It’s definitely time for a Sunday Sevens, a random collection of seven photos from the past seven days.
Last weekend Wil and I found ourselves in Manchester and of course immediately gravitated to our favourite Manchester bar The Gas Lamp near Spinning fields. This subterranean drinking den is not posh at all , its interior design can only be described as ’tiled toilet’ , but our friends who were in town shopping had the same idea as us, so we met them for a drink or two.
The real reason Wil and I were in Manchester, was to see the singer Amy McDonald at the Apollo. Here’s a short video! Soz my filming is pretty wonky.
Also last weekend my friend Fi talked another friend and I into going with her to a Rock gothic stage show called Circus of Horror’s which was playing in Oswaldtwistle. This near Victorian freak show combines knife throwing, contortionism, scary clowns, strong men, burlesque dancers and near naked dwarves ( don’t ask) with heavy metal music… and is set in a lunatic asylum!
This past few days I’ve noticed quite a few wildflowers springing up in my neck of the woods. Below are a few taken with my phone camera. What is your favourite Spring wildflower? I have a soft spot for celandines of course, and I love violets.
Yesterday Hugo had lots of fun with his new floating dog toy when we visited Derwentwater, on the way up to my Mums. We walked from Keswick as far as Ashness Bridge. Derwentwater is a great lake to wander along the shores of. There are a few sculptures and other landmarks to discover.
The little National Trust Bothy above Ashness Bridge was open, had a cosy fire lit and free tea, coffee and hot chocolate. A lovely surprise! The NT volunteer had a handsome Golden Doodle called Alfie, who was totally adorable.
We walked a good eight miles yesterday and I am on track to become a Proclaimer next week. I should soon reach 500 miles in the #walk1000miles challenge. 🙂
Hope you are all having a Happy Mother’s Day Weekend. I have especially enjoyed spending time with my fur babies and helping out today with my God daughters 9th Birthday Party. X
When planning a break with your four-legged friend , it is always handy to know that one particular Lake District resort has been voted ‘Uk’s Most Dog Friendly Town’ by the Kennel Club for four years on the trot. Lovely Keswick has it all. Stunning countryside with miles and miles of walks, a beautiful lake ( Derwentwater), cosy pubs and cafes, eclectic shops , several dog-friendly parks and a variety of accommodation and visitor attractions that welcome waggy tails. It seemed the ‘Pawfect’ place for a January Break with our labrador Hugo. 🙂 Here’s what we got up to….
Where we stopped. We booked Butterfly Cottage through Sally’s Cottages who are based in Keswick. They have over 230 pet friendly holiday cottages in The Lake District and Cumbria. Our bijou retreat was so cosy with its Wood Burning Stove ( a must for a Winter Break), open plan downstairs space, fully equipped kitchen and beautiful bedroom with comfy King Size Bed. The location was really handy for everything in town and it was super useful to have an enclosed back yard with a muddy boots and paws wash.
Where we walked. Every morning before breakfast we headed to Crow Park on the banks of Derwent Water. This is one of three Dog Friendly Parks in Keswick that we noticed. The others are Hope park and Fitz Park. Each morning depending on the weather, the scenery changed. Sometimes the mountains were bathed in gold, sometimes they were an angry slate blue. It was peaceful there and Hugo had a great run around.
There is a ten mile circular walk around Derwent Water itself which we hope to try on our next visit. We did however revisit a Railway walk which we enjoyed whilst camping in Keswick a couple of years ago. The Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path is now partially destroyed due to last Winter’s storms but what remains, still makes for a pleasant stroll or bike ride. The walk starts from the Swimming Baths near Fitz Park.
We also walked up to Castlerigg Stone Circle situated just outside of Keswick off Castle lane. With the mountains of Helvellyn and High Street as a backdrop, the stone circle is among the earliest in Britain, dating back to 3000 BC. On a clearer day the views are stunning.
