Category Archives: lake district

Melmerby & Ousby Circular walk.

Here are a few images from a 5 mile walk we did on Saturday in The Eden Valley. This is a nice walk in some parts, but we definitely had issues with some very lively cattle, and had to keep making diversions to avoid them. I love cows the most when they are snoozy, and not galloping down a field toward you. ๐Ÿคช

Also, we had to finish the planned route by road ,as the crops in a cornfield we would have walked through ( on a public footpath) were being collected. It was a peaceful country road though, so not so bad.

We walked through Melmerby, passing rosy stone buildings such as this, the village store.
And a bee friendly area, not for mowing.
A pretty pink poppy, buzzing bee inside.
Bluetit on umbelifer.
A track that takes you up the fell.
But we turned right for Gale Hall.
And were passed by a trailer of bales.
Lane to Gale Hall.
Unsurprisingly Gale Hall is a farmhouse.
A calm cow. Unfortunately I didn’t think to get photos of the lively ones.
Think we are safe from cow stampedes in this field!
Distant crops.
I wondered what a Texas Gate is? It is in fact a cattle grid.
Pony who came for a pat.
Pretty pink mallows.
Feverfew.
Postbox in the Row, a part of the straggling village of Ousby.
Sheep being herded in Ousby.
Foxy pub sign.
A Robins Pincushion, which are created by a Gall wasp on wild rose bushes.
Once back in Melmerby I find a pretty painted pebble. ๐Ÿ™‚

Parts of this walk weren’t great, but I did get some nice photos from it at least. ๐Ÿ˜Š

A Garden Of Eden ~ Flora & Fauna In The Eden Valley, Cumbria.

I thought I would share some of the wild treasures I saw recently on my week off in the lovely Eden Valley of Cumbria.

A Wildflower Meadow On The Lowther Estate. Situated between Askham and Whale after the bridge, the estate has put on a colourful display.

Vipers Bugloss.
Daisies & Campions.
Corncockle.

More from Melmerby Village. The village green and surrounding meadows are blessed with colour.

Red Admiral.
Travellers horses. Not particularly wild , but a lovely pair with very big hooves. Saw them clip clopping past pulling a Romany wagon, the occupant took the reins with a crow chattering away on his shoulder.
Bitter Vetch.
Skipper on Betony.
Honeysuckle.
Ringlets on Yarrow.

Langwathby & Edenhall. A perfect place for finding riverside and cornfield flowers.

Mallows.
Chamomile, maybe……
Common Furmitory.
Field Pansy, maybe…..
Giant Bellflower.

Cow Green Reservoir. A haven for moorland birds.

Juvenile wheatear.
Golden Plover.

Eycott Hill Nature Reserve. Definitely a go to if you love your upland wildflowers.

Ruby Tiger Moth.
Common Spotted Orchid.
Marsh Cinqfoil.
Bog Asphodel.
Mountain Pansy, maybe…..
Cotton Grass.

Dalemain Estate, Dacre. Always a pleasure to see the resident deer.

Fallow Deer.
Buzzard.
Fallows.

Hope all the colour and cuteness brightened your day. X

A week At The Caravan.

I feel like it’s been a while since I posted.ย  We recently had a week away at the caravan, which for my other half was a much needed break ,ย  having worked continuously through lockdown. A holiday we booked in Northumberland was cancelled , so I think this year we will try to make the most of our own holiday home. I know we are very lucky to have it !

Here is a quick round-up of what we got up to.ย  We are based in the beautiful Eden Valley, which is a rather undiscovered part of Cumbria. I love where we are as there is so much to explore nearby.


Chilling At The Van.ย  Of course we made a bit of time for relaxing as well. We are fortunate to have a large decking area ( probably three or four times bigger than our little yard at home) ,so it was always nice to sit out and enjoy the sunshine with a glass of wine…..or two. ๐Ÿ˜


Langwathby Riverside Walk.ย  An Eden Valley walk we often enjoy with Hugo is The Ladies Walk from Langwathby, through Edenhall village & back. The circular route is 3 miles long and takes in lots of gorgeous wildflowers, a couple of sculptures, a Celtic cross and pretty cornfields, as well as the lovely river Eden of course. We even enjoyed coffees and flapjacks on the green at the end from Saddleback’s cafe , a converted horsebox.


