Our last weekend at the caravan before we closed it down for the Winter was idyllic. Cold, fine and frosty. This is what Melmerby looked like on Saturday morning. Jack Frost had sprinkled his magic.
We headed into Keswick later that morning. Hugo enjoyed playing with his inflatable in the lake. Didn’t see many other wild swimmers. 😉
After lunch we headed back to the Eden Valley as Keswick was bustling with festive shoppers. We parked up in Edenhall and enjoyed the quiet solitude of a countryside walk. The combination of frost and mist was both eerie and magical.
This morning we left a beautiful winter wonderland for our rather green Lancashire home.
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
Having recently returned from a 3 night break in the lovely Lake District, I would love to show you some photos from my stay. As per usual Wil and I were accompanied by our labrador Hugo. We stayed once again in Keswick, where we engrossed ourselves in country walks and awesome food. If you have a dog, then this Cumbrian town is super pet-friendly. Hugo must have been given a treat, everwhere we went. Luckily he had plenty of opportunities to run those tasty titbits off!
Friday ~ Snowy Thirlmere.
As we wouldn’t get the key to our accomodation until the late afternoon, we had planned a walk from Harrop Tarn to Thirlmere. The little country roads in the area were pretty icey though, so we scrapped that plan and parked at Station Coppice on the East side of Thirlmere instead. From here we took the underpass to Swirls Car Park . This is a popular starting point for the trek up Helvellyn. If you prefer a gentler stroll ( like me! ), there are various trails up into the woodland, including a Red Squirrel trail. We found a fresh white world ,the whole area was very Narnia like, under a blanket of snow. Hugo pounced in the drifts, I flung myself into snow angel shapes and a solitary herdwick , watched us with mild curiosity.
After enjoying the peaceful woodland we headed to the lake, where Hugo had a bracing paddle. Thirlmere is actually a reservoir ,created from the original smaller lake and the flooding of two hamlets Armboth and Wythburn. The industrial demands of Victorian England meant that Thirlmere was needed to supply water to the growing mill population of Manchester. To this day the 95 mile Thirlmere Aqueduct carries water to Manchester and beyond.
Saturday ~ Around Derwentwater.
Saturday dawned a fine bright cold day, the perfect weather for a winter walk around beautiful Derwentwater. A scenic ten mile waymarked path ambles round the shoreline , taking in stunning snow-capped mountain vistas, often reflected in the lake itself. What I particularly loved about this walk were all the interesting landmarks on route. Starting at the Friar’s Crag Viewpoint just after the Keswick Launch and Jetties, the path will regale you with many photographic opportunities. Look out for The Hundred Year Stone at Calfclose Bay, the Lodore Falls behind the Lodore Falls Hotel, The Chinese Bridge over the river Derwent inscribed with a Winnie The Pooh quote and the giant hand sculpture ‘Entrust’ near Portinscale. There are plenty of refreshment opportunities on route. We stopped off at Mary Mount Hotel for a coffee and a beer and The Lingholm Kitchen near Portinscale for a late lunch. From February The Keswick Launch reopens so if you do try out this circular walk, you can incorporate it with a cruise on the lake too.
Sunday ~ Chilled day in Keswick.
Sunday was a typically wet Lake District day. We decided to mostly chill in warm dry places. 😁 There was the happy discovery of a new pooch themed cafe Jaspers Coffee House on Station street, which does amazing breakfasts ( see above) and has cute doggy decor.
Did you know that Keswick’s Pencil Museum is home of the first pencil! The newly refurbished collection is a fun place to spend an hour out of the weather, especially if you get competitive doing the ‘Whats the point?’ Pencil Quiz. 😉
There are lots of great places to eat and drink in the town, many are very dog friendly. We always frequent the characterful Dog & Gun on Lake Road and finally managed to fit into the tiny tapas & cafe bar The Square Orange for a leisurely lunch. Definitely worth the wait!
Monday ~ Soggy Wet Sleddale.
