Are there any places more scenic than a Summer’s day in the Lake District? A couple of weeks ago we enjoyed a bit of a wander from the lakeside village of Glenridding, on to Patterdale and then up to Silver Point where there are beautiful views of Ullswater. Ullswater is the second largest lake in the National park, popular with tourists, but still an easy place to get away from it all. 🐑
If you fancy a much more challenging walk in Ullswater country The Ullswater Way is a 20 Mile route that circumnavigates the lake. It can of course be done in sections and the Ullswater Steamers are also a good way of getting you from a to b. ⛵♥️
Sunday saw us getting up bright and early ( ok, definitely less bright than early!) in the hope of catching the sunrise from the top of Hallin Fell. One of the more diminutive Wainwright climbs at 388 metres, Hallin makes up for it’s stature with impressive views of Ullswater lake and it’s surrounding peaks.
We arrived at the little car park by St Peters Church in Martindale very early. In fact it was pitch dark. And the car park was almost full! There were a few overnighting camper vans and other cars possibly belonging to people wild camping out on the fell.
It takes about 40 minutes to walk to the trig point on a clearly defined path. At 5-30am in the morning it looked like we were the first folk heading up there. The views were totally worth the early get up. But unfortunately the sun deemed to stay behind a cloud.
We enjoyed a flask of coffee and croissants at the top of Hallin Fell, drinking in the stunning vistas. It was calm and still with only a very gentle breeze. This was my 6th Wainwright fell and Hugo’s sixth too, on his 6th Birthday weekend.
Before heading back to the caravan we had a little look in the churchyard of St Peters at the bottom of the fell. There is still a monthly service there apparently. Noticed this grave stone adorned with an anchor.
As we left a few other folk were awake, drinking morning brews and maybe contemplating an early walk to the top.
Kirkoswald and Raven Beck Wander.
It was still early morning so after a chill at the caravan we drove the short distance to the Eden valley village of Kirkoswald. The village is named after the church of St Oswald. Oswald was a King of Northumbria in the 7th century. We took Hugo for a walk along Raven Beck, bought supplies from Raven Bridge Stores and I generally kept an eye out for ravens , though I didn’t see any. 😚
By Noon we were ready for a relaxing afternoon at the caravan. It had been a really enjoyable morning.
It’s that spoooooky time of year when ghosties and goblins come out to play. I joined in with some Halloween fun at the weekend. Ullswater Steamers put on a Ghostly Galleon and myself , Wil, our friend Jo and God daughter Lydia enjoyed a cruise on the lake with a marvelous magic show and dressing up masks . Definitely aimed at children , but we adults had fun too. 🎃🦇
After our spooky boat trip we spent an hour or so at the Rheghed centre near Penrith, where Lydia found a Halloween treasure hunt and an outdoor adventure playground, before heading into town for the annual Winter Drovers Festival.
The Penrith Winter Droving started eight years ago and is a celebration of all things rural. There’s a Drovers Cup with team events such as Hay Bale Racing, Egg Throwing, Tug O War and Sausage eating. Throughout the day various musicians and street performers entertain the crowds and a huge Cumbrian Food Market fills the streets. As dusk descends a fantastic torch lit procesion takes place around the town. The animal lanterns look so effective , all lit up against the darkening sky. Later back at the caravan, out came the monopoly. It had been a long but enjoyable day. 🙂
So one of the best things about owning a static caravan is being able to invite friends for a weekend away. Our caravan is in the village of Melmerby in the Eden Valley in Cumbria, close enough in driving distance to the beautiful Lake District, but in a less busy touristy area. On Friday five of us drove up to the van for a girls getaway. We spent an enjoyable and chilled couple of days there. Here are a few photos from our trip.
It was fantastic to spend maybe our last sunny & warm weekend of the Summer with my friends at the caravan. Happy Days. 😁
Thanks to Arwen & Marian for some of these photographs. 🙂
At the weekend we drove over to Ullswater ( about 20 minutes from our caravan in the Northern Lakes) and then on to the pretty lakeside village of Glenridding. Here we hopped onto one of the beautiful Ullswater Steamersfor a trip around the lake. Coincidentally the steamer service was celebrating its 160th Birthday! Colourful Bunting adorned these historic vessels and a grey morning turned into a lovely sunny day.
