Thursday, December 26, 2013

Contiki England and Scotland Day 3: From York to the Lake District

Contiki England and Scotland

Day 3 
York to the Lake District

I guess I've been putting this post off because I don't really have too much to write about visiting the Lake District while on Contiki, since we weren't there too long. After leaving the not-so-great Holiday Inn in Leeds, we were off to Lake Bowness-on-Windemere for a sightseeing cruise along the lake. Again it was a pretty short drive, so before we knew it, we got our Wakey Wakey call from the ever cheerful Roxy who gave us our map for the area, some quick tips on what to see and do, and directions for the privy (we had to pay a few pence there, so have your change ready) and the boat. The cruise around part of the lake was nice enough, however it was rather windy and the overcast sky made the venture a bit more on the chilly side,

Now Lake Bowness-on-Windemere is the home where Beatrix Potter wrote her ever famous Peter Cottontale stories, so naturally there's a museum and a few expensive shops .... 

After a couple of hours on our own, it was time to go back to the bus for the second half, a little more adventurous day in the Lake District. I should back peddle though. On the first day of the tour, the TM (tour manager) handed us a sheet to check off the additional tours and activities we'd want to do throughout the rest of the tour. While at the Lake District we had the option to take the lake cruise for a small additional fee, and we also had the option to either do your own thing, go on a hike, do a high ropes course or archery. I chose the latter. Now to be honest, I felt like the second half of our day in the Lake District was like going to summer camp, but with gorgeous scenery and loud bleating sheep (I take photos for a Girl Scout camp every summer where the top activities are archery and high ropes). 

After our bus pulled in to the Keswick Climbing Wall and Activity Centre, we were divided up into the different activity groups; archery seemed to be slightly more popular as we had to be divided up into smaller groups again. We received a small amount of instruction from our laid back instructor and went at it. As time went on though tour mates started to create challenges, which then evolved into some fun and interesting contests. 

After our archery time was up we were given time to explore the surrounding area, which was nothing short of spectacularly beautiful views and a plethora of bleating sheep.

After the high ropes folks got back, it was time to head back on the coach and make our way to the next hotel, the Crown and Mitre hotel in Carlisle, Scotland (the hotel, by the way is a very charming and nice hotel with incredibly comfy beds) before going to the beautiful and historic Edinburgh.  

Extra Tips:

* I know everyone says it, but seriously keep a journal, you'll find that after all is said and done you'll lose 
  track of your days and what happened when.

* Don't go overboard packing extra things to do for fear of being bored on the bus or having too much down time, 
  because you'll most likely end up sleeping on the bus and there is no such thing as down time while on Contiki.

*If you're on a budget for a night out of drinking, the night out in Carlisle is definitely worth it, with pints at only £2, 
 at least on the night we went. The main bar there is also only a short walk back to the hotel.

The next blog post will be about my third day on tour from the Lake District to Edinburgh. 

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