Truth is that my stay in the Lake District was molded by how much my father could get around, which, at 87, is getting to be less, of course. The other thing is that – he won’t admit it. This meant that when I said I was going to, say, Grasmere, to take some snaps, he wanted to tag along, and since I knew that he wouldn’t be able to walk as far as I wanted, nor would it be good for him to stand around waiting for me to set up pictures, I had to cave and agree to going somewhere not so far, and with plenty of places to stop and rest. That said, I think I probably had missed the best of the foliage by maybe a week or so in any event. The trees there had lost a lot more of the leaves than they had down south, but here are a few pictures, just to give you an idea of how pretty it is there, and hopefully for my next visit I can work around this somehow!
Bowness has been a village on the lake for centuries, whereas, it’s close neighbour Windermere (village, not lake) was a Victorian invention. That was where the railway station could be built that ferried the masses for their annual holidays. I suppose this was the beginning of package holidays even, and, indeed, why should travel have been the right only of the hoi polloi? Which also means that the currently fashionable debates about travel vs tourism, or sustainable tourism actually go way back. Apparently even William Wordsworth lamented the opening up of the area by the railway…..mugwump that I am half of me totally agrees with him, and the other half thinks “snob”. The village church, of St Martin dates back to at least 1483, and apparently there is debate about it dating back even further, though the nice lady in the local tourist information office couldn’t office more advice than to try the library in Kendal (which I will do one day!)
That’s Belle Isle in the center of Lake Winderemere, where, as you can see, the colors still lingered. Maybe I’m just getting older, but I can remember, literally, my breath being taken away by this view when I was younger. I still find it awesome.
Boats are moored up for the winter. Summertime sees more boats on the lake than probably is good for it, but rarely in Winter.
Glorious, glorious colors! Now this is what I came for. Sitting majestically right on the main road through the village.
Depsite the mild weather, the bird population of the lake still was crowding the shore, waiting for scraps. Authorities now have given up on asking people not to feed them, and merely ask that they not be fed too close to the road – because they don’t have any road sense! There seem to be lots more swans than I remember here.
Strictly speaking, Lancaster isn’t a part of the Lake District, being the original county town of Lancashire. It is, however, sometimes refered to as the “gateway” to the Lake District. It does have lots of history, and it’s a fascinating place for me, but this day I had to content myself with a tour around the lovely market in the center of town, where local produce was offered alongside second-hand books, homemade candy and chocolate, local cheeses, water colors by homegrown artists, and, of course, because it was a a few days before Halloween, pumpkins.
The goods on this homemade candy stall were mouth-watering. The lady told me that everything was personally made by her friends. I was SO restrained, and limited myself to a couple of items for gifts!
I even resisted these croissants, and the rest of my haul included one second-hand book, and two cheeses, also for gifts.
True to form (it is, I think, the wettest town in England) it rained for most of my time in Kendal, so there are only a couple of pictures, and not too brilliant ones at that. Were my father not there, I would find Kendal utterly resistible, I think. It seems drab compared to other Lake District towns, and the people more like harrassed townsfolk than laid back country folk. That said – who can blame them, given the weather??
The potentially bright spot was that there was a food fair the day after I arrived, but it was a very bedraggled sight – people and animals (yes I really do want to look at the cows and sheep which I am going to eat tomorrow……..and yeah, I know, I shouldn’t eat them if I’m not willing to do the killing, but truth is I hardly ever do) sheltering under tarpaulins, with the people on the produce stalls looking more ready for home than for selling. I did buy some scones from a nice man who I kind of took pity on because he’d come from a village where I used to live, quite a long way away, to stand in the downpour, and promote his goods, but it was all a bit kind of weird in the rain for me. I suppose I am spoiled by the food fairs here, which have sunny days or balmy nights on which to push their wares. Still, it might have been just that I was in a grumpy mood again, my camera battery was almost dead, the rain was running off my brolly and down my neck, and I was worried about my dad getting wet, since he seemed to carry his umbrella but not use it. I did wonder what possessed them to hold this fair in the Autumn and not in Summer, but I also had to marvel at the resilience of the stall holders, chatting away as if the sun was shining. Made me think how nesh we all get, living on a sub-tropical island.