Category Archives: lake district

A week in the Western Lakes. 

A few days ago we got back from a whole week in the lovely Lake District. We stopped in a holiday cottage , just outside the Eskdale village of Santon Bridge. Eskdale is a glacial valley in the less touristy Western side of the Lake District National Park. For us it was the ideal getaway, a base to explore what this gorgeous area has to offer.

Ride on the Ratty.   One thing I knew I wanted to do was take a steam train journey on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway.  The railway is a 7 mile minimum gauge heritage railway , affectionately known as L’al Ratty. It was originally used to carry hematite iron ore from mines around Boot, nowadays  it’s  an inventive way to explore the surrounding countryside.  We bought return tickets from Ravenglass to Dalegarth station £13.90 each ( Hugo’s ticket was £1.50) and walked along the river Esk to Stanley Ghyll Force. Trust us to find a waterfall!  L’al Ratty also played host to an Art Installation on our visit.   The Curious Incident of the Stag on the Train Line was an exhibition  of 12 beautiful wildlife paintings by local artist Sarah Taylor.  It was fun to spot  them along the trackside. 🙂

 A Walk to Wastwater.   The nearest lake to where we were staying is also the deepest lake in The Lake District. Wastwater is three miles long , half a mile wide and 260 feet deep.  One day we walked from the  cottage to the village of Nether Wasdale and onto Wastwater. As  you can see we were lucky enough to experience the most amazing walking weather, and the Autumn colours were stunning. Hugo got to bag another lake , which brings his lakes & tarns tally to 13.  Plenty more to go at though!

 Owls at Muncaster Castle. 


Muncaster Castle dates back to medieval times and with 70 acres of wild woodland gardens , its grounds are there for exploration.  The main draw for me though was the Hawk & Owl Centre which puts on daily flying shows. I caught the morning World of Owls Flying Display, where several species of owls can be seen at close quarters. The centre works in partnership with the Hawk Conservation Trust and the talk was both informative and entertaining. Make sure you know how to duck!  Of course Hugo had to stay with Wil whilst I had all the owl themed fun. 😦 Dogs on leads are welcome in the gardens and at the afternoon Sky Hunters Display and Heron feed ( there is a special viewing area for dogs and their owners), but we left before then, to find Hugo an off lead walk.  

Bag a Wainwright.
Wil was determined that we would walk up a mountain on our holiday, and bagging a Wainwright should have been on my Bucket List! Despite not being fond of hills, I’m always in awe of the gorgeous views, once I make it up one. 😉  We chose Buckbarrow, as it was within walking distance of our cottage, and from it’s summit, we could see the sea from one side and Wastwater and the screes from the other. Quite a vista! There are 214 Wainwight Peaks altogether. This was my first! 

 

Head for the Coast.  Santon Bridge ( our base) is actually only a few miles  from the coast, so it was inevitable that we would head for the seaside. The pretty harbor village of Ravenglass has a couple of pubs , a beach and of course is home to The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. We also ventured further a field , following the coastal road to Barrow In Furness and the russet stone ruins of Furness Abbey. The ancient abbey is looked after by English Heritage and it and the museum/giftshop are fascinating to look round. From Barrow we really wanted to take a trip to Walney Island , a nature reserve that is home to a colony of Grey seals. Unfortunately a traffic accident mean’t we had to forgo our plans, so we went to Haverigg Beach instead. The beach here is especially popular with dog walkers and it looked like you could walk for miles and miles.

I really enjoyed our time in the Western Lake District. My only regret is that we didn’t get to explore some of the other lakes in the area. But we were without a car for a couple of days…..so I think we did pretty well considering. 🙂

What is your favourite part of this iconic National Park?

Advertisements

Hawthorn’s September Scavenger Hunt.

I wondered if I would manage to complete this months challenge in time. I’m still on holiday in the Lake District and recently realised I had better get snapping away ! Apart from 3 photos, most of these pictures were taken on my camera phone , over the past few days. 

lancaster and Morecambe 019

1. Shut ~   This butterfly’s wings stayed resolutely shut when I took this photo at The Butterfly House in Williamson Park, Lancaster.

2. Copper ~ There’s a copper  tinge to the days here in the Lake District at the moment. Autumn has arrived! This picture was taken on the banks of Wast Water a couple of days ago. The bracken is copper coloured, the foilage is changing from green to reds and golds. 

