a hill, so it was quite a mission every time. But had Jess not been pregnant, we would have missed one of the most spectacular things we have ever seen, because we would not have been trekking to the bathroom underneath the perfectly unspoiled sky.
The stars were so clear, and there was so many of them. Completely undisturbed by light pollution or clouds, we could see the Milky Way as well as constellations galore. While everyone else slept, the stars were shining, just for us. And as we walked up the hill, fixated on the sky, 3 shooting stars flew by. We had never seen shooting stars before, but there was no mistaking them, very quick lines of light, all travelling in the same direction, there was no way it could have been anything else. We looked at each other in amazement, and just hugged each other. It was actually quite emotional, and we took it as a good omen for our new family.
The next day, we drove to Keswick. It is one of our favourite places in the lakes. It has a market, and lots of independent, quirky shops. Not only that, but it right by another lake. The sun was shining, so we took this opportunity to do something we had always wanted to do. Hire a boat.
There was not much difference in price from hiring a row boat for 30 minutes, to a motor boat for an hour, so we decided to go for the full experience. We did have to queue for a long time, but wow was it worth it. We eventually got to the front of the queue and got kitted up with life-jackets, given a quick tutorial on piloting a boat, and we were off.
It was incredible. It felt like the world was ours. I wish I could describe it better, but words fail me. Please, I urge you to experience this!
We headed back to our tent for the final night. After packing everything away the next day, we went to the village one last time to look at some shops and take back some souvenirs and gifts, ready for Matilda‘s arrival. And we went home.
Though short, our little getaway was exactly what we needed. We felt closer than ever, and had ticked several things off our bucket list. Everything was great.