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The Lake District was once described as "the loveliest spot that man has ever known" and after spending some time there myself I can wholeheartedly agree with that statement. The Lake District, which can be found in the county of Cumbria, is host to 16 stunning lakes and miles of breathtaking scenery. While I don't think there are any ugly spots in the area, I do think there are some locations within the Lake District that you just cannot miss.

Looking down across a wide lake surrounded by hills

So here are the most beautiful locations in the Lake District...


Aira Force


The Aira Force waterfall is just one of many waterfalls you can find dotted around the Lake District, though I would argue this is one of the more impressive. The 21.3 metre tall waterfall can be viewed from several viewpoints however I would recommend viewing from the below as this is where you will find the most dramatic view (and be coated in a subtle spray from the falls). Aira Force can be easily accessed from the National Trust Car Park which is also only a short distance from the shores of Ullswater lake.

two images. the first is of a tall waterfall. the second is of a wide bubbling stream

Ullswater


Of the lakes I visited Ullswater was the most beautiful in my opinion, though it was stiff competition and to date, I have not yet visited all of the Lakes in the area so my opinion may well change in the future. Ullswater is the second largest body of water in the Lake District National Park and can be accessed from several car parks in the area. Surrounded by remarkable scenery, Ullswater offers both space to relax on the shore or the option to take to the water in a historical steamer if you wish. On my visit, I also found the water calm enough to explore in our kayak so that is also an option if you have your own equipment. 

two images. the first image is a view of Ullswater lake from the shore. The second image is of Grace and her father in a blow up kayak

Surprise View


The most uncreative name award goes to - Surprise View. The view, which may not actually come as much of a surprise to those who actively seek it out, is located atop a steep hill next to Derwentwater Lake. You may be able to walk to Surprise View from the bottom of the sloping road however, there is a conveniently placed car park opposite the location. This is probably the best option for anyone not wanting to hike. Whichever way you chose to transport yourself to the area, it is well worth the trip, even if you already know what you'll see on arrival. Whilst the name won't be winning any points for originally any time soon, the view you are treated to here more than makes up for it! 

two images. Both are of the wide Derwentwater lake which is surrounded by green hills

Ashness Bridge


Further down the road from Surprise View, you can find Ashness Bridge. The bridge is a traditional stone bridge which allows travellers to cross over the fast running beck below. While the bridge itself is the main draw here, the bubbling stream which runs underneath is just as beautiful to witness. You'll find the bridge replicated on hundreds of souvenirs in the area and it is said to be one of the most photographed locations in the Lake District. Ashness Bridge can be easily accessed from the National Trust car park less than a minute up the road.  

Castlerigg Stone Circle


A Stone Circle may not be at the top of your to-do list while visiting the Lake District but I'm here to try and change your mind. Very few stone circles can be found surrounded by such impressive scenery whilst also being free to visit and easily accessible. Although you won't be able to glimpse any bodies of water from Castlerigg Stone Circle, it's location atop high hill gives the opportunity to spy on the incredible mountainous landscape that encloses the site. 
Castlerigg Stone Circle can be found in the north of the Lake District and can be accessed by free roadside parking opposite the site.

two images. the first image is a shot of the whole stone circle. the second image is a close up shot of one of the stones which is covered in a thin layer of moss. sweeping hills can be seen in the background of both images.


So those are the most beautiful locations in the Lake District in my opinion. The Lake District is by far the most picturesque area of England I've been lucky enough to visit and I'm sure I will continue to add to this list whenever I return for another trip. 

What do you think should have made it onto the list?


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another image of the large Ullswater lake. Text on top of the image reads "the most beautiful locations in the lake district"

Lake District National Park, United Kingdom

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LOCATIONS IN THE LAKE DISTRICT

It seems everybody whos anybody has been flocking to Lavender fields this summer! With many of us understandably wanting to spend more time in the great outdoors Lavender fields have become the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon, and get some cracking photos for the gram while we're at it!


Grace wearing a white dress standing in the centre of a lavender field

Last week I too bit the bullet and visited Cotswold Lavender - a beautiful field full of various species of the sought after purple plant. The fields are located just outside Broadway which is a very pretty chocolate box village and another perfect location for anyone hoping to fill their feed with cottage core content. 

