Minibreak in the Lakes
This year we spent our anniversary in the Lake District - surprisingly (since its one of the most popular destinations in the UK) it was the first time I had ever visited.
We stayed in a cosy yurt near Wasdale, with its own decking, bbq area, swing, and views of Scafell Pike - England's highest mountain. Of course, that meant we had to climb it.
The yurt was part of Rainor's Farm, a working farm and B&B. We had some frisky calves as neighbours and an inquisitive chicken who loved my husband and tried to sit on his lap, causing him to shriek and flail his arms at her.
It was one of the most peaceful, calming places I have ever stayed, and the yurt combined with the woodburner (and probably the whisky I had bought my husband as an anniversary present) held a soporific power over me. I don't know whether it was the break from the city and its constant low-level traffic hum, or just being in nature, but every night I slept like a baby and woke up to the welcome sounds of birdsong.
Ooh, and the yurt had a very cool skylight so that you could stargaze!
We went in early May - when the UK was enjoying a heatwave - so every day was a primary school palette of bright blue skies, purple bluebells, and bright yellow gorse.
Walking from Rannerdale Knotts to Buttermere, the hillsides were exploding with purple. And after a short but steep hike we were pleased to get a pie and a pint in the village.
The following day, we tackled Scafell Pike. I'd 100% recommend the Mickledore route (turn right at the fork halfway up if going from the NT carpark). It's much more interesting (a bit scrambly) and has better views.
After living in France for two years, English country pubs were a necessity. The best among them was The Blacksmiths Arms in Broughton Mills - a proper traditional 16th century pub with low ceilings (husband received a head injury to prove it), great staff and fantastic food.
While the extremely good weather probably played a big part in my impression, this trip made me remember just what beautiful and diverse landscapes we have in the UK, and was one of the most relaxing trips I can remember. Already looking forward to going back (that sounds weird).