When I haven’t been to the caravan for a couple of weeks, I’m always amazed at the changes in the garden. Not being a gardener at all, I struggled to identify this latest blossoming shrub. Any ideas?
My poor pansy pot has been used by a moth to lay their eggs in the flowers. The culprit is below. I think it’s an Angle Shades Moth. Oh well! It’s good to give back to nature. 😃
Saturday morning in Melmerby and the church was all decorated for a wedding with pretty white wildflowers.
And there’s always something to see on little walks round about the village.
In the afternoon we went to Honister Slate Mine where Wil would be going to Infinity and Beyond! His Birthday present from me this year was an Infinity Bridge Experience at Honister. Rather him than me! Scroll down for Wils photo of the bridge. Meanwhile Hugo and I explored around the site. There are some cool slate sculptures. 😚
Wil was buzzing after the Infinity Bridge.
I had noticed several people heading up the fells from the Honister Car Park. Has anyone done a Wainwright from there?
We then went for tea at Mary Mount Hotel near Keswick. The terrace has wonderful views. 🥰
Bank Holiday Weekend ( also platyjubes of course! ) , we escaped the celebrations for a while, choosing a less obvious Lakeland area for a countryside walk.
Shap is a long grey stoned settlement in the North Eden District. It has a couple of pubs, a shop, cafe, chippy and an open air swimming pool, the highest heated outdoor pool in England. The steady A6 is the main road that meanders through the village, it used to be the principal thoroughfare for the Lake District & Scotland.
Not far away is the busy M6 , but to the West of Shap it is picturesque and remote. I had downloaded this Walk from the Eden’s River Trust. Part of the route is on the Coast To Coast footpath , though we didn’t see one other human being out walking. It was so peaceful.
Things then got a bit scary , a family of cattle that we hadn’t noticed at first started to take a bit too much interest in us as we tried to cross the field. They had a Bull with them and youngsters, but it was the cows themselves that started kicking up a fuss , fairly galloping towards us. We managed to scare them away , though not before Wil got knocked off his feet and Hugo got butted. I’m not sure how but we legged it into a solitary farmhouse garden with the cattle at our heels. Definitely a hair raising encounter, we were a bit shuck up!
To make matters worse we would have to sneek past the herd again to continue with our walk. We waited until they had calmed down and ambled away, an unconcerned resident of the farmhouse didn’t seem to care that we had hotfooted into their garden or that the cows had chased us there…
The Preminstratensian Order of Monks from France settled in Shap in the 13th Century and built beautiful Shap Abbey from local stone. The monks became known as The White Cannons because they wore robes made from undyed sheep fleeces.
Here was a lovely place to stop for a while by the river Lowther again. I must admit we had lost our thirst for continuing the planned route , which would take us through the hamlet of Keld and on past another large standing stone called The Goggleby Stone. Instead we made our way back to Shap through a couple of cow free fields and along a country lane.
We ended up having a delicious cheese scone and a cup of coffee each at the Abbey Kitchens cafe in Shap, the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by. I’m so glad Wil and Hugo were non the worse for our ordeal. We will definitely be keeping our distance from any cows in the future. Although apparently there are some handsome looking Highland Cattle in Swindale………..
My goodness these months are whizzing by are they not. May seems to have come and gone in a flash! I am currently off work as it’s the Spring Bank Half Term Holiday ( advantage of being a school cleaner) so it’s a good time for me to do my May Round-Up Post.
Reading ~ not that much to be honest. After recently extending my hours at school with five earlies a week, I find myself frankly too knackered to pick up a book. Wrong I know! I have bought The Lake District In 101 Maps & Infographics to take to the caravan. And I shall learn all about Haunted Cumbria, Cumbrian Film locations and quirky Cumbrian place names, amongst other things. Should keep me going for a while!
