Category Archives: lake district

Two Eden Valley Houses in Autumn.

Once you have scaled the heights of Wainwright’s fells and completed The Ullswater Way, there are gentler pursuits to enjoy in Cumbria’s ‘Eden Valley’.  Only minutes drive from the historic market town of Penrith stands a 15th century fortified manor , with an unusual sanctuary door knocker  and a  fine stately home famed for its annual Marmalade Festival.

Last Sunday I took a few photographs of both Brougham Hall and Dalemain House. It was a perfect sunny Autumn day, and though our visits to both were brief, I hope my pictures inspire you to look them up when you are next in the area.

Brougham Hall 

The historic remains of the home of the Brougham family date back to Tudor times . The Hall and several other buildings lie inside the thick fortified walls in the small parish of Brougham. Sir Winston Churchill commandeered the site for secret military research during WWII.   Renovations here are a work in progress, so do not expect a grand old house. Instead delight in the area’s history, enjoy a stroll round the grounds and browse the array of arts and crafts workshops in the courtyard. There is a small friendly cafe too. Entry to the Hall is free though donations are of course welcome. As are anyone who cares to visit, including four legged guests. 🙂  www.broughamhall.co.uk

 

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Free car parking on this side of the Hall.
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The Brougham Door Knocker is actually a replica of the original, but impressive all the same.
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The 1520 door and gatehouse entrance.

 

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Behind the black doors are artist’s studios and craft workshops.
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Plenty of room outdoors for the kids to run around.

 

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Gwen Bainbridge Ceramics are unusual and beautiful.
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Wil and I just had to share a scone in Bettyann’s Tea Parlour. 🙂
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View from the cobbled ramp under the Gatehouse.
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Brougham Hall and Durham Cathedral both have replica’s of these ‘Beastly Bronze Door Knockers’. They are called Sanctuary Door Knockers and by tradition, anyone  who was running from the law and dared to grip the handle and knock, could claim sanctuary within the walls.

Dalemain House  

Unlike Brougham Hall, Dalemain is an impressive Country House that is still resided in by the Hasell family, who have been in residence since the 1600’s.  The imposing Georgian facade certainly makes the visitor curious, as to what the rooms are like inside. Of course we rocked up here an hour before the house and gardens closed for the day!  So we chose to venture round the gardens. We did not have Hugo with us but that is probably a good thing, as dogs are sadly not allowed at Dalemain.  Car parking is free and there is a Tea Room in the Medieval Hall. Because we only had an hour to explore, we were charged a discounted price of £3 each to view the gardens. www.dalemain.com

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The impressive rose tinted Georgian Facade.

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Lady Marmalade Rose.

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We came across a giant topiary Dragon!
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Relax and enjoy the view.
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Even at the end of October there was a wide array of flowers at Dalemain.
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Above the house there is a Deer Park.
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And to our delight, a large herd of Fallow Deer. 🙂

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We didn’t even have time for a brew in the Medieval Hall. 😦
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Dalemain holds The World’s Original Marmalade Awards every year in March, along with a festival of all things Marmalade. Next years Festival will take place 17th & 18th March 2018. Will Paddington Bear be there, that’s what I want to know!

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I hope you enjoyed my super quick tours of two Eden Valley delights.  I am determined to visit both of them again in the future. I especially need to frequent the Marmalade Festival. 🙂

If you are thinking of exploring this beautiful area of the Lake District, you might also want to read my blogs about  Lowther Castle  and  Ullswater & Aira Force.  

Which historic houses do you like to visit in Cumbria?

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Photo An Hour ~ Saturday 28th October. 

On Saturday I joined in with Janey and Louisa’s Photo An Hour on Instagram, posting a photo every hour, on the hour , all through the day.  It happened that I was staying with family in the little village of Askham near Penrith, so my piccies are all taken in Cumbria, instead of where I live in Lancashire.

8am. Woke up to  a view of a rather murky day .

9am.  Coffee and Toast for breakfast.

10am. Heading down the village  of Askham past one of the  Greens to the Village shop. The shop has a great community feeling and serves coffee too, so we sat in and enjoyed another brew. 🙂

11am. We had been told about a local photography art exhibition in the Village Hall so walked there for a nosy. I bought a few cards and will no doubt frame them, when I get round to it. 

 

 

12pm.  Pie & peas for an early lunch.

1pm. Off to Keswick in the car so a pretty boring shot of the road. Still murky out there, which I guess is appropriate for the time of year. 🎃

2pm.  In Keswick Wil finds a new jacket…..and some walking pants. I prefer to admire pumpkin ornaments! 

3pm.  Enjoying a blood orange tea and a slice of Cherry Chocolate cake in Merienda , a fave tea room in Keswick. 🙂

4pm.  Back in Askham and find Biscuit the family cat relaxing on the bed. He is  a gorgeous boy but is petrified of dogs. So we couldn’t bring Hugo !  I spend most of the weekend seeking out random dogs to stroke. 

5pm.  Admiring the flowers in Mum’s garden. 🙂

6pm.  I bought a Lake District & Cumbria magazine in Keswick so I’m having a glance through. Lots of walks and useful info in here! 

7pm. Tea over, Wil and I head to one of the two pubs in Askham , The Queen’s Head. There is a tempting cocktail menu. Later I do have  an Expresso Martini ! 

8pm.  I wish I had taken a better photo of Floyd the Cocker Spaniel. Here he is at the bar with his owner,  after hoovering up the entire pub. His owner said he was at the village Halloween party, the night before too. Floyd is a party animal! 

9pm. Just  a short of Wils glass. Spooky! 

So there you have it, some random shots of a day in my life. Hope you are having a spooktacular Halloween, and I’ll be back in a few days with more  Autumnal pics of a couple of places we visited on Sunday. 🎃

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?

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. 

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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! 

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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. 🙂

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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.

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Waiting for the boat at Glenridding Pier.
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One of the beautiful vessels, The Lady Wakefield.
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Stack on The Western Belle.
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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.

 

 

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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.

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The Lady Dorothy.
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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. 🙂

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Herdwick Sheep.
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Ancient trees along the trail.
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Woodland paths.
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Aira Force.
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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.

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Money-tree stump.
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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. 🙂

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The Ullswater Way ( a 20 mile walk around Ullswater) takes in the waterfalls.
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Inside the cafe. Hugo eyes up dinner.
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Pretty window box.
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Wildflowers on the banks of Ullswater.
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Ullswater.
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Big skies and Aira Force Pier.
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Back in Glenridding. Can’t help taking pictures of these beautiful steamers!
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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.

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The Lake.

 

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A Nesting Swan.
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Bogbean, I think..
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Pied Wagtail.
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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.