Arnside Break.

Although I shared a very lazy story post when I got back from my holibobs on the coast, I do think  it would be a  shame if I didn’t blog a little bit about my stay in lovely Arnside.

Arnside is a village on the Kent estuary, where the river meets the sea, overlooking Morecambe Bay. A former fishing port, the resort is now a popular little holiday destination.

We stopped at Ye Olde Fighting Cocks which is situated on the sea front. Dating back to 1660 the pub is one of the oldest buildings in the village and a cock pit still exists under the restaurant floor. Today’s guests can enjoy simple pub food, a good selection of ales and gins and a warm welcome, canine visitors too.

All Arnsides seafront views take in the impressive 50 Span Viaduct , with regular trains making the crossing over the River Kent. The Railway Station is excellent with great services to Carlisle, Lancaster and Manchester. Oneday we took a train to nearby Ulverston , the coastal route is truly stunning and definitely worth doing. πŸ™‚

On a clear day the diminutive Arnside Pier must surely have the best vistas of any seaside pier. The Lake District fells are misted over in the above picture though.

I love the 2 Minute Beach Clean Stand on the sea front. Litter pickers and bags are provided and anyone can go and do their bit. I must admit the beach was noticeably rubbish free. πŸ™‚

There are some lovely local businesses in the village to mooch round. I loved them all ! I did treat myself to a few things including a cute fox pin from The Little Shop and a bottle of gorgeous smelling hand lotion from Homeleigh Vintage .

Make sure you wander up Pier Lane when shopping. There’s a fab sweet shop, a cupcake shop and a wonderful art gallery there, all almost hidden from view.

And we can also recommend the bijou but belting The Wayside Cafe near the railway station for coffee, cakes and delicious brunch options.

I do love a pub with a view. πŸ™‚ Arnsides other watering hole The Albion has possibly even better estuary views than Ye Olde Fighting Cocks. We certainly had a few beverages sat outside of an evening.

As new visitors to Arnside we got incredibly excited ( ok I got incredibly excited) on our first night when a sound rather like a wartime air raid siren suddenly filled the air. Having read that a warning siren precedes the arrival of the Arnside Tidal Bore, I immediately started scanning the horizon for an impressive wave rushing up the estuary. An hour later ourselves and a couple of other tourists were still sat watching ( and freezing our bits off, the wind had gotten up) whilst all the locals had disappeared inside. The Bore didn’t make an appearance !

It turns out that the Sirens tend to go off regularly anyway, but it is only in certain high tide conditions that a tidal bore occurs.

If you want to keep an eye out for the bore virtually The Arnside Chip Shop is home to the Pier Webcam and there are a couple of good videos to view on the website. Also I have to say , awesome fish & chips !! But be warned , this is a very popular chippy….

We fancied a fish & chips supper one evening and the queue didn’t seem very long. When I placed my order at the counter though, the apologetic server told me there would be a 1 Hour 20 minute wait! She then gave me this chunky ‘ vibrating device’ that counts down the time and starts vibrating even faster when your order is done. Cut to us sat outside The Albion with a siren booming across the bay and a constantly vibrating handbag. 🀣 Our supper was definitely worth the wait but as the wind had whipped up we took it back to the room and consumed with mugs of wine. 😊

There are some great beach walks from Arnside to Sandside or the pretty village of Silverdale. Or you can head up Arnside Knott for scenic views over the bay. Signposted from the village, the Knott is a small hill with big vistas and well worth the climb. Known for its varied wildlife especially wading birds and rare butterflies , the whole area is a nature lovers paradise. πŸ™‚

Dark Red Helleborine.

A myriad of footpaths Criss cross the Knott and surrounding countryside. A beautiful place indeed. 😊

Hopefully you have enjoyed my little tour of Arnside as much as we enjoyed our visit to this quirky and delightful seaside village. πŸ’•

Books Read In May , June & July. πŸ“

I didn’t read many books through the bulk of the Summer months and as usual I have been slow to write up about what I did read. Here is a quick catch up. I seem to be favouring Gothic Mysteries and Thrillers at the moment.