Watching ~ it’s all about good old nostalgia for me at the moment. I’ve been to the movies! We Clitheronians are very fortunate in that we have a fabulous Everyman Cinema in town and May has not disappointed on the film front. I have enjoyed both Downton Abbey A New Era and Top Gun Maverick , they are both appearing on the big screen right now.
On the box my go to show is Grace & Frankie. I am as usual a bit late to the party with this one. Not sure how a witty comedy series starring Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin escaped my attention until now but I am loving the pairing of uptight Grace and Kooky Frankie. 🙂 Other shows I have returned to in May include Ozark , Bosch Legacy and of course Stranger Things.
Eating ~ It is rare that Wil and I spend time up at the caravan without our Black Labrador Mr Hugo, but we did have one weekend in May when we were there without him. It seemed a good time to book a meal out somewhere where you wouldn’t usually take a dog. Roundthorn Country House on the outskirts of Penrith is one such place, there wasn’t a four legged friend in sight. Which was strange for us, though also kind of liberating not eating in front of a drooling hound, eyes transfixed on our dinner. The food was yummy but I couldn’t help missing my boy.
Exercise ~ Our pet free weekend was all because we actually won a prize! We won half a days E-Biking at Lowther Castle In the Lakes , it was great fun. However I still felt like I had done some proper exercise even if it was power assisted cycling. 🙂 There haven’t really been many notable walks this month, just my normal dog walking routes. I have loved seeing the wild flower displays, the lacey blooms of Cow Parsley have been beautiful lately.
Enjoying ~ Relaxing at the caravan ~ My favourite area at the van is probably the front bit of decking, which is a real sun trap and perfect for lounging about on a deck chair with a brew. I especially like to look up and watch all the Swift’s whizzing about the sky, now they have returned from Africa. The scent of a lovely lilac bush in the garden there was a real treat too.
~ Friends Reunited ~ On the last day of May it was great to meet up with some friends I haven’t seen for two years. I love how normality has returned at last, I’m not taking it for granted.
Thanks for dropping by. Hope your May has been a good one. 🧡
Over the Easter Weekend we spent quite a bit of time walking the dog around Melmerby. We are still discovering new footpaths there, it’s a lovely place for a wander, especially at this time of year.
I still love my original What To Look For In The Seasons Ladybird Nature Books , which were first published in the fifties and sixties. Ladybird brought out a new set last year, they are also quite charming. The Spring book accompanied me on my recent walks.
Melmerby is the kind of village , where I often find myself doing double-takes! This Easter I have seen 2 children walking their pet ferrets, a Grandmother taking the little ones bare back riding on a sturdy horse, a man whizzing round a field in a pony and trap and several llamas being led along the Village Green.
Here are a few photos from Melmerby in the Spring.
Hey, I’m pleased to report I finally made it up a fell on Good Friday. To a soundtrack of Meadow Pippits and Skylarks, I conquered Binsey. Binsey is my 9th Wainwright and it’s a diminutive one. Still, it is a hill, and that means a walk uphill and that means me wheezing my way up, a bit like the asmatic guy Stevie from Malcolm in the Middle. Except I’m not asmatic. Wil literally always calls me ‘Stevie’ on these occasions…
Seriously though, if you do fancy bagging a relatively easy Wainwright Fell , Binsey is a grand one to do. It’s in a quiet part of North Lakeland and what it lacks in stature, it makes up for in fantastic views.
To get to Binsey we headed Caldbeck way and over Uldale Common , where we were literally surrounded by mountain peaks. We passed through the little village of Uldale and found roadside parking at a crossroads near Binsey Lodge, a private residence at the bottom of the fell.
You can’t really get lost hiking to the Summit of Binsey. You just head straight up the hill. At the top there is a cairn, a trig point and a wind shelter.
From the top of Binsey there are views of Lake Bassenthwaite, Overwater and the Solway Coast. Out of my rucksack emerged Little Herdy ( affectionately now also known as Little Binsey) to conquer her first Wainwright Fell.