The steamers offer a hop on/ hop off service so we decided to dismount at Pooley Bridge for lunch. The newly painted Pooley Bridge Inn reminds me of a Swiss chalet. Ullswater itself flanked by Some of Britain’s highest mountains has been compared to the stunning lakes and mountains of Switzerland.
After a pootle about the village and Hugo’s obligatory paddle in the lake, we set back sail for Glenridding from Pooley Bridge Pier. The Steamers fleet has five vessels. It was our pleasure to travel back in M.Y Raven, she too was celebrating a Birthday, having been first launched on the 16th July 1889.
All the steamers have indoor and outdoor seating, toilets, serve coffee, teas and light refreshments and have fully licensed bars. Dogs are welcome onboard for a small charge.
I loved all the gorgeous wildflowers by the beck and the lake at Glenridding. Highlights were the swathes of vivid blue Vipers Bugloss and the sunshine yellow Monkey flowers.
Our lazy day on Ullswater finished with refreshments , sat outside The Glenridding Hotel which has a coffee shop called Let it Brew. I wasn’t really expecting such decadence when I ordered a milkshake. 😋
Thanks for bobbing by. Have you been messing about on boats lately?
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. 🙂
As you may have read we have recently returned from a few days camping near Pooley Bridge in the Ullswater area of the Lakes. The we in question are myself, my boyfriend Wil and our elderly labrador Jake. We stayed at the Quiet Site and I reviewed it in my previous post.
Holidaying with the hound can prove quite a challenge but luckily the Lake District is quite geared up for accepting your four legged friend at various attractions. If you are into walking the countryside here includes some of the most awe inspiring terrain in England. Now that our Jakey is an old boy to much hiking around is no longer an option for us. But here are a few of the places we visited.
Whinlatter is a mountain forest park packed full of walking trails, mountain bike trails, and wildlife including Osprey, deer and red squirrels. There is also a kids adventure trail and a Go Ape for the more adventurous. Wil comes here alot mountain biking ( you can hire bikes here too) but it is also a great place to bring the dog.After checking out the trails we enjoyed a brew and homemade cake at Siskins cafe with its wooden veranda looking out onto the forest.Friendly birds darted from the many hanging bird feeders to feast on our crumbs.
High Cup Winery
Did you know Cumbria has its very own Winery? High Cup Winery is based at Townhead Farm at the foot of High Cup Gill in the Eden Valley. We discovered them whilst in the area last year but to our disappointment they were shut at the time. Luckily this trip they were open and busy constructing a fence round their fruit bushes to keep out the rabbits! The wines they produce come from their home grown raspberries,damsons,elderberries,rhubarb,gooseberries and even beetroot. We were able to sample them before we chose which ones to purchase. I was very keen on the spiced beetroot which is best served warm. We came away with bottles of ravishing rhubarb, raspberry rose and exquisite elderflower and apple. Perfect for sipping on a summers evening camping. 🙂
Llama Karma Kafe
A rather kooky coffee break stop off on the A66 Penrith, we had our lunch here oneday on the way to my nephews school sports day. Lovely food, a quirky peruvian interior,lots of animal inspired cuddly toys and gifts , a cozy woodburner.And Llamas in the back yard! Kids will love the Animal magic garden, the real live llamas and the wooden lifesize llamas.:)
Having the hound with us, we sat out front on one of the picnic benches. I had to go and have a sneeky peek at the Llamas though.Apparently the Llama Karma Cafe organizes Llama trek experiences in Lakeland too. Now that would be something to try!
Birdoswald Roman Fort
We have always wanted to see Hadrians Wall so decided on driving to Birdoswald Roman Fort near Brampton.Still in Cumbria, just, the longest intact expanse of Hadrians Wall can be found here. Not exactly ` Game of Thrones’ height but still impressive none the less! The weather was sunny but rather blustery and wild and I imagine the beautiful but harsh northern landscape must have seemed bleak to the Roman soldiers who lived along the wall. There’s a small museum at Birdoswald and information about the remains of the fort ( would have been better if there had been more artefacts on display from the site) , an English heritage gift shop and tearooms. You are welcome to bring your own picnic as there are benches in the courtyard. The attraction is dog friendly and there are extensive walking and cycling routes along the wall.
