Tag Archives: coniston

Tucked away in Torver ~ The Lake District.

A perfect Winter break for Wil, Hugo and I definitely involves somewhere with a toasty log burner, a dog friendly pub in close proximity and lots of walks, straight from the door. We chose pretty well I think when we headed for the Lake District village of Torver at the weekend. We had found on Airbnb a quirky little cottage called ‘The Old Dairy’ , one of three holiday Letts at Brocklebank Ground. We arrived in driving sleet and rain so immediately set about getting cosy in our ‘home’ for the weekend.

The Old Dairy ~ a bijou home from home.
Sign swinging in the wind.
Walk research..

Fortunately the next day dawned fine so we decided to get our water proofs on and head out and about. Torver itself is not to far from Coniston Water ( the third largest Lake in the Lake District) so our plan was to walk down to the lake, via a disused railway route. Unfortunately there had been so much rain that the paths we found to the shore were pretty water logged, so we only got as far as Torver Common, which was still a beautiful place to explore.

Hello, Herdwicks!
Old Railway Walk.
Lunch Time.
Torver Common. You can just about spy Coniston Water in the distance.
Hugo posing. 🙂
A sprinkle of snow on the mountains.
Spring Window box at The Wilson’s Arms.

For lunch we bought a couple of bits from the deli in The Wilson Arms, one of two pubs in the village. We ate in both and they are cosy olde worldy pubs with roaring fires, real ales, good pub grub and are dog-friendly too.

After lunch we decided to revisit Beacon Tarn, a beautiful small lake tucked away in the Blawith Fells, about 5 minutes drive from Torver. We first discovered the tarn ten years earlier on a hot summers day, the surrounding fells were green with bracken, and our Labrador Jake dived straight into the water. Our recent visit was sunny, windy and cold, a different Labrador enjoying a bracing dip in the chilly waters.

Beacon Tarn.
My guide book says Beacon Tarn is the ‘Trout Tarn’ of Arthur Ransome’s’ Swallowdale’ ( Swallows And Amazon’s 1930).
The bracken in March, a rusty brown colour.

What follows are a few views of our journey back to Brown Howe Car Park, the nearest proper car park to Blawith Common, where our circular walk began.

A bench with a lake view. 🙂 Brown Howe car park is on the shore of Coniston Water.

Incredibly only a few minutes after we got back to Brown Howe, the heavens opened and giant Hale stones bounced off the car. We had timed our return just right!

On Sunday the bad weather continued as we packed the car and said our goodbyes to Torver. It had been the perfect little get away from it all. 🙂

On our way home we decided to visit Lakeland Motor Museum near Newby Bridge, which is a dog friendly attraction. There aren’t that many museums that welcome four legged friends, so this was a good find! Plus we got to shelter from the weather. It had started snowing!

Well worth a look if your in the area, the museum also has a Donald Campbell Bluebird exhibition and a good sized cafe.

See you soon. X

Coniston ~ An Honest Shop and Sidney the Sea Serpent.

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Vivid blue skies.

Not every day of our recent stay in the Lake District was as gorgeous and sunny as this. When we woke up to blue skies and warming sunshine one morning, we decided it would be the perfect time to head into the quaint village of Coniston for breakfast and then take a boat trip on the lake. 🙂

One of Coniston's popular cafes.
One of Conistons popular cafes.

Breakfast turned out to be buttered crumpets and toasted tea cakes at Cafe Meadowdore and there was also time for a quick nosy round the shops. I had spotted a sign for a vintage shop ( much to Wils delight 😉 ) so had a very quick browse.

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The peak of the old man of coniston rises above the village.

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The Vintage shop turned out to be several local dealers displaying and selling their gorgeous wares in Coniston Institute Village Hall on Yewdale road. They will be there until September with a cornucopia of treasures to explore. There were all sorts of lovely goodies including lots of picnic baskets and tea sets. 🙂  Very nearby is the ‘Ruskin Museum’ and the villages ‘Honest Shop’ situated in the old Reading rooms.

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The ‘Honest Shop’ stocks handmade and home grown goods sourced from the villagers themselves. Each item is priced individually so you pay the money into a tin and write what you have bought in the book provided. The money made goes to the people selling them and towards the upkeep of the shop and village Hall. Its a nice idea and I will show you what I purchased later in the post. 🙂coniston shepherd huts 065

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Coniston Launch.
Coniston Launch.

And to the lake. Coniston Water is five miles long and one way to explore it , is on a leisurely cruise on the Steam yacht Gondola. This beautiful restored Victorian steamer offers pleasure trips round the lake. Happily dogs are allowed on board (outside only) Yay! Hugo enjoyed his first boat trip. 🙂

waiting for the gondola.
waiting for the gondola.
The Gondola. :)
The Gondola. 🙂
Sidney the sea serpent looking resplendent.
Sidney the sea serpent looking resplendent.

The boat has a rather fine figure head. Its Sidney the sea serpent. Look how shiny and golden he looks! However poor Sidney has suffered much wear and tear in all weathers over the years and he is literally crumbling away. 😦  You can read about his plight and maybe even help with fundraising for a new Sid here…

Ahoy there ~ its the ships captain. Ok i'm joking. :)
Ahoy there ~ its the ships captain. Ok i’m joking. 🙂

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The Engine!
The Engine!

