Between the recent storms last week we spent a couple of days up North in The Eden Valley of Cumbria. If you ever fancy a short dog friendly/ pram friendly walk there, I can recommend a nice one between the village of Dacre and the neighboring Dalemain Estate. Situated 2 miles from Ullswater this walk follows a quiet track and mostly avoids mud. Hurrah!
We parked opposite The Horse & Farrier Pub in Dacre and had a quick nosy in St Andrews churchyard to see the Dacre Bears. Four crudely carved stone creatures can be found amongst the gravestones. You can read more about them here.
The Public Footpath took us past Dacre Castle, a 14th Century Pele Tower, now used as a private residence. And then on into the grounds of Dalemain Mansion. We have walked here before from the lakeside village of Pooley Bridge. The route is part of The Ullswater Way known as The Marmalade March, due to The World Famous Marmalade Awards that are held at Dalemain every year.
We soon came across some beautiful snowdrops and other signs of Spring, Winter Aconites and pretty in pink Lungwort. In the fields just above the Mansion , Wil spied someone watching us….
Lunch time beckoned so we headed for the Tea Room inside the Old Barn. Even though it was during the Half Term Holidays the place was deserted. Perhaps the imminence of Storm Eunice had scuppered people’s plans. Dogs are now welcome inside the Tea Room , so no need for us to sit outside in the blustery courtyard. 😁
We enjoyed Ham, Cheese & Chutney rolls and a slice of delicious Marmalade Gingerbread. I then left Wil and Hugo in the Old Barn and went for a quick explore of the gardens. A door led out into a beautiful Snowdrop and Winter Aconite display. Stunning!
There are landscaped formal gardens of course, but what I wanted to see was ‘ the sleeping dragon 🐲 ‘ who lives in the Lower Garden. I made sure to tiptoe around him.
The Lower Garden was definitely one of my favourite outside spaces at Dalemain and not just because of the residing snoozy giant. A rustling in the fallen leaves alerted me to a wispy creature foraging for its own lunch possibilities….
The Red Squirrel was definitely a highlight for me. After showing the friendly staff in the cafe my photos , they gave us a bag of apples to tempt the Fallow Deer Herd down to the carpark wall. I was so excited when lots of them literally came galloping over. They love Apples. Who knew! Another highlight. 😊
For us visiting Dalemain from Dacre was the perfect thing to do on a calmer day between Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice. The Stately Pile is opening its doors for house tours once again from the Spring. No doubt we will return .