Highlights of the trip included...
Walking through beautiful woods and fields to Holker Hall and sitting outside to eat a delicious lunch in the sun before an afternoon's walk by the saltmarshes along the Cumbria Coastal Way, stopping now and again to pick up driftwood and odd things washed up by the tide.
Visiting Cartmel Priory, beautiful Furness Abbey, the very strange and quirky Roa Island, and other crumbly remains of the monkish past of the South Lakes.
A birthday drive into the 'proper' Lake District along the exquisitely lovely Dunnerdale, lunch in the sun again at Chesters in Skelwith Bridge...
...shopping in Ambleside, and a lazy late afternoon ramble along the shore of Windermere, watching the sun go down and making little boats out of sticks and leaves.
After a long impatient wait, the excitement of watching five beautiful badgers trotting out of the semi-darkness and scoffing a bucketful of kitchen scraps at the Glen Rothay Hotel in Rydal. The fulfilment of a long-held dream for me to see badgers in the wild.
No badger pictures sadly but I liked these lovely cobbled walls of a fortified building on Roa Island
A lovely drive home that took all day: along the beautiful shores of Ullswater to Penrith and lunch at the Village Bakery, followed by a visit to Long Meg and her Daughters, a look round Little Salkeld watermill, and wholesome afternoon tea in hand-thrown cups. Winding home through the pretty Eden Valley via Appleby and Orton, then a blast along the M6 as the sun dipped behind the fells and we remembered all the lovely things we had done.
Long Meg and some of her Daughters
Two important footnotes:
1. I often think that blogs can make our lives appear deceptively perfect. You should know that at times during our week away I was horribly grumpy and premenstrual, and on the last morning we had a stonking row.
2. Cartmel Priory isn't Cistercian as I mistakenly wrote in my last post, it's Augustinian. The Cistercians did build Furness though, and were generally very busy in the South Lakes, which has sparked my curiosity and I'm longing to find out more.