Happy accidents

The thing that has been most surprising, and the most delightful this trip has been the ‘happy accident’. These are the things that you just happen upon – whether it’s by sheer luck or happenstance. There’s been a couple of things that have helped along us get to these along the way, but again just by sheer luck really.

First of all we got ourselves a map when we arrived here rather than by getting a sat nav option in the car. The map cost us all of 4 quid but it’s meant that we have had to connect to our surrounds rather than just be led by a strange voice. It’s meant we have had to look and pay attention, have the odd fight sure, but also allowed us to choose one way over another and led us to some of our most memorable drives we’ve had along the way. I’m pretty sure a computer can’t let you in on that.

We have also chosen accommodation by just having a stab. Trip advisor can help sure, but most of the time when booking from the other side of the world, you are flying blind. Websites cannot be trusted…this much I know is true…and ALWAYS the smaller country style hotels that look a little Fawlty Towers are the best and the ones that you remember…and the service is ALWAYS better.

I feel like we short changed Glasgow on our way through. I was coming down from the high of Skye and nothing was going to match it. We also forked out for a (what I thought) was a good hotel that ended up being pretty shithouse. Again NEVER trust a website. We struggled to find anywhere that would fit us in one room so we had to opt for 2 rooms which meant double the poundage AND the worst bed I have ever slept in. We had a wander around, saw some sights and soaked it in, but my heart just wasn’t in it.

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We got away late morning and headed to the Lake district via a small pub for lunch (pay attention Australia that kids options can be more than nuggets and chips. Some kids like boiled eggs and they would cost you nothing!).


Sure, I may or may not have thrown the map down in sheer frustration as we took a wrong turn and ended up going west instead of east on a road (I STILL don’t know how that happened Rob) and I may or may not have blued Rob along the way but SOMEHOW we decided to take the A592 instead of the A66 and stumbled across THE most beautiful drive through the Cumbrian mountains across to the Lake District. I was beside myself with the rambling stone walls and teeny tiny roads.

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I prepped Rob that our hotel was likely to be the worst of the lot. I struggled finding accommodation in the Lake district that was reasonably priced AND that would take a family. When I found one I jumped on it, and again their website wasn’t great. But what do you know? It WORKED. In fact, it just about happened to be the loveliest country hotel I have ever had the pleasure of staying in. THE most amazing view. The biggest, most adorable room, and friendly, helpful people. I am quite beside myself in fact.

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Lake Como eat your heart out! The Lake District of the UK is where its at. Just absolutely stunning. And completely unexpected. Another happy accident along the way…

And how’s the royal wave from Harps?!


  1. That royal wave SLAYED me. Oh, your holiday is so taking me back 15 years. How freaking breathtaking is the Lake District. Man. Sounds like you’re lapping it up and enjoying every second.

  2. I say old bean, looks like you’re having a simply spiffing time. Adore the gorgeous pics. Carry on.

  3. Absolutely stunning – loving your travelogue Beth! I know the A592 and it is beautiful – that’s the secret to all of England really – avoid all major roads if at all possible! If you get a fine day and have some time, believe me when I say that Wast Water is one of the most beautiful places on earth. If you could make it, the drive there is spectacular and the scenery at the lake is beyond amazing. Oh, and there’s a to-die-for pub at the end of the road!

  4. Sha Egan says

    I am loving seeing our country through your eyes. The Lake District is amazing, a place I never tire of, it makes you feel small but so connected. I Instagram the shit out of it and I live in Yorkshire which is pretty beautiful xx

  5. I’ve recently started work as a travel agent and that sending people off to the other side of the world when you haven’t been there and are going off Trip Advisor? Yep! Every single day! But having just sent someone off to the Lakes District I am beside myself with your photos. Stunning, Beth! Just stunning and once again I am LOVING your trip 🙂

  6. Yvonne Duke says

    What a shame you didn’t have a great time in Glasgow ! There are some lovely places to stay and beautiful things to see. The Lake District is such a lovely place and your hotel looks fabulous ! We always use maps when travelling, I am the navigator and could pore over them for hours !!

  7. I am SO damn jealous of you and your family right now. You are in one of my favourite parts of the world. And your photos are to die for. If you ever get tired of blogging you know what you should do, don’t you?

  8. Oh Beth, I wish I had known u were heading to Glasgow I would have taken u 20 mins off the beaten track told u about a great hotel even got u mates rates and you would have been blown away by the scenery. Look up Cameron house hotel, Loch Lomond.

  9. Rach aka stinkb0mb says

    The Lake District holds a special place in Guv and I’s relationship, we went there very early on and some special moments took place there. We had a serious D & M recently, where he said that he doesn’t want to die in Australia [morbid perhaps but he is and always will be English through and through, Australia has never and will never truly capture his heart] and so there are serious thoughts developing about, when it’s time to retire, to head back to the Mother Country and do so in the Lake District.

    You haven’t seen beauty until you’ve seen the Lake District and you haven’t seen the Lake District at it’s absolute best, until you’ve seen it in Autumn, there is no place more beautiful.

