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17 Oct

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Heading home

12 Jun

We’re on our way back now, after a super six weeks exploring Scotland and two weeks in Cumbria. We’ve just left Keswick and intend to travel overnight hoping it will be quieter on the motorway. We have been discussing the holiday in terms of what we liked best/ least, places to go again, places to avoid, best view etc etc

So I have picked a few (more) pictures and tried to sum up the best bits:

Early morning on Rannoch Moor (for me)

The reflections on Loch Naver, Altnaharra, snow or no snow

The beaches at Gairloch ( for Amber, actually, beaches anywhere for her!!)

The views all over Skye

We didn’t stay long enough at Killin to do it justice, our fault for not researching well enough

A new look at some familiar places, and a look at new places in Cumbria

All in all it has been a wonderful trip, it will take me a year to sort my photos, but they provoke lovely memories, of places, of lovely people we have met: English, Scottish, American and Japanese to mention a few. We are very lucky to live in the British Isles, there are plenty of other things that annoy us about living here, but the beautiful and varied scenery is not one of them, and to see how it changes from day to day and at different times of the year is just amazing.

Back to Warminster to research the next trip!! We hope the Summer months can be spent resting with the van in Chettle, but with Amber in tow there is not much chance for a rest!

Food for Thought, Another Trip?

10 Jun

Yesterday was another good day, so we beetled up the motorway to Carlisle and then headed east until we hit (not literally) a stone wall, can you guess what it is yet?

Hadrian’s Wall at Birdoswald Fort, Northumberland

We have wanted to check out Hadrian’s Wall and also further into Northumberland, with a view to a trip with the ‘van. It looks like it could be good, the countryside was beautiful, and we found a lovely site by the river at Haltwhistle.

Bridge at Bridge End, nr Haltwhistle, Northumberland

We didn’t go any further North, but Kielder Forest is not far, and we could head over to the east coast to Lindisfarne, as we haven’t been there for years, so food for thought, maybe next year?

In all our trips to the Lake District we have never been to Grasmere, lake or village, although we have passed it many times, so in a bid to stay close to home today we went there. The village is very pretty, mind you it’s full of tea/coffee shops, to cope with the tourists. The walk around part of the lake and a little way onto Loughrigg Fell was lovely, views stupendous (would have been better if the sun was out). Madam Amber was happy because there was . . . Water!!

Bluebells, Grasmere, Cumbria

Ford, on river between Grasmere and Rydal Water, Cumbria

If the weather holds tomorrow, we plan to look at Rydal Water, to complete the picture of this area before returning home.

Just Cruising Along

8 Jun

Yesterday was forecast to be great weather, so the thing to do was to get on the water and relax. Ullswater is reported to be the most beautiful of the English lakes, but is not easy to see from the road and there are not too many stopping places. So, we took a trip on the steamers which go up and down, like Derwent water there are three stops and you can get a ticket to another stop or a ticket where you can hop on and off all day. We got on at Pooley Bridge at the northern end, went down to Howtown, about halfway down the lake, walked around the base of Hallin Fell and back to Howtown for lunch. After lunch, and a swim for Amber, we caught the steamer to Glenridding at the southern end, and stayed on the steamer for the return journey.

This was definitely the way to see the lake, the views were glorious, and it was pretty much like a millpond there was very little breeze. The Lake District at its best!

The pier at Pooley Bridge looking toward the Helvellyn Range

Amber keeping an eye out for ducks

She was really good on the journeys, and quite relaxed, anything that involves water gets her vote!

Looking toward Pooley Bridge from the base of Hallin Fell

Looking back toward Glenridding

It was a great day, and I would recommend this as the only way to see Ullswater!

Trains, and Boats, and Planes . . .

6 Jun

We’ve settled nicely at the farm, I’ve put up my bird feeder, so we are joined by chaffinches, blue tits, great tits and the odd squirrel.

There are a of sheep and lambs about on the hills so we’re trying to find ‘sheep free’ walks for Amber, and anything that involves water come high on her list of favourite walks. There is a walk out from Keswick along the disused railway track following the River Greta upstream. The track is part of the Coast to Coast (C2C) long distance walk, from St Bees Head (west) to Tynemouth (east). We didn’t have time to do the whole walk (!), but after a couple of miles crossed the river and headed back towards Keswick. We happened upon an old platform along the track, which was the station for the Briery Bobbin mill, Keswick used to be the world producer of bobbins, originally set up to feed the Lancashire mills, they received wood from all over the world, and then sent back bobbins for their mills. The bobbin mill closed in 1958 and the railway shut in 1972.

It was a lovely walk, steep in places on the return, Amber had plenty of time to perfect her doggy paddle!

River Greta (ir)

Derwent Water is a lovely lake and a good way to see it is from one of the launches, you can start from Keswick or pick it up from any of six landing stages round the lake. We parked near Ashness Bridge and caught a clockwise launch round the lake to Hawes End, got off and then walked back round the lake, stopping for lunch and swimming (Amber, not us).

Checking for cats on Cat Bells

Pssst! What say we leap off into the water, I’ll race you to the ducks!

Reflections on Derwent Water

We seem to have run into a good spell of weather, its calm and warm, we have even managed a few barbecues!

The farm has been busy this week, shearing the sheep, Mr Harrison and his son are backwards and forwards, rounding up a few sheep at a time to take them into the shearing pen. I must ask him what happens to the wool, enough for some woolly jumpers! (BB asked – the wool goes to Carlisle, then on to Bradford for grading, it might be sold there or go on to Ireland, Mr Harrison reckons he won’t see anything for it until about February!)

The RAF have also been busy this week, the relative calm is broken every so often by a couple of jets screaming up the valley, sometimes they get very low . . .

Things are getting a lot greener, and there is new growth everywhere, I took a macro lens out with me to see what I could find.

Embryo Fern

Back in Cumbria

3 Jun

We arrived back in Keswick on Friday, but couldn’t get onto a ‘proper’ pitch until this morning (Sunday). We shared an area next to Sid’s (the farm dog) Woodshed. Shoulthwaite Farm is a great site, right in the farm yard and we can walk directly from the site. It’s just north of the top of Thirlmere, 2 mile outside Keswick. There is still the odd bit of snow on the sunless areas of the fells.

We were treated to a lovely burst of evening sun on Friday evening, lighting up High Rigg (above) and the Helvellyn Range (below).

As you can see, below, the farm caters for walkers, there is a public footpath going through the yard, and they provide a state of the art weather forecast, to help you on your way.

Weather forecast for walkers!

As has been the case before, there is no wi fi signal where we are so it’s a case of sending things when we can find one.