Visiting family in Cumbria.

As I am currently participating in Clare’s ( from Need Another Holiday ) #take12trips challenge ~ I thought I might as well write about my recent stay with family for my May post.

I travelled up with Wil on Friday and I stopped until Wednesday at my Mums. Wil had to head back to work earlier..Poor thing ! 😉

Some pretty cottages in Askham.
Some pretty cottages in Askham.

Mum, her husband William and my brother Mark live in a little village called Askham which is about 8 miles from the market town of Penrith and 4 miles from Ullswater.

Saturday ~ Headed to Keswick and had a wander round the town and down to the lake, which is called Derwent Water. Tried to persuede everyone to look round Keswicks  Pencil Museum.I am obsessed with visiting ever since it was featured in the hilarious black comedy Siteseers. Have you seen it ?No one seemed enthusiastic! Another time then. 🙂

Derwent water, Keswick.
Derwent water, Keswick.

In the evening William took us for a ride to the beautiful remote valley of Martindale which is accessed by a steep mountain road. A few remote farms scatter the hillside and there are even two small secluded churches.Hardy Herdwick sheep are grazed here. The views are spectacular.

Remote and beautiful martindale.
Remote and beautiful martindale.

Sunday ~ Just enough time in the morning for a visit to the Alpaca Centre, a few miles away in Stainton. Sourcing all things alpaca the shop is nice to wander round and for a pound you can go see the farms alpacas and miniature sardinian donkeys. Alpaca are bred for their wool and are originally from the plains of North America.

Think I'm in love.
Think I’m in love.

After waving goodbye to the other half Mum, Mark and I had a wander to Lowther Castle which stripped of its interior and gardens, is currently going through a restoration project. The castle is a short walk from Askham village and the site has been home to the Lowther family for 800 years. After the last residing Lord left in 1936 the grounds were planted with hundreds of fir trees and some of these have been felled to reveal fountains, rock gardens and ponds.Work is going on to try and return the place to its former glory. The courtyard has been restored with tea rooms and a gift shop.

The majestic looking Lowther Castle.
The majestic looking Lowther Castle.

Jack Crofts pond and summer house in the grounds. The pond was  used for ice skating on in Victorian times.
Jack Crofts pond and summer house in the grounds. The pond was used for ice skating on in Victorian times.

Never to old for a rope swing!
Never to old for a rope swing!

Monday ~ Headed over the moors to County Durham and had a mooch round Middleton in Teesdale and Barnard Castle, two little market towns. We also visited Eggleston Hall gardens which is really more of a garden center . Mum loves garden centers! Ok I did buy a few plants for my one flower border. 🙂

image
Mini Angel of the north, Eggleston hall gardens.

Tuesday ~ Today Mum and I drove to Talkin Tarn which lies in a country park nine miles east of Carlisle. The lake is a glacial tarn with a 1.3 mile path round it. We had a walk round ( you can hire mountain bikes and rowing boats if you prefer ) and had lunch in the boathouse tearoom looking over the water. Popular with dog walkers too. 🙂

Talkin tarn.
Talkin tarn.

The lovely thing about Askham is that the fells above the village are home to a herd of fell ponies. Anyone who owns land in Askham apparently have the right to graze two horses on there or twenty sheep. These ponies are hardy
animals and can survive outside in the elements even through winter. They are quite shy though it is possible to pet them.

Cumbrian fell pony.
Cumbrian fell pony.

Wednesday ~ My last day in Cumbria and it poured with rain. I guess we had been lucky to miss it for four days so I didn’t mind to much. In the afternoon Mum took me to a nearby nurseries just down the road in Melkinthorpe. Larch Cottage is a garden center,restaurant and gallery with a difference. The family who own it are very much inspired by the Italian countryside as the nurseries are full of follies and statues and pillars. I took loads of pictures here so I may feature it in a future post.

Larch Cottage.
Larch Cottage.

Larch Cottage.
Larch Cottage.

Finally I will leave you with a photo of one of my brother’s cattle, a belgian blue cross called Bibi who as I took this photo, was attempting to eat my camera.

Bye Bye Bibi.
Bye Bye Bibi.
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