Places to Eat & Drink. Keswick is great for dog friendly pubs and cafes. In fact all the pubs in Keswick welcome dogs except for the Wetherspoons. Of course we made it our mission to try out as many as we could ! My favourites were The George Hotel with it’s cosy seating area by the fire, The Wainwright Pub, The Packhorse Inn, and of course The Dog and Gun famed for it’s ‘Homemade Goulash’ and doggy treat menu. 🙂
I don’t know about you but for breakfast on holidays I love pancakes. 🙂 Keswick has that sorted . We loved Merienda on the main street. It’s a fab Cafe Restaurant open for Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner. With an 8am opening time Mon-Sats and 9am on Sunday it is the perfect place to refuel before yomping up those hills. Another great venue for early starters is CafeBar 26 on Lake Road which does amazing Full Spanish Breakfasts. And both do make delicious pancakes. 🙂
Many of the pubs serve great food ( try the Royal Oak for their amazing Cheese Boards & Platters) and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants in Keswick that welcome dogs. As well as Bar 26 and Merienda look out for The Square Orange Bar/Cafe, Java Chocolate & Coffee Shop, Lakes Bistro & Bar, The Filling Station, Little Chamonix, Laura in The lakes, Kat’s Kitchen ( Veggie ) and Mrs F’s Fine Food emporium, to name but a few.
Shopping. Plenty of shops in the town don’t mind you being accompanied by your four legged friend. I find the best thing to do is always ask first. Lots of the Outdoorsy shops are dog friendly and so are many others. Hugo visited lovely gift emporiums Cherrydidi and Love The lakes on St John’s Street,for holiday souvenirs. He also bobbed into Keswick’s well loved Pet Store Podgy Paws which is a great place to visit for advice on local walks and dog friendly places, activities and attractions.
Visitor Attractions. Here is a quick list of pet friendly things to do and places to visit in Keswick and the surrounding area. 🙂
Cumberland Pencil Museum. Carding Mill Lane. Journey through the history of pencils and pencil making. Home to the biggest colouring pencil in the world! pencilmuseum.co.uk
Keswick Launch Company. Derwentwater. See the gorgeous scenery of Derwentwater on a lake cruise. keswicklaunch.co.uk
A Puzzling Place. 9 Museum Square. An exhibition of optical illusions and trickery. puzzlingplace.co.uk
Whinlatter Forest Park. England’s only true Mountain Forest with walks, trails and adventure play. forestry.gov.uk
Mirehouse & Gardens. Stately Home and gardens on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake. Dogs welcome in the gardens and grounds. mirehouse.co.uk
The Lingholm Kitchen and Walled Garden. Portinscale. Beatrix Potter often holidayed here and the garden was the inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden in The Tale Of Peter Rabbit. Reachable via a lake jetty or car. thelingholmestate.co.uk
I shall certainly take a look at the list on our next visit to Keswick. Hugo cannot wait to go again…and nor can we. 🙂
My Sunday Sevens for last week are a little bit of a cheat because the photo’s are all actually from the weekend. Hey Ho! The weekend was a lot more fun than the week. 🙂
Saturday saw us heading to Keswick in the Lake District for a bit of outdoorsy shopping ,lunch and of course some splashing about in the lake.
1) Here’s Hugo playing in the Lake with a couple of other Labradors. According to Wikipedia Star Wars Episode V11: The Force Awakens filmed on location here for the scene ” Approach to Maz Kantana’s Castle, Takodana. One for Star Wars Fans!
2) It was quite chilly in the morning, despite the bright sunshine. Keswick and the Lake were really busy though! Another fact for you, Derwent Water is home to an endangered freshwater whitefish called the Vendace. I don’t think Hugo ate any !
3) Speaking of lunch :), we had ours at a cute little cafe in Keswick called Little Chamonix. If you ever visit the town , I highly recommend this charming and bright eatery on Lake Road. My Burrito was sooo good!
4) In the afternoon we drove round the lake to the village of Portinscale. After reading Christine’s fab post about a lakeside,woodland walk she did to find this interesting Sculpture, I was inspired to search it out too. The giant pair of hands carved in wood can be found on the West Shore of Derwent Water. The sculpture is entitled Entrust and was commissioned by the National Trust. A handy find ;).
