Where pigeons, horses and angels trod

Another lovely day but again not a lot to report when it come to additions to our years list. We were pleased to get a call to say that Ruth and Stu had both completed their half marathon and were back at their hotel getting freshened up ready for a day at Disney, well done both of you!

We decided to go to Danish Camp for lunch and a good walk with Sprocket. We went late morning and first had a walk by the river, remembering the last time we had walked there. In March this path under the bridge had been flooded but not today on we went. A single swan and a small flock of geese were about the only birds we saw.

Dragonflies were dashing around but not many settled  although I did spot a couple taking the sun on a wooden railing.

The river was looking lovely but it was time to head for the café at Danish camp for a lovely light lunch then off for our second walk.

You may wonder why I have entitled this blog the way I have, well our afternoon walk may hold the answer!

When we were here earlier in the year we came upon a couple of old building that were owned by the National Trust but (not surprisingly) were closed so we could only see the outside. I had investigated and knew that today they would be open, in fact for the last time this season so we were lucky.

The first one we visited was The Dovecote, it is exactly what the name suggest but not the typical size, it is huge! It had been home to over 1,500 birds at any one time but now thankfully devoid of pigeons; we went in for a peep.

Next time you are feeling disenchanted with your job spare a thought for the people involved with the Dovecote. They collected the vast amount of bird droppings (that must have smelt so bad!) and it was used to make saltpetre which in turn was used in the making of gunpowder.

Next we visited the Stables which were just across the road, also far grander than the average! It seems both building were built, in the 16th century, to impress, of course they were functional but they were deliberately elaborate to show the wealth of the owner, Sir John Gostwick. His flag points rather nicely to his interests doesn’t it?

So we had walked where pigeons and horses had now that just leaves angels!

Next door to the stables is the village church and we had heard rumour that tea and cake was on offer as well as a short organ recital. Sounded a good place to take a rest half way through our walk.

Phone turned to silent I just hoped Sprocket wouldn’t decided to sing along to the music! He was, of course as quiet as a mouse although they were such nice people I suspect if he had joined in they would have been amused and not annoyed. The Music was very mixed and I am sure one piece was the theme tune of  Monty Python!

Time for our return walk and more signs of approaching autumn. This fungus was tiny and very pretty, as were the Rosehips and the Hawthorn all along the path was heavy with ripe berries. All food for wildlife I am certain.

Home we went ready for another lazy evening!

 

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Castles

Before we left home on this trip my back was aching, I assumed due to a little over zealous gardening one day! Sadly it is feeling worse and is slowing us down a bit although actually walking is one of the best things for it which is a positive, I am hoping it gets better just as quickly.

Yesterday we went Bassenthwait lake for a walk although the path was a little overgrown!

Next came a trip to Brougham Castle, it brought back memories of a previous visit with family. The bridge by the castle had a familiar, ‘Weak bridge sign’ but this one was a bit more forceful than usual. Once in the castle grounds, looking back to the bridge the problem became clearer, flood damage.

We enjoyed a look around the castle and grounds but this time we didn’t venture up the keep…too many stairs!

 

Mainly in pursuit of lunch we visited Brougham Hall and were greeted by this fine door knocker! There are several little craft shops there and even a pottery where we were lucky to see someone making a couple of mugs. We had lunch at Bettyann’s Tea Parlour, it was tasty food, reasonable prices and lovely service so all in all we were happy!

Close to where we are staying is an alpaca centre which we popped into, it was not over exciting but good to see the animals. Why do donkeys always look so sad? I had joked with my daughter that we were going to buy one but as we left I decided I would have rather had the donkey!

Today the weather has been much brighter, in fact the sun was out most of the morning which was a treat. We headed out for Sizergh Castle, a National trust property, as we had read it is an excellent place for butterflies including several different fritillary types!IMG_7648 Sizergh castle

Well we had a lovely time but sadly, although we saw hundreds of butterflies 99.99% of them were white! The other being one red admiral and two small tortoiseshells.

Bees were plentiful too…

and the gardens were lovely and I must confess I have come back with an idea or two.

I reckon we saw about a dozen people working in the gardens and from what they said it is never ending work.

So no interesting butterflies but we did get a common darter dragonfly and we had a good day there. We took the scenic route home taking us through Windermere, Ambleside, Grasmere and narrowly missed Keswick! Sadly there seems to be nowhere to pull over to capture photos and our attempt to stop in Windermere was thwarted by the fact that the entire population of Cumbria seemed to be on the streets there. So the only pictures I got were taken from a moving car!

Tomorrow we head across the border to Scotland so we will see what that brings us.

Still in pursuit!

We’re on the road again, heading up north on our way to Scotland to share in a service to say goodbye to Barbara, a good friend.

I had kept an eye on the weather forecast and thought it worth going to the Lake district for a few days so yesterday we set off. Stopping at Clumber Park NT for coffee on the way, not a bad green house they have there!

On we went after a rather slow coffee, bit more training needed for their staff I feel! Next stop was at Mainsgrill, a farm shop/café, that will be good for a quick lunch we thought…wrong! The queues were incredible, they clearly have a good reputation. We decided to buy something from their deli insteadand eat on the go, very tasty it was too.

After checking in at our hotel, Brantwood Hotel, we decided to go and explore our locality, just outside Penrith and on local advice we found a lovely walk.

We found a pub, The King’s Arms, just a couple of minutes stroll from our base and discovered a rather tasty five bean chilli, that was me sorted! In fact I noticed a veggie curry on the menu too so we may be back before we move on.

Today we went to the Rheged Centre knowing what we were going to do when there. We had been’ with family several years ago and all done pottery painting and I wanted to try to paint a plate to remind us of our year but bear in mind I am not blessed with artistic talent!!! We did have fun doing it and all things considered I am quite pleased with it. IMG_7456 plate

Now at the risk of this blog talking too much about food I must tell you that we had a delicious lunch there. The staff were brilliant, friendly, helpful and efficient and the food was gorgeous, puy lentil scotch egg with a lovely English salad. I am going to have a go at making them when I get home, mind you it might all end in tears! I do congratulate them and unlike our coffee stop on route they clearly have excellent training, well done Rheged centre.

The afternoon was spent at Acorn bank NT, where we enjoyed a lovely walk.

Although a lack of sun meant not as many butterflies as we had hoped for we did see a few and plenty of bees. This blackbird was totally undisturbed by our closeness.

We met a lovely Australian family there and spent some while chatting to them; we covered most topics and they added to a very nice day indeed!

So nothing new to add to our lists but we are still in pursuit…honestly!