Tag Archives: places to visit

Sixteen Pet Friendly Places Visited With Our Dog.

As my other half and I are ‘owned’ by a bouncy black labrador, our days out and holidays are often planned round walks and pet friendly places. With this in mind, here are a few of Hugo’s ( and our) favourite haunts, over the last 3 years.

Allan Bank , Grasmere, Cumbria. There are not many National Trust properties that allow dogs inside. A charming exception, a short walk from Grasmere, is a former home of poet William Wordsworth. Not every room is decorated however, so this Georgian Manor  has a relaxed carefree vibe.  The grounds are worth an explore too and include a woodland walk and gardens. Sadly there is no cafe on site at present, though you are welcome to make yourself a brew. Open this year from the 10th February. You can read about our visit here.

St Annes Beach Huts, St Annes, Lancashire.  What better base for a day at the seaside than a beautiful beach hut! We spent a memorable day with Hugo in St Annes a couple of summers ago…. and we do need to repeat the experience. The huts are fully equipped with a fridge, microwave and radio. The sands in front of them are dog-friendly all year round. stannesbeachhuts.co.uk

Another Place, Crosby Beach, Merseyside.  An atmospheric and thought-provoking art installation. 100 iron figures grace Crosby Beach, all identical , all modelled on their creator Antony Gormley, all stand staring out to sea. A stunning spectacle and a great place for a bracing beach walk. Pay and display parking but there is also free parking at nearby Crosby leisure centre.

Allan Bank, Grasmere.

Castle Kennedy Gardens, Dumfries & Galloway.  If you find yourself in Scotland’s much underrated Dumfries & Galloway , these 75 acre gardens surround two lochs and the ruins of a 14th century castle.  Great for exploring, you can stay on the estate too, as we did here. 🙂

 

Conishead Priory, Ulverston, Cumbria.  Although this Gothic Priory is now a Buddhist Retreat , the grounds, gift shop and cafe are all open to the public. We have visited maybe three times now with Hugo, for lovely woodland walks that lead down to the beach. A January trip saw the woods abundant with snowdrops. Look out for the Buddhist temple and a giant golden buddha!  Parking is free and you can eat with your dog in a comfy lounge,  next to the cafe.

A UFO ? ………..or Haslingden Halo.

East Lancashire Panopticans.  Have you heard of  The Singing Ringing Tree, The Atom or The Haslingden Halo? All three of these unusual structures are found locally in East Lancashire, and can be incorporated into interesting walks. For more information check out midpenninearts.org.uk 

Formby Point Red Squirrel Reserve, Formby, Merseyside.  Formby has a great dog-friendly beach with sand dunes and coastal pine forests which are  home to Lancashire’s only native red squirrel population. 🙂 The Squirrel Walk is a must if you wish to see these cute tufty creatures. Parking at The National Trust Car park. Dogs on leads in the reserve. You can read about my visit   Sea Air ~ Squirrels and Naked Men on the Sefton Coast.   .

Ingleborough Show Cave, Clapham, Yorkshire.  We had no intention of touring this grand Victorian Show Cave but having stumbled upon it whilst walking along Clapham Nature Trail, we found that dogs are admitted. 🙂 The tunnels are well lit, though low in places. The tours are interesting and the shop at the entrance sells snacks and souvenirs.  Find out more here  .

Inside Ingleborough Show Cave.

Ingleton Falls Trail, Ingleton, Yorkshire Dales. This 7km walk from Ingleton village is £6 per adult, including car parking. The trail takes in several stunning waterfalls and there are a couple of refreshment kiosks along the route. Walking boots are best worn and dogs may need  to be on lead in some areas. www.ingletonwaterfallstrailco.uk

Janet’s Foss & Malham Cove,  Yorkshire Dales.  The Yorkshire Dales is renowned for its beautiful waterfalls and Janet’s Foss is no exception. There is a stunning woodland walk from Malham village ( start at the Smithy) leading to the falls ( home to a fairy) and Gordale Scar. Another walk from the village takes you to the impressive Malham Cove , with its unusual limestone rock formations.  I blogged about Malham here  .


Hugo and friend at Janet’s Foss.