    When I went back 3.5 years ago, I went smack bang in the middle of Autumn and on the day I went to the Lakes, I took nearly 300 pictures, so stunning was the scenery! I was forever pulling the bloody car over, it seemed round every new bend there was THE picture that I just HAD to take LOL

    While all of the Lakes are gorgeous, Ullswater is the prettiest and has been compared to Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. Grasmere is small but beautiful. And Coniston Water is a very long [8km] and has been the sight of many an attempt to break the water speed record.

    • Rach aka stinkb0mb says

      Oh and re the map – the first thing I do when I’m back in England if I’m hiring a car, is go to the local book shop and buy a Road Atlas – NOTHING is as good as reading a Map – can you tell I hate Sat Navs?

  10. Cassie Webster says

    So beautiful, Beth. I just love waking up to your posts 🙂 Stu’s cousin and wife own/run Windermere Marina. Such a lovely part of the world. Very envious xx

  11. Your talk of happy accidents takes me back to 1997. I was staying on the Isle of Skye and it was time to choose where to go next. I decided to wait at the bus stop and either travel deeper on to the island return to the mainland, depending on what bus came next. Half an hour later, I was heading to Plockton, home to TV’s Hamish Macbeth, where I spent the next two years based between there and Edinburgh… serendipity! I, too, travelled to the Lakes District at the time – stunning!! Keep the pictures rolling!

  12. Beth I am loving going on holidays through your eyes it looks so pretty and your family is having a great life experience x

  13. So true re; hotels. When planning our Italian honeymoon we stayed in 2 places, 1 a little family run place with a terrible website and reasonably priced. The 2nd a well known five star hotel which was ludicrously over priced which we were treating ourselves to. Needles to say it was a MASSIVE disappointment on all levels – it still infuriates me, however the 1st place was just fabulous with a friendly concierge who used to make me mahoosive G&Ts

  14. Made me laugh as we are just back from Ireland. Lots of blue words, silences, map throwing and yelling at “Silly Sally” the sat nav! But..we do have to say that Silly Sally, who most times took us the most direct route had us on back lanes (or was that “walking paths”?!!) and seeing alot more than we would have…usually by accident! Also second the “nice surprise” places we stayed at, when we were expecting the worst!

  15. Sharon Sweeny says

    Loving following your fab family holiday. The English countryside is just so glorious! Last year whilst driving through the Cotswolds *sigh, we stumbled across Sudeley Castle – the gardens, the views, the ruins, the church where a Queen is interred, the castle. It was all a happy map misread.

  16. Do have a cup of tea with Mrs Tiggywinkle for me, and for goodness sake don’t run over any Peter Rabbits. Did you take the girls to the Beatrix Potter museum, its just gorgeous.
    I remember my first visit to the Lake District, we drove into it late at night, raining and with no accommodation booked, and I was freaking out driving on those narrow roads. All the pubs were booked out, we eventually found a pretty dumpy one, so I went to bed pretty shitty. Woke up the next morning and nearly burst out of my skin when I looked outside on the green hills, stone fences and little cottages. It is amazingly delicate and beautiful. As the other reader said, Carry on…
    And don’t feel bad about Glasgow, I think its a pretty depressing place myself! (sorry to any Glaswegians reading…) Thats why there are so many pubs there…

    • Sorry, but as someone who has lived in Glasgow for many years that’s the sort of comment that can only be made by someone who doesn’t know the city. I could bore you silly on its virtues…oh and Edinburgh has more pubs per head of population than Glasgow!

  17. Chiquita says

    Love your pics and backstory, thank you, your lil girls are adorable (mine are adults now and you are bringing back some v v fond memories of travelling together abroad)

  18. I love this post, especially as we’re setting off this weekend to drive 1000km from Belgrade to Florence. I’ve taken a few stabs in the dark on Tripadvisor and AirBnB on accommodation, mapped our route blindly on Google maps. There’s bound to be a few barneys, crying kids and wondering why the hell we just didn’t fly into Rome. Hopefully they’ll be a few moments of magic sprinkled in along the way.

    Travel is a lot like marriage – its hard work, there are a lot of boring bits but the magic bits are truly wonderful and surprising and cancel out all the other stuff!

  19. I love this post because this weekend we’re going on an adventure of our own – driving 1000km from Belgrade to Florence. There are sure to be some barneys, some crying children and some getting lost. I’ve blinding chosen some accommodation from Tripadvisor and AirBnB. Mapped out a route on Google maps. I’ve just got my fingers crossed that we find a little magic somewhere along the way.

    Those photos are stunning!

  20. Yep, sometimes those wrong turns can be the best ones!

  21. Forget about Glasgow, the lakes district looks real beaut. Gorgeous in fact. Love me a stone wall.

  22. Beautiful photos Beth! Thank you for sharing xo

  23. So glad that you’re having so much fun. Having a bad case of wanderlust myself right now.

  24. Christine says

    What is the name of your beautiful accomodation, Beth?
    The countryside is so lush…imagine the culture shock that Australia’s early settlers would have experienced!

  25. Love your work Beth, and loving the royal Harper wave!

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