It’s the Easter Holidays at last. Which still means something despite not being a teacher or having children. Especially given I’ve not taken any time off since Christmas! To me it means being able to be away from work for just over a week for the price of just four days of leave, which is pretty lovely. Planning a big trip next year means we couldn’t really afford to go away anywhere during our week off, despite really needing the break from this city that oppresses us, so we had originally decided to have a nice creative week at home instead – Flâneur would paint and draw and I would sew. Well, it hasn’t quite worked out like that. Not least because I decided that Flâneur really needed a break after a very hectic university term – and by that I meant a break from Manchester altogether. I jiggled some things around financially, did lots of internet research and in the end booked us two nights in the above country B&B in the Lake District. Just far enough and pretty enough to be different, but not so far that I’d be driving for hours to get there. We have many lovely parts of the country on our doorstep so I figured it was about time we explored some of them!
Going only on internet reviews and their fresh modern website (really other people – why would you have a rubbish fusty website? It immediately puts me off…) I booked us into the Westmorland room, a twin made up as a King, which had a lovely window seat with a view to a holiday cottage next door and then out across the fields to the local church. It was a fresh, modern room, which looks like it was recently redecorated. When we spoke to Sam and Tiree later (who run the place) it turned out that they’d taken over running the place from Sam’s parents the year before, so that would probably explain it! Also after a short – ‘you look very familiar, did you go to St Andrews?’ we also realised that Tiree and I were at university together, in the same year. And while we weren’t in the same hall of residence nor had we done the same subject, being the small tiny university that St Andrews is, yes, we did know at least one person in common and that’s how come we recognised each other!! The little coincidences that go into making this world…
Anyway, this isn’t really supposed to be a review of the B&B, but it was lovely, the breakfast was yummy (excellent bacon), the service was great and I would definitely go back. So if you’ve stumbled on here looking for a recommendation, I would definitely recommend it. Not least for the Damson Gin they put out in the lounge in the evening – sweet and a perfect post dinner drink, like a sweet dessert wine. Yum.
Despite the recent unseasonably warm weather that Britain was basking it, typically April got back to form and the weather was pretty rubbish while we were away. At least on the Tuesday. We went up to Ambleside and Grasmere and while the sky was dramatic, the rain and wind we could have done without.
This picture isn’t actually Black and White – that’s just the light!! We didn’t do much walking while there as the weather wasn’t really with us, but we did have a good wander round the top of Lake Windermere at Ambleside (above) and then around the Lake at Grasmere (I really should know which one that is…), during the latter of which we got very cold while the rain stated to turn to snow!
It was at the point it started snowing that we decided our best course of action would be to head to a pub and warm ourselves up by an open fire. There were a number that were recommended by Sam and Tiree on a map they left on the hall table of the B&B so we headed to the Mason Arms, a ten minute drive from the house, which was exactly what the doctor ordered – a cute little country pub with an open fire and good pub grub. We spent over three hours there in the end, playing cribbage, enjoying the warmth and enjoying hearty pub food, escaping before it became too overrun by families.
The next day, our last in the Lakes, we decided to head up to Keswick to see some of the more dramatic scenery of the North Lakes. Despite the flutterings of snow, there wasn’t any evidence on the roads or near the B&B the next day so we thought it couldn’t have lasted long or been that heavy in the end. Until we went back through Ambleside that is, where the hills that had been clear the day before now looked like they were coming out of the depths of winter:
It was brilliant! I love a bit of snow – it brings out my inner child – and it really made the hills and surrounding area look quite spectacular! It helped that the light was better on Wednesday too as the sky was clearer.
When we got to Keswick, we spent a bit more time having a good wander round the town, looking in the shop the Pencil Museum (which was a bit overrun with Easter Holidays families to go in), and have a walk down to Derwent Water where we spent yet more time taking photos – so much so that we had to rush back to the car before we ran out of time on the car park ticket! All this is good practice for me with my camera mind you…
The light was wonderful and the scenery very spectacular so I like to think the nature did help me out a bit. It was a good relaxing couple of days and I’m glad we went, rather than staying at home. Yes, I probably would have got lots of things done that I’m always wishing I had the time to do, but sometimes you just need to get away, even if that’s not very far. I think it might have done Flâneur a bit of good too – he was certainly looking more relaxed by the end of the trip…