 

3. Wrist ~  I would have loved to have worn a pretty bracelet for this prompt, but as I don’t have one here with me, here are my Wristbands from a visit to Muncaster Castle.

4. Quarter ~ At Quarter past six yesterday I was contemplating tucking into this bad boy! Needless to say , I only made a small dent in it, even with my humongous appetite! 

5. It starts with a C ~ Here are Hugo and I outside Muncaster Castle , which is a short drive from where we are staying.  The castle is supposedly haunted by the spirits of a  White Lady, a crying baby and a mischievous fool. Jeepers! 

6. Foam ~  Sorry this prompt was a bit of a disaster for me! I’m trying to convince you here, that the green moss on the rocks in Ravenglass,  feels like Foam when you touch it. A-hem! 

7.  Scarf ~ You can just about see I am wearing my Autumn coloured Scarf , which I bought in Fat Face last September.  I am looking for an abandoned Japanese Garden in woodland near Eskdale Green. It was so abandoned, it took ages to find it! 

8. Line ~ Yesterday I bagged my first Wainwright!  This is the view of Wastwater from the top of Buckbarrow. The skyline is dominated by the Western Fells. It was wonderful up there, but I don’t think I will become addicted to climbing mountains! 

lancaster and Morecambe 066

9. Nostalgic ~  The Art Deco Midland Hotel in Morecambe adds a touch of  Nostalgia to the Lancashire Coast.  I quite fancy staying here one day. 🙂

lancaster and Morecambe 041

10.  My own Choice ~  Love this piccie of my nephew and niece eating their lunch in the back of our car, but can you see who is eyeing up their sarnies. 🙂

Thanks to Hawthorn for arranging the Scavenger Hunt. X

 

Links & Likes ~ September.

 Links & Likes  this month is from our little hideaway for the week,  a cottage in the Western Lake District.    You are probably wondering why am I wasting a perfectly good morning blogging??  The truth is our car has decided to pack in, and we are stuck waiting for a recovery vehicle!  I will add a few pictures from my immediate vicinity.  Its not a bad place to have car trouble, if only we could go out and explore…..

A nice view for a brew. 🙂

I was so sad to hear that Bekki’s beautiful dog Hicks  passed away recently. Bekki who blogs at Dartmoor Yarns wrote a lovely tribute post to him , which brought tears to my eyes, but made me smile too. Will certainly miss hearing all about Mr Hicks , especially his muddy puddle antics. He was a Top dog. Xx

Jo’s Monday Walk  to Coverham Abbey is a feast for the eyes. Stone statues, colourful dahlias, a unique Knot Garden. A lovely place to take a wander. 🙂

 

I always love reading about Tommy’s life on Fair Isle and seeing all his fantastic wildlife pictures. 

Cosy Bedroom.
Books and Binoculars.

How about glamping in a boat in a forest in Fife?  Check out this post from Loving Life In Wellies. 

Lucy is on the trail of Anne of Green Gables in Prince Edward Island. 

A doggy day out in East Sussex on The Bluebell Railway  is an adventure for  My Little Country Life.

 

Mad March Hares above the fireplace.

Hugo the hound. 🙂

Chloe makes the best of a rainy Staycation in Anglesey and North Wales.

Love baking with Apples in Autumn? Polly’s Blog is fab for Apple pudding recipes. 🙂

 Here’s a Great Guide To The Northern Lights in Iceland on Unlocking Kiki. Its definitely time to visit! 

 

I have claimed this Gentleman’s Wardrobe as my own. Love all the different compartments for collars, hankerchiefs and fancy shirts.

The kitchen.
 

Thanks for dropping by. X

 

Ullswater & Aira Force.

Our last visit to Aira Force Waterfall near Ullswater in the Lake District was not very successful photo wise….as it was both tipping it down with rain and howling a gale!  Happily on our return yesterday, the weather was a lot kinder. We decided to park in the lake shore village of Glenridding and take the steamer the short 20 minute journey to the newly erected Aira Force Pier.  The steamers themselves have been pleasure cruising along and around Ullswater for 150 years, and weather permitting , operate 363 days of the year.

ullswater aira force 005
Waiting for the boat at Glenridding Pier.
ullswater aira force 010
One of the beautiful vessels, The Lady Wakefield.
ullswater aira force 011
Stack on The Western Belle.
ullswater aira force 009
Glenridding Pier House.

