Helvellyn and Aira Force 

The Lakes are a beautiful place. Enchanting and absorbing. It’s the kind of place where you turn a corner and expect to find a faery ring.

On the final night of my visit I dreamt of dragons (and no, I was too busy travelling I hadn’t caught up on Game of Thrones then … I have now!).

My husband and I climbed Helvellyn. We had good shoes and water and a couple of snack bars. But apparently we should have had a map and a compass. My husband also should have had something more waterproof than a poncho and I should have had gloves. In other words, we should have known better.

But we survived! We conquered Helvellyn! The views were amazing!

We weren’t the only #BadHikers. There were plenty of people around. People running up it in tiny shorts. People with dogs: big and small, trekking through the sleet. People with kids that were noticeably quieter on the way down, half frozen, and needing an extra hand to catch them when they tripped. They all beat us down!

It was incredible. I had forgotten how exhilarating it is to reach the top of a mountain. It’s been a while since I’ve hiked.  I’ve been up Ben Nevis before and through mountains in Switzerland and Australia. I’ve skiied back in Aus, but not recently.

But this climb was brilliant, because it had been so long, because it was with my husband who had a great sense of humour in his Disneyland poncho and Superman tshirt, because the views were amazing.

It is very humbling getting to the top and feeling the sleet hit hard across your face. Your fingers are frozen. It’s a different weather system up the top of a mountain. I’d forgotten. I hope I don’t forget again. Gloves really are essential!

Wandering around Aira Force was a stroll in comparison. A beautiful forest stroll accompanied by the sound of the river bubbling along beside us and the gush of the cascades. It was crucial to wear good shoes, as it got pretty slippy in places, but it is suitable for all ages and dogs.

All in all, both are highly recommended, just for very different things. What is your favourite part of the Lakes?