We landed in Heathrow, jetlagged and sweaty from an 11 hr flight from Beijing. We picked up our hired car and drove to central London. We became nostalgic as we passed familiar boroughs, black cabs and red double decker buses. London felt like a million years ago and I didn’t realise how much I missed it until I came back.
There really was no time for rest (or sentiment) as we picked up our friends, grabbed a Sainsbury’s meal deal (sandwich, chips and drink for £3) for dinner and drove 5 hours to the Lake District in North West England. It was the summer solstice and when we arrived at our accommodation around midnight, the sun had just dipped below the horizon. The next day we were to hike Striding Edge, which is the highest point of the Helvellyn mountain range.
We had a glorious day of sunshine and warm weather which was a blessing but it also meant that we had to share the trail with many other people (although my photos depict otherwise).
We trekked uphill through the English countryside, passing farms and lakes before we reached Striding Edge.
Striding Edge is a sharp ridge along the apex of the mountain with uneven surfaces and jagged rocks. You’re mostly scrambling along this section, although there is also an easier path a few metres below. In the past there have been a few fatalities along Striding Edge, so the trek is not for the faint hearted.
As we reached the summit of Helvellyn, we could see an amazing view of the Lake District region.
We decided to take a ‘short cut’ and veered off the trail. In hindsight it probably took a lot longer than the original trail as it was quite steep and filled with ditches hidden by tall grass.
The Lake District is the epitome of the beautiful English countryside. Unfortunately the short weekend only left me wanting more. I hope to one day return and explore the surrounding mountains.