Anastasia Ageeva takes us on a fitness journey to the heart of the English countryside.
Inhaling the fresh mountain air, laden with the scent of meadow flowers that has drifted up on the breeze as it caresses the mountainside, I feel I can almost touch the sky or at least hold Bassenthwaite Lake in the palm of my hand. Feeling safe and whole, I have arrived at the top of Skiddaw mountain in England’s Lake District.
In that moment, whilst atop the pedestal having a memorable picture taken, I felt completely immersed in the landscape, the vast open sky and the valleys below – at peace with myself and the world.
Reaching the top of this mountain was most definitely the highlight of our midsummer escape from the gruelling heat of Bahrain. Trekking up was a long adventure, meeting like-minded people along the way; climbing, mountain biking or just casually walking. However you make the ascent, reaching the peak is like hitting your long-term goal, well planned, envisioned and much anticipated.
The sight of the summit captivated me throughout the climb and the ascent of the foot hills provided reassurance and bolstered my confidence. Do you know that feeling?
A wonderful picnic lunch, midway, provided an alfresco dining experience in a heavenly restaurant with homemade delights. It really couldn’t get much better.
A myriad of curving paths spread out before us, tumbling over rocks and boulders, but we kept our focus on the summit of Skiddaw, feeling connected and drawn to it. The last 200 metres appeared rather steep, so we took a short break in order to tackle it full of energy and further enjoy the experience.
However, it turned out much harder than we had anticipated. Each step became slower as our minds shrugged off the ache in our limbs, knowing that our goal was within reach. What a wonderful feeling standing on the summit of the mountain, seeing the lake, by which we were staying, and feeling so free!
The Lake District is a paradise for active people.
Running around the lakes in the morning, air crisp with a veil of fog touching the fields, swirling above the rivers and floating above the lakes. Cycling through the forests and up the mountains can carry you away for hours! Swimming in the fresh-water lakes and admiring the scenery will inspire anyone to try a little sketching. Rowing on the lakes can be relaxing and therapeutic and, for those adrenaline junkies, there’s bungee jumping and paragliding. You can also feel literally on the edge by cycling down the mountains or, simply, enjoy the fabulous scenery with a round of golf.
Kids will love the Go Ape experience; it’s two to three hours of exhilarating outdoor activity moving through the forest canopy with suspended obstacles, Tarzan swings and breathtaking zip lines.
There is something for everyone along with a variety of restaurants and shops around the lakes.
You may even recognise some of the locations from films you have seen, such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens some of which was filmed here.