As a couple considering a short romantic break away, either over the Christmas holidays or for a long weekend some time between now and spring, the Lake District should certainly be high up on your list of considerations. Many of us always seem to promise ourselves that we’ll go up to the Lakes one day – why wait any longer? Splendid Cumbrian cottages – perfect for a romantic holiday – are to be found throughout the county, offering homely, rustic, cozy stays in amongst the most cherished terrain in the land.

Throughout the region there are plenty of much-loved pubs serving real ales, mulled wines and hearty meals, there is also an abundance of activities and events all year round, but nothing compares to getting outside and embracing that fresh Cumbrian air.

Lake

From the end of the festive period up until March is as quiet a period as you can get in the Lakes; make an early start for a long walk among the fells, lakes and wildlife and you’ll have your own private Lake District with not another soul in the vicinity. ┬áDuring the early hours, before even the first chuckles of grouse or honks of goose, mists gently crawl their way across the landscape, all ready for daybreak, and offering opportunities aplenty for some spectacular photography.

The ridge to Skiddaw, the fourth highest mountain in England, offers especially wonderful vistas. Those mists swirl and toil in amongst the birches and heather of Skiddaw Forest, roll along the River Derwent, and bubble at the foot of slopes reaching up towards Grizedale Pike, Coledale and Catbells.

In his great poem, Endymion, John Keats writes:

Those two on winged steeds, with all the stress / Of vision search’d for him, as one would look / Athwart the sallows of a river nook / To catch a glance at silver-throated eels,_ / Or from old Skiddaw’s top, when fog conceals / His rugged forehead in a mantle pale, / With an eye-guess towards some pleasant vale, / Descry a favourite hamlet faint and far.

And surely atop that Skiddaw Range there is enough a vision of winter’s stark beauty to inspire even the least romantic of us; Cumbria, so rich in its wilderness and wildlife, truly is a terrain just aching to be explored.