Lake District Boat Trips, Cumbria. Did you know that four-legged friends are welcome on the pleasure boats that cruise four lakes in the Lake District?  Hugo has taken trips with us on Windermere,  Ullswater , and Coniston. I am sure Derwent Water will be on our itinerary for 2018. 🙂

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http://www.windermere-lakecruises.co.uk/

 

Lowther Castle & Gardens, Penrith, Cumbria.  The imposing ruins and gardens within gardens of this nineteenth century castle are a joy to explore. Lots of events all year round and an amazing castle themed adventure playground for the kids. Dogs are also welcome in the cafe and the gift shop. lowthercastle.org

Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk, Arnside, Cumbria.  In 2016  we walked across the shifting sands of Morecambe Bay between Arnside and Grange-Over-Sands. As you can see walking actually means wading…partly. And some swimming for Hugo!   Bay walks are organized group walks and should not be attempted otherwise. You can read about our attempt here.

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Doggy Paddle.

Pendle Sculpture Trail, Barley, Lancashire.  The natural world and the Pendle Witches have inspired this informative ( and stunning ) trail through woodland near Barley. Park at the village car park ( pay via an Honesty Box) and walk for one mile, passing a reservoir, to Aitken Wood.  I blogged about a pre Hugo visit  here.

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, Ravenglass, Cumbria.  Traveling 7 miles through gorgeous Lake District Countryside on a miniature steam train is something you can happily do, in the company of a four-legged friend. 🙂  There are hop on and off stops with many opportunities for lovely lakeland walks.Parking and Refreshments available at Ravenglass and Boot. ravenglass-railway.co.uk

Temple Seal Trips, Morston, Norfolk.  Dogs are welcome on these popular boat trips, where you can see seals basking on Blakeney point. Colonies of Grey and Common Seals as well as rare arctic terns. Definitely a must do. The red and white boats even have a part canine crew! We loved our experience and here’s my blog    to prove it. 🙂

I can only apologise that most of our days out have been in the North of England. But maybe that will be an incentive to holiday here with your hound. 🙂 If you have any recommendations for dog-friendly places to visit ( anywhere) please comment below.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2017 in Photos. X

As it is now a yearly tradition of mine to post a quick photo round-up of the year, I thought I had better get cracking with this 2017 post. I definitely have no regrets about 2017. It has been pretty fantastic with lots of short trips away, days out and fun times with family and friends.  🙂

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Derwent Water. Spot the Photo Bomber.

January.  We celebrated Wil’s Birthday with a weekend break in  his favourite Lake District town  Keswick.

Mostly this consisted of walks by beautiful Derwent Water and of course frequenting Keswick’s many watering holes. 🙂

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Speaking of  Watering Holes !

February.  February’s  fun included a Galentine’s  Cocktail Making Masterclass🍸

at  Escape Coffee & Cocktails in Clitheroe and Hugo got to visit Millie & Ruby’s Dog Bakery, Lancashire’s first bakery for dogs. 🐶

 

 

 

March.  Spring was in the air in March when Wil and I went  Searching for Panopticons in East Lancashire.We found two, but as yet, still have two more to visit ! I ticked Manchester’s Cat Cafe off my Bucket List ( Meow)  and even did  a  Toilets Of Manchester Walking Tour.

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Loving London.

April.  It was my little  sister’s 40th Birthday this month and we celebrated with a mini break in the Big City ( London) with our younger brother and other halves. Our trip included The Natural History Museum, Afternoon Tea at Claridges and watching The Lion King.  You can read all about it here.

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Finding Nemo on The Malham Safari.

In May  Wil and I went on our first camping trip of the year . We didn’t venture very far, choosing this lovely campsite in Scorton, Lancashire.  Hugo accompanied us on a tour of  Ingleborough Show Cave  in Yorkshire 

and more Yorkshire fun was had on the  Malham Safari Trail.

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Wild Rose Petal Jelly.