Eycott Hill Nature Reserve.ย  Oh my goodness, I was in my element here!ย  Eycott Hill near Penrith is run by the Cumbrian Wildlife Trust..and it is such a beautiful place. Sadly I forgot my actual camera, and only had my phone camera to hand, so trying to take photos of all the wonderful wildlife proved impossible. But I did see lots of beautiful wildflowers including Grass of Parnassus, Bog Asphodel & Marsh Cinqefoil, as well as various butterflies and moths. There are Belted Galloway cattle grazing here and views of the surrounding Lakelandย  mountains. Dogs are welcome on leads.



Marmalade March.ย  Having just looked up Marmalade March online, apparently it’s a track by the psychedelic porn crumpets. Who knew! It is also an alternative name for the Dalemain Loop, an extension ofย  The Ullswater Way, which is a twenty mile walkable route round Ullswater. I’m not quite up to that yet, so the five mile Marmalade March was undertaken instead. Dalemain ( an Eden Valley country house famed for its annual marmalade festival) was an excellent rest stop mid way, and we made sure to check on the gnarly stoneย  Dacre churchyard bears as well. ๐Ÿป


Cow Green Reservoir & Cauldron Snout. The caravan is on a site at the foot of the steep Hartside Pass, which resides in the North Pennines AONB. Over that hill lies more beautiful rugged terrain to explore, as Cumbria eventually turns into County Durham. The border between the two counties runs straight through the centre of the Cow Green Reservoir and the area is home to rare wildlife, such asย  Golden Plover. A track takes visitors past the dam and to the top of Cauldron Snout, which is apparently England’s highest waterfall. Even on a bleak day, there was much wild beauty to take in.


Skiddaw Summit. Oh my, did my poor legs suffer after walking ( or should I say crawling) up Skiddaw. This was my 5th Wainwright, and by far the highest at 900 plus metres. Unfortunately we picked the worse day to do it, as a dense fog obscured any views. We ended up dripping wet from the fog and Hugo almost turned white. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Was still worth it though!


Allonby on theย  Cumbrian Coast.ย  It isn’t a holiday without going to the seaside, I say.ย  A sunny Saturday meant a trip to the coast. ๐Ÿ˜ŠWe chose Allonby,ย  as it has a great beach for dog walking and we were looking forward to fish & chips. The Cod father didn’t disappoint.

So there you have it. Can’t wait to go back to the van in September for a week, and there will hopefully be a couple of weekends before then too.

Thanks for dropping by.

A Night Away At The Caravan.

On Saturday we were finally allowed to travel to our caravan and more excitingly, stop overnight! I must admit I was a little worried about our drive to the Lake District. Would we be stuck in traffic for hours? Would everyone in England be heading away for the weekend? It turns out we hardly saw a soul and the roads were not overly busy. There again the weather was not the best and we definitely needed our waterproofs.

Our destination was just under two hours away, so on route we stopped off near Kirkby Lonsdale to take Hugo for a riverside walk. The Lune was nearly bursting it’s banks, there had been so much rain.

Pretty painted pebbles lined the riverside path.

Rather nice art on the public toilet doors.

An old fashioned float in Kirkby Lonsdale.

The River Lune looking choppy.

Once we got to the caravan site we checked over the van , had some lunch then headed up into the fells for a walk. It’s the first time we have done this route, probably because of my general reluctance to drag myself up hill. It was of course worth it! We found a patch of woodland, a clear water beck and lots of foxgloves.

Once back in the village I couldn’t resist looking round the Green. Melmerby Village Green is an 11 acre green that used to be grazed by livestock. It is managed for wildlife and there are lots of lovely wildflowers on display.

