My head for heights

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We’re  back home after a mammoth drive from the Lake District last night. After years of driving there and back, first from London and now from even farther away, we prefer to do the drive at night when the roads are mostly clear. The only downsides are eating on the road (I don’t want to see another burger for a long while) and arriving in the small hours of the morning does knock us out of kilter somewhat the following day. All of us have been feeling a little fragile today but, gosh, it was a memorable trip.

I was in my twenties the first time I went to the Lakes. David and I walked, climbed and camped there before children, we stayed there with first one small child, then two, then three. We’ve had large family holidays there and ones with just the five of us. And as the children have got older we’ve been going on longer and longer walks of increasing difficulty. This week we all pushed ourselves. I had to steel myself several times and overcome my anxiety at potential danger (‘Come on, you’ll be fine. Really.’) while ignoring my cautious inner-voice, my ‘what on earth are we doing’ voice. Once we reached the summits, though, all the uphill slog was forgotten. Reaching the summit is marvellous. Standing at the top, looking down into the valleys, you do feel on top of the world and there is no feeling quite like it. The landscape is majestic and being in it is exhilarating. These long walks are also a great excuse to eat sweets and chocolate, hearty pub meals and puddings… Back to normal eating now, sadly!

It’s the end of British Summertime tonight and although I’m not looking forward to the evenings getting darker, I am looking forward to that extra hour in the morning. I’ll leave you with this little snapshot of my family life: I popped into the kitchen earlier (about an hour after dinner) to find my eldest standing there munching chocolate biscuits. ‘What are you up to?’ I asked. ‘I’m thinking about what to eat while I’m eating,’ he replied. There you have it – the inner workings of a 16-year-old boy.

Goodnight 🙂

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42 thoughts on “My head for heights

  1. Fantastic photos, I have many distant relations in the Lake District but have not visited for years. Most of all though I love your 16 year old son’s comment, I can so relate to this, exactly what our 14 year old son would say!!

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  2. Wonderful weather too, by the sound of it – although autumn in the Lake District is usually pretty spectacular whatever the weather or so I am led to believe

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    1. It is most definitely one of the loveliest places. Do go again soon. Many businesses suffered badly in last year’s storms and could do with the custom.

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  3. Oh, how beautiful! I would LOVE to visit there. I’ve only seen photos but I think I would enjoy it very much. I’m so glad you had a nice time, I hope you’re totally relaxed and refreshed now.

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  4. Amazing photographs Sam. I love the Lake District, haven’t been for ages though, and never with the children. I know they’d love it there. I’m laughing about your son’s reasoning. Seems fair to me. Hope you have a good week. CJ xx

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  5. Your photos are amazing.They really capture how high you climbed, and how steep some of those hills (mountains?!) are. I’m ok going up (within reason) but really get the fear going down. I’m always so frightened I’ll slip. My dad regularly hikes in the Lakes with his friends and they have all kinds of special boots, sticks and gear. But good on you, and good on your kids too. And it looks like you had some gorgeous weather, even better. x

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    1. The difference between a hill and a mountain is pretty unclear – some say over 1000ft, others say over 2000ft – either way the two big peaks we went up were over 2000ft so, yes, mountains! Sounds much better too 🙂 Coming back down is when most accidents happen so I’m always more cautious on the descent.

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  6. That looks like such a lovely break away from the world.
    My son regularly comes searching for food when I am on the verge of serving dinner. It’s as if, once hunger strikes, they can’t wait a second longer!

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  7. Recognise the Teen Approach To Food. L often eats just before supper and when I remind him he’ll spoil his appetite he looks at me as if I’m mad. Lovely shots of the Lakes, so pleased you had such a great time x

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  8. Lovely pictures in the autumn sunshine Sam. Traveling is the only downside to going away, driving by night is a good idea for such a long journey. Do you think eating chocolate biscuits would make me more like a sixteen year old again?😀

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    1. Thank you, Steve. Yes, the morning of our longest walk was crisp, clear, frosty and absolutely gorgeous. We haven’t seen a proper frost on the Kent coast in the four years we’ve lived here – I do miss seeing hoar frost.

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  9. It looks and sounds like a wonderful holiday Sam. thank you for sharing such stunning photos. I can hardly believe how good the weather was for the end of October . We haven’t been to the Lakes for a while now although our son was wild camping and trekking up there at Eastertime this year. My dad’s family came from Cumbria and I would love to investigate his roots. I have a wonderful archive of photographs of the Lake District taken by my grandfather when he was a young man. Nowadays my son, who did know his great grandfather, is following in his footsteps which proves that the apple never falls far from the tree!

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  10. I am late to join the conversation. I love the Lake District but it has been a long while since we last visited and never with all four children. Thanks for sharing your amazing photos, I think I know where I want to go for my next summer holidays. The appetite of a teenager is unsurpassed in nature, just amazing. x

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