Escape to the Mountains

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Buttermere at first light

It’s half term at the moment, and so Ed and I decided to get out of the city and spend a couple of days in the mountains up in Cumbria. As October half term is split this year and Birmingham doesn’t share the holiday with London or a few other regions, we managed to find space in a couple of hostels. They’re usually booked up months in advance for the school holidays, so this was a bit of luck. We stayed at YHA Honister Hause for two nights and then YHA Helvellyn on our last night.

Helvellyn YHA has WiFi, which I didn’t realise until we were there and everyone was on their phone. I don’t care how people choose to spend their time, but WiFi attracts people who wouldn’t normally stay in a hostel and who don’t abide by the hostel ethos and treat it more like a cheap hotel, so the atmosphere wasn’t very good. There were lots of very young families there which was annoying as they turned the public spaces into playrooms and streamed videos at full volume over breakfast to entertain their children. I know that not all families or children are a PITA, but Helvellyn was full of the noisy and entitled type of family rather than the quiet outdoors types we usually encounter at hostels. I’ll avoid hostels with WiFi in the future, as its absence acts like a filter.


On the two mornings we spent up Honister we got up for sunrise and drove down to Buttermere. Ed needed to get his runs in on the flat and it was an excuse for me to go for a walk around the lake at the same time. On Monday morning there was mist hanging over Buttermere which made for a very atmospheric walk around the lake. I met some beautiful curly horned sheep and two red highland cows who were grooming one another after breakfast on my walk across the farmland that forms part of the walk around Buttermere.

The track up Helvellyn that leads to YHA Helvellyn

On the last morning Ed was only running for fifty minutes which wasn’t enough time for me to walk up to Red Tarn or down to Glenridding and back, so I went for a walk down the main track. The light wasn’t anything special, so I didn’t miss out on a good sunrise, but it was nice to be out and about early with nobody else in sight.

Morning light in our room at Helvellyn

Light & Adventures |