Pied Wagtail almost camaflaged in the wall.

Betony.

Sheepfold.

Harebells.

Postbox in the village.

In the evening we left the pub to the locals and had tapas and wine in the van. Wil fried these padron peppers in olive oil and tossed them in sea salt. Delicious!

Peppers.

Quiet on site.

On Sunday morning we headed to Pooley Bridge which is near Ullswater. The lake was lively!

Hugo in Ullswater.

Bought a sausage roll in here. ๐Ÿ˜

And had a socially distanced coffee in The Crown .

The River Eamont and the new bridge under construction. Pooley Bridges original stone bridge was destroyed during Storm Desmond.

Pooley Bridge Inn sign.

It felt good to be able to stay overnight at the caravan and it was nice enjoying a coffee in the Crown pub. We are ready for our proper week long break away. Not long now!

Did you go to a cafe or a pub at the weekend?

March break at the caravan.

Just returned from a few days at our caravan in Cumbria. It’s the first time we’ve managed to visit this year. Happily we were able to stay toasty in the van and get out and about and explore too. Life is carrying on as normal..for now! Here are a few images from our 4 day break.

Hugo in front of the electric fire. Our van is definitely in the Granny style of interiors , but it is cosy. :),

The local pubs unique way of displaying daffodils.

Before shot of horse in the village. So pretty!

And an After photo. Tee-hee. ๐Ÿ˜œ

NT Acorn Bank.

We used our NT membership and explored the grounds of Acorn Bank in Temple Sowerby.

Though I didn’t go paddling in the pond. Hugo did.

Daffodils everywhere.

And an ever so beautiful flowering Quince…

Appleby & Rutter Falls. ( 8 mile muddy walk).

The River Eden flowing through Appleby.

Man in a bath. ๐Ÿ˜

Rutter Falls and Hoff Beck.

Cherry blossom at Rutter Falls.

Hugo outside Rachel’s Wood.

Northern Viaducts Round ~ Kirkby Stephen. ( 4 mile, not as Muddy walk).

Frank’s Bridge over the Eden, Kirkby Stephen.

Crossing Merrigill Viaduct.

Podgill Viaduct.

Scarlet Elf Caps. Also saw a wispy red squirrel gathering moss on this walk. โค๏ธ

One of several poetry stones on the route.

Definitely loving all the places we’ve discovered in the beautiful Eden Valley so far.

NT Acorn Bank.

Rutter Force & Hoff Beck Walk.

Northern Viaducts Round Walk.

Home via Ambleside. We were sad to head home today, took a little detour to Ambleside , so Hugo could have a swim in Windermere.

The Bridge House.

Seriously satisfying soup , served with cheese! Brill idea. Rattle Ghyll Cafe.

Windermere.

Hungry swans.

Hope everyone is well. Stay safe. โค๏ธ

Frost.

Our last weekend at the caravan before we closed it down for the Winter was idyllic. Cold, fine and frosty. This is what Melmerby looked like on Saturday morning. Jack Frost had sprinkled his magic.

We headed into Keswick later that morning. Hugo enjoyed playing with his inflatable in the lake. Didn’t see many other wild swimmers. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After lunch we headed back to the Eden Valley as Keswick was bustling with festive shoppers. We parked up in Edenhall and enjoyed the quiet solitude of a countryside walk. The combination of frost and mist was both eerie and magical.

This morning we left a beautiful winter wonderland for our rather green Lancashire home.

Hello December. โ„๏ธ

Sculptures along the river Eden.

The River Eden is truly Cumbrian. Beginning high in the fells of Mallestang at its source, it meanders it’s way some ninety miles through Eastern Cumbria up towards Carlisle, and finally merging with other rivers as it enters The Solway Firth. Some twenty years ago ten sculptures were commissioned to celebrate the history and beauty of the area, they are The Eden Benchmarks and I’m hoping to discover them all.

