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.