I am never going to be a big fan of hill walking but looking back on the day I bagged Binsey inspires me , to maybe think about my next Wainwright……. 🙂
A favourite walk of mine in the Lake District is the circuit around beautiful Derwent Water. Although 10 Mile long, this hike is mostly low level and if you keep the lake in sight, you can’t really get lost. 🙂 And there’s so much to see, it’s stunning in any weather. Here’s aLink to a map of the route.
I joined my sister, niece and nephew for this walk, we did the route anti clockwise, starting from the small free car parking area by Portinscale Suspension Bridge. We passed through the waterside village of Portinscale and found the path to the lake.
The Lingholm Estate on the shores of Derwent Water surrounds a grand Victorian House where the family of Beatrix Potter would spend their holidays. The garden where the Walled Garden is now inspired Beatrix’s ‘ The Tale Of Peter Rabbit ‘.
A Wooden Hand Sculpture ‘ Entrust ‘ can be found at Brandelhow Park. The Sculpture commemorate s the centenary of The National Trusts first land purchase in 2002. But recent storms seem to have moved the hands from their original position. I susoect they might be seen floating away in the future….
Aw look it’s ‘ Teddy In The Window ‘ a popular landmark on the lakeside path. The unclaimed Teddy Bear gets sent postcards, letters and photos from all over the world. He raises money too for lots of good causes. We stopped to say Hi.
The Chinese Bridge that spans The River Derwent is a great spot for playing poohsticks. In fact there is even an extract from A A Milne’s Christopher Robin underfoot.
The Centenary Stones are another National Trust Sculpture. These are found at Calfclose Bay. Nearby is a bench with a lovely view over the Lake, a bit too wet for us to sit on though.
At Keswick we made a detour into Hope Park to see the bronze statue of Max The Miracle Dog, who had sadly passed away the day before aged 14 and a half. Max was a very special Springer Spaniel therapy dog who raised alot of money for various charities and brought alot of happiness to alot of People. The orange coloured flowers are a tribute to the orange collar he always wore. 🧡🧡
It had been a soggy but very enjoyable walk. Well worth doing. Thanks for joining me.🥾
On Saturday after some shopping and lunch in Keswick we decided to walk the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path. It’s been a few years since we’ve done this. In fact the trail was almost all destroyed by Storm Desmond in 2015. Happily this mostly flat hike that follows the route of the old Keswick to Penrith Railway Line has been completely restored. It’s a popular link-up between Keswick and the nearby village of Threlkeld and is suitable for cycling, walking, prams and wheel chairs. A great route for all. ☺️
The Railway Walk starts from the old Railway Station which is now part of the Keswick Country House Hotel. There is parking close by behind the Swimming Pool ,which sadly looks to have closed.
There have been plenty of changes to the trail in the restoration including the reopening of the Bobbin Mill Railway Tunnel which had been buried for fourty years!
Pews with Views have been placed along the route , looking out over the fast flowing River Greta and surrounding fells.
Storm Desmond had whipped away two bridges and most of the pathway back in 2015. The tarmacked road and new storm strengthened bridges are brilliant improvements though.
The path is 5km from Keswick to Threlkeld and 5km back. Threlkeld is a pretty mountainside village with two pubs and a coffee shop.
After a coffee we decided to cheat a bit and hopped on the bus back into town. Fortuitously we only had a two minute wait.
We then had enough time to take Hugo down to Derwent Water for a paddle. ☺️
Have you ever walked the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path?
It’s that time of year when we sadly close our caravan for the Winter. The site it is on doesn’t actually shut down over the colder months, but being two hours away from home in a village that is prone to getting heavy snow, we figure it’s for the best really.
