28 August, 2017

Holiday in the Lake District

We've just come back from a lovely holiday in the Lake District, which is an area of the country that we've not visited before. We stayed in a high end, modern apartment at the Carus Green Golf Club, just outside Kendal. The apartment was spacious, clean and very comfortable and we had the added bonus of the club house over the road, where we could eat, if we so wished.

We broke the drive up to Kendal at the National Trust's Little Moreton Hall, an amazing Tudor moated and timbered manor house. We enjoyed looking around the house and eating lunch at the small but pleasant on site cafe.

Here are some of the things that we did during out stay:
  • On day one, we visited Holker Hall, an impressive stately home, which has particularly beautiful grounds. We also paid a visit to Cartmel Priory, which now serves as the parish church of Cartmel.
  • On day two, we had a great day out at the Arts and Crafts House, Blackwell. The house is visually stunning and well worth a visit. We enjoyed a picnic lunch on the terrace overlooking Lake Windermere. We then popped into Low Sizergh Barn -- a farm, shop and cafe that was near our apartment -- and enjoyed a hot chocolate while watching the cows being milked from the cafe's viewing window.
  • Day three was rather different. We took a boat across Lake Windermere to Lakeside, where we picked up a restored steam train that took us to Haverthwaite. We enjoyed lunch at the station restaurant and then took the train back to Bowness and wandered round the aquarium -- this was fairly small, but certainly worth the visit, with lots of local fish and other creatures to see.
  • On day four, we visited Wray Castle, which turned out to be rather different from what we expected. Our Rough Guide to the Lake District suggested that this National Trust property was different from most, in that it positively encouraged visitors to sit on the furniture and handle the artefacts. In fact, the house didn't contain any historic items (the collections had been sold off long ago, prior to the National Trust's ownership). Nonetheless, we enjoyed looking at the house itself and playing table tennis and pool, which were amongst the activities laid on for visitors to the house. In the afternoon, we visited Sizergh Castle, which is a National Trust property of the traditional kind -- a medieval house with beautiful gardens. In the evening, we ate a delicious meal out at the India restaurant in Kendal.
  • On day five, we indulged our teenagers with a trip to the South Lakes Safari Zoo. This was surprisingly good: lots of animals to see, which were kept in spacious areas, and excellent value -- just five pounds per adult with children going free. In the afternoon, we visited Furness Abbey. We all loved this place -- it was very atmospheric, great for exploring and playing hide and seek, and had a pleasant picnic area overlooking the ruins.
  • On our last day, we spent the morning wandering around the centre of Kendal, which is an ancient market town. It is very pretty and has lots of interesting independent shops and cafes. We also climbed up to the scanty ruins of Kendal Castle, which afford an excellent view of the surrounding area. In the afternoon we drove up to to Scout Scar, which is a short distance outside Kendal, and enjoyed a walk around the stony summit. Again, the views of the surrounding hills were wonderful.
We came home via Biddulph Grange Garden. The weather was good enough that we could eat lunch at one of the cafe tables outside, and we really enjoyed wandering round the gardens themselves, which are extensive and divided into different geographical areas/styles of landscaping, such as 'China', 'Egypt' and 'Italy'.

We all really enjoyed our holiday in the Lake District and were sad to leave. We are hoping to return to the northern lakes for another holiday at some point in the future.