This is where we stayed - a self-catering "cottage" midway between Ambleside and Skelwith Bridge, aptly named Halfway House:
This property has lots of significance for Jane, because as a child she used to holiday in a bungalow in the grounds of the same house. Unfortunately it turned out to be a bit disappointing. Nothing too major, but just a few niggles: it was very damp and musty, and poorly-equipped. For instance it had a dishwasher that not only fell apart every time we used it, but was also too small to accommodate dinner plates! Anyway, despite this, we as a family made the most of it and laughed-off the difficulties. We had lots of lovely family meals; we played games with the children; we drank a little wine in the evenings, used a telescope to look at stars and meteors, and enjoyed the view of the adjacent River Brathay...
|View from the cottage, with Brathay Pool in the foreground.|
|Sizergh Castle (National Trust), near Kendal|
|Sizergh Castle again|
|Blea Tarn, with clouds obscuring the Langdale Pikes|
|Aira Force (aka waterfall) , next to Ullswater|
|Castlerigg Stone Circle, near Keswick - The Lakes' version of Stonehenge?|
|A Herdwick sheep, the archetypical Lake District breed|
|A farmstead above Grasmere|
|Fungi (Chanterelles?) at Dalemain House, near Penrith|
|The Beatrix Potter "experience", in Windermere (Lara and Holly loved this!)|
|My Father-in-Law's memorial stone in the Daffodil Garden of the church in Grasmere|
|Two little monkeys on a rock [Lara (6) and Holly (3)]|
|Seat Sandal, looking North from Allan Bank, Grasmere|
While we were away Jane celebrated her 60th birthday. To recognise this occasion we all went out for a meal and a tour of the Lakes Distillery near Bassenthwaite. This new venture has recently begun small-scale production of Vodka, Gin and Whisky, using the ultra-pure water from the nearby River Derwent. Here is an (illicit) photo of one of the stills in which the distillery makes whisky.
We were slightly disappointed to find that since the distillery is very new, it has not yet produced any of its own whisky (it has to be matured for at least 3 years), but Gin is already coming off the production line. Here is the evidence:
Now that we're back home, I shall hopefully be out in the garden a bit, and more blogposts will follow...