2020: The Peaks and The Lakes

Happy new year! I had meant to publish this post in January 2021 but as with my many drafts, I didn’t manage to complete it in time! So now, I am trying so hard to complete this before 2022 busy season kicks in. And because it’s a one year gap between first drafting this post and finally publishing this, I guess my ‘Happy New Year’ greeting still applies. :)

When I started this blogpost, I have a few days left before I (technically) go back to work and I was at the point of trying to make the most of my break by doing the things that I planned to do during my Christmas holiday but didn’t really manage to do, like blogging haha! I thought I can commit and finish this blogpost before I officially restart work and get into the busy season but I guess it took me a year to finish this! I’m not surprised to be honest.

I won’t start by saying how 2020 (and continuing to 2021) has been very challenging – we’ve heard enough of it and I bet you’ve said it a number of times yourself, too. Personally, I struggled with not being able to be out and about – if you know me personally, you know how much I love to travel and how much I love being outdoors, exploring.

(As I was drafting and trying to finish this post, the UK have been put into national lockdown again, and this all feels like March 2020 again).

Not being able to do as much traveling kind of added to the stress that I had been feeling since the lockdown. Being stuck at home for so long wore me down by August and I was so looking forward to take a short break from work and go somewhere. First attempt was early September – managed to do a few day trips near Reading. Whilst they somehow eased the stress, I felt like there’s still something missing.

I figured, I needed to go hiking, to see the mountains again! The next opportunity I thought was immediately after my September deadline and so I convinced Phil that we take some days off the same time, and visit his parents up in midlands. We will then do some hiking around the Peak District and Lake District, and maybe around Cannock Chase, all weather-dependent really!

As soon as I submitted the deliverables at the end of 30 Sept (Wednesday), we then drove up to Stafford where we had planned to stay until Sunday.

The Peaks: Kinder Scout from Edale

It’s my second time to visit the Peak District National Park. This time, I chose the trail for our hike; In my searching, I chanced upon this article that described the Kinder Scout Trail from Edale. I was basically looking for the most challenging (and most scenic trail) and upon reading and doing some research, I thought this would be a great trail for our day-hike! And so we did it!

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View of Kinder Reservoir
Our actual hiking route (screenshot from my Strava)

We followed the trail clockwise with the aim of reaching Kinder Scout. It started nice and easy, with a slightly-gloomy but thankfully dry weather. We packed some rain jackets in case it rains, because you know, the weather in the UK can be a little unpredictable. And of course packed some sandwiches for lunch because it’s a long trail!

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Below are some photos we took during the walk, by order of happening. :) It took us a little bit longer to do the loop because: (1) we kind of got off the trail on our way back that we ended up walking in some random muddy areas with no clear paths; and (2) I frequently stopped and took so many photos and videos, I ended up pissing Phil off! :p But then have a look a the photos below and answer my question: ‘Can you blame me?!

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A little sunshine casting over these hills…
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Jacob’s Ladder
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Stunning view after climbing the Jacob’s Ladder
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Stopping around this area to have a quick lunch
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We did the loop trail and I remember on our way back, we went off trail, climbing down on very steep slopes and walking on muddy paths. It was taking us so long which added to Phil’s worry as we might be running out of daylight. Thankfully, we managed to find our way back with the help of the map and compass!

Muddy trail on our way back to the car park.

The Lakes: Windermere

I have longed wanted to visit the Lake District National Park, and perhaps climb the highest peak in England: Scafell Pike. And so I was really looking forward to this trip. Although, we weren’t planning on climbing Scafell Pike this time, due to time constraints (i.e., we were only looking to do a daytrip from Stafford), I was still excited to be in the area.

Our actual hiking route (screenshot from my Strava)

From the car park, we mainly followed the route by the side of the lake, mainly just exploring around. We didn’t have any specific route or something, but thought a lazy and easy walk is the best following a strenuous hike that we did in the Peak District the day before.

So below are some of the photos we took.

After, we drove to a different car park by the Claife Viewing Station, a National Trust property where you can hike up to a viewing deck and admire the stunning views of the Windermere Lake. It was a short climb but the trail is a bit steep so it was still tiring. The skies were also turning grey and clouds were threatening. However, I think the climb is still worth it. :)

It was a very good break, especially for me having to come out of a very busy September. As always, the mountains never fail give me that much-needed solace and for me, hiking is a good way to destress. As to our trip to the Lake District, it was the right kind of short-and-sweet trip at that point in time. In July 2021 however, we went back to the Lake District to do a 2-day back-to-back hike, summiting Scafell Pike and Helvellyn! Post about this hike to be published imminently (hopefully)! :p

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