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Getting away from it all in Cumbria

See also: Cumbria photos, Full slideshow, Favourites slideshow

 

Summer 2009 we did two holidays back-to-back, going first to Scotland, then stopping off in Cumbria on the way back for a week, where we had rented a cottage to which also came our daughter, her boyfriend and our two jolly golden retrievers.

Saturday 15 August 2009

Heavy rain as we set off south from Scotland, pausing only in picturesque Penrith and its splendid Graham's store before we continued with our next holiday in Cumbria.

Diverted via Ullswater and walked up the Aira Force waterfall which, after recent rains, was in full flow and very photogenic (including top-down shot).

After getting lost, we made it to the cottage in Gawthrop, near Dent in the northern Yorkshire Dales. We had intended to go to the Lake District but Eleri booked Cumbria, the larger region. A good choice as it happens as it was a delightfully quiet and out-of-the way place with wonderful view from the cottage.

Walked across fields and squelchy public footpath to dog-friendly and food-and-beer-glorious pub in Dent with local brew (the George and Dragon).

Sunday 16 August

Lazy day. Pottered down to lovely (mostly closed though the Spar was open) Sedburgh, the craft centre and eventually a steep stroll up and down the nearby fell with H&J, past scary cows.

Then back, reading and a quiet afternoon.

Monday 17 August

Up early to avoid the traffic problems in Kendal. Got there at 8am, no problems parking, and everything was closed. Had coffee as the town woke up then wandered around. Kendal is a delightful little town characterised by 'yards' through passages off the main street, some private but all interesting.

People and traffic mounted rapidly and we eventually headed off around backroads to Sizergh Castle. It's less a castle and more a manor house, with interesting features like the overgrown rear steps (with close-up). Nice garden with random flowers, scarecrow'd vegetable plot, pond and trees. Timed entry until 2pm. A house visit was thwarted by a fire alarm so we headed west.

Bowness on Windermere is a bit touristy by we tarried a while, taking photos of the steamer, the small pier, row-boats and the endless ice-cream eaters. Windermere, just up the road, is more refined.

Stopped for fell vista on the way back. H&J had walked the dogs so they got washed in a cattle trough, which itself made an interesting photo.

Tuesday 18 August

Lazy start as H&J got energetic (mountain biking from Kirkby Stephen -- only 16 per day and recommended). Took dogs for walk over fields to delightful Dent, which seems more like a movie set than a real place, with coffee at Stone Close on the cobbled streets. Then walked back alongside river where the dogs ran and ran and played in the fields.

Then over the dales to Hawes, and its roadside market, cobbled streets and Wensleydale cheese factory (lots of samples -- yum!).

On the way back we stopped to say hello to Dales ponies and enjoy the beautiful view.

Wednesday 19 August

Sedburgh to the bookshops (lots of them there!). Then on to Grizedale, home of rallying, to walk the dogs in the vast forest. Sadly it was raining. But we'd driven all that way for a a walk and that's what we did, right up the the highest point in the increasing torrent.

Then a short pootle around to Coniston for a look-see and so back to the cottage and down to the Sun Inn for dinner.

Thursday 20 August

Totally lazy morning. Up late. Slow breakfast and everyone reading. Then over down through beautiful Barbondale to Skipton, with its canal, and prize-winning high street and shopping arcade. Saw a miserable dog with a backpack. Wondered what other dogs thought of the idea.

Then back, stopping by stream in Barbondale for photos before another yummy sausage and veg dinner and laid back evening.

Friday 21 August

South again, first to Kirkby Lonsdale (nice little market town) then down to pretty village Ingleton, with its viaduct, waterfalls and White Scar caves. Was going to go to Settle, but road accident blockage and big lorries in alternative side-route forced us to turn back. Stopped for more photos of stream and road in Barbondale on the way back. Then walked down to Dent for last-night dinner in George and Dragon.

Saturday 22 August

Farewell to cottage, then stopped off in Skipton on the way home, where we took dogs for walk up past waterfall and castle to nice little woods whilst H&J went shopping. Also avoided crowded M6 via Welsh borders where we bought even more books.

 

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