June.   This month I participated in The Wildlife Trust’s #30dayswild challenge , where I attempted ( though that’s no hardship!)  to appreciate the beauty in nature every day in June, whether that meant noticing the different wildlife I would see on my daily walks with Hugo, or using natural ingredients in recipes such as Rose Petal Jelly.  The challenge also coincided with my first ever visit to Norfolk, which I shall always remember for it’s many many beach huts, beautiful wildflowers and those yummy Dutch Pancakes in Wells-Next-The-Sea. 🙂

 

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Waiting to Board The Ullswater Steamer.

July.  Already well into Summer now. We spent a couple of nights camping in the Dales and walked  this tiny stretch of  The Dales Way and we took Hugo on his first ever trip on  The Ullswater Steamer .  I think this is my fave ever photo of my two boys. 🙂

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The Cake Ole’.

August.  Anyone for Afternoon Tea?  I can certainly recommend a fun, quirky and delicious one at The Cake ‘Ole   in Skipton.  And August is a great time to go camping with the kids, as we found out when we accompanied friends to Meadow Falls near Ingleton.

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Walking near Meadow Falls.
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A day at The Seaside.

September.  We had a bit of an Indian Summer this month, which made up for a damp squibby August. Luckily we got to make the most of the sunshine on a day out with my niece and nephew in Morecambe  and we spent a week in the The Lake District  , bagging my first wainwright fell and enjoying the incredible views over Wastwater.

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Lancs Cycleway.

October.  Days out in October included  A family friendly bike ride on the  Lancashire Cycleway from Lancaster to Morecambe and back. It was my first time on a bicycle for many a year, so I was pretty happy that I made it!

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Relaxing at The Turkish Baths.

November. My Birthday month was made so special when Wil booked us two nights in the Yorkshire Spa town of Harrogate.

I have always wanted to visit the Turkish Baths there so I checked us in for a morning, which was really enjoyable.  We also visited nearby Knaresborough with its ancient castle and railway viaduct.

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Knaresborough in November.

 

 

 December.  And its nearing the end of 2017 now after a fairly quiet but lovely December. Highlights included Hugo opening his Christmas presents ( he is very good at unwrapping, just need to train him to wrap up 😉 ), The traditional Christmas Morning Walk, Willow Angel Weaving and a Festive Afternoon Tea at Alexanders in Skipton. 

I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who drops in on my little blog every now and again. It really has made my year. 😁

All the best for 2018. I hope its a great one for everyone. Xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 Before 45 ~ A Bucket List.

I quite forgot that at the beginning of the year I wrote myself a Bucket List !  It’s been sat in my bedside drawer for nearly six months now. Now I’ve rediscovered it, I thought I would put it up on the blog. This might help me get a wiggle on. 🙂

1.Learn to crochet.

2.Find a keep Fit Regime I like.

3.Eat a Dutch Pancake in Amsterdam.

4. Photograph a Kingfisher.

5.Make an Honesty Box Meal.

6.Read To Kill A Mocking Bird.

7.Watch a Film outdoors.

8.See the Northern Lights.

9.Have a Vintage Make over.

10.Swim in a Lido.

11. Go on a proper picnic with a picnic hamper.

12. Be Nine Stone!

13.Stay in a Bothy.

14. Photograph a Barn Owl in the wild.

15. Do a Rail Ale Trail.

16. Take Part in a sponsored  Charity Event.

17. Have Afternoon Tea at Cloud 23.

18.  Enter Hugo in a Doggy Competition. 

19. Get Engaged!

20. Bathe  in  a Turkish  Baths. 

21. Go trekking with llamas in the lakes.

22. Experience a night out down Canal Street.

23. Do the Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk With the Queen’s Official  Guide. 

24. Visit the new Cat Cafe in Manchester.


25. Cook a proper Sunday Roast Lunch ( I almost never cook!).

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Come trekking with us.  Don’t forget the Picnic!!

So there you have it. I’ve actually managed three already this year, which is a good start. I’ve read  To Kill a Mockingbird and it was as good as everyone said, I went on a night out down Canal Street with some work mates ( Interesting!) and Wil and I thoroughly enjoyed  The East Lancs Rail Ale Trail Tour  from Bury to Rawtenstall. This gives me two and a half years to attempt the rest.Maybe I should book that Llama trek. 🙂

What’s on your Bucket list??

A Pocket Mountain Book of Northern Delights.

 

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Another Place, Crosby Beach ( image via pinterest).