Ullswater is the second longest lake in the Lake District and I think, the most beautiful. A good way of enjoying the breathtaking scenery is to take a boat trip on one of the old Ullswater Steamersthat depart from the villages of Glenridding,Pooley bridge and Howtown and you can get hop on and off tickets which will allow you to explore the lake countryside partly by boat and partly on foot if you wish. We simply got a return ticket from Glenridding at one side of the lake, stopped off at Pooley bridge for lunch and a cream tea in the pretty riverside tea gardens at Granny Dowbekins Cafe and then headed back to Glenridding. It takes about an hour to get from one end of the lake to the other.
We learn’t quite a bit about Ullswater on our trip. I didn’t realize but Donald Campbell broke the world speed record here in 1955 in the jet powered Bluebird K7. William Wordsworth was inspired to write his famous poem ‘The Daffodils’,when walking along the banks here with his sister Dorothy. And Ullswater is linked to Arthurian Legend where it is often referred to as “The Dark Lake”. I highly recommend visiting this less touristy area.:)
We have lately come back from a few days camping in The Lake District. Five awesome days at a campsite near Ullswater. The Quiet Site is situated two miles from the lake side village of Pooley Bridge, a haven of hostelries and tea gardens. Its a little out of the way~ maybe this accounts for the name, i’m not sure.At any rate it certainly is peaceful at The Quiet Site in term time June.Things may be different in the summer holidays, the site is certainly geared up for families ( old stone buildings house excellent shower blocks with hot showers and hairdryers, seperate family bathrooms, laundrette to wash those muddy clothes, under cover wash up areas, fridge and microwave,small shop selling basics, a games room and a tv room), walkers and is dog friendly too.:)
The site is divided into two parts.There are static caravans as well as a touring and tents area. Although on a slope the tourers and tents pitches have all been terraced so no worries about rolling down the hill in your sleep.:-D. As well as camping you can hire a Pod. Prices start at £35 per night. These wooden dome like structures have their own private decking areas and look a more warm and dry alternative to sleeping under canvas. Maybe Oneday…..
What we liked most about the site ( apart from the idylic location~views of buttercup filled meadows ,surrounding fells and Ullswater shimmering in the distance), was the somewhat quirky pub in the grounds, The Quiet Bar. The Quiet Bar is an old beamed Cumbrian long barn which was converted into a pub in the 1950’s. With seating made from wooden beer kegs, a huge fireplace with a roaring fire and ancient taxidermy adorning the walls it certainly is an interesting place to go for a pint. There is a selection of real ales on draught including the Quiet Pint which the other half describes as a ‘Good Northern Stout’, don’t ask me, i’m more of a cider gal myself. No food is served in the Quiet Bar unfortunatly.Dogs are welcome though.^^
We camped with a EHU ( electric hook up ) which cost us £21per night. The price included a £1per night charge for Jake our labrador.
Look out for my next post which will feature a few of the places we visited whilst camping here in Cumbria. 🙂
‘The Lake District’ is a National Park in Cumbria on the western side of North England. It is made up of over 80 mountain lakes, glacial tarns and man made reservoirs. The Lake District is home to England’s highest mountain ‘Scafell Pike’ and England’s deepest lake, ‘Wast Water’ and is classed as an AONB ,( Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). Over the years we have visited several times with our dog Jake. Jake has become a bit of a ‘Wainwright Bagger’ of lakes and tarns, insisting on paddling/swimming in as many as he can. So who better to show you the beauty of ‘The Lake District’ than him. 🙂
Of course there are still several lakes and tarns Jake hasn’t crossed off his list yet. Hopefully he may get the chance to do a few more this year. 🙂
Here are a few dog friendly camp sites we have stopped at in the Lakes.
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