Friday 15 June 2012

Four days away

When I posted the now disappeared post Inspiration or perspiration I mentioned that we were going away for a few days to somewhere that I had never been to and we had been trying to get to for a few years. Finally we made it last month to the Lake District which is less than two hours drive from where we live. For a change we managed to set off not long after we had planned to do so, leaving around noon.We had a good if slightly damp journey and if we had kept going would have arrived at our hotel before we were allowed to have our room. So we stopped for lunch at a pub/restaurant in the Lyth Valley. We just needed a sandwich and a drink. Having taken our order the bar maid asked where we would be sitting. I pointed to a table by a window over looking the Lyth Valley. We were told that we could not sit there as that side was for diners only and we were having food from the bar. It was Friday lunchtime, which I would have expected to be a busy time and we were the only people in the whole place! So we had to sit by a window over looking the road. We were not there long and it was only a short journey from there to our hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere.

By the time that we had settled ourselves into our room, from which we had this view of Lake Winderere,

the sun was out and we decided to go and do some exploring. Part of the object of this exercise was to find somewhere to eat that evening, as husband does not like eating in hotels in the evening. He also thinks that we get more of a feel for the place if we eat out. That night we ate at an Italian restaurant! But before we did so we worked up an appetite walking around Bowness and along the Promenade by Lake Windermere.


The next day was dry but cool with sunny intervals. We set off for a tour of the lakes by car. First we went into Windermere before heading off round the southern end of Lake Windermere. Then it was on to Coniston Water. The scene of  Donald Campbell's triumph and disaster on 4 January 1967. I remember watching it all live on black and white television. The terrible outcome took everybody by surprise. We stopped in Coniston to stretch our legs and take a few photographs mainly of Coniston Old Man, the peak, below, which overshadows Coniston.

Next we had a quick look at Hawkshead where there was nothing much to see. From there we headed towards Lake Thirlmere stopping at Thirlspot for lunch. After lunch we drove around Lake Thirlmere stopping on the way to take some photos.

From there we headed back towards Windermere, stopping in Grasmere, where the poet William Wordsworth is  buried at St Oswald's church. Below is the bridge by the churchyard in Grasmere.

Back at the hotel the sun was out and we decided to have a walk around the garden, right, which is opened under The National Gardens scheme.

That evening we dined at a French restaurant in Windermere recommended by one of husband's squash playing friends. We had taken the precaution of checking out the menu and booking a table during our visit to Windermere earlier in the day, which was just as well by evening it was full and we saw several people turned away. The first couple that had been turned away returned a hour later and sat at the table next to us. They were Americans from Boston and had only flown into Heathrow that morning. They had travelled by rail to Windermere for a few days. Then they were going back south and over to Normandy, in France.

Sunday morning dawned cool and grey and the weather forecast was not very good. We decided to take a drive up the coast. After driving for miles along a deserted country lane we came to the Sellafield Nuclear Power Station. It is not a pretty sight. Its' situation is desolate and bleak. In fact it looks rather like a prison - box like buildings and a tower surrounded by a wire fence with topped with coils of barbed wire. We did not try to take any photographs. We did not want to spend a night in a prison cell. The only other building in the area is a railway station. So we continued up the coast driving through St Bees, Whitehaven and Maryport before turning inland to Cockermouth. Everywhere looked grey and miserable. By now we were looking for a pub for lunch. We did not find anywhere suitable until we had driven to the bottom of Lake Buttermere.

Lunch eaten, we had two options, to go back the way we had come or along the more direct route which took us along the Honister Pass - a slightly scary single track road to Seatoller, which had this view.

That afternoon the rain set in and we decided to call it a day. We went back to our hotel room and read the Sunday papers. Later we ventured out into the rain, driving into Bowness for our evening meal.This time we tried an Indian restaurant. So our feel for the area gave us the taste of Italian, French and Indian cuisine.

On Monday morning before setting off home we went into Bowness to buy ourselves some souvenirs and Kendall mint cake for husband's work colleagues. The previous evening I had spied a rather nice art shop on our walk from the car to the restaurant. So it was to there that we returned to purchase a wall hanging wine bottle and a small blackboard to hang in our kitchen. One small problem. Over a month later I am still waiting for the blackboard to be hung up.

This was not the Lake District at its' best. Here is what it can look like.


GaynorB said...

Maybe not at it's best when you were there, but it is still one of the most stunning regions in the UK - and beyond.

I enjoyed visiting with you.

Rob-bear said...

Thank you for your truly delightful tour of the Lake District and its restaurants. I really didn't know much about that area.

The Lake District seems like the Precambrian Shield area of central and northern Canada — rock and lakes. I spent a lot of time in that area during summers when I was growing up.

Leon Sims said...

Still very stunning (sorry to stael Gaynor's word) scenery.
Maybe we need to visit the UK instead of France - or maybe both next time.

Maggie May said...

I spent so many of my childhood holidays in the Lake District. Thank you for helping me to reminisce. It is a truly remarkable place of beauty and providing the weather is good, ideal for everything. No need to go abroad.
That view across Lake Windermere from your hotel was marvellous.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

It is many years since we spent time in the Lake District and then it was only for a few days and once only. But while the scenery is, of course, magnificent, as you show here, we could not quite get over our disappointment that the whole area did not sparkle as in the way of the Italian Lakes.

mrsnesbitt said...

Rain eh? yes we often go over to the Lake District on the motorbike and we have often caught the rain - surprising though rain in June? Hmmmm no eh?

the fly in the web said...

I have never visited the Lake District....there was a school of thought in my family that if it inspired Wordsworth then it was best avoided - but your photographs showed me what I'd been missing.
The 'feel for the place' restaurants made me laugh too having a husband with similar ideas...
And I saw the Bluebird disaster too...I could still conjure it up reading your post.

Akelamalu said...

You certainly saw a lot on your visit, lovely photos. The Lake District is beautiful.

Diane said...

I have never been to the lake district and I am not likely to now so I will sit here and enjoy your visits and pretend. Thanks Diane

Thud said...

Did you bring back any English goodies such as Cumberland sausage or Lyth valley Damson jam?

PixieMum said...

No visit to the Lakeland shop at Windermere? There is a renowned café there so you could have had an English meal!

We had the same problem about finding some where to eat on our recent trip to East Anglia, especially on the Sunday afternoon/evening. We had been to Sandringham, had a good lunch there, hoped to find somewhere to eat on our way back to hotel in Norwich. We didn't, upon driving into Norwich found a Loch Fyne but there was no where to park, the multi storey opposite was closed. We gave up, returned to the hotel and had an adequate bar snack there.

We are so spoilt for choice here in SW London that it makes us reluctant to go away.

LindyLouMac said...

I thoroughly enjoyed my virtual tour of the lake District with you today.

imbeingheldhostage said...

It's lovely!! So glad you were able to get away and enjoy the Lake District. We're making our way that way towards the end of July. I'm not 2 hours away like you, but considering it's within a day's drive, I can't believe we haven't gone there yet. Thanks for the "preview" :-)

Diane said...

I haver never been to the Lake District so even if the weather was not perfect I enjoyed the tour :) Diane

Jenny Woolf said...

The lake district is said to be the wettest bit of Britain, but the recent weather hasn't helped. I am glad that you managed to get a lot out of your trip, but sorry that the lousy weather detracted from the experience. I hope your next trip is better - don't give up on it! :)