Visiting Cotswold Lavender 

Hill Barn Farm, Snowshill, Broadway, Worcestershire, WR12 7JY

Entrance Fees: £4 for Adults, £2 for Children under 15 years, Free for Children under 5

Opening times : 10am - 5pm daily

Cotswold Lavender is currently open until 26th July 

More information on visiting the Cotswold Lavender fields can be found on their website.

in focus are several strands of lavender. In the background and out of focus a lavender field can be seen

On entering the Cotswold Lavender fields I was greeted with the most beautiful view of sprawling lilac fields as far as the eye can see (or at least as far as I could see, the eyes aren't quite what they used to be!) and a smaller patch of a wonderful yellow crop. Walking through the field I spied several types of lavender at various growth cycles. Each variation of the Lavender was beautifully kept in its own row, with several rows being quite spaced out to make the fields accessible for all, I assume. 

Whilst it's very easy to social distance in the Lavender Fields they do get incredibly busy and even just minutes after opening the fields were filled with people (and their dogs) hoping to get the perfect shot. It is possible to take photographs without other guests in the background however, you likely won't achieve the same people free photos you see on Instagram without some editing - so I'd just recommend enjoying being there and worry about priming your photos when you return. 

Grace is sitting down between rows of lavender. Out of focus lavender can be seen in front of her and behind her farm houses can be seen

I'll admit I started my day a little upset that it was so tricky to take a snap without a stranger wandering around in the background, but I didn't let it ruin my day. Soon enough I found myself enjoying prancing about in a field of beautiful crops (maybe Theresa May was onto something?) and breathing in the fresh country air which came with a hint of sweet Lavender goodness. For an hour or so I found myself remembering what my life was life before the pandemic and I was just happy to be out of the house and exploring again. 

If nothing else I left the fields with a clear mind, a lifted mood, and just a pinch of sunburn, the photos I came home with were just a bonus (although can we all agree they are banging after I spent hours editing rouge children out of them!).


a black and orange butterfly can be seen resting on a strand of lavender


Other UK Lavender fields you can visit right now...


Due to Covid19 not all Lavender farms are open to the public this year. The list below only contains the details of Lavender Fields which are open to the public right now. 



Somerset Lavender 

Horsepond Farm, Faulkland, Somerset, BA3 5WA

Entrance Fee: a donation

Opening times: Wednesday - Sunday 10am - 5pm

You can find more information on visiting Somerset Lavender fields on their website.




Mayfield Lavender Farm

1 Carshalton Road, Banstead, SM8 3JA

Entrance Fees: £4 for Adults, free for Children under 16. 

Opening times: 9am - 6pm daily

You can find more information on visiting Somerset Lavender fields on their website.




Hitchin Lavender 

Cadwell Farm, Ickleford, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG5 3UA

Entrance Fees: £6-£7 for Adults and Children, £4 for Disabled people, free for under 5's, family tickets available. 

Opening times: 9am - 8pm daily

You can find more information on visiting Somerset Lavender fields on their website.




Castle Farm Lavender

Castle Farm, Redmans Lane, Shoreham, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN14 7UB

Entrance Fees: £4.25 for adults, £2.75 for Children, free for under 5's.

Opening times: Wednesday - Sunday and Bank Holidays 10am - 5pm

You can find more information on visiting Somerset Lavender fields on their website.




Lavender Fields Hampshire

Hartley Park Farm, Selborne Road, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 3HP

Entrance Fees: £3 for Adults, £1 for Children

Opening times: 10am - 4pm daily

You can find more information on visiting Somerset Lavender fields on their website.



Grace is standing in a field of lavender. She is turned to the side and her black satchel can be seen hanging from her shoulder


So if you've not managed to visit a Lavender field just yet and you'd like to, hurry up because the season is drawing to a close. You don't want to have to wait another year to live your best Lavender filled life do you?

Have you been to a Lavender field yet this summer? 



Thanks for reading!


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Cotswolds, UK

COTSWOLD LAVENDER & OTHER UK LAVENDER FIELDS YOU CAN VISIT RIGHT NOW!

I'd always wanted to travel on my own, but my lack of confidence usually got in the way, until recently when I've been embracing solo travel trips. From Day trips alone to weekend breaks in European cities, I've done a few trips now and already I've learned so much. 

So what exactly have I learned from solo travelling as a woman?



Taking a selfie in Derry on one of my solo trips
When solo traveling you will end up with more selfies than you could ever want.
This was taken in Derry in front of the Bogside on a very windy February day.


1. I actually have the confidence to do whatever I want. The number one thing stopping me from solo travelling in the past was not having the guts to just go for it, but now I know I can do whatever I want whenever I want!