I recently purchased a little gem of a book that has definitely inspired me to explore the more quirky attractions on my doorstep. The book is called Northern Delights and is described as ‘A Guide to the Hidden Joys of Northern England’. As a Northerner I was very excited to find it! 🙂

The author ‘Anne Ward’, loves nothing better than to wander about aimlessly with a camera. She made it her mission to  discover peculiar places  and family holidays meant leaving no stone unturned in her quest to discover the North’s hidden gems.

Here is just a small selection of the attractions mentioned. A couple I have happily already discovered under my own steam, the other’s  are awaiting my visit!

Another Place ~ Crosby. One hundred cast iron figures looking out to sea, straddle 3km of Crosby beach near liverpool. Designed by artist Antony Gormley the statues are modelled on his own body.  The guide says they are sometimes adorned with sun-hats,motorbike helmets and even santa outfits. And are a handy place to leave your flip-flops!  I found a great post about Another Place at  kathyathy.com .

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Saltburn Cliff Lift ( image via pinterest).

Saltburn-By-The-Sea Cliff Lift and Pier.  The funicular railway is the oldest operating water balance cliff lift in Britain, according to Northern Delights. Visitors can ascend and descend the cliffs in style here in this little known Victorian resort. The Pier at the bottom is the most Northerly surviving pleasure pier in Britain and the surf at Saltburn rivals that of Cornwall. Visit   www.saltburnbysea.com  for more info.

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Friendly tree at the Forbidden Corner  ( image my own).

The Forbidden Corner ~  Coverham.  Here’s my  post   from a couple of years ago, about this delightful collection of statues,mazes,follies,castles and water features set in woodlands and beautiful gardens in the Yorkshire Dales. 🙂 A magical place indeed.

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Pontefract Liquorice Festival ( Image via Pinterest).

Pontefract Liquorice Festival ~ Pontefract.  Well I had never heard of this colourful event celebrating all things liquorice until I found it in the book. Apparently liquorice was introduced to Pontefract by monks as a medicinal herb and kind of took over the town. Sugar was added and the  well loved confectionary was invented. The festival is held every July  www.yorkshire.com

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Seahorses at the iconic Midland Hotel . ( Image my own).

Midland Hotel ~ Morecambe. The beautiful art deco building in the Lancashire resort of Morecambe graces the promenade and enjoys vistas over the bay. Restored in the last few years to its former glory, it is once again an elegant place to stay and hosts eclectic events such as  Vintage By The Sea .

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Carnforth Station ( Image via Pinterest).

Carnforth Station ~ Carnforth. Maybe the most romantic train station, you will ever visit.  This unassuming Lancashire platform was the setting for the classic 1945 film ‘Brief Encounter’. The story follows a budding romance between a couple who meet at the station, but it is a romance that can never be. Have railway goodbyes ever been so bittersweet. A 1940s style tea room welcomes visitors, for their own brief encounters apparently.www.carnforthstation.co.uk

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Marsden Grotto  ( Image via Pinterest).

Marsden Grotto ~ South Shields. Britain’s only pub in a Sea Cave is here apparently. According to my little guide book, visitors can walk down the 137 zigzag steps ( or take the lift) and enjoy a drink in the shady nook. It’s history tells of smugglers hiding their contraband in the cave and the grotto is said to be haunted by those rum suping spirits. Spooky!

I hope you enjoyed this small selection of Northern Delights. You can find the book yourself at  www.pocketmountains.com

Any interesting or quirky places in your neck of the woods?

Hugo’s Haunts ~ Dog Friendly Whitby.

The Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby is a great place to visit all year round, and we found that to be true , even out of season in mid November. We rented a dog friendly terraced house on Elgin Street ( there are plentiful pet friendly properties in Whitby) and spent the week mostly eating,drinking and walking with our labrador Hugo.  Whitby really does love our four legged friends!   There are an abundance of cafes,tea rooms and pubs that welcomes both man and dog.Here is just a small selection that we visited on our trip.

