My husband’s parents smartly bought a house in the peaceful and breathtakingly beautiful Newlands Valley more than 50 years ago and my husband spent every Easter and summer holiday there as a child.
For a myriad of complex reasons we haven’t visited for four years – until this month, when we had a blissful four days there.
We walked up Catbells, marvelling at the stunning views and quite by chance bumping into an old work colleague on top of the mountain. We walked round Derwentwater, reminiscing about our children paddling there when they were little and remembering our son’s scary mountain boarding exploits down to the shore.
Best of all, we did my favourite Mrs Tiggy-Winkle walk round the valley. As always, I half expected Mrs Tiggy-Winkle to appear with her washing basket as we strolled through the delightful village of Little Town. Beatrix Potter was walking there one day when she met Lucie Carr, the local vicar’s daughter, and it inspired her to write The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle for the little girl.
Along the way we chatted to walkers, runners and cyclists galore – all of them smiley, ultra-toned and brimming with energy and bonhomie. There’s no doubt about it, being out in the Cumbrian air makes you feel better, whatever your age. A man in his seventies grinned with delight at the prospect of walking up Catbells all over again the following day while a group of Cambridge graduates on a university reunion scrambled up the hills like a herd of mountain goats.
My children adore the Lake District but couldn’t join us this time round. I kept sending them Snapchats of all their favourite haunts and was thrilled when they took screenshots. “I wish I was there too,” texted my daughter, while my son, studying in France, sent me a message saying “everything looks so green!”