I wrote a blog a short while ago titled ‘I want to be an Adventurer’ and to date it has been my most popular post. It began as a dig at those Instagram Adventurers who seem to be living the life that many of us dream of but it stirred something inside of me and now I consider myself an adventurer too.
Before this I had a very narrow view of what constituted as an adventure. I thought of huge treks, massive mountains and far flung places. Of course they are adventures but you don’t need to go far or spend a fortune. An adventure is simply something that pushes your boundaries and treats you to new experiences. This could be as simple as sleeping in your own garden or exploring a previously unknown part of your town or county.
My latest adventure was a little bigger than this but still fit nicely into a weekend and didn’t break the bank.
It all started with a cheap train ticket. Whilst waiting for a train in Milton Keynes I was reading the timetable and saw that there was a direct train to the Lake District. A seed was sown. On the train I did a bit more digging, the fare was almost £100. This looked like game over but I played around with dates and boom! £36.50. That was more like it. I set up a WhatsApp group, got a few friends on board and a plan started to emerge.
The Lake District is served by two train stations on the West Coast Mainline: Penrith in the North and Oxenholme in the South. These stations are about 26 miles apart as the crow flies and there is a Bothy right in the middle between them. Plan sorted! Problem is I can’t fly and the M6 is in the way. We worked around this by taxiing to and from our start and finish points in the Lake District National Park. The benefit was that we avoided all the walking along roads we’d have done otherwise; sure it put the cost up a little but split between three it was manageable.
Having start and finish points allowed me to plan the walking routes and I did what I usually do and sought out all the high points. This was great and the views were fantastic but I hadn’t envisaged having to scale and cross Harter Fell in the dark. With headtorches on and near blizzard conditions this was definitely an experience. We survived though and arrived at our overnight stop Mosedale Cottage Bothy at 1830; you can read all about our Bothy experience here.
Day two was equally as stunning but with much more bog trotting. We made it to the edge of Kendal just after 3 o’clock and took another taxi to Oxenholme where we sat in the pub for a few hours and enjoyed some well earned food and beer before getting the train home.
Trains – £36.50 from MK, £42 from Euston
Accommodation – FREE!
Taxis – £15 each, £45 in total including tips
Food and beers – £20 each
Total – £71.50 (£77 for Neil coming from Euston)
So, under £80 for a weekend packed with adventure and great views. Now you can’t scoff at that.