Our last visit to Aira Force Waterfall near Ullswater in the Lake District was not very successful photo wise….as it was both tipping it down with rain and howling a gale! Happily on our return yesterday, the weather was a lot kinder. We decided to park in the lake shore village of Glenridding and take the steamer the short 20 minute journey to the newly erected Aira Force Pier. The steamers themselves have been pleasure cruising along and around Ullswater for 150 years, and weather permitting , operate 363 days of the year.
We bought return tickets from Glenridding Pier House for £8 each and sat and waited with a nice warming brew. There is a coffee shop and gift shop in the pier house as well as lots of local information. Presently our steamer, The Lady Dorothy , arrived to take us to Aira Force.
We sat out on deck and admired the passing scenery. Ullswater is the Lake District’s second largest lake and the daffodils that grow on the bank at Glencoyne Bay are said to have inspired Wordsworth’s poem ‘Daffodils’. The mighty Helvellyn mountain range provided a magnificent backdrop and the waters were tranquil and deep.
Aira Force Waterfall tumbles a lengthy 65ft and can be reached via a stroll through pretty woodland. There are wooden walkways, gravel footpaths and ornate stone bridges. We looked out for the many different trees on the tree trail and Hugo enjoyed dipping in and out of the babbling brook. 🙂
The name Aira comes from the Old Norse ‘ river at the gravel bank’ and Force is a derivation of the Old Norse word ‘ fors’ meaning Waterfall. So Aira Force is apparently a waterfall on the gravel-bank river. Head further into the woodland to discover the less dramatic High Force.
There is a National Trust shop and tea room on site. We had a spot of lunch and another walk before heading back to catch the steamer. 🙂
Sunday dawned bright and sunny with an Autumnal nip in the air. We decided to try visiting Gawthorpe Hall again , a handsome looking Grade 1 listed Elizabethan residence in Padiham. On our last visit the car park was jam packed full on a weekend lunch time ,so we turned back. And sure enough it was pretty busy at half nine on this particular morning too. It turns out there is a school football ground nearby so I guess families were dropping off their kids. I’m not to sure where Hall visitors should park at such times. 😦 However we were fortunate on this occasion!
Although it would have been lovely to look inside this fine old house, we had Hugo with us ( dogs are only allowed in the grounds and Stubbins Estate) so we explored the outside for a couple of hours. Hugo enjoyed bombing around and it was still early enough for him not to bother anyone. The Hall itself did not open until 11am.
Gawthorpe Hall was built in the early 1600’s and was the family seat of the Shuttleworth family until the 20th century when it was gifted to the National Trust.
A lot of work was done on the house and garden in the 1840’s when Janet Shuttleworth married Sir James Kay of Rochdale. The now Kay-Shuttleworths commissioned Sir Charles Barry to carry out restorations . Sir Charles was the architect who remodelled Highclere House , which is the filming location of Downton Abbey. The couple were also friendly with Charlotte Bronte who visited Gawthorpe a couple of times and it is through them that she met her friend, the writer Elizabeth Gaskell.
A walk around the estate and we met these two characters. I shall call them Nippy and Chomper ! Chomper took a shine to me and more specifically my right arm. They were cute…but hungry. Serves me right for not bringing them apples. 🙂
The grounds at Gawthorpe Hall are lovely to walk around especially in Autumn when the trees are slowly changing from green to reds and golds. I will leave you with a few more photos and if you would like to learn more about this National Trust Property, please take a look at Cathy’s blog post here.
Have you ever planned a day out and it hasn’t turned out how you expected? Today was a bit like that, well a lot like that to be honest ! Happily in the end things panned out ok. We started off by heading over to Hardcastle Crags in Yorkshire.
We parked on the National Trust Car Park and walked to Gibson Mill , a beautiful 19th century textile Mill which is now a completely self sufficient museum,visitor centre and cafe.
There were stepping stones over the river. As I gingerly hopped from stone to stone, Hugo sped by and nearly sent me a cropper!
The Weaving Shed Cafe opened at 11am , we were just in time for coffee and cake. It was quite chilly , so we were happy that we could sit inside with Hugo. 🙂
So far, so good. Our next planned stop was the quirky town of Hebden Bridge. Its great for independent shops,pubs and cafes. Theres something for everyone there, the town has a hippy,artisan,eclectic vibe. Unfortunately our history of actually getting to Hebden is not good. Like a modern day Brigadoon, our sat nav has previously either got us there eventually, or not at all.
Today we bizarrely managed to totally bypass it altogether and ended up in nearby Todmorden before we realised what was happening. We had actually been congratulating ourselves that we were not in the ‘ millipede of cars’ going the opposite way,when it dawned on us that, that was the way we should have been going. Doh!
So change of plan! I suggested we head to Gawthorpe Hall in Padiham , which is another NT property in our home county of Lancashire. We got there ok but at 12.30pm on a Sunday in July, the quite frankly too tiny carpark was full to bursting. 😦 Feeling frustrated we gave up and pointed the car in the direction of home.
This weekend is actually the anniversary of when Wil and I got together 11 years ago! So instead of a celebratory day out like we had planned , we accepted that we should just hang out in our home town. Things immediately got better from then on. 🙂
We enjoyed a gorgeous lunch at The Atrium at Clitheroe Castle.
Then headed for a pint at our fave local , The New Inn.
And after had cocktails…….and a giant pink meringue in Escape Coffee & Cocktails in the town centre. 🙂
So Sunday didn’t turn out quite as we planned. But it wasn’t bad in the end! Where is your Brigadoon?? Or do you have more luck than us!
A couple of weeks ago we spent a few days away in Silverdale on the Lancashire Coast. I love the sea and am quite happy pottering about on the beach. But as we were but a hop, skip and a jump away from the Lake District , we decided to take advantage of our convenient location and explore some places in the Lakes as well. 🙂 Enjoy the pictures.