We bought return tickets from Glenridding Pier House for £8 each and sat and waited with a nice warming brew. There is a coffee shop and gift shop in the pier house as well as lots of local information. Presently our steamer, The Lady Dorothy , arrived to take us to Aira Force.

 

 

ullswater aira force 021

We sat out on deck and admired the passing scenery. Ullswater is the Lake District’s second largest lake and the daffodils that grow on the bank at Glencoyne Bay are said to have inspired Wordsworth’s poem ‘Daffodils’.  The mighty Helvellyn mountain range provided a magnificent backdrop and the waters were tranquil and deep.

ullswater aira force 033
The Lady Dorothy.
ullswater aira force 029
Aira Force is looked after by the National Trust.

Aira Force Waterfall  tumbles a lengthy 65ft and can be reached via a stroll through pretty woodland. There are wooden walkways, gravel footpaths and ornate stone bridges. We looked out for the many different trees on the tree trail and Hugo enjoyed dipping in and out of the babbling brook. 🙂

ullswater aira force 037
Herdwick Sheep.
ullswater aira force 038
Ancient trees along the trail.
ullswater aira force 046
Woodland paths.
ullswater aira force 040
Aira Force.
ullswater aira force 043
Aira Force Platform.

The name Aira comes from the Old Norse ‘ river at the gravel bank’ and Force is a derivation of the Old Norse word ‘ fors’ meaning Waterfall.  So Aira Force is apparently a waterfall on the gravel-bank river. Head further into the woodland to discover the less dramatic High Force.

ullswater aira force 048
Money-tree stump.
ullswater aira force 059
Wet Doog!

There is a National Trust shop and tea room on site. We had a spot of lunch and another walk before heading back to catch the steamer. 🙂

ullswater aira force 063
The Ullswater Way ( a 20 mile walk around Ullswater) takes in the waterfalls.
ullswater aira force 054
Inside the cafe. Hugo eyes up dinner.
ullswater aira force 053
Pretty window box.
ullswater aira force 066
Wildflowers on the banks of Ullswater.
ullswater aira force 070
Ullswater.
ullswater aira force 077
Big skies and Aira Force Pier.
ullswater aira force 082
Back in Glenridding. Can’t help taking pictures of these beautiful steamers!
ullswater aira force 086
Have to have cake in the Lakes!

Thanks for joining me in the lovely Lakes. 🙂

www.ullswater-steamers.co.uk

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/aira-force

May Links & Likes. 

It has been a week that has been particularly hard on many. Life must go on and we must live life to the full, God knows, life is short. Here are a few blog posts I have enjoyed in May.

Mrs Bertimus and family stay in this very quirky and eclectic seaside Guest House at the Whitby Goth Festival.  I have actually spent a night here too…many moons ago. 🙂

Grenson the dog is always on holiday! This time in ‘Mostly’ dog-friendly Yorkshire…

Ever thought of  ‘Gin tasting’ or visiting the ‘Wild West’ in Edinburgh? Lucy shares her  alternative Guide to this beautiful city.

Speeking of beautiful cities, our hearts go out to everyone in Manchester at the moment. City Jackdaw has been writing about the incredible generousity of spirit in his home town.

Laura has been admiring Japanese Cherry Blossom….in Kent.

And Christine found a Secret Valley Of Bluebells.

Duck in a Dress  shares her Geocashing Adventures!

Here’s a nostalgic glimpse into one bloggers magazine reading history. Remember Bunty anyone? From Bunty to Betty on ‘Typewriter Girl’.

And this lady has nostalgia in buckets! Am happy to have discovered Forties@Heart here on WordPress, where Julie, a Mum in the Outer Hebridees ,atempts a 1940’s inspired Lifestyle.

Cumbrian Blondie has been walking the beautiful Ullswater Way. 🙂

And here’s a blog from my little corner of the world. Lovely recipes and beautiful interiors ~ My Grandma Taught Me To Cook. 

Can I show you a few snaps from beautiful Brotherswater I took only yesterday.  This is one of the smaller lakes in The Lake District and is situated in the eastern region of the Lakes.

brotherswater 002
The Lake.

 

brotherswater 003
A Nesting Swan.
brotherswater 028
Bogbean, I think..
brotherswater 022
Pied Wagtail.
brotherswater 012
Hawthorn blossom.

 

 

There’s still time to join in with #30dayswild in June. If you fancy signing up and doing something wild every day next month, go to action.wildlifetrusts.org and join in with the challenge.  Here are a few ideas for your Random Acts Of Wildness.