Today we left Keswick and stopped off at Shap near Penrith. Again I had plans , this time for us to walk round Wet Sleddale Reservoir. But the lane down to Wet Sleddale looked pretty hazardous, so we parked in Shap and walked the 3 miles there. Maybe it is always wet and bleak here ( hence the name! ) but we didn’t make it round the reservoir. 😐 Still I am up for a return visit! We saw lots of Buzzards and kestrels and the area has a connection with a cult British film. Sleddale Hall was a film location in back comedy Withnil and I.
Where have you visited in January? Or are you enjoying a spot of hibernation. 😁
It’s a cold and wuthering January week and here I am joining in with Sunday Sevens devised by the lovely new Mom, Natalie at Threads & Bobbins.
Last Sunday morning I woke up quite hungover after my works Christmas do. Does anyone else have their work’s Xmas party in January! Anyway Wil made English Breakfast Shatshuka from a recipe found on adventuresofcumbrianblondie.co.uk. Was just what I needed. 🙂
I have signed up to do the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch which takes place on the weekend of the 27-29th January. It’s basically a small way ( only takes up an hour of your time)of helping the RSPB find out about how our garden bird population is doing. This cheeky robin has been a regular visitor recently. 🙂
On Tuesday eve I met up with some ‘old friends’ for tea. We did lots of reminiscing ( turns out Jo, Fi and I have known our pal Suranjan for 17 years. What!) and even though he has moved down south and is married with kids now, the years just melted away. Plus we got to sit at a table with a wooden duck. 😁
The rest of my photos are from where I am currently staying. Yes I am in The Lake District once again! Instead of buying each other Xmas presents last year, Wil and I treated ourselves to 3 nights in Keswick. Its a bit of a tradition ,as we were here this time last year too.
On Friday we saw Snow. Hugo loved it! Although he is now three and half ,he has only experienced the White Stuff a couple of times before. We parked up near Thirlmere and followed the Red Squirrel Trail. Fun times!
Yesterday we decided to walk round Derwentwater ( the lake in Keswick) and above are our supplies. 😁
It was a beautiful day, the perfect sort of weather to circumnavigate a lake. I will definitely be blogging about Derwentwater in more detail soon…..
And here is last night’s supper! Dined at the lovely Merienda in Keswick. Totally spoilt for choice here. 😊
So there you have it. Thanks for bobbing by. How has your week been?
On Saturday I joined in with Janey and Louisa’s Photo An Hour on Instagram, posting a photo every hour, on the hour , all through the day. It happened that I was staying with family in the little village of Askham near Penrith, so my piccies are all taken in Cumbria, instead of where I live in Lancashire.
8am. Woke up to a view of a rather murky day .
9am. Coffee and Toast for breakfast.
10am. Heading down the village of Askham past one of the Greens to the Village shop. The shop has a great community feeling and serves coffee too, so we sat in and enjoyed another brew. 🙂
11am. We had been told about a local photography art exhibition in the Village Hall so walked there for a nosy. I bought a few cards and will no doubt frame them, when I get round to it.
12pm. Pie & peas for an early lunch.
1pm. Off to Keswick in the car so a pretty boring shot of the road. Still murky out there, which I guess is appropriate for the time of year. 🎃
2pm. In Keswick Wil finds a new jacket…..and some walking pants. I prefer to admire pumpkin ornaments!
3pm. Enjoying a blood orange tea and a slice of Cherry Chocolate cake in Merienda , a fave tea room in Keswick. 🙂
4pm. Back in Askham and find Biscuit the family cat relaxing on the bed. He is a gorgeous boy but is petrified of dogs. So we couldn’t bring Hugo ! I spend most of the weekend seeking out random dogs to stroke.
5pm. Admiring the flowers in Mum’s garden. 🙂
6pm. I bought a Lake District & Cumbria magazine in Keswick so I’m having a glance through. Lots of walks and useful info in here!
7pm. Tea over, Wil and I head to one of the two pubs in Askham , The Queen’s Head. There is a tempting cocktail menu. Later I do have an Expresso Martini !