But as we had Hugo with us, we enjoyed the scenery outside instead. The Cabanas above were used in an Art TV show that was filmed at Wray. Quite a beautiful view to paint!
The Langdale Valley , home to the majestic Langdale Pikes was a nice surprise. The National Trust are the most significant landowners here, owning 7 farms,3 car parks, a campsite and a Pub. Sticklebarn is a very family/walker/pet friendly pub that serves meals,shows family films and even has a doggy menu. 🙂
A cruise on Lake Windermere is great fun….and nice and cooling on a hot Summer’s Day. Yes we do have the occasional one of those.;) We enjoyed the 40 minute boat trip from Lakeside Pier at the Southern end of Windermere, to Bowness. Hugo even got his own ticket which was for ‘One Well Behaved Dog’ . Luckily he was a good boy and didn’t jump overboard! Bowness is pretty but incredibly busy and touristy in the Summer, so only visit if you don’t mind the crowds. See Windermere Lake Cruises.
Hopefully there are a few ideas here for anyone who is considering visiting The Lake District. 🙂
I’ve recently got back from a few days away on the coast. I decided I needed some refreshing sea air and as my other half loves the Lakes we compromised and chose to stay just outside the lovely village of Silverdale. Silverdale looks over Morecambe Bay and the coastline is rocky , the tree’s twisted into windswept shapes. I loved it there. 🙂 The village is actually in Lancashire, though quite close to nearby Arnside, which is in Cumbria. Here’s a wee list of some of the things I enjoyed in Silverdale. 🙂
1. Camping at Gibraltar farm. The perfect campsite to pitch your tent Gibraltar Farm is a family run site on a working farm with stunning coastal views. There’s good hot showers, a little shop and miles of countryside walks on your doorstep.
2. Breakfasting like a king. Just across from the campsite The Wolf House Gallery Cafe is somewhere you should definitely treat yourself to brekkie one morning. But don’t expect plain old bacon and eggs. How about Harissa roasted pepper,potato hash,fried eggs and honey pickled jalapenos or Buttermilk & Blueberry pancakes with bacon & maple syrup, to tempt your tastebuds. Yes we treated ourselves twice. 🙂
3. Local art and gifts. The Wolf House Gallery ( legend has it the surrounding area was home to England’s last living Wolves) sells beautiful pottery, prints, ceramics and jewellery so after breakfast I just had to have a browse. And in the village itself there’s a lovely vintage shop called Vintage and Country , both are well worth a look.
4. Wildlife Watching. Silverdale and nearby Arnside are a designated Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I loved nothing better than heading out with my camera to snap the various wildlife that considers this gorgeous habitat home. Below are a Little Egret, Common Spotted Orchid, a Shelduck and and a tiny orange butterfly.
And if you want to see Bitterns,Otter, Birds of prey and even more varied wildlife, RSPB Leighton Moss is just up the road. 🙂
5. Find the Local’s Pub. Silverdale has two very good pubs that serve really nice food. It will be easy enough to find the warm and welcoming Silverdale Hotel and the recently reopened and refurbished Royal in the village. But if you fancy hanging out with the locals , sampling good ale ( at very cheap prices) in 1970’s decor then why not hunt out THe Woodlands ( known as Woody’s ) on Woodlands drive. Not a food serving pub but they do do sandwiches and bags of crisps!
6. Walking to Arnside. Nearby Arnside is a picturesque village that looks over the river kent estuary, it’s pretty promenade of shops and cafes face the Arnside viaduct. The village has two pubs and a train station. There are several ways to walk here including over the limestone fell of Arnside Knott but we chose the coastal path from Silverdale.I would say it’s probably a six mile hike through coastal woodland and over cliff tops. Breathtaking!
7. Buying plants for the garden. Ok a bit of a strange one, but I was kind of spoilt for choice in Silverdale. A couple of houses as well as The Woodlands were selling garden flowers on their door steps for charity. Really pretty ones too. I ummed and ahhed and finally chose a Red Hot Poker ( a lilac and pink one!) and a pink lupin. 🙂
8. Sit on Jenny Brown’s Bench and wonder ‘Who the heck was Jenny Brown?’ It’s an easy walk from the village to Jenny Brown’s Point. Follow the country lane past Gibraltar Farm until you see a National Trust sign for Jack Scout on your right. We passed a lime kiln and criss crossed our way along until we came to a bench with stunning views and a sign. Maybe the mysterious Jenny sat here wistfully gazing out to sea. A whole flock of Shelduck congregated here and samphire grows by the rocks.
9. Walking in the footsteps of Literary Heroines. I didn’t realise that when writer Elizabeth Gaskell holidayed in Silverdale , she actually stayed at Gibraltar Farm. Nope she didn’t pitch up a tent unfortunately. 😉 Mrs Gaskell resided in Lindeth Tower which is next to the farm house. I spied it through the trees and wondered how she ever got any writing done, with such fine views to distract her…… Another famed author, Charlotte Bronte visited Silverdale too as a young girl.
10. Biryani on the Beach. On our last night we treated ourselves to an Indian take away from Silverdales only restaurant. Cinnamon Spice does a delicious biryani and what better place to enjoy it than down by the shore watching the sunset with a bottle of cider. Who says Romance is dead !
Have you ever visited Silverdale? Hope my blog has inspired you . X
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.;)
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..
Love the Blue Poppy in the garden. 🙂
Kids and adults alike, will love the Art room. 🙂
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.
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. 🙂
Because I am a traveller I can look down on the birds and up at the fishes. I collect moments and can venture back in time to lost worlds. I seize life and simultaneously escape it at will. Because I am a traveller I envy no man at home.