There are some days when heading to the hills is inevitable; it is not even an option, you have to go. Your body, mind, soul and wellbeing are craving that mountain air. Your eyes are yearning to be dazzled by the textures, colours and intricacies of Mother Nature's landscapes. Your feet are willing to feel stones and rocks and ice and dirt trampled by your boots. This day was one of those days, for both my friend Mollie and I. And so, we made a plan to head up to the Lake District to spend a day out in the hills, both of us wishing for the snow from a couple of days before to still be stuck on the hills. We met in my favourite cafe in Windermere, Homeground, where breakfast, tea and coffee was consumed and a catch-up was had, then we whizzed over to Ambleside to start the hike up Loughrigg Fell.
I had some goodies from the folk at RMBLR to shoot, so loaded up with socks and beanies we headed out up the hill. After walking through Ambleside and crossing the bridge, the hike starts to get pretty steep straight away. But the views looking across the valley to snow-peaked mountains made us giddy with excitement.
The further we walked, the snowier the valley and surrounding hills became. We didn't have much of a plan, not really aiming for the summit of Loughrigg Fell just for some landscapes and views that would satisfy us. It turns out that those views were just about everywhere, and we ran around like two school children chasing sunlight and mountain peaks.
We ended up spending an awful long time sat around on a small peak, chatting, laughing and taking photos before eventually realising it was getting late and we were getting cold. But then the sun finally shone through the bottom of the clouds and lit up the snow in a breathtaking golden glow. What else could we do but carry on upwards? It was one of the most beautiful afternoons to be up on a mountain, and definitely what we both needed that day.
We descended from Loughrigg in late afternoon light, eager to get over to Blea Tarn before sunset. The drive into the Langdale Valley was more beautiful than ever; the sky virtually clear but for a few scattered clouds, and high peaks blanketed in snow appearing around every bend. The Langdale Valley was the first place I came in the Lake District, and continues to be probably my favourite part of the National Park.
The winding road up to Blea Tarn was a struggle to say the least. Snow lined the single-laned roads, meaning pulling into the sides for other vehicles wasn't easy! We made it as the last leaks of light hung to the peaks, running down to the tarn to see the most beautiful winter scene before us...
Days like this one reminded me of how good it is to get outside, even when it's cold and you're not always feeling up to it. And even more so, getting outside with a good friend for long conversations and endless laughter. We ended the day with a pub dinner and pint at the Old Dungeon Ghyll, planning more adventures in the hills of England and beyond.
Follow Mollie on Instagram here.