8pm. I wish I had taken a better photo of Floyd the Cocker Spaniel. Here he is at the bar with his owner, after hoovering up the entire pub. His owner said he was at the village Halloween party, the night before too. Floyd is a party animal!
9pm. Just a short of Wils glass. Spooky!
So there you have it, some random shots of a day in my life. Hope you are having a spooktacular Halloween, and I’ll be back in a few days with more Autumnal pics of a couple of places we visited on Sunday. 🎃
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. 🙂
Hi this is my first Sunday Sevens of 2017! Here is what I have been up to in the last week.
I have been on a roll reading this month. Three of the above were Christmas presents and all four books I have given solid 4 ☆☆☆☆ on Good Reads. A whimsical romance with books, a quirky story about a young adventuress who doesn’t recall her adventures, a laugh out loud romp with our favourite singleton Bridget and and an interesting novel about the reintroduction of wolves into Northern England. All good.
Last weekend was spent enjoying a mini break in The Lake District. We stopped in a cosy cottage in Keswick with our dog Hugo.Keswick has been voted ‘Most Dog-friendly town’ several years on the run. More about that coming soon. The above pictures show reflections in beautiful Derwentwater and the nearby ancient Castlerigg Stone Circle with its mountainous backdrop.
On the way home from Cumbria we dropped by a Yorkshire village called Clapham and I met the proprietor of a local vintage shop, who was actually a tabby cat called Stella. 🙂
Whilst I was away I bought two new mugs from a shop in Keswick called Love The Lakes. Mine is the one with the sheep on. 🙂
This weekends job is lots of sanding and getting the stairs and landing ready for decorating and a new carpet. I can’t claim that I have done much to help as Wil does not trust me with a paint brush! To speed up proceedings Mr Hugo has decamped to a boarding kennels for the weekend. It is really wierd without him. 😦
After lots of decorating prep we stayed in with a Chinese ( do you like my dragon puppet? ) and watched anti-superhero film ‘Deadpool’. Quite amusing!
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.
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.
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.
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!
If you are considering a fresh blogging challenge to take part in every month , why not have a go at Janey’s and Louisa’s Photo An Hour Challenge. Every month they choose a day ( usually at the weekend) and upload a picture of what they are doing on the hour, every hour on Instagram or Twitter. It’s a great way of finding new blogs or Instagram accounts to follow. And everyone loves a bit of a nosy at someone else’s day!
January’s day was Saturday. So here’s what exciting things I got up to. I just know you are dying to find out………;0)
8am ~ Morning brew. We are planning to head up to the Lake District with Hugo.
9am ~ Hugo on the back seat in the car. He doesn’t like travelling bless him. Luckily he settled down and went to sleep.
10am ~ Whizzing past fields of snow.
11am ~ Finally in Keswick. And down by the Lake which is full of geese. Can you spot Hugo?
Noon ~ In Keswick looking for foodie treats for my foodie penpal. Settled on a jar of locally made Orange cheese ( Orange curd).
1pm ~ A spot of lunch in The Filling Station on the outskirts of Keswick. A Route A66 Burger and sweet potato fries. Yummy. 🙂
2pm ~ It’s snowing hard in Keswick so the other half says we have to head away from the snow. Slightly sulking. I had secretly packed my toothbrush and clean underwear, in the hope of getting snowed in. Oh well! Here’s the cd currently listening to in the car.
3pm ~ We have stopped off at Kirkby Lonsdale ( no snow here yet!) and having a walk by the river.
4pm ~ A quick florentine from this amazing bakery in Kirkby Lonsdale. 🙂
5pm ~ Back home and there is snow!
6pm ~ My Saturday night was very Rock n Roll. A Hot chocolate and a magazine. I put ground ginger in the chocolate to make it a bit spicey. 🙂
7pm ~ Tea has been slowly cooking all day. It’s Chicken curry.
8pm ~ My last picture of the day is of my cat Slinky who has just pinched my place on the sofa. Cheeky! The evening followed with a Bones Boxset Fest.