For our blog, we thought we would ask one of our four-legged guests to take the lead. Unsurprisingly, he bounced at the opportunity to tell you all about his recent trip to Ullswater. We’ll let him introduce himself.

It’s Never A Dog’s Life In The Lake District

They tell me I’m cute, have eyes that glow like the sun, and a fluffy patch of curly hair that sits on top of my head like a toupee. Personally, I think it’s one of my best features, especially when it brings so much hilarity to my human parents when it takes off in the wind. Let me formally introduce myself. My name is Tayto and I‘m what my humans call a cocker spaniel. That doesn’t mean much to me; I only know I’m adorable and loved.

The past few months have been very strange. Aside from my daily walks, my humans appear to have given up going outside. Not that I have minded. I’ve had a wonderful time curled up by their feet as they sit at the dining room table and tap away frantically on machines that make no sense to me.

So it was a lovely surprise when they told me we were going on holiday. I ran around in circles chasing my tail for hours, I bounced on the sofas in excitement much to the horror of my humans, and I woke them up super early every day by launching myself onto their bed barking, ‘Is it time for our holiday yet?’

My sister Blue came too which was good because she makes for a great portable cushion when I need to rest my head. And while I embrace every opportunity to have my photo taken, she’s camera shy.

Finally, the day arrived and I watched as my bed, bowl and sacred squeaky lobster toy were carried into the car.

This was my first visit to the Lake District. I read in the Woofington Post that a trip to the Lake District is ranked highly on the bucket list of most dogs. I wasn’t sure what to expect but the word ‘lake’ captivated my dog thoughts and I imagined a place with lots of lakes which sounded perfect because I love the water.

It’s Never A Dog’s Life In The Lake District

Before long, dad peered from around the front seat and said, ‘We’re nearly there!’ and in less than a second I jumped up with big inquisitive eyes and looked out of the car window. My heart fluttered as we drove through a picturesque landscape of springtime colour. The land had grown in height and the fells challenged me to reach their summits, while the vast lakes asked me to come and play. I bounced around on the back seat, causing everything to crash into the footwell, but I couldn’t contain my excitement any longer. We had arrived!

Nestled on the southern shores of Ullswater and surrounded by some of the Lake District’s most iconic and highest fells, sits the charming little village of Glenridding. There are a handful of local shops, cafes and restaurants and it’s a great place to relax with a coffee or ice cream and marvel at the spectacular setting. There are lots of exciting fells that can be climbed from here, including Helvellyn (England’s third highest mountain) and Catstycam, and so dad made a mental note to return in the next couple of days.

It’s Never A Dog’s Life In The Lake District

As our accommodation was being prepared, my humans decided a lunchtime boat trip would be the perfect way to explore the area further, but not before we took the opportunity to stretch our legs along the shoreline. I met a Labrador called Sir-Barks-A lot and he told me Ullswater is considered to be England's most beautiful lake. It’s very easy to see why. Much to the amusement of everyone around us, I zoomed back and forth into the lake creating quite the splash, chasing Blue in circles, before landing at the feet of my humans and shaking off all that excess water - in my defence they looked hot and I was only trying to cool them down.

We arrived at the Ullswater ‘Steamers’ pier to a warm welcome. Mum told me they’ve been operating for over 160 years - impressive! It was a gloriously sunny day and there were lots of happy humans and dogs soaking up both the sun and the setting. Before long a beautiful heritage vessel arrived and floated peacefully by the pier. After purchasing our tickets, including a dog ticket for me and Blue, we boarded the boat and the crew untied the ropes and we set sail. Blue decided to snooze, but I sat and sniffed the fresh air, swept the deck with my wagging tail, and watched as the scenery slowly drifted past like clouds. The iconic Lakeland fells stood proudly wearing a coat of rich greens and browns, and the water sparkled in the sunlight. It was magical. I gazed up fondly at my humans. Even though they were wearing masks I knew they were smiling.