There are various different excursions you can do on the Gondola. We opted for the ‘Head of the Lake’ cruise which is about 50 minutes long and costs £11 ( National Trust Members get a 10% discount) and there are options to break your journey with stops off at Brantwood House or Monk Coniston. We stopped on board and simply enjoyed the sunshine and cooling breeze.

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Inside the Victorian saloon modeled on Queen Victoria's own.
Inside the Victorian saloon modeled on Queen Victoria’s own.
Heres Freddy the Fox who I bought in the Honest Shop. He enjoyed his first boat trip too. :)
Heres Freddy the Fox who I bought in the Honest Shop. He enjoyed his first boat trip too. 🙂
And look who else grabbed a lift!
And look who else grabbed a lift!

On the cruise it was interesting to learn about all the areas art and literary connections. The artist and poet John Ruskin lived at the impressive Brantwood on the shores of the lake. Arthur Ransome,author of the children’s classic Swallows and Amazons chose Coniston as the book’s location and Beatrice Potter lived at Yew Tree Farm just outside the village. Also the lake was the setting of Donald Campbell’s ill fated attempt at the world jet powered water speed record in 1967. His boat ‘Bluebird’ went out of control and Campbell was sadly killed. The Black Bull pub in Coniston has its own micro brewery and brews ‘Bluebird Bitter’ in his honor.

Hugo wondering when to jump!
Hugo wondering when to jump!

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The gondola is such a great way of enjoying the area and I heartily recommend it.  🙂 Have you messed about on boats in any of the Lake District’s many lakes and tarns?

July Photo scavenger Hunt.

July’s Photo scavenger hunt was pretty challenging! What did you think if you took part? Anyway all my pictures this month were taken in the Lake District, where I went camping in Keswick and Glamping in Coniston. 🙂coniston shepherd huts 129D is for? ~ Dog of course. Here is Hugo sunbathing.

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Wide ~ Lakes are usually wide yes! This is Ullswater in the Northern Lake District.

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Edge ~ Freddie the Fox living life  on the edge , on a boat ,on the lake, Coniston. 🙂

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cylindrical ~ Check out these HUGE chimneys at Coniston Old Hall.

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Feelings ~ Weddings evoke so many feelings don’t they. A wedding going on in Coniston over the weekend we were staying there.

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Mysterious ~ I always find Yarn bombing mysterious. Who put it there and why? This cute cupcake is in Threlkeld.

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Weed ~ Knapweed on the roadside in Torver near Coniston.

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Joke ~ A shop front in Hawkshead. It was raining at the time so sun protection not needed!

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pile ~ a pile of very calorific pancakes for breakfast at ‘The Filling Station’ in Keswick. See also the top picture,piling on the calories with a scone drenched in hot rum butter and cream. Naughty but awfully nice. 🙂

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Speed ~ A 100 mile race that started and finished in Coniston.

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Night ~ Red Sky at Night at Hoathwaite Campsite, Coniston. We spent a long weekend in the cute Shepherd’s Hut. You can read my post about our stay  here.

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Whatever you want ~ Enjoying a cruise along Coniston on The Steam Yacht Gondola. 🙂

Thanks to Jill at Made With Love for arranging the hunt. 🙂

Herdy Huts ~ My stay in a Shepherd’s Hut. :)

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Although I LOVE camping I have always been curious about Glamping. Wouldn’t it be great to experience all the outdoorsy fun of camping with some lovely home comforts too. After a little research I found the website for Herdy Huts in the Lake District and was smitten  .I just had to book a long weekend in one of their cute Shepherd’s Huts!

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Shepherd’s Huts apparently have a long history ,dating  as far back as the 1500’s. They were used as their name suggests, by shepherds tending their flocks. They are basically huts on wheels and can be rolled from location to location. The Herdy Huts current location is Hoathwaite Campsite near Coniston. The views are stunning!

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There are three huts available and I booked Gerdy hut !  Each hut is furnished in warm and bright colours with everything you could possibly need. We were surprised at how spacious Gerdy actually is. There is a snug double bed ( with a single bunk above) , a table and seating area, kitchen storage, a gas hob and a wonderful wood burner which is also an oven. A delicious aroma of firewood and fabric softener envelops you as you enter. 🙂

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The huts comfortably fit two adults or two adults and a child. A well behaved dog is welcome too. 🙂

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The Shepherd’s Huts are on a campsite so toilets and showers are shared with the campers. They are basic but this wasn’t a problem as they were kept very clean. The campsite is also part of a working farm so don’t be surprised if you come across a few friendly cows!

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The location is pretty much perfect. A two mile or so lakeside walk to the pretty village of Coniston one way and a shorter walk to Torver the other way. But mostly we just loved hanging out at our hut. 🙂 We were fortunate really that the weather was mixed. When the sun shone we made the most of the bench and brazer outside and when it rained and the wind howled, well we were nice and toasty in Gerdy. I miss Gerdy already!

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A three night weekend break or a four night midweek break in Herdy, Gerdy or Blea costs £260. £10 extra for one well behaved dog.

Have you ever been Glamping?