On Friday Eve we made sure we got stuck into the last couple of bottles of wine in the wine rack. 🙂
On Saturday the weather was grey, but the drizzle didn’t dampen our spirits. I had booked us lunch over at Bassenthwaite Lake Station , in a French Steam Engine no less. The disused train station was bought in 2019 by Simon and Diana Parums, who have been busy renovating the buildings. A permanent fixture on the track is the beautiful Steam Train , which is in fact not a real train at all…. . It is actually a replica made especially for the 2017 film version of Murder On The Orient Express , starring Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Pfeiffer,Dame Judi Dench and Johnny Depp. These days the film set is a lovely cafe/restaurant and being slightly wider than a ‘ real train ‘ lends itself to its new life perfectly.
We chose the Brunch Bowls for lunch, followed by cake of course! Delicious. 😁 There’s lots of choice on the menu and a good selection of drinks too. Food is a little more expensive than most cafes in the area. However the setting and the friendly service justifies the price.
It was great that Hugo was made very welcome on the train, even though he did have a habit of lying across the aisle. The staff brought him dog treats and made a real fuss of him. Perhaps the Station dog, a pretty black Labrador called Poppy , had something to do with that. 🤗
After lunch we had a quick look around the rest of the train. Our dining car had been bustling and busy , though a posher salon at the back was empty. Perhaps this is used for special occasions. For a finer day there is also outside seating and the Station building itself with Waiting Room is also part of the cafe.
I really love what the new owners are doing here. Breathing life into what only a couple of years ago, was an abandoned unused space. Hopefully we will visit again next year. I would also like to explore Dubwath Silver Meadows Nature Reserve opposite and of course go for a wander by the lake. 😁
Later in the afternoon we visited my Mum and Brother who live on a farm in The Eden Valley. The farm cats Tibby and Sooty have been used to spending time in the house recently, but weren’t too impressed that a certain Labrador was in residence.
Back at the caravan and Sunday dawned cold and bright, a lovely day for our last one there this year. We enjoyed a walk up the old bridleway from Melmerby to Unthank, I will miss those uninterrupted views toward the Lakeland fells.
After tidying and closing down the van we headed to the nearby village of Langwathby for a sausage butty lunch on the green.
Here’s to a few local adventures closer to home over Winter. Hope you can join me. X
Today I am looking back at our weekend away with friends in Ravenglass & Eskdale. It was during the school holidays in August that we stayed in the same lovely cottage that we have booked for previous get togethers. It has become a bit of a tradition of ours to stop in Ravenglass on the Cumbrian Coast. We always seem to find new things to see and do.
As we had set off a little earlier than the others, we decided to take our dog Hugo for a walk on nearby Silecroft Beach. With the Cumbrian Fells ( particularly Black Combe) as it’s backdrop, this sandy stretch of coastline is perfect for exercising four-legged friends. And dogs are not the only ones. You have a very good chance of seeing the Cumbrian Heavy Horses out for a canter here too.
Once settled into our seafront cottage in the estuary village of Ravenglass everyone made for the beach again. And our evening was spent under rugs on the cottage balcony playing games and watching the sun 🌞 set over the bay.
No visit to Ravenglass is complete without a trip on La’al Ratty! Meaning ‘ Little Railway ‘ in Old Cumbrian dialect, this is the affectionate nick name given to The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway 🚂 , a Narrow Steam Gorge Railway that takes visitors on a seven mile journey into the stunning Eskdale countryside.
We were spoiled for choice when it came to walking routes in Eskdale. Many people opt to walk up into the fells. There’s Roman ruins at Hardknott and plenty of wild swimming in the rugged becks and waterfall pools. Speaking of waterfalls, we went in search of Stanley Ghyll and the recently constructed iron viewing platform above it.
Bootle Beach was our destination on Sunday. More swimming for the kids ( they were braver than us!) and a bit of beach combing. We saw two huskies from Horse & Husky being exercised. This beach is great for finding wierd and wonderful pebbles and other flotsam and jetsam.
We had a wonderful time as usual, in this scenic corner of Cumbria.