There are other riverside features too. Wil , Hugo and I visited Lacy’s Caves , five chambers cut into the red sandstone cliffs along the Eden at Little Selkeld. Also nearby is a Druid Stone Circle Long Meg & Her Daughters. Faces cut into the rocks by the river at Armathwaite and more red sandstone caves at Wetheral are on my list of places to see. ๐Ÿ™‚

The River Eden at Langwathby.

Lacy’s Caves at Little Selkeld.

Long Meg and her Daughter’s.

South Rising.

Eden Benchmark Sculptures seen so far.

South Rising. Carved from local Lazonby red sandstone, South Rising by Vivien Mousdell is situated on The Ladies Walk at Edenhall near Langwathby. It comprises of two curved rock seats, apparently representing the rivers perpetual journey and the annual migrations of the Eden’s fish and birds. Although not terribly intricate , this sculpture has stood the test of time, twenty years hasn’t weathered the carving too much. Though it was quite hard to find amongst the undergrowth! The Ladies Walk is especially nice in the summer with river, cornfield and woodland views. Lots of wild flowers and the possibility of refreshments at The Edenhall Hotel.

Vista in Coombs Wood.

Vista.

Beware of Adders!

River Eden at Armathwaite.

Vista. Definitely my favourite of the Eden Benchmarks we’ve seen so far is Vista by Graeme Mitcheson. Carved into a large sandstone boulder are the discarded boots, clothing and map of a walker who has decided to chance a paddle ( or maybe even a wild swim) in the river below. Vista is situated in Coombs Wood, a pleasant riverside walk from the lovely village of Armathwaite. Below the sculpture ( and unbeknownst to us at the time) are several carved faces in the cliffs as well as a poem etched into the red sandstone. Definitely a reason to return, maybe when the bluebells are out in the spring.

Cypher Piece. In the picnic area near the Eden Bridge at Lazonby lies Cypher Piece by Frances Pelly. Two adjacent rocks have been carved with clues about the Eden’s human history. Unfortunately this benchmark has really succumbed to nature and moss covers the entire piece. We could make out a fish but other detail such as a Celtic horses head, a ram’s horn and a Norse Tomb Decoration were invisible to our untrained eyes.

Cypher Piece at Lazonby.

Cypher Piece.

Red River. Looking out over the Eden at Temple Sowerby, Red River by Victoria Brailsford can be accessed by a footpath from the cricket field at the North of the village. This local Lazonby sandstone sculpture is still in good nick, the steps are carved with water ripples, the balls apparently representing large pebbles in fast flowing water. Not far from Temple Sowerby is NT Acorn Bank where we saw our first Eden Valley Red Squirrel in its adjacent woodland. ๐Ÿ™‚

Red River at Temple Sowerby.

Red River.

Pink Berries in Temple Sowerby.

So there you have it, four of the ten Eden Benchmark Sculptures and six more to find…

Have you come across any of them?

Do you have any interesting sculptures near you?

Sunday Sevens 17th November.

Hey there I’ve just had a week off work ( not that I am putting in many hours at the moment, it’s the quiet period before Christmas) so I thought I would join in with Natalie’s Sunday Sevens.

We took a few days off to spend time at the caravan. Definitely noticing the cold more there now though. Having bought hot water bottles and an electric blanket ( oh yes!) we should be toasty enough on our next couple of visits, before we close it down for the winter. Did a couple of walks including a circular 4 mile route from the Bowder Stone at Rosthwaite to Grange. I can now tick this large Andesite Lava boulder off my copy of 111 Places In The Lake District That You Shouldn’t Miss. ๐Ÿ™‚

We also had a wander up to The Beacon Tower which stands on a woody fell above Penrith. That morning the skies were a brilliant blue!

Wil booked us into the Haweswater Hotel for a night as an early birthday present. Hugo here looks a bit like a Devil Dog. ๐Ÿ™‚

And here he is at the caravan watching Wil make a cheeseboard. His eyes are on the prize!