2. Everyone wants to know why you're on your own. For some reason, a woman choosing to travel alone is a strange concept for some people. Every trip I've been on when I've spoken to someone for more than 5 minutes they've asked why I'd want to do a trip on my own. 

3. You make friends very easily. When solo travelling it's super easy to make new friends. I always meet people, on tours, or at bars, so I'm never actually lonely when I'm alone. If all else fails I can always hop onto Bumble and get myself a date with a cute local so I don't have to drink alone.

4. Solo travel as a woman is mostly safe however, there are always predators lurking. Although I've not had any major incidents on any of my solo trips yet, I did have a close call with a stranger who followed me down a dark road late at night. Whilst nothing like this has happened before, or since, I always make sure I'm aware of my surroundings and steer clear of any suspicious-looking characters.


The modern looking Peace Bridge in Derry on a solo trip
The Peace Bridge in Derry, Northern Ireland


5. Solo travel is more expensive than travelling as a couple or in a group. Unfortunately when you travel alone you cop for the cost of the whole hotel room so I've had to learn to be much more flexible when it comes to travel. I don't usually pick a specific destination when I look at travelling, I just see where is most affordable at that time. I also take late-night flights as much as possible as these are usually the cheapest flights to catch.

6. I can easily adapt when things don't go to plan. As someone who's lived with anxiety for most of their adult life, I can sometimes struggle when things don't go to plan, especially when I'm travelling alone. But after a few mishaps, I feel I can now adapt pretty well when things go pear-shaped.

7. Along similar lines, I think I'm pretty good at solving problems when solo travelling. On my first night in Krakow, I arrived at my apartment at around 1 am after coming straight from the airport to find I couldn't access my apartment. You'd think I would be quite stressed about this considering I was in a new city, alone, at night, and on an empty road, but I managed to stay incredibly calm (for me) and called my host for help. I was safely in my apartment no more than an hour later.


Myself standing in front of Free Derry Corner. I had to ask a strange to take this photograph as I was travelling solo
When travelling alone I often ask strangers to take my photo if I don't feel confident setting my tripod up.
This photo was taken at the Free Derry Corner, Derry Northern Ireland

8. I can probably overcome my fear of the dark - speaking of Polish apartments - although my apartment was lovely once inside, the walk up to the room was terrifying. I was staying in one of those old city centre apartments which have been standing since before the turn of the last century. They can be lovely but my god, can they also be scary. To access my apartment I had to walk through the bottom of one apartment block, across a pitch-black courtyard, into a second apartment block, and up 7 flight of stairs. Oh, and did I mention that the lighting system for both apartment blocks worked on a sensor which meant you had to walk around a considerable amount before the lights were activated. This system is great for the environment however, trying to walk up several flights of stairs in a creepy apartment building alone in the dark is an experience I wouldn't like to have again. That being said I reckon I could eventually overcome my fear of the dark if I had to do this enough.

9. Sometimes you have to be a bitch. When someone you've just met asks to share a taxi with you from the airport to the city centre is okay to say no. When the same person spots you the following morning on a group tour and tries to make conversation with you, it's okay to be a little cold if you're getting bad vibes from them. Most people are likely harmless but when you're solo travelling, especially as a woman, sometimes it pays to trust your gut and be a bitch.

10. Having internet access can be invaluable. When I'm travelling alone my phone is my best friend. I use google maps to easily find my way around new cities, and I leave 'find my friends' active for as long as possible so that my family back home can see my location. Without internet access I could still have successful solo trips however, I feel more confident and safe knowing I have the resources I need in my pocket.

Looking down from the medieval Derry city walls over the Bogside which is a residential area with many murals on the sides of houses
The Bogside, Derry, Northern Ireland

11. You don't have to drink to have a good holiday. Yes, you read that correctly - You can have an amazing trip without ingesting one drop of alcohol! I know this because I was actually on antibiotics for one of my trips which sadly meant that I couldn't have a little bev at the bar. I don't drink much on my solo trips anyway as I feel safer and more in control if I limit my alcohol consumption when I'm alone.

12. There are SO many benefits of solo travelling. From doing whatever you want on your terms, to making new friends, and even just taking a break from people in general, there are so many perks to solo travelling. Although I will always take trips with my friends and family, I hope I'll never give up travelling alone as my solo trips are just so special to me.

So those were the 12 things I've learned from solo travelling as a woman!

I've love to hear about your experiences travelling alone, let's have a chat over on twitter or leave a comment below 😊


Thanks for reading!


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