 

 

Sherlock’s  on Flowergate is a cosy and quirky tea rooms with you’ve guessed it, a slight Sherlock Holmes theme. The decor does resemble what you would imagine 221b Baker Street to look like. Upstairs is Dr Watson’s Parlour and it wouldn’t have surprised me to have witnessed the deerstalker wearing detective himself enjoying a cuppa. Not that Whitby has any connection to the author….except a very slight one. Sir Arthur was friendly with one Bram Stoker. The cobbled streets ,picturesque harbor and ancient abbey were his inspiration for the gothic masterpiece ‘Dracula’. Try the ‘Draculas Delight’ ice cream sundae or warm up with a coffee and enomas slice of cake.

 

Rusty Shears is a little treasure of a tea rooms tucked up a side street, not far from the West Cliffs. As soon as you see the cute courtyard garden with its teacup graveyard , you know you’ve discovered somewhere special. Lampshade lights and taxidermy animals decorate the interior.We visited twice, once for tea and cake ( try the delicious Guiness Cake or Kiwi and Lime Cheesecake) and once for a cheeseboard lunch.There’s an interesting looking Gin Menu and dogs can have a complimentary Doggychino.:)

Humble Pie ‘N’ Mash is a family business that serves their tasty  homemade pies and only pies  with mash,gravy and garden peas. There are several different pies to choose from including Yorkshire Sausage and Black pudding, Haggis and Neep and Steak and Stout. And if your still hungry after your pie , there is always Jam Roly Poly and Custard for pudding. This pie parlour has lots of character as the building on Church Street dates back to before the 1600s and the decor is inspired by the generations that have lived and worked there. It might be best to tackle those 199 steps up to the Abbey before you tuck into your lunch or tea here. 🙂

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White Hose and Griffin ,not far from the Abbey.

 

Whitby’s Dog Friendly Pubs.  Not all the pubs in Whitby are dog friendly but most of them are. Lots are old and quirky such as one of our favourites,the White Horse and Griffin above. Here is a list of pubs that welcome dogs. There are probably lots more…but even we couldn’t try them all. 😉

White Horse and Griffin.

Black Horse.

The Dolphin.

First In Last Out.

Station Inn.

Golden Lion.

Buck Inn.

Little Angel.

Endeavor.

The Fleece.

The Granby.

The Elsinore.

Whitby Walks.  Between November and April Whitby’s beach is popular with dog walkers. The two mile walk along the shoreline to Sandsend is well worth it as the pretty little village has a couple of cafes and pubs. We tried out the very dog friendly ‘Harte Inn’ which specializes in fresh seafood and found it very good indeed. Alternatively you can walk along the Monks Trod to Ruswarp , lunch at the Bridge Pub and walk back along the river Esk. Oh and if you want to discover more about the area’s spooky history, why not try a ghost walk. These start at the Whale bone arch on Whitby’s West Cliff at 7-30pm most evenings. I’m afraid I never got to do one this time…but hopefully one day.

Hope you enjoyed Hugo’s haunts  and feel free to add any recommendations in the comments. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Sea Air ~ The Yorkshire Coast.

Goodness I’ve only been away for a couple of weeks and the whole posting format has changed! Anyway where was I? After a few days of non blogging and becoming gripped by season one of Ray Donovan , we headed for a cottage in the seaside town of Whitby. Famed for its smokey kippers, semi precious ‘Jet’ gemstones and its connections with ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’, Whitby really is the perfect place to take in some rather bracing November Sea Air.

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The Steps up to the Abbey, there are 199 of them.

Mostly we just spent our week eating yummy food , drinking lots of booze and discovering many a beautiful beach. Luckily from November until the end of April most of the beaches in the area are dog friendly so our labrador Hugo was in his element. Happily he seems to have gotten out of the habit of surreptitiously sipping sea water when he thinks we’re not looking. 🙂

I will leave you with a few pictures from my trip and blog in a little more detail soon……

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Hugo on the beach at Whitby.
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The ancient Abbey.
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Dracula’s bride perhaps…..

 

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Fortune’s smoked kippers.
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Wild Ocean.
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Beautiful Staithes.
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Rock Lobster ~ staithes.
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Unusual kit car, Robin Hoods bay.

 

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On the beach, Robin Hoods bay.

 

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Fishing boats.

