Essentials for new visitors

First published in Opinion The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

TO PREPARE for my mammoth India trip I was told to search online for packing lists.

Seasoned travellers post these on the web to help total amateurs like me from arriving overseas without their sunglasses or their transport details.

This reminds me, I must pack my sunglasses. In fact, I must remember to buy sunglasses.

The suggested list of items to take to India is large. I suspect I am going to have beefy arms after hauling my backpack from Mumbai to Pondicherry.

This all got me thinking about what I would suggest for a Lake District list, in case anyone from Chennai is considering a trip to Bowness next week.

My list would include: Clothing to cope with the weather. This could include an umbrella capable of coping with gale force 500; waterproof trousers; waterproof shoes; waterproof gloves. Perhaps it would be sensible to pack a swimming costume in case it gets really bad.

Wads of cash for expensive poached salmon sandwiches and roast beef dinners. It is also important to bring a healthy appetite, because the Lakes is a region of food.

I would also recommend you bring something you can snack on that is savoury, so you don’t just overdose on Kendal mint cake and end up with diabetes.

In an ideal world, motorised walking boots should also be packed. Then, when you get halfway round the Fairfield Horseshoe and you realise you are too exhausted to continue, you can switch them on and motor back home.

I’d take three maps. It doesn’t matter which because, in my experience, whichever map you have with you will inevitably be the wrong one for the walk.

Then I’d take a camera, so you can take a picture of your poached salmon sandwich and your bedraggled gale force umbrella.

Mentally, you need to bring stacks of patience, for the traffic queues around Bowness. And you need courage to embrace the fells.

And bring your eyes, because after walking in Kentmere last weekend, I have remembered again that this is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

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