Escape the Everyday

To say that 2020 has been a whirlwind is nothing short of an understatement, but if one thing has kept us grounded this year it is quite literally the ground beneath our feet. So, we thought we would share our top tips on how to get outside and escape the everyday.

Just as our guests travel to stay with us at Graythwaite, we at Graythwaite HQ travel across the country and overseas to visit new places too. So, when this was no longer an option, we started to look closer to home.

If you find yourself reading this, eyes rolling, we don’t blame you… how hard it must be to have not only 5,000 acres within the Graythwaite Estate, but to be surrounded by the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the Lake District too. Just like you however, with every passing day our surroundings fade into the background and we too took for granted all that we have on our doorstep. 

With restrictions on travel came a blessing in disguise; the ever-elusive luxury of time. We were fortunate to find ourselves with time on our hands which we had previously spent chasing the length and breadth of the country. How pleasantly surprised we were to instead be finally following the different trails and paths we had often contemplated but left unexplored in the name of being ‘busy’. And with every new path discovered we further questioned when we became too busy to adventure?

“The loveliest spot that man hath found.”

William Wordsworth

Our 8 Steps to Adventure

1) Step Outside

We know the temptations that come with being a devout worshipper of the sofa, however we promise the second you step out the door you’ll feel better for it. The hardest part is getting out there!

2) Join the Imagination Nation

Whilst some will consider nothing short of Striding Edge a vertical feat we can in fact confirm that Hampstead Heath is an equally worthy opponent. Swap dodging Herdwick on the roads of Cumbria for dog walkers on the local common. If you are lacking inspiration we recommend the small people. They are never in short supply of the magic stuff! Go wild and release your inner child.

I see Ewe | Image by Helen Jane Smiddy

3) Follow Your Nose

Or, failing that, your children or dog! Some of our best lockdown adventures were the ones where we had no idea where we would end up. If you find yourself with a footpath in every direction follow whichever takes your fancy. Just make sure you have an OS Map handy for when you get hungry.

4) Slow Down

If you are going on an adventure there’s no going in half-hearted. We are talking no distractions, no I must be back for Bake Off!, no rushing to the end. We are very guilty of being so focused on reaching the summit, end point or pub that we fail to take in any of the journey there. So, our fourth step is to stop rushing and start enjoying!

Is it a bird?

5) Look Up

This is where all the best things can be found! We couldn’t for a second win a round of categories on tree or bird species, however this doesn’t mean we haven’t enjoyed spotting them this summer. When was the last time you argued that a cloud did in fact look like a T-Rex or blag the constellations of the solar system? Can you see any right now?

6) Share it with Loved Ones

For many reading this, 2020 will have been the first time the option to visit loved ones has been beyond your control. For us, this made us realise how important time together is. During the months we couldn’t be together we found new ways to stay connected. So if you are off on an adventure whilst your grandparents are sat at home, why not give them a call and take them with you. Describe the feel of the ground beneath your feet, the smells carried in the wind and the sights surrounding you. If you want to go all out why not send a postcard, because at the end of the day who doesn’t love some old school post?

Graythwaite Estate

7) Be Prepared

Don’t limit yourself. We’re not just talking about timescales. Remember to take water, snacks, sturdy shoes and a map just in case! If there’s a situation you haven’t prepared for then engage that imagination. Flooded footpaths were a frequent feature during our expeditions. Thankfully for us skin is waterproof, so the adventure didn’t have to end there.

8) Enjoy It!

The Oxford Dictionary defines adventure as an unusual and exciting or daring experience. So step out of the door, dare to escape your usual path and get excited! Look for something you have never taken the time to notice nor appreciate before, look forward to not knowing where you will end up, share it with someone you love if you can and enjoy yourself!

“Thank God I have the seeing eye, that is to say, as I lie in bed I can walk step by step on the fells and rough land seeing every stone and flower and patch of bog and cotton pass where my old legs will never take me again.”

Beatrix Potter
The Fishing Tarn | Image courtesy of guest Tom Horne