As 2017 kicks into gear, many of us will already be thinking of the new experiences and travels this year. Indeed, there is no time like the present to plan a fresh adventure or perhaps even learn a new skill. So what will you try this year? Here in Cumbria it could be a journey into wild waters or even a completely new craft or hobby. Below are some great ways to experience another side of the Lake District this year. Don’t forget to keep an eye on our Facebook page and current offers section for further ideas and some brilliant 2017 hotel deals.
Become a Wilderness Explorer
Many thousands might be drawn to enjoy the postcard views of the Lake District each year; but it is perhaps only a small minority who really take off up into the hills, moors and tarns for a bigger adventure. It takes effort and preparation to get right up into the quiet, craggy places, but for the more adventurous, the rewards are priceless.
Imagine having your own little piece of paradise, with nobody around for miles. Your perfect spot with no traffic or tourists, just all the time in the world to walk, sketch or just soak it all in. In the busy world we live in, such peace and quiet is a wonderful gift. It might take some legwork, but on your return that fine meal with a glass of red will never taste better.
Try Wild Swimming in the Lake District
Come on in, the water’s lovely! (Image: The Outdoor Swimming Society Facebook Page)
Another wonderful activity that gets you in touch with the elements is swimming in Cumbria’s famous lakes. After all, it is one thing to admire these grand waters from a canoe or cruise ship, but immersing yourself from head to toe is a wholly more intimate experience! If you are newer to wild swimming, our advice would be to plan for the summer when waters are not too chilly. Begin with a sensible distance and set forth in good company. Several sites are worth checking out for tips, locations and a wealth of free information (such as that of the excellent Outdoor Swimming Society), as well as books such as Kate Rew’s acclaimed Wild Swim.
Landscape Photography Classes in the Lake District
There cannot be many better places to learn photography in the whole of the UK than the wild lakes and undulating scenery of Cumbria. Not only is the scenery itself inspiring, but there are several dedicated professionals who offer Lake District photography workshops and one day courses. These sessions can often be booked by the hour at your own convenience too. Adrian Almond, for example, offers friendly photography sessions covering many great locations to refine your skills.
Glass Blowing Classes and One Day Craft Workshops
Why not try something crafty and challenging in 2017? (Image: Cumbria Crystal Facebook Page)
Besides the art of digital photography, the Lake District is also a brilliant place to learn more traditional creative crafts of many types. Watercolour painting is always popular, but for a more thrilling, hands-on experience there are also some brilliant glass workshops in Grasmere.
Cumbria Crystal are especially recommended to learn about the art of sandblasting or traditional glass cutting. These sessions are not only great fun but allow you to take home your very own, hand-finished and personalized work of art! Click here to view dates and courses available for 2017.
Learn the art of Fly Fishing in Cumbria
How many visitors see anglers on the rivers and lakes of Cumbria and quietly think to themselves “that looks great!” With so much water to cast into across the Lake District, why not make this the year that you learn the art of fishing? The bigger lakes can be daunting, however, to say nothing of getting your head around the different tackle and techniques involved. The answer is simple: get the best possible head start by booking a professional guide.
Qualified fishing coach Eric Hope of Hemingway’s Fishing comes especially highly recommended in this respect. With a clear, friendly approach and plenty of local knowledge, he can take you through the basics of casting a fly to reading the water and fooling your first ever fish. Be warned though- should you catch the bug it is a highly absorbing and addictive hobby! Indeed, you may never look at the Lake District in quite the same way again (don’t forget to check out angling artist Scott Winstanley’s delightful guest blog on fishing the tarns if you’ve yet to do so!).