Tag Archives: grasmere

Exploring Cumbria & The Lake District.

Hi there, I have been stopping at the caravan with friends and we were using it as a base to visit some places in Cumbria and the Lakes! I thought I would update this blog everyday diary style and post at the end of our stay. 🥰

Penrith Castle ~ photo credit Arwen Ball.

Day One. We arrived here last night , so today we nipped to nearby Penrith for supplies, had lunch, did some shopping, went for a few drinks and explored the red ruins of Penrith Castle. The girls had their nails done at a great little nail bar in town and we bought some pretty bits and bobs from a lovely clothes/gift shop called Adlib.

Day Two. An epic start to the day with an informative & interesting Whiskey/Vodka/Gin tasting tour, booked in at The Lakes Distillery near Keswick. Well Somebody had to take the morning slot. 😀

The Lakes Distillery.

After the tour we headed to The Lake District Wildlife Park nearby. Lots of lovely animals & birdlife to learn about and admire, including Otter, Red Panda, Scottish Wildcat, Flamingo and Zebra. 🦓

Lake District Wildlife Park ~ photo credit ~ Arwen Ball.
Rowing Boat on Derwent Water ~ photo credit Tammy Cardoso.

An impromptu row on Derwent Water rounded up Sundays adventures. 🚣‍♀️ Look out for the rowing boats for hire next to the Keswick Launch & Jetty.

Day Three. A scorcher of a day! We are happily having untypically warm Bank Holiday sunshine. Our first destination was gorgeous Grasmere, the home of poet William Wordsworth and yummy traditional Gingerbread.

Inside Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread Shop.

Grasmere Gingerbread Shop is definitely a must when you visit the village. Although the store is tiny it brims with character and the scrumptious aroma of baking gingerbread is impossible to resist. Yet more sweet treats were purchased at the Grasmere Chocolate Cottage. A short walk was needed to burn off those soon to be consumed calories.

Colourful boats at Faeryland Tea Garden.

After walking to Grasmere lake we called in at Faeryland Tea Garden which has an enviable position overlooking the water, and pretty pastille coloured rowing boats are available for hire. 🧚‍♀️

Kittchen ‘ Pussy & Pints ‘.

Although I have been to a Cat Cafe before, none of us have ever visited a Cat Bar….until now. Kittchen in Hawkshead is home to seven adorable rescue cats and serves yummy food and alcoholic beverages. Because the weather was so hot most of the furry felines were asleep, but the sunshine did mean we had the cats all to ourselves. A purrfect end to the day. 🐱

Llama Trek to Brougham Castle. Photo Courtesy of Arwen Ball.

Day Four. Another hot day. Our anticipated llama trek was put back to late afternoon, so it wouldn’t be too hot for the above cute camelids, Warrior and Jester. We booked an hour mini trek with Lakeland Llama Treks based in Brougham and Melmerby. It was great fun to groom, learn about and walk with both boys to Brougham Castle ,with our lovely guide Caroline. 🦙

Visiting family.

Day Five. The girls went on a little roadtrip to find a beach, spending a couple of hours relaxing on the sands in Maryport. Meanwhile I met up with family at my Mum’s in Askham and we enjoyed a saunter up the fell.

Face Mask Thursday ~ photo credit Tammy Cardoso.

Day Six. Alot cooler today so we chilled at the caravan, watching films etc. It was Arwen and Tammy’s last full day with me at the van.

Day Seven. After a tasty lunch at The Old Village Bakery in Melmerby, the girls have made it home. I am presently waiting for my other half to arrive. It’s been great spending time here with friends, a treat and a bit of normality all at the same time. 😊

Thanks for dropping by.

Bassenthwaite and Grasmere.

 

Last weekend was a Bank Holiday and also Hugo’s 2nd Birthday! We had planned to take him to the Lake District for the day on Sunday and bag another lake or two. Sad dog-parents that we are, we have a map of the Lakes on the kitchen wall with photos of Hugo pinned to it ,splashing around in various lakes and tarns. Wil surprised me by booking us into a hotel in Keswick on the Sunday night! So we got to spend 2 days there instead of one. 🙂

On the Sunday we visited a lake that I had never been to before. Bassenthwaite is the most northerly of the lakes in The Lake District and one of the largest at 4 miles long. We did a short circular walk from Scarness Bay and Hugo enjoyed some doggy paddles. We didn’t see many people except for a few canoeists and a dog walker or two. I loved that the shore was abundant with wildflowers and bees.

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We stopped in The Skiddaw Hotel in Keswick which had a great location right in the centre of town. Wil had paid for an evening meal too ( the boy did good 🙂 ) and I chose the veggie option of ‘Stilton & Mushroom Tart’ which was really tasty. Afterwards we had a wander round the pubs and bars. Keswick is a very dog-friendly place and we were spoilt for choice for places to go with Hugo.

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The next day ( Bank Holiday Monday) we headed to Grasmere village and had a walk on the banks of Grasmere itself. This lake is one of the smallest at 1 mile long and half a mile wide. William Wordsworth described this area as ‘the most loveliest spot that man hath found’.  It was indeed lovely. We even found a quirky tea garden called Faerieland.

The almost hidden tea garden on the lake shore also hires out rowing boats with whimsical names such as Romany and Theodosia. There are friendly ducks and quite friendly swans ~ I don’t think they are labrador fans! I enjoyed a hot mulled apple drink and wished I could take a look inside the gipsy wagon. No fairies in sight but still an enchanting place all the same.

