Tag Archives: dacre

Delightful Dalemain.

Dalemain Mansion.

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!

Spot The Dacre 🐻 Bear?

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.

Dacre Castle.
Snowdrops.

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….

Curious Fallow Deer Family.
Lungwort.

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.

Sleeping Dragon.
Pet Cemetery amongst the snowdrops.
River Eamont.

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….

Red Squirrel 🐿️.
What a sweetheart.
Posing for the camera.
Snowdrops and Winter Aconites.

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. 😊

Yup, Apples are Scrumptious!

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 .

🦌 🥾☕🐿️

A week At The Caravan.

I feel like it’s been a while since I posted.  We recently had a week away at the caravan, which for my other half was a much needed break ,  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.  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.  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. 😁


Langwathby Riverside Walk.  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.  Oh my goodness, I was in my element here!  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 Lakeland  mountains. Dogs are welcome on leads.



Marmalade March.  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 of  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 stone  Dacre churchyard bears as well. 🐻


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 as  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. 😮 Was still worth it though!


Allonby on the  Cumbrian Coast.  It isn’t a holiday without going to the seaside, I say.  A sunny Saturday meant a trip to the coast. 😊We chose Allonby,  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.

Searching for signs of Spring.

On Saturday we braved The Mini Beast Of The East and headed to Cumbria to visit family. We also packed in two short walks with our labrador Hugo. I kept my camera handy to record any burgeoning signs that Spring might just be making an appearance. 🙂

First stop , Kirkby Lonsdale. This small market town on the edge of the Lake District sits on the banks of the River Lune. An easy stroll from the free car park at Devil’s Bridge takes you along the waterside and up into the town centre.

Devil’s Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale.

Male Goosander.

Pussy Willow.

The only climb is the ’86’ Radical Steps that lead up to ‘Ruskin’s View’ , a beautiful vista painted by Turner and described by John Ruskin as ” the loveliest view in England”. The steep stone steps also take you to St Mary’s Churchyard, which was adorned with a delightful carpet of crocuses when we visited.

St Marys Churchyard.

Ruskin’s View takes in the river Lune.

Male Blackbird.

Such a bonnie house. I think I take a picture of it every time I visit.

The cold weather has meant that the snowdrops here in the North are still in good form! Whilst they continue to bloom, Winter has stubbornly decided to hang on I think. As we headed further up the M6 , the countryside turned whiter and the world got windier.

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Snow near Shap.

Dacre Bear.

Our second walk was later in the afternoon and started off in the pretty village of Dacre, about two miles north of Pooley Bridge. Four stone bears can be seen amongst the gravestones in St Andrews graveyard ( they are not very bear like now! ) and it is claimed that they once rested on the four corners of Dacre’s 14th Century Castle keep.

Could this be the Mini Beast From The East??

The only daffodil in flower that we saw was one solitary yellow trumpet in Dacre. Looking back to this time last year, the nearby village of Askham where my Mum lives was positively trumpeting. Not so in 2018…yet ! We continued on our way amongst snow flurries, bitter cold winds and odd spells of bright sunshine, along the estate path towards Dalemain Mansion. I wrote a post last year about our visit to the gardens here.

Deer park, Dalemain.

Although its a nice dog walk from Dacre to Dalemain, the estate does not allow four-legged friends to accompany you into the house, gardens or café. 😦 So we tried to warm up outside with a steaming hot coffee and a delicious slab of ginger cake spread with marmalade. Dalemain is famous for its annual Marmalade Awards and Festival, and it was actually near to the end of the first day of this years festival, when we arrived. If your in the area today, the weekend of marmalade tasting continues. I bought a small jar of Jane’s Marmalade. Jane is the Lady Marmalade of the house apparently.

Crocus and Aconites.

Fallow Deer.

Heading back to Dacre. The 14th century Castle is just ahead.

These two short walks added up to six miles and it was lovely to see some small signs of Spring what has been an unusually cold March.

Walking in Clitheroe this morning.

Of course things are back to the norm, back home in Lancashire today. Yet more snow!

What signs of Spring have you seen in your neck of the woods?

I am linking up with Jo’s Monday Walks so do pop by her lovely blog. X