Sow some Wildflower seeds.

Identify a Bird Call.

Collect some Elderflowers and make a cordial or champagne.

Tell the time with a Dandelion Clock.

Read a Nature Book outdoors.

Go Barefoot in the grass.

Play Pooh sticks in a stream.

Record the birds who visit your garden.

Visit a Nature Reserve.

Make a Bee Hotel.

Thanks for dropping by.  Let me know if you are joining in with #30dayswild.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Sevens 19th March.

wp-image-1942065266jpg.jpg
Two Good Books. 🙂

Hi its Sunday yet again so time for a quick round up of the last 7 days via  a  Sunday Sevens post.  This last week I’ve read two really good books !  I sound surprised because I’ve read a few meh ones recently , so it’s great to find a couple of cracking reads. Firstly The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware is a modern day Agatha Christie set on a boutique cruise with plenty of twists and turns. ‘Lo Blacklock’ is a journalist who thinks she’s witnessed a murder , a woman thrown overboard in the dead of night. But nobody seems to have heard of the victim. Paranoia and suspicion engulf Lo and make this’ Who Done It’ an absorbing and scary thriller.  Secondly, a just as absorbing  but true life tale is  The Yorkshire Shepherdess  by Amanda Owen.  This is Amanda’s own story about how as a youngster she read the James Herriot country vet books and dreamed of working on a hill farm with her own flock of sheep. And amazingly through a lot of hard work and determination she has ended up doing just that. As well as a flock of sheep she has a husband, 8 children and lives and works on a remote farm in the Yorkshire Dales. An inspirational and often funny read, I loved it. 🙂

As well as having my nose in a book this week, I have been using up some holidays and  had a couple of days off work. On Thursday my friend Lisa and I had a fun afternoon hanging out in the Northern Quarter in Manchester. She showed me some great independent shops in this creative area of the city and we also had a really tasty lunch at Oak Street Cafe Bar in the Craft & Design Centre. And I got to cross something off my 25 Before 45 Bucket List !  I had booked us a slot in Manchester’s only Cat Cafe, very originally called  Cat Cafe  which is situated on High Street in the Northern Quarter. Imagine coffee, cake and cats all in one spacious area , adorned with comfy sofas, cushions and cat toys. I will blog about it sooooon. 🙂

On Friday Wil, Hugo and I went to visit family in The Lake District. My family live not far from Ullswater so for some reason Wil , my brother and I thought it would be a good idea to go and check out Aira Force , a waterfall not far from the lake.  The problem was, it was an incredibly rainy and windy day , which always annoys me as I can’t take any photos with the rain blowing in my face. We had to agree though that the force looked amazing in the weather and we will definitely have to go back on a much drier day.

Last Sunday it was raining  too but not as badly ( Hurrah ! ) so we were tourists in our own town and took   The Ribble Valley Sculpture Trail around Brungerley Park. Just in case you missed my post , you can check it out here 🙂

All in all a pretty good week. What did you get up to ?

 

 

A Pet-friendly Break in Keswick.

When planning a break with your four-legged friend , it is always handy to know that one particular Lake District resort has been voted ‘Uk’s Most Dog Friendly Town’ by the Kennel Club for four years on the trot. Lovely Keswick has it all. Stunning countryside with miles and miles of walks, a beautiful lake ( Derwentwater), cosy pubs and cafes, eclectic  shops , several dog-friendly parks and a  variety of accommodation  and visitor attractions that welcome waggy tails.  It seemed the ‘Pawfect’ place for a January Break with our labrador Hugo. 🙂 Here’s what we got up to….

Where we stopped.   We booked  Butterfly Cottage through Sally’s Cottages  who are based in Keswick. They have over 230 pet friendly holiday cottages in The Lake District and Cumbria. Our bijou retreat was so cosy with its Wood Burning Stove ( a must for a Winter Break), open plan downstairs space, fully equipped kitchen and beautiful bedroom with comfy King Size Bed. The location was really handy for everything in town and it was super useful to have an enclosed back yard with a muddy boots and paws wash.