Thanks for dropping by. More posts coming soon.X

 

 

 

Visiting family in Cumbria.

As I am currently participating in Clare’s ( from Need Another Holiday ) #take12trips challenge ~ I thought I might as well write about my recent stay with family for my May post.

I travelled up with Wil on Friday and I stopped until Wednesday at my Mums. Wil had to head back to work earlier..Poor thing ! 😉

Some pretty cottages in Askham.
Some pretty cottages in Askham.

Mum, her husband William and my brother Mark live in a little village called Askham which is about 8 miles from the market town of Penrith and 4 miles from Ullswater.

Saturday ~ Headed to Keswick and had a wander round the town and down to the lake, which is called Derwent Water. Tried to persuede everyone to look round Keswicks  Pencil Museum.I am obsessed with visiting ever since it was featured in the hilarious black comedy Siteseers. Have you seen it ?No one seemed enthusiastic! Another time then. 🙂

Derwent water, Keswick.
Derwent water, Keswick.

In the evening William took us for a ride to the beautiful remote valley of Martindale which is accessed by a steep mountain road. A few remote farms scatter the hillside and there are even two small secluded churches.Hardy Herdwick sheep are grazed here. The views are spectacular.

Remote and beautiful martindale.
Remote and beautiful martindale.

Sunday ~ Just enough time in the morning for a visit to the Alpaca Centre, a few miles away in Stainton. Sourcing all things alpaca the shop is nice to wander round and for a pound you can go see the farms alpacas and miniature sardinian donkeys. Alpaca are bred for their wool and are originally from the plains of North America.

Think I'm in love.
Think I’m in love.

After waving goodbye to the other half Mum, Mark and I had a wander to Lowther Castle which stripped of its interior and gardens, is currently going through a restoration project. The castle is a short walk from Askham village and the site has been home to the Lowther family for 800 years. After the last residing Lord left in 1936 the grounds were planted with hundreds of fir trees and some of these have been felled to reveal fountains, rock gardens and ponds.Work is going on to try and return the place to its former glory. The courtyard has been restored with tea rooms and a gift shop.

The majestic looking Lowther Castle.
The majestic looking Lowther Castle.

Jack Crofts pond and summer house in the grounds. The pond was  used for ice skating on in Victorian times.
Jack Crofts pond and summer house in the grounds. The pond was used for ice skating on in Victorian times.

Never to old for a rope swing!
Never to old for a rope swing!

Monday ~ Headed over the moors to County Durham and had a mooch round Middleton in Teesdale and Barnard Castle, two little market towns. We also visited Eggleston Hall gardens which is really more of a garden center . Mum loves garden centers! Ok I did buy a few plants for my one flower border. 🙂

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Mini Angel of the north, Eggleston hall gardens.

Tuesday ~ Today Mum and I drove to Talkin Tarn which lies in a country park nine miles east of Carlisle. The lake is a glacial tarn with a 1.3 mile path round it. We had a walk round ( you can hire mountain bikes and rowing boats if you prefer ) and had lunch in the boathouse tearoom looking over the water. Popular with dog walkers too. 🙂

Talkin tarn.
Talkin tarn.

The lovely thing about Askham is that the fells above the village are home to a herd of fell ponies. Anyone who owns land in Askham apparently have the right to graze two horses on there or twenty sheep. These ponies are hardy
animals and can survive outside in the elements even through winter. They are quite shy though it is possible to pet them.

Cumbrian fell pony.
Cumbrian fell pony.

Wednesday ~ My last day in Cumbria and it poured with rain. I guess we had been lucky to miss it for four days so I didn’t mind to much. In the afternoon Mum took me to a nearby nurseries just down the road in Melkinthorpe. Larch Cottage is a garden center,restaurant and gallery with a difference. The family who own it are very much inspired by the Italian countryside as the nurseries are full of follies and statues and pillars. I took loads of pictures here so I may feature it in a future post.

Larch Cottage.
Larch Cottage.

Larch Cottage.
Larch Cottage.

Finally I will leave you with a photo of one of my brother’s cattle, a belgian blue cross called Bibi who as I took this photo, was attempting to eat my camera.

Bye Bye Bibi.
Bye Bye Bibi.