It’s Never A Dog’s Life In The Lake District

Eventually we arrived at Aira Force. Apparently, a trip to Ullswater wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the waterfall. We stood completely still, which is difficult for me, and listened to the roar of water as it thundered down 65ft in an impressive display of power. The area in and around the falls offered a world of discovery that had my humans reaching for their camera as we followed a network of walking trails.

We returned to Glenridding, jumped back in the car and headed north passing Glencoyne Bay where you can see the daffodils that inspired William Wordsworth to write his famous poem.

It’s Never A Dog’s Life In The Lake District

After a short drive, we arrived at Waterfoot Park, our home for the next week. Waterfoot Park is serenely situated a short distance from the lake surrounded by patchwork of vivid greens.

Now, I’m not exactly sure what was meant by the term ‘glamping’ but it sounded great fun. And so off we went to the glamping area which is tucked away towards the back of the park and surrounded by greenery. When we arrived at our hive cabin I was relieved not to find any bees. I find them a little annoying when they try to land on my nose.  

It’s Never A Dog’s Life In The Lake District

My humans washed their shoes and mine and Blue’s paws using the handy outdoor boot wash and we stepped inside and made ourselves at home. For my humans this entailed dunking biscuits into their tea on the outdoor deck, and me, well… an afternoon snooze was just what I needed. There’s only so many zoomies I can do in one day!

The rest of the day was very relaxed. The four of us enjoyed a delicious dinner in our cabin before visiting the mansion house bar which sits pride of place only seconds from the glamping area. The garden offers beautiful views over the lake and so we sat outside, and the while my humans sampled the local ale, Blue and I explored the vast lawn. As darkness slowly took hold, we all quietly watched as a plethora of stars appeared in the night sky. I wondered if any space dogs were looking back.

It’s Never A Dog’s Life In The Lake District

The next morning I was up bright and early, bouncing around the cabin as if I had springs for paws. Dad and I strolled to the little shop at reception where we picked up some local fresh milk and bread. I received lots of welcome cuddles from the owners.

We were blessed with another gloriously sunny day. Who says it always rains? And so we geared up and prepared for a full day of exploration. There are so many walks in and around the Ullswater Valley we were spoilt for choice.

From Waterfoot, we strolled into Pooley Bridge and hopped aboard an Ullswater ‘Steamer’ to the little hamlet of Howtown. From here, we joined the famous and popular Ullswater Way walking route and headed south. What a spectacular walk this is! I normally run back and forth in bursts of energy, but the incredible view persuaded me to walk slowly so I could take it all in. I think my humans were relieved not to have their arm yanked several hundred times a day.

It’s Never A Dog’s Life In The Lake District

Our adventure took us back to Glenridding. After all that walking, about 7 miles, my humans decided to rest their feet, and my paws, on an Ullswater ‘Steamer’. Our boat this time was called M.Y Lady of the Lake and is believed to be the oldest working passenger vessel in the world. There were more dogs on board this time so I caught up on all the latest dog gossip.

After about an hour of scenic cruising we returned to Pooley Bridge. We bid farewell to the crew and walked into the quaint village where my humans ordered tea and scones, disagreed whether to apply jam or cream first, and admired views of the River Eamont and Ullswater. I assisted with the crumb cleaning.

With bulging bellies, we retreated to the comfort of our hive cabin where we hit the paws button and rested our weary feet and paws.

It’s Never A Dog’s Life In The Lake District

Staying at Waterfoot Park allowed us to explore so much of this beautiful area. With easy access to the Ullswater ‘Steamers’, those craggy Lakeland fells, quaint villages and miles of footpaths, it’s the pawfect spot for us dogs, and our humans.

Our holiday finally ended. None of us wanted to leave but we’ll definitely return. While my humans packed up the car, I put my paws up, and with Blue and my squeaky lobster toy at my side, I drifted into a dream overflowing with happy memories. Totally pawsome holiday!

It’s Never A Dog’s Life In The Lake District




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