We gave in and bought a TV and blu ray player for the van. We don’t have WiFi up there so no Netflix etc. A chance to get reaquainted with our old dvds! Watched two seasons of the fun flatmates comedy Spaced from 1999-2001. It’s hilarious!

This aft I went for Bottomless Brunch at Escape in Clitheroe. My friend Fi brought her daughter Bronte ( here she is above with her god mother’s ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and she proved very helpful in ordering us our ‘ bottomless’ glasses of Prosecco from the bar downstairs. Without her I’m not sure our Bottomless Brunch would have been very bottomless! Not the best service but a pleasant afternoon out anyways.

All in all I have had a very nice Birthday week. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for dropping by. โค๏ธ

A Nights stay at the Haweswater Hotel.

An early birthday treat from my other half was a night away in the secluded Haweswater Hotel, located on the banks of one of The Lake Districts lesser known lakes. We had stayed here previously a couple of years earlier and since then a few more rooms have been refurbished in a 1930s art deco style, in keeping with the hotels history having being built by The Manchester Water Corporation in 1937. Back then the Haweswater Reservoir had been created by flooding the Mardale Valley, it’s villages and farms forever condemned to a watery grave. A picture of the former Dun Bull Inn has pride of place above the fire place in the reception/entrance hall.

It was about 3pm when we rocked up to our home for the night, enough time to take Hugo for a short walk along the lake side road. It felt bitterly cold, there was a smattering of snow on the fells. We couldn’t wait to get toasty inside.

Bad news greeted us. The heating wasn’t working! Thank goodness all the fires were lit downstairs and the hotel had raided the local B &Q in Penrith for plug in heaters for the bedrooms. We would have to make the best of it…

Fortunately our room ( Wainwright) seemed to warm up ok with the plug in heater provided. And there was still hot water. Phew! Our room was actually a lake view suite with a cosy sitting area. Quite bijou but totally fine for us and the dog. I certainly loved the decor. ๐Ÿ™‚

The thought of a roaring fire enticed us back downstairs. The guest lounge with its huge sofas and twinkly lights was certainly very inviting.

Dogs are allowed to accompany guests into the lounge and bar but not the formal dining room, so we took our evening meal in the bar and enjoyed breakfast there the following morning. The food and service was excellent. My sticky toffee pudding was to die for. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugo was given some treats by the friendly staff.

The former Dun Bull Inn, the only Inn in the Mardale Valley before it was flooded.

My only disappointment was not catching a glimpse of the native red squirrels that visit the garden and bird feeders outside. Squirrel food can be obtained at the bar and on our previous visit we were lucky enough to see one of the little fellas.


Despite the heating problems we enjoyed a lovely stay at The Haweswater Hotel. The staff are so friendly and accommodating. I would definitely visit again in the future.

A Ghostly Galleon on Ullswater and The Penrith Winter Droving.

It’s that spoooooky time of year when ghosties and goblins come out to play. I joined in with some Halloween fun at the weekend. Ullswater Steamers put on a Ghostly Galleon and myself , Wil, our friend Jo and God daughter Lydia enjoyed a cruise on the lake with a marvelous magic show and dressing up masks . Definitely aimed at children , but we adults had fun too. ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿฆ‡


After our spooky boat trip we spent an hour or so at the Rheghed centre near Penrith, where Lydia found a Halloween treasure hunt and an outdoor adventure playground, before heading into town for the annual Winter Drovers Festival.

The Penrith Winter Droving started eight years ago and is a celebration of all things rural. There’s a Drovers Cup with team events such as Hay Bale Racing, Egg Throwing, Tug O War and Sausage eating. Throughout the day various musicians and street performers entertain  the crowds and a huge Cumbrian Food Market fills the streets. As dusk descends a fantastic torch lit procesion takes place around the town. The animal lanterns look so effective , all lit up against the darkening sky. Later back at the caravan, out came the monopoly. It had been a long but enjoyable day. ๐Ÿ™‚