Sunday, 28 August 2011

The holiday...

Some more detail...

We stayed in Windermere, in a lovely cottage in a little street just out of the main town area heading towards Bowness and the lake itself - ideal for us, meant we could pick to either walk into Windermere for shopping or to eat etc. or we could go down to Bowness.

The weather was excellent for the Lake District, it only rained part of one day, the Wednesday and a couple of light spits.  Given there were storm warnings out for our home area some days that was a bit bizarre really.

Sunday - we walked up to a viewpoint that looked over Windermere and then wandered about Bowness.  Son-of-Furtheron was determined to get us walking and so was planning what the guidebook we had (a Rough Guide) said was an "easy" hill walk.  This was the Fairfield Horseshoe, you climb out of Ambleside and over 8 peaks all over 500m.  Some advice was sought from a walking equipment shop owner as we bought a map we needed and he advised going in a particular direction, the weather looked good so that was Monday's plan.

However after we'd all suffered, my son hurt his knee and was in pain for some of it, I hurt my knee, my wife also ... the only one who didn't was my daughter but she nearly lost her shoe in a boggy bit!!!  Once down which was over 8 hours since we started we collapsed into a pub for much needed food, luckily they didn't care about our muddy boots.  My son subsequently looked up on a hill walking website and the walk is rated - Hard by them and is actually 17 miles with the up and down bits not the 11 in the rough guide!  It took me the rest of the holiday to recover!  Going downstairs was still painful several days later!

Tuesday therefore was shopping in Ambleside for new winter coats etc. via the Windermere steamer.  Best place about for any stuff like that.

Wednesday the weather wasn't so good so we headed to Kendle to look at the castle and around the shops then went back to Keswick for a typical Furtheron family afternoon tea!  We spend more time on holiday finding tea shops to get my 11am coffee and 3pm tea than anything else!

Thursday was a long trip to the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway, a narrow gauge (15") line similar to the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway but up some lovely valleys to a little hamlet called Boot.  We walked up the valley a bit then saw an old water mill there that still works.  Now here is a thought, the miller said that due to 21st century food standards it is not clean enough to make flour for human consumption.  That building has been a mill since 1578 - they have the list of all the millers up until the last one died in 1924.  Nearly 400 years and now they say it isn't safe?  Also you sometimes look at this stuff and wonder if our so called 20th and 21st century progress really is progress at all - this thing has produced flour to feed people for 400 years and produced absolutely no carbon emissions in all that time - totally renewable energy...

Friday we went for a sail on Ullswater to Pooley Bridge and had a couple of short walks (my knees were somewhat better now!).

Then the 300 something mile drive home which wasn't too bad until the nightmare that is the QE2 bridge!  I normally go M40 and round the southern M25 but the M40 was closed due to a crash as we got to the M42 junction on the M6 so decided to go M6, M1 etc.  Still we were home, car not unpacked but drinking a cup of tea before 4:30pm! :-)

Now back to work :-(  Still I start my new job, which I'm so excited about at the university in a month


  1. The Lakes are beautiful aren't they?

    I lived and worked there for three years. Loved it!!!! Crackin' girls!!!

    er...if you happened to see anyone in or around their mid 30's who looked even vaguely like me it is pure coincidence...


  2. I used to climb up and down mountains. Struggle to get to the shop these days. Must get fit. Sounds wonderful. :-) P

  3. Lovely. You were fortunate in the weather. Well done on the mammoth trek.

    Tea shops are by far the most important bit of any British holiday.

  4. One of these days I will have the freedom to do some sort of actual holiday on my holidays. And when I do, I will NOT spend it walking up and down hills, as I get vertigo.

    Sitting in a tea shop does sound nice, however.

  5. Fairfield Horseshoe - isn't it a brilliant walk? Will you be going back for more? (There's the Old Man of Coniston, Skiddaw, Blencathra, Scafell Pike, etc., etc.)

    Just got back from Windermere - dropped in to see a friend who lives there.

    You were VERY lucky with the weather.

  6. @Dom - did Old Man last year - hope to go back and do some others at some point... need to get fitter first though!

  7. We are only a bike ride away from the Lakes - lovely!