A few weeks ago the Hubby and I managed to nab a child-free weekend. We thought we’d make the most of the opportunity and have a couple of nights away before the arrival of baby number 3. It was a double celebration – falling the weekend after my birthday and our 5 year wedding anniversary.
We headed to Bowness-on-Windermere. We are lucky to live close enough to the Lake District to spend plenty of day trips there, but it’s also nice to have a night or two away without having to travel too far – especially in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy!
We spent 2 nights at the Windermere Hydro Hotel. It’s very close to the centre of Bowness, just a couple of minutes walk. However, the short walk is up a steep hill so of course it took me longer than a couple of minutes as gravity is not my friend at the moment!
The hotel was nice, we managed to get booked just 2 weeks in advance via Expedia and stayed in a suite with a balcony and lake view.
The room itself was very nice. There was a small area with a sofa, dressing table and wardrobe, which then led through into the bedroom. It wasn’t massively spacious but fine for the two of us – enough space to get ready while still feeling cosy. We didn’t use the balcony but it was nice opening the curtains to a view over the mountains and lake.
The swimming pool was quiet – we had it to ourselves on the Saturday afternoon. The decor was in need of an update with paint peeling in places but to be honest I was just happy to get in the water and get some relief from a very heavy baby Shrimpy squashing all my internal organs! It felt like a nice treat in this crazy heat.
We ate at the Bodega Bar on the Friday evening. The tapas was nice and loads of choice – I even had a virgin mojito – but the service was really slow. It was nice inside and the food was tasty, as long as you are not in a rush to get somewhere else! It was worth it for the churros and chocolate sauce though!
On Saturday night we ate at Porto Restaurant, which is just a few doors down from Bodega Bar. The food was lovely; I had roasted lamb chump with dauphinoise potatoes and Hubby had steak. The service was friendly and quick, it was nice inside and fairly quiet.
On the Sunday we headed into Windermere itself which is just a few miles up the road and had dinner at the Lakeland cafe (as well as resisting buying tons of stuff from the Lakeland shop that we never knew we needed!) I had sweet potatoes fritters with poached egg and Hubby had an amazing looking Ploughmans but unfortunately I was suffering with pregnancy sickness probably thanks to the heat so that spoiled it somewhat.
Obviously being pregnant I wasn’t there for the gin, but we did visit a couple of nice bars. The Fizzy Tart and the Magic Roundabout both had decent mocktail menus which was handy! I was surprised by just how busy it was, as there were quite a few large groups including a few hen parties.
During the day
We hired a motor boat for an hour and went up and down the lake. It was really relaxing and just something a bit different to do. The kids would absolutely love it so we definitely want to take them out on a boat sometime over the Summer holidays.
We played crazy golf a couple of times and Hubby played Pitch and Putt – while I sat in the shade as I was feeling the heat a bit by then. There’s a nice park and plenty of open space to sit and have a picnic.
I tried my best to avoid the ducks and massive swans by the lake as we walked to the amusement arcade to waste our hard-earned cash on the 10p machines, and of course we had to have a choc dip – an ice cream cone dipped in melted chocolate.
There’s a few nice little gift shops, including the Herdy shop where we bought a cute sheep planter and the Beatrix Potter shop where we bought gifts for the girls. We’ve been to the Beatrix Potter museum before with the kids and they really enjoyed seeing all the displays and model animals from the famous books.
I’d definitely recommend Bowness-on-Windermere for a mini break. It’s small enough that you don’t have to walk too far (which was lucky for me as all I can do is waddle slowly at the moment!) There’s lots of choice when it comes to places to eat and drink – a quick look on Trip Advisor at the best rated restaurants in the area helped us plan where we wanted to eat in advance. You can have a relaxing walk around – or sail on the water – during the day and enjoy good food and a few cocktails in the evening.
Meanwhile the kids had loads of fun without us and didn’t want to come home as they wanted to stay with their cousins – it’s nice to feel missed!