The Lakes

The Cook family have been holidaying in and around Wasdale for over 50 years, hardly missing a year. It is a highlight of the Cook calendar. Three generations, usually 10 to 15 of us arrive for a week of walking, swimming and fun, even when it rains all week. Mary and Ian Cook, now both in their eighties, could never have imagined what they had started all those years ago when they ventured over the windy roads of the Yorkshire moors, from Hull, with their tiny children, sometimes towing a caravan, sometimes staying in a B&B, often joined by friends. I defy anyone who visits this magical, beautiful place not to vow to return. Which is why, when the opportunity arose, there was no resisting the urge to join the clan.
Sadly, this year none of our boys were there, that's a first. Doug and Owen have missed years because they had been in Oz/NZ, (you have to have a pretty good excuse!), Joe has never missed a year, and last year, we had the additional excitement of Doug and Penny's engagement! Despite none of our boys, there was an excellent turnout of Buffy and James' lads, plus partners, so eleven of them and us made 13, nobody superstitious then.
The last four years have been at Wasdale Head which lies at the end of a narrow, single-lane road. This year we took over all the Inn's self-catering apartments, lucky for us there there was a double bed vacant, deliciously comfortable, with en-suite.....three nights of not having to crawl in and out of bed whilst bumping head on ceiling!

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Cook Clan meal in the Woolpack Inn, Eskdale

We set off from Whitehaven Marina on our wholly unsuitable Brompton bikes. Train to Ravenglass and then, tracks, single-track roads and hills the 13 miles to Wasdale Head occasionally catching glimpses of Great Gable beckoning us from the head of the valley. The final four miles along Wastwater, mountains now towering over us, we were tempted to swim in the lake but the call of the pub, and family of course, won.

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Bliss, heading into Whitehaven, courtesy of a local photographer, Adrian Walker.

We completed part two of our Three Peak Challenge with the ascent of Scafell Pike on Wednesday. We took Bliss's ensign up, hadn't thought of doing that on Ben Nevis, shame.
Sadly, we didn't have the same bright, clear sky as we had done back in May, and there was only a little rain, not enough to stop us swimming in the Emerald Pool on our way down.

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Part two of our protracted 3 peak challenge in the bag


Three days of walking and family time concluded with a walk back to the pool for a final swim before retracing our tracks to Whitehaven to continue our adventure on Bliss. The others had another night but weather conditions were forecast to be pretty disgusting on Saturday so we made the most of a pleasant evening for our bike ride back.
We have a weekend of chores whilst waiting for the weather to improve, washing, shopping and tidying before setting off for the Isle of Man, and then North Wales. We have a rendezvous with Owen and Joe in Caernarfon, to climb Snowdon together, next weekend, and the prospect of meeting up with some lovely friends from Suffolk who are holidaying in Criccieth.

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Water's Meet, once you get used to it it really isn't that cold!