Wow! I cannot believe how fast this past week has flown! Thank you to everyone who commented on the burgling and sent supportive emails. If you haven’t received a response yet, it’s because I haven’t had a chance but will get to it soon. Each comment and email meant a lot to me, so thank you. Not having a computer at my constant disposal has made me realize how incredible dependent I am on it. It’s really amazing how much I do that requires the internet. Does anyone else find it a little scary that in less than one generation we have completely changed how we communicate, store information, and present ourselves to the world? I find it completely mind boggling!
Anyway, I promised Lake District pictures and info so here it is! On Friday, the 16th, we picked up our rental car and headed south. We were soon in the Scottish Borders which is this beautiful area of rolling hills, pastures, farms, woods, and wee little villages.
We planned a detour to see some of the remains of Hadrian’s Wall near Carlisle. I was really looking forward to this as I find it so fascinating to think that England was once part of the Roman Empire. Emperor Hadrian, known for his brutality, creativity, and extravagance, visited England in 122. While on his tour of England he ordered the construction of this wall to mark the northern boundary of the Empire. A construction project of this magnitude would also serve as a great show of strength to those who would seek to undermine his imperial rule. Constructed in six years, the wall is still impressive nearly 2000 years later. The segment we visited also boasts the remains of a Roman fort! Although the museum was closed we were able to take a look around. Not only is this an historically impressive site, it’s gorgeous! The countryside is idyllic and we arrived shortly before sunset and the lighting was amazing.
The ruins of the Roman Fort looked very interesting but we arrived too late to actually visit them. Thankfully they’re out in the open so we could get a look from the other side of a fence.
There is an English fort tower here as well.
After that we swung by an old priory, where I just had to take a picture.
After that quick stop, it was on to the Lake District. The first lake we drove by was Ullswater. As the sun was setting we had some dramatic views of mountains reflected in water. It was so beautiful we had to pull over, dig around for the tripod, and try to capture some of the beauty.
By the time we were done taking pictures it was completely dark and we had lost our lens cap! Big no-no! But the pictures were worth it and gave us just enough of a taste of things to come to whet our appetites.
We spent the night in Windermere – a great bustling vacation village filled with cute shops, fancy boutiques, and plenty of Beatrix Potter paraphernalia. After a great dinner at a place called Lazy Daisy’s we made our way back to our cute little B&B where we found that breakfast was to be served at 8AM and finished by 8:45! So much for a weekend of sleeping-in!
On Saturday, following our English-style breakfast, which I have to say I much prefer to a Scottish style breakfast (8AM is just too early to face blood sausage and haggis) we were told of a little hike by our hostess. Following her advice we made our way to a field where we were greeted by the following warning:
Defying all odds of a cow attack, we pressed on and made our way to the top of a hill with a great view of Lake Windermere.
Following our little morning climb, we decided to drive around the district and check it out a bit. We were blessed with an absolutely gorgeous day so we decided to take full advantage. We visited Windermere, Ambleside, Cartmel, Bowness, Newby Bridge and more. It was a very full day.
On our drive I made Scotty turn around because I saw this tower through the trees and thought it was so perfect-looking. So he pulled a u-turn and we crawled through tight little streets to get to a place where I could take a picture.
I was expecting to find some sort of church and was surprised when we found laundry hanging out to dry:
And even more surprised to find that it’s an appliance store. In a teeny tiny village. In the middle of the Lake District. In a stone tower. Who would have ever seen this great building and thought “What a great place for a discount appliance store.”??? So funny.
So much for my fort, castle, prison imaginings.
We visited Cartmel, the home of sticky-toffee pudding. This has become one of our favorite desserts since we moved here but we were more drawn by the signs that advertised a big antique sale. So we made our way down there and found the sale. It was terrible. But the town was cute and made up for it. It is home to a gorgeous grass race course, stone grist mill, and lots of beautiful buildings and wandering alleys.
After Cartmel we decided to make our way back to Ambleside where we’d reserved a room for our second night. Our drive took us past the extensive land-holdings of the Cavendish family. We tried to visit but the main house is closed on Saturdays (I guess because the family still lives there) but the grounds are amazing. There are thousands of fallow deer, huge pastures, farm-land, even an area that is harvested for timber. This is definitely a place to put on the “visit next time” list. Here’s a picture of their cows!
We made our way up to Ambleside. We walked around the town and took another little hike up a hill to see the view.