The Diabolical Bones ~ Bella Ellis ( 2020). This is the second of two mysteries that puts the Bronte siblings at the forefront of their own fledgling detective agency. The chill cloak of Winter has covered Haworth and the surrounding moorland, when a bleak discovery is unearthed at the remote farmhouse of Top Withens , a child’s bones in the chimney space of a seemingly haunted room. The literary family are brought to life so well in this shadowy gothic tale that combines science, the supernatural and a twistedly devilish villain. More please. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wakenhyrst ~ Michelle Paver ( 2019). Edward Stearne rules his home ( the isolated Manor house of Wakes End) and family with an iron rod. He’s also a religious fanatic slowly descending into madness. Maud his scholarly daughter spends time in the surrounding forbidden fens to escape the chlostrophobic household , her only friends being a wild magpie and a wild fen dweller. An atmospheric tale set in the Edwardian era. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Picture Of Dorian Gray ~ Oscar Wilde ( 1890 ). I had watched film versions of Oscar Wilde’s only novel and seen the handsome narcissistic character of Dorian Gray appear in the TV series Penny Dreadful, yet It has taken me until now to actually get round to reading about Dorian’s pact with the devil , his longing for eternal youth. Whilst our protagonist appears forever young and beautiful, the true Dorian is the one in his portrait, hidden from public view. With every selfish thought, every wicked deed ,the picture of Dorian Gray becomes all the more grotesque and hideous. As time goes on Dorian’s pursuit of pleasure leaves destroyed lives and reputations in tatters. Would you sacrifice your soul for eternal youth? ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Mapping Of Love & Death ~ Jacqueline Winspear ( 2010 ). Maisie Dobbs is a detective, perhaps an unusual occupation for a female in the interwar years. Her latest case ( this is the 7th book in the series, there are more that follow) finds her commissioned to solve the suspicious death of a wartime cartographer. His affair with an English nurse takes Maisie back to her own doomed wartime romance. A slow paced but readable mystery. ⭐⭐⭐

And that is about all I read through May to July. Thanks for reading!

Weekend Wanderings ~ A Flowerpot Festival And A Roman Wall.

Of the Flowerpot Festival in Settle, the Visit Settle website says ‘ Be Entertained, Astounded and Astonished by the beautiful flowerpot displays in our lovely town’. I couldn’t agree more! Here are a small selection of what we spotted when we dropped by Settle last Saturday afternoon. The Yorkshire Dales town is showcasing it’s stunning flowerpot creations until the first week of September.

The resemblance is uncanny!

On Sunday we were in Northumberland, a county we are discovering more of from our caravan base in the North Pennines. We visited Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 73 mile wall was built under the orders of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in AD122 , guarding the Northern frontier from invaders further North. Today what remains of Hadrian’s Wall is looked after by English Heritage and other organisations.

We parked at Housesteads Roman Fort and walked along the Hadrian’s Wall Path as far as Sycamore Gap, about 4 miles there and back. Confusingly Housesteads is looked after by both English Heritage and the National Trust, yet the car park is run by National Parks. So as NT members we still had to pay for parking. Then I realised I had left my membership card at home anyway! So we didn’t bother paying to see the fort remains, we just went a walk instead.

The wildflowers along the wall are beautiful. Plenty of harebells, knapweed, ladies bedstraw and field scabious. The heather was just starting to bloom and mountain pansies were dotted here and there.

Your not really meant to sit on an ancient monument but Hugo and I did have one quick photo taken just before Hotbank Farm. A very scenic spot for a hill farm. πŸ™‚

To the left of Hotbank farm lies a body of water called Crag Lough. I had no idea before I wrote this post that lakes in Northumberland and very Northern England are known as loughs . There are several loughs near Hadrian’s Wall.

Sycamore Gap is an iconic and well photographed spot along Hadrian’s Wall. A few hundred years old Sycamore tree 🌲 grows in the dip. The sycamore is known as the Robin Hood Tree as it appeared in the Kevin Costner film Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves.

My goodness, there is so much more to discover in this fascinating part of the world. I am sure there will be future posts!

Ullswater Wander.

Are there any places more scenic than a Summer’s day in the Lake District? A couple of weeks ago we enjoyed a bit of a wander from the lakeside village of Glenridding, on to Patterdale and then up to Silver Point where there are beautiful views of Ullswater. Ullswater is the second largest lake in the National park, popular with tourists, but still an easy place to get away from it all. πŸ‘

We began our walk from the Ullswater Steamer Pier in Glenridding.
And followed the Ullswater Way signs to Patterdale. Here the Goldrill Beck weaves its way to the lake.
Sign at the Post Office/ Village Shop in Patterdale. Alfred Wainwright persueded the then owner to sell copies of his first pictorial guide to the lake District fells here. Sadly the shop seems to be empty at the moment.
Hugo pulling right but we carry straight on.
A holiday cottage called Wordsworth Cottage.
It’s door knocker is a much smaller replica of the one at Brougham Hall.
The track to Side Farm campsite.
The only life in the farmyard.
A lake view!
The Artists Seat celebrates artists who have been inspired by Ullswater, and it’s a good place to park your bum…
As are nearby craggy rocks.
Scenic sitting.
A rugged path takes us to Silver Point.
Hugo admires the view from Silver Point.
We make our way back. Near midday now and very warm.
Blue sky, Blue lake.
Heading to Glenridding from Side Farm.
We find a little beach by the lake.
And all go for a paddle.
The water isn’t cold at all.
Refreshments are welcome!

If you fancy a much more challenging walk in Ullswater country The Ullswater Way is a 20 Mile route that circumnavigates the lake. It can of course be done in sections and the Ullswater Steamers are also a good way of getting you from a to b. β›΅β™₯️