 

Allan Bank ~ A National Trust Gem.

Allan Bank is one of those places you can visit and feel real joy that you have. A National Trust Property with a bit of a difference, Allan Bank is more like a ‘Home away from Home’ than your typical grand old English house. You can sit in the comfy armchairs and enjoy the tranquil lake views, tap a tune on the piano in the entrance hall,paint pictures in the art room, read a book or newspaper in the cosy library or even make yourself a cuppa and settle in whichever room you like, with a nice slab of homemade Victoria Sponge cake of course.;)

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Are you partial to knitting?

So why does this stately Georgian Villa have such a relaxed and laid back vibe? In the past it has been home to the famous Lakeland poet Wordsworth and later to Canon Rawnsley ,one of the founders of the National Trust. Fast forward to 2011 and a fire nearly destroyed Allan Bank. Happily the Trust decided to restore the house but unusually took the decision not to decorate most of the rooms. Instead the walls are bare ,the floors uncarpeted and the furniture donated. Visitors seem to like the fact that there are no heirs and graces. 🙂

This year the National Trust is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter , who was a good friend of Canon Rawnsley. The Canon actively encouraged her to publish the tale of Peter Rabbit, which started out as an illustrated letter to him like the one above. Visitors are also encouraged to indulge in some old fashioned letter writing if they like..

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The Entrance Hall with Piano.

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Cosy crochet.

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Gorgeous views from every window.

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Residents of Allan Bank. 🙂

Love the Blue Poppy in the garden. 🙂

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Mountaineering room.

Kids and adults alike, will love the Art room. 🙂

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And the National Trust gift shop.

There are lovely grounds to explore too including a woodland walk and gardens. We spent quite a bit of time wandering. If the sun is shining you can even take a deck chair and relax on the lawn. The day we visited was a bit overcast, though happily the rain stayed away.

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Herdwick Ewe and lamb.

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Wil and Hugo head into the Victorian viewing tunnel.

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Inside the garden bothy.

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Fairy door.

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Another Herdwick. 😉

There’s a tea room inside but it’s totally up to you where you enjoy a bite to eat, be it inside or out. As it was a little grey outside, we partook of coffee and cake in the Mountaineering room. 🙂

I actually wish I had taken more photographs as there is so much I have missed. But I hope I have given you at least a tiny  taster of how lovely Allan Bank is. I know we will be sure to return. 🙂

Visit the website  here.

Have you ever visited Allan Bank and Grasmere?

 

Sunday Sevens ~ 29th May.

Having a week off always makes joining in with Sunday Sevens a bit more interesting, don’t you think. So whilst the Other Half has gone car shopping ( our peugeot is now on its last legs/wheels) I’ll recap my week in photos.

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  1. Last weekend we headed to the Yorkshire Dales for a few days camping. Howgill Lodge Campsite near Bolton Abbey is a site we have returned to a few times. You can see why. Look at our view over the Wharfedale Valley!  I like Howgill a lot as the pitches are all very spacious, each with it’s own picnic bench. The showers are powerful and hot and the site shop is small but provides all camping essentials. Chickens and ducks and wild rabbits roam around freely . Don’t be alarmed if they visit your tent! Owls hoot all night, the Dawn Chorus starts at 4am and includes Cuckoos and Curlews. Very vocal but wonderful too. 🙂

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2.A walk along the river to the village of Burnsall , and we spied this Tuk Tuk. Not a sight that you would usually see in the Yorkshire Dales! It was actually transporting a Bride and her Groom to the old bridge for a Photo Opportunity. Apparently lovetuktuks.co.uk are a Wharfedale based company that hire out this lovely little Italian Calessino for Weddings, Proms and other Excursions. 🙂

3. Fountain Abbey is about half an hours drive away from Howgill, so we decided to make the most of our National Trust Membership and spent most of Monday exploring the grounds, which included a Deer Park. The Water Gardens are full of sculptures, Lakes and Follies , so it’s well worth a trip out.

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4. We spent a couple of days at home recharging our batteries  before heading away again, this time to the Lakes for a  couple of nights . The recharging had to include trying out this delicious picnic lunch at the The Atrium at Clitheroe Castle, which tasted as scrumptious as it looks. There’s a new chef at the Atrium and an exciting fresh menu, so go take a look.

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5. Our little mini break in the Lakes was spent at the peaceful and secluded Haweswater Hotel that overlooks the Haweswater Reservoir. This art deco style hotel was built in the thirties by the Manchester Corporation who were responsible for flooding the valley to create the reservoir. We really enjoyed our stay,although the building is a work in progress.Some of the rooms have been recently refurbished, others need a little tlc. But we were made very welcome, especially Hugo. 🙂

6. Residing in such beautiful countryside had to mean a spot of hiking. The hotel provides packed lunches so we made the most of this and took ours up into the hills, where we discovered a hidden tarn. The tarn is called Small water and is actually bigger than we expected. I was mighty glad to find it! Hiking is not my forte. But the countryside is so ruggedly beautiful , it’s well worth doing!

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7. One last picture. This was taken at another National Trust property called Allan Bank at Grasmere, which I enjoyed so much, I will blog about it separately  soon. The colourful sheep is part of the Go Herdwick Art Trail and is one of over 50 hand painted ewes , that can be spotted all over the Lake District until september.

Sunday Sevens was devised by Natalie at Threads and Bobbins.

Hope you are enjoying your Bank Holiday!!