With that in mind, we decided to start off as easy as possible. We rented a car and drove to S's parents' house in Ossett, West Yorkshire. The drive usually takes about four hours without stopping; we made it in under six hours with a stop for lunch and a nappy change.
Spending the weekend in Ossett also gave Junior the chance to meet S's aunts and uncles.
From Ossett, we drove to Windermere, where we rented a cottage (which turned out to be a ground floor flat, but still perfectly fine for our purposes.) We watched as the temperature gauge plummeted to 7C (45F) and I was glad I thought to pack my down coat. Ah, holidays in England!
We managed to take a few short walks in between the rain and Junior's midday naps, and spent the rest of the time relaxing in the flat.
On a particularly gloomy Thursday, we drove to Cockermouth. After a vain attempt to find the toy museum (which, it seems, is now closed), we settled on pub lunch at The Bitter End.
Four days quickly passed (where does the time go?!) and we returned to Ossett for another weekend in front of the fireplace.
Unlike most holidays, I never even took out my real camera - I relied on my iPhone instead - but that was no reflection on the surroundings. The Lake District is beautiful, even when covered with rainclouds. Junior was able to see sheep, cows, ducks, geese, and swans. Bizarrely, due to the odd weather (dare I say global warming?) the leaves on the trees looked autumnal in May: a patchwork of orange, yellow and green. We visited quaint towns like Ambleside and Grasmere which were nearly devoid of large chain restaurants and shops, a refreshing change from Almost Everywhere Else. We did not indulge in any literary pursuits (land of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Beatrix Potter) but it wasn't hard to see why the extraordinary landscape has inspired so much creativity.
Of course, when we returned to London, the weather improved and we have been enjoying perfect summer sunshine this week. Sigh!
Junior was a good traveler and we are looking forward to our next adventure: flying to Oslo in July!