Where we walked.  Every morning before breakfast we headed to Crow Park on the banks of Derwent Water. This is one of three Dog Friendly Parks in Keswick that we noticed. The others are Hope park and Fitz Park.  Each morning depending on the weather, the scenery changed. Sometimes the mountains were bathed in gold, sometimes they were an angry slate blue. It was peaceful there and Hugo had a great run around.

keswick-jan-158 keswick-jan-088

keswick-jan-094

keswick-jan-160

keswick-jan-093

There is a ten mile circular walk around Derwent Water itself which we hope to try on our next visit. We did however revisit a Railway walk which we enjoyed  whilst camping in Keswick a couple of years ago.  The Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path is now partially destroyed due to last Winter’s storms but what remains, still makes for a pleasant stroll or bike ride. The walk starts from the Swimming Baths near Fitz Park.

keswick-jan-113

keswick-jan-112

keswick-jan-123

keswick-jan-117

We also walked up to  Castlerigg Stone Circle situated just outside of Keswick off Castle lane. With the mountains of Helvellyn and High Street as a backdrop, the stone circle is among the earliest in Britain, dating back to 3000 BC.  On a clearer day the views are stunning.

keswick-jan-146

keswick-jan-152
Castlerigg Stone Circle.

Places to  Eat & Drink.   Keswick is great for dog friendly pubs and cafes.  In fact  all the pubs in Keswick welcome dogs except for the Wetherspoons.  Of course we made it our mission to try out as many as we could !  My favourites were The George Hotel with it’s cosy seating area by the fire, The Wainwright Pub, The Packhorse  Inn,  and of course The Dog and Gun famed for it’s ‘Homemade Goulash’ and doggy treat menu. 🙂

I don’t know about you but for breakfast on holidays I love pancakes. 🙂  Keswick has that sorted . We loved  Merienda  on the main street. It’s a fab Cafe Restaurant open for Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner.  With an 8am opening time Mon-Sats and 9am on Sunday it is the perfect place to refuel before yomping up those hills. Another great venue for early starters is Cafe Bar 26 on Lake Road which does amazing Full Spanish Breakfasts. And both do make delicious  pancakes. 🙂

keswick-jan-103
Merienda
keswick-jan-139
Bar 26.

Many of the pubs serve great food ( try the Royal Oak for their amazing Cheese Boards & Platters) and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants in Keswick that welcome dogs. As well as Bar 26 and Merienda look out for The Square Orange Bar/Cafe, Java Chocolate & Coffee Shop, Lakes Bistro & Bar, The Filling Station, Little Chamonix, Laura in The lakes, Kat’s Kitchen ( Veggie ) and Mrs F’s Fine Food emporium, to name but a few.

Shopping.  Plenty of shops in the town don’t mind you being accompanied by your four legged friend. I find the best thing to do is always ask first. Lots of the Outdoorsy shops are dog friendly and so are many others. Hugo visited lovely gift emporiums Cherrydidi  and Love The lakes  on St John’s Street, for holiday souvenirs. He also bobbed into Keswick’s well loved Pet Store Podgy Paws which is a great place to visit for advice on local walks and dog friendly places, activities and attractions.

lakes-may-2016-137
My picture of Cherrydidi Shop Dog Zak, taken last Summer. He has his own range of Zak merchandise and is a complete babe. 🙂

Visitor Attractions.  Here is a quick list of pet friendly things to do and places to visit in Keswick and the surrounding area. 🙂

Cumberland Pencil Museum. Carding Mill Lane. Journey through the history of pencils and pencil making. Home to the biggest colouring pencil in the world! pencilmuseum.co.uk

Keswick Launch Company. Derwentwater. See the gorgeous scenery of Derwentwater on a lake cruise. keswicklaunch.co.uk

A Puzzling Place. 9 Museum Square. An exhibition of optical illusions and trickery. puzzlingplace.co.uk

Keswick Climbing Wall. Goosewell Farm. Indoor and Outdoor Adventure Centre. keswickclimbingwall.co.uk

Castlerigg Stone Circle. Near Goosewell Farm.

Whinlatter Forest Park. England’s only true Mountain Forest with walks, trails and adventure play. forestry.gov.uk

Mirehouse & Gardens. Stately Home and gardens on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake. Dogs welcome in the gardens and grounds. mirehouse.co.uk

The Lingholm Kitchen and Walled Garden. Portinscale.  Beatrix Potter often holidayed here and the garden was the inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden in The Tale Of Peter Rabbit. Reachable via a lake jetty or car. thelingholmestate.co.uk

 

keswick-jan-126
Hugo by Derwentwater.

I shall certainly take a look at the list on our next visit to Keswick. Hugo cannot wait to go again…and nor can we. 🙂

Can you recommend any dog friendly destinations?