A Cumbrian chapter


With four days of camping enthusiastically booked in The Lake District we set off up the M5.  Our new car, now named Wanda, humming along, Charlie in charge of the map and telling me where every speed camera was and how far to the next  services.  He loves measuring in all it’s forms and this  teamed with his quick thinking means he is the perfect navgator!  The sun was out and the borrowed Cat Stevens CD playing.
An hour later  it was pouring with rain.

We decided to call in to Leyland, north of Manchester where some great friends (in NZ) are returning to live very shortly.  I thought we could give the town a look over, see what the attraction is…,
As they say “long story short” we invited ourselves to have a cup of tea with the parents of the aforementioned friends and ended up gratefully staying the night in warm, dry and very  cosy beds…

The following night we were in the Lake District and managed a night in a YHA in Hawkshead and the rain stopped during the evening.    Through the glistening branches we could see the wonderous Lake district reveal itself…


Ambleside was much loved by me.  All those boutiquey outdoor shops where I tried to stop myself buying clothing, the tiny and picturesque streets filled with fantastic shops and the very welcome hot chocolates weren’t half bad either…It was drizzling though so the only photo is a quick one in the church (by the funky cinema).



This is Beatrice Potter country, quite a variety of homes, galleries and tourist attractions to visit…if you are keen, which my boys made it abundantly clear they were not!

Still this gave us more time to explore  Grizedale Forest where we happened upon several stange and quirky sculptures  on the many forest trails.



Including giant keys seemingly running right through great trees, which when turned vigorously enough would produce erie and beautiful fairy music, perfectly fitting for the setting.


The thing that travelling does is gives me the opportunity to remember that everyone is different and given the same experience  each person will take something unique away that is relevant to them at that time.

Hence for Charlie, buying a couple of bags of duck food provided  much entertainment as he just loves to feed ducks.


Here at Lake Conniston and again on Lake Windermere from our camp at Low Wray he had a ball, like a pig in clover.


Meanwhile I was very happy to wallow in the history of other famous ex-residents including John Ruskin (this was his view, lucky sod).


No ducks here, but Charlie was very happy to whizz around filling in a kids quiz, while I browsed and absorbed…

And I visited Rydal Mount the main home of William Wordsworth.


No quiz this time….I had to resort to carrying chocolate bars and mandarins for Charlie, while Ollie stayed and read Harry Potter in the car.
Needs must.

Visiting CastleRigg Stone Circle was cool, in every sense of the word.  There is absolutely no justice done to the beauty of the site from these photos.  A stunning hilltop with mountains arranged in a great circle of their own all around.



Keswick conspired against us as two of the three  unusual museums  there were shut or had moved away.  Instead we were treated to a summer festival in the main town, a stage with local bands playing seemed strangley familiar….then when we heard the strains of Johnny Cash (on ukulele no less!!) it was as though they were playing it just for us.


Yes it could have been drier.

And we could have stay for longer.  But we came, we wore all our thermals, gave our rain jackets a jolly good airing out and once we got used to driving on such narrow lanes, we whizzed around and saw a taster of what I will look forward to seeing next time I return, on a walking holiday, with room in my pack for a few new articles of outdoor clothing.
And  no bribes needed.


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