From London to the Lake District
I just got back from the Ifsa-Butler Adventure Weekend last night, and it was amazing.
Studying in London has been an amazing experience so far. There’s so much to see and do, and I don’t feel like a mere semester here is anywhere near enough time to experience it adequately. Yet there is so much more to England than just its capital city, and this past weekend really helped me to explore more of the country.
The Adventure Weekend for students studying in London was a trip to the famous Lake District National Park, in the county of Cumbria. We were staying near Keswick, in the far northern section of the Lake District, close to Scotland and exceptionally far away from London; the drive took over seven hours! However, the views of the countryside were amazing; I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much green in my life, nor so many sheep. Once we arrived, some of us stayed in the activity center’s hotel, while the rest of us spent our nights at the local hostel. I’d never stayed in a hostel before, though I had looked into online. It wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined when reading about sharing a room with random people; we all got to know each other really well, and were really only in the hostel for sleeping and eating.
The first night, after dinner, everyone went to the activity center for the ‘Pub Quiz Night’, thrown by the Ifsa Butler staff. The categories covered a wide variety of ranges, and things quickly became highly competitive. I was lucky to be in the winning group, and I’m definitely going to need to look into quiz nights at the local pubs around my university.
Saturday was the best day of the trip, with dozens of activities to choose, from the leisurely to the terrifyingly exciting. I chose Archery and Coracle (traditional Welsh boat) building for my AM activity. As expected, I got soaked pulling my coracle across the river, but was lucky in that mine didn’t sink or capsize! Gorge Scrambling, in the afternoon, was amazing; my best way of describing it would be to say that it’s like a combination of hiking, swimming, and mountain climbing. My friend Anya, a literature major, preferred to go on a more relaxed tour of the famous countryside, heading out to points such as the Castlerigg stone circle and Beatrice Potter’s cottage. Later that night, the Ifsa Butler staff hosted a dance party. I’m usually picky with music, but I feel like the DJ did a great job keeping everyone happy despite different tastes.
Sunday I chose to walk around Keswick, the largest town in the Lake District, rather than hike around the lakes; my muscles were exceptionally sore from the fun of the previous day! I’m positive that a lot of people shared my sentiments, as the bus was crowded and from what I could tell only a handful of people went on the hike. Afterwards, around noon, we began to the long journey back to campus.
Overall, I think that the Adventure Weekend was an amazing event. The English countryside is beautiful, but if not for this trip I would never have even thought to explore all that it has to offer. Normally when I think of traveling, I think of cities, or particular sites that I would love to visit; yet I’d never heard of the Lake District before this trip, or understood why it’s such a popular vacation spot for the British and Scottish. Now, I wouldn’t mind going back again on my own, if given the chance.