5) On Sunday we met up with a friend and her Labrador for a walk. How cute do these two look together. 🙂
6 & 7) And we visited other friends who have the cutest Summer House in their garden. It made me wish that our shed could be converted. I don’t think Wil would be too impressed though!
One of my fave places to go camping has got to be Keswick in the Lake District. This popular lakeside market town brimming with outdoorsy shops, dog friendly pubs and heavenly tea rooms is an excellent base for exploring our most iconic National Park.
Last week we stayed at Keswick Camping & Caravanning Club Campsite. . Its more expensive than the campsites we normally choose but the closeness to town ( a few minutes stroll) and the stunning location on the banks of Derwent Water made up for that. Its an eight mile walk around the lake and there are also cruises from Keswick Launch. From the campsite we had gorgeous views of the lake and the mountains beyond.
We were really lucky to have pretty good weather when we camped….though a few thunderstorms during the night made it interesting! Happily our labrador Hugo didn’t seem to be fazed by the crashes and bangs. 🙂 Here are a few things we got up to in our time in the Lake District.
We walked to the village of Threlkeld and back along an old railway line. If you’re anything like me and hyperventilate at the mere thought of climbing a mountain, then this walk/cycle route maybe perfect for you . My seven year old nephew can pedal this three mile there and three mile back part of the coast to coast with ease. And instead of Derwent Water it was nice to discover the River Greta and its surrounding countryside instead. Check out Miles without stiles for more info.
We took Hugo to a Pencil Museum! Ok dogs would probably prefer to be splashing in a lake but it’s nice that this attraction lets you bring along a four legged friend on a drizzly Saturday morning. The Cumberland Pencil Museum archives and celebrates how the Borrowdale Valleys natural graphite supplies were turned into pencil lead. The museum is home to the world’s first pencil and the world’s longest colour pencil. Derwent pencils were used in the original ‘The Snowman’ animation and did you know the museum featured in the dark Brit comedy film ‘Sightseers’. Its a great place to take the kids and big kids to indulge in a bit of colouring. 🙂
We ate delicious local food. 🙂 There are plenty of places to eat in Keswick and most use produce sourced locally. We were spoilt for choice….
Tasty goulash is the signature dish in the cozy Dog and Gun on Lake Road.
We bought a Dog Friendly Pub Walks book from a great pet shop in Keswick called Podgy Paws and decided to try a walk from the ‘Beehive Pub’ at Eamont , on the way to visiting my Mums near Penrith. There are 15 no stile walks in the book and lots of amusing and cute piccies of happy hounds. 🙂
We also went to Pooley Bridge near Ullswater and had lots of fun paddling and watching the doog jump off the pier. 🙂
And back to ‘Derwent Water’ which you can, as I mentioned before, walk all the way round. We only made it as far as Friars Crag which has beautiful views of the islands in the lake.
And I had to do a bit of shopping of course. The Orchid House on Lake rd in Keswick is one of those shops that is brimming full of lovely stuff. I wanted to buy everything…but I will show you what I did buy in a future post. 🙂
More from the Lakes again soon as I shall be swapping Camping for Glamping near Coniston at the end of the month. Excited!!
‘The Lake District’ is a National Park in Cumbria on the western side of North England. It is made up of over 80 mountain lakes, glacial tarns and man made reservoirs. The Lake District is home to England’s highest mountain ‘Scafell Pike’ and England’s deepest lake, ‘Wast Water’ and is classed as an AONB ,( Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). Over the years we have visited several times with our dog Jake. Jake has become a bit of a ‘Wainwright Bagger’ of lakes and tarns, insisting on paddling/swimming in as many as he can. So who better to show you the beauty of ‘The Lake District’ than him. 🙂
Of course there are still several lakes and tarns Jake hasn’t crossed off his list yet. Hopefully he may get the chance to do a few more this year. 🙂
Here are a few dog friendly camp sites we have stopped at in the Lakes.