Although I shared a very lazy story post when I got back from my holibobs on the coast, I do think it would be a shame if I didn’t blog a little bit about my stay in lovely Arnside.
Arnside is a village on the Kent estuary, where the river meets the sea, overlooking Morecambe Bay. A former fishing port, the resort is now a popular little holiday destination.
We stopped at Ye Olde Fighting Cocks which is situated on the sea front. Dating back to 1660 the pub is one of the oldest buildings in the village and a cock pit still exists under the restaurant floor. Today’s guests can enjoy simple pub food, a good selection of ales and gins and a warm welcome, canine visitors too.
All Arnsides seafront views take in the impressive 50 Span Viaduct , with regular trains making the crossing over the River Kent. The Railway Station is excellent with great services to Carlisle, Lancaster and Manchester. Oneday we took a train to nearby Ulverston , the coastal route is truly stunning and definitely worth doing. 🙂
On a clear day the diminutive Arnside Pier must surely have the best vistas of any seaside pier. The Lake District fells are misted over in the above picture though.
I love the 2 Minute Beach Clean Stand on the sea front. Litter pickers and bags are provided and anyone can go and do their bit. I must admit the beach was noticeably rubbish free. 🙂
There are some lovely local businesses in the village to mooch round. I loved them all ! I did treat myself to a few things including a cute fox pin from The Little Shop and a bottle of gorgeous smelling hand lotion from Homeleigh Vintage .
Make sure you wander up Pier Lane when shopping. There’s a fab sweet shop, a cupcake shop and a wonderful art gallery there, all almost hidden from view.
And we can also recommend the bijou but belting The Wayside Cafe near the railway station for coffee, cakes and delicious brunch options.
I do love a pub with a view. 🙂 Arnsides other watering hole The Albion has possibly even better estuary views than Ye Olde Fighting Cocks. We certainly had a few beverages sat outside of an evening.
As new visitors to Arnside we got incredibly excited ( ok I got incredibly excited) on our first night when a sound rather like a wartime air raid siren suddenly filled the air. Having read that a warning siren precedes the arrival of the Arnside Tidal Bore, I immediately started scanning the horizon for an impressive wave rushing up the estuary. An hour later ourselves and a couple of other tourists were still sat watching ( and freezing our bits off, the wind had gotten up) whilst all the locals had disappeared inside. The Bore didn’t make an appearance !
It turns out that the Sirens tend to go off regularly anyway, but it is only in certain high tide conditions that a tidal bore occurs.
If you want to keep an eye out for the bore virtually The Arnside Chip Shop is home to the Pier Webcam and there are a couple of good videos to view on the website. Also I have to say , awesome fish & chips !! But be warned , this is a very popular chippy….
We fancied a fish & chips supper one evening and the queue didn’t seem very long. When I placed my order at the counter though, the apologetic server told me there would be a 1 Hour 20 minute wait! She then gave me this chunky ‘ vibrating device’ that counts down the time and starts vibrating even faster when your order is done. Cut to us sat outside The Albion with a siren booming across the bay and a constantly vibrating handbag. 🤣 Our supper was definitely worth the wait but as the wind had whipped up we took it back to the room and consumed with mugs of wine. 😊
There are some great beach walks from Arnside to Sandside or the pretty village of Silverdale. Or you can head up Arnside Knott for scenic views over the bay. Signposted from the village, the Knott is a small hill with big vistas and well worth the climb. Known for its varied wildlife especially wading birds and rare butterflies , the whole area is a nature lovers paradise. 🙂
A myriad of footpaths Criss cross the Knott and surrounding countryside. A beautiful place indeed. 😊
Hopefully you have enjoyed my little tour of Arnside as much as we enjoyed our visit to this quirky and delightful seaside village. 💕
Northeast Allie is a blog that reflects influences from the Philadelphia area and the regions around it. It explores perspectives on life, encouragement, travel, wellness, and local living so that you can really enjoy this unique community!