Lakeland Fells

Thought it was about time to sit down and write about our trip earlier this month. We spent the week of the 9th in our favourite cottage, Hollens Cottage, in Grasmere which is in the British Lake District. Michael has always loved the lakes and brought me there during my first trip to the UK. It is one of the most beautiful places in the country, and we always enjoy it there.

We headed up on the Saturday after Kieran’s ballet class. I had packed a picnic lunch for the drive, but suggested half-way along the trip that we might as well stop in at his folks and eat it there. Wasn’t that nice of me?? I’ll do almost anything these days for a cup of tea! Anyway-they were home so we stopped by and had a nice visit. I had also suggested that he invite them up one day— they live about an hour away from the cottage. They said that that would be nice, so we arranged for the Tuesday or Thursday. We left after just an hour or so and headed off to the cottage. You pick the keys up from their restaurant in the village and they give you a plate of some very large, very gooey, chocolaty brownies to say welcome. Kieran thought they were especially for him as it was his official ‘4 and a half’ birthday. We found the cottage as lovely as the last time. We had a quick dinner and unpacked a bit before getting everyone to bed early enough so we could go for a walk in the morning. This was the view we woke to, not bad, huh?

Sunday morning was spent doing a walk around Rydal Water. Michael and I like this walk as it was the first one we did. (Sometimes our silly reminiscing over things like this is a bit much!) Not that we did the whole walk the 1st time—I’m embarrassed at how slow I was back then! Anyway—the first little summit is lovely as you can see both lakes- Grasmere and Rydal water at the same time. We had a great walk and found an old quarry. Michael and the kids went down to the entrance and had fun making echoes. Near the quarry was a flat-rock face surface and Kieran just walked up to it and started to climb it. I told Michael to do something about it, meaning get him down—but no! What does he do—he shows him how to keep going higher. Mind you, there is a plaque on the stone as a young man fell to his death last year on that very rock. (You can see the plaque in the photos) What does he do next—he shows Hazel how to do it! They are so his children! On the way down the hill from there a race passed us by. We were passed by about 50 or so runners—have to admire anyone who does a circuit like that. When we were on the opposite side of the river we stopped off at the Rydal Mount tea room and had tea-cakes for a mid-morning break. The rest of that walk was in a wooded area and we came to a rocky downhill slope to manoeuvre—which always makes me nervous. To make matters worse-a couple had to wait below while we worked our way down. I was so proud I didn’t go flying down on my bum in front of them—and told them so when I safely managed my way down. The end of the walk was celebrated with a ice-cream cones all round.

Mondays outing was more my pace! I have always liked Buttermere Lake but find the walk around it a bit dull, especially as a good part is spent either circumventing around some farm land or walking along the road. So the plan was to walk from the village to a lovely waterfall near the other end of the lake. I thought it was gorgeous seven years ago—and I still do. So we packed a lunch and had a lovely picnic literally sitting in the middle of the waterfall on some dry rocks. The kids had a great time and stripped down to play in the water and climb about the rocks with Michael while I sunbathed! Tuesday was the day Michaels parents came up—they brought the rain with them! Not too much, but enough to deter us from wandering too far. We had a tea party of cakes, biscuits and oat cakes when they arrived. Hazel & Kieran enjoyed it immensely—they’ve never had a lunch like that before! We all enjoyed some Lakeland Plum bread– and loved that it had no plums in it! After lunch we all walked into Grasmere Village, which was just over ½ mile from the cottage. We had a short wander round the shops and after the usual purchases of books and blister plasters for me we headed back for dinner. After dinner the kids were delighted to have a ‘cheese’ party next-though Hazel complained because I forgot the camembert! Some kid! We had a nice visit. It was the first time they heard Hazel read—she read one of her Dick and Jane books to them.

Wednesday was a very momentous day in our family life. The kids and I all walked up our first Fell! I’ve never reached a summit before, and I know to the experienced walkers out there it’s not the tallest—but we (most amazingly, I) did it! We walked to the summit of Loughrigg Fell. I now know why Michael loves it so much—it’s amazing walking along the top. The views do constantly change as you walk around the top of the hills. Unfortunately the midges were everywhere and the rain clouds were coming in so we ate our lunch quickly and headed back down—but not quick enough! We were drenched by two downpours. Kieran had a bit of a wobble about his jeans being wet, but we calmed him down and he enjoyed the rest of the trip down in the rain. They both did a great job—we were ever so proud of them.

Thursday was a bit drizzly so we decided to go to Keswick for the day. We had a great day and
spent the rainy part of the afternoon in the Pencil museum. We had a good time; the kids enjoyed the hidden trail in the museum and especially liked using watercolour pencils with a water paint brush. As I thought they were great as there’s no mess involved, we bought them a set each. After that we wandered round the village and had some chips and tea in the local chip shop. When we got back to the cottage we lit the fire and had a quiet evening.

Friday was a bit rainy again so after a morning of packing we walked into the village to the tea shop in the local garden centre. We all had a lovely piece of cake each and chatted about the walks.

Saturday check out time was 10am, so we were off early. We stopped off in Windermere on our way south for no other reason than for me to go to Lakeland Limited. We had a nice wander round, made a few purchases, of course! We then headed to their restaurant and had cream teas-which were wonderful! The scones were delicious, as was the Eccles cake we bought to share. We were off then to pay a visit to his brother’s new house (another one of my crazy ideas!) in Liverpool. They arranged for all his family to be there for dinner—the first time we’ve all been in one place for about three years—and there aren’t many of us! The kids had fun playing with their cousins and we grown-ups had a nice chat. Well, Michael & I listened as we have no clue what ‘Killer Bunnies’ are, don’t watch Dr. Who or any of the reality shows! Felt like a bit of an old fogey! We spent the night in the hotel near his folk’s house.

Sunday goes to prove my daughter has her daddy wrapped around her little fingers! I usually like to suggest on the way home that we hop into the Peak District and got to my favourite book store, Brierlow Bar. But we had already said we wouldn’t do that-but his little girl had asked before we left for our holiday if we could, and he said yes right away! So we were up early and headed to Buxton. On the way to the book shop we always pass a lovely tea room—well, it looked lovely as it’s always been closed when we pass it. But the sun was shining on us that day, which was Fathers day—so we stopped in to the Peak View Tea Rooms. Now, I thought it was going to be a lovely spot to have a cup of tea and a slice of cake while enjoying the wonderful view. What a surprise to find it was all that, plus a whole lot more! We all had a full Sunday lunch followed by a selection of desserts! The kids had a proper Roast Chicken lunch—a real plate of real food without me having to split a normal dish between the two of them. They were also able to pick any dessert from the dessert table, we were surprised by this as the kids meal was only £4. After walking around the dessert table for all of a second they both shouted ‘trifle!’—something they both really like but they’ve only had at their Grans! So I would highly recommend the Peak View Tea room—great food, good prices, lovely atmosphere and a great view! What a lovely way to end our holiday! (Of course we headed to the bookstore after that!! Nothing beats buying new books!!)

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