Lockdown birthday travels

The best-laid pre-lockdown plans

I am getting to the age when I would rather forget birthdays! But this year 2020 it will be so difficult to forget – the Lockdown birthday. Many people have had to forgo weddings, funerals, anniversaries and, of course, birthdays. We had planned to visit the Lake District and stay at the Beech Hill Hotel & Spa on Windermere but sadly that has now been put on hold.

Derwent Water, Lake District

Wainwright did his walking in the mountains, Heaton Cooper captured the moods of the hills in his painting; Wordsworth and the ‘host of golden daffodils’ drew us to the place that Beatrix Potter called home. Travellers from all over the world are enchanted by the Lake District. Its history, its stunning scenery including lakes and mountains, its rugged, peaceful beauty captivate the visitor with its unrivalled views.

I have visited the stunning Lake District many times to Keswick, Grasmere, Troutbeck to name a few. Windermere is one of my favourite areas and can give you either peace and tranquility or the hustle and bustle of this small tourist town.

My journey to this beautiful part of our islands was intended to be at the newly refurbished Beech Hill Hotel & Spa on Windermere’s eastern bank, to indulge ourselves with stunning views, good food, and a welcome spa. The Beech Hill Hotel has 57 bedrooms, many have private balconies with en-suite facilities. If you have disabilities, please contact the hotel before you go. The Lake View Spa has undergone an expansion that includes a 40ft swimming pool, Himalayan sauna, aromatic steam room also an outside vitality spa pool. 

The constantly changing vista of the Lake District is stunning and the position of the Beech Hill Hotel & Spa overlooking Windermere gives wonderful views across the western fells and is a photographer’s or birdwatcher’s dream.

Walking and sailing are very popular activities, Windermere is the largest of the 16 lakes that are to be found in this area. For walkers and climbers, the mountains reveal living picture postcard scenes.

The Beech Hill Hotel has a beautifully presented restaurant, the Burlington Restaurant which has held AA rosettes for the last 20 years. This 4-star hotel is in such a beautiful location and is waiting to welcome visitors again when we are allowed to go.  

I love to walk the Wainwright walks or visit the famous landmarks of this stunning area but I can wait a little while longer before we sample the luxury of the Beech Hill hotel. 

What really happened on my birthday

Glynis Sullivan

Champagne all the way!

Well, I was determined to do something to celebrate the day, so the champagne cork popped as I opened my cards and a few presents. My friends think I am a heavy drinker as most of my gifts were wine or gin!  Well, one said, “What can you buy when the shops are closed?” but food shops also sell alcohol and I am a little partial to champagne.

A video call to Barcelona to Zoom in with family was a special treat and phone calls from friends added to my day of celebration.

Thankfully, I have a lovely garden to enjoy and on the day the sun was shining and certainly giving me a feel-good factor. We were able to visit friends at a social distance of course for a lovely lunch with strawberries and cream washed down with Prosecco!! 

Afternoon tea with my sister in her garden then a visit to more friends for another glass of prosecco before I came back to my home to enjoy a delicious evening meal cooked by my husband. 

A lovely day not planned, but what has come out of our lockdown birthdays is how we value our family and friends more than anything in the world.

Maybe next year I will get to the Beech Hill Hotel & Spa to celebrate in style.


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Glynis Sullivan

Traveller and writer for Silver Travel Advisor

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