Saturday might have been the day of the Coronation but it was also warm and sunny and much too nice to spend the whole day sat in front of the television.
Instead we popped up the road to Holehird Gardens, home of the Lakeland Horticultural Society, for a mooch round in the sun. And it was lovely. There were lambs frisking about in the nearby fields and the whole garden was simply awash with spring colour, mostly in the form of swathes of tulips.
We had a lovely stroll around the various areas of the garden – walled garden, rockery, high level paths, stream and pool, woodland garden – enjoying the flowers and the spectacular views out across Windermere to the fells. And then the visitor reception opened up so we grabbed a cuppa each and drank that sitting on a bench in the walled garden in the sun, which was much nicer than being stuck indoors!
I’m still re-discovering my legs after Covid but this morning’s weather was too nice to just hang about indoors. So we set off into the countryside at the back of Windermere (town) which is surprisingly secret and surprisingly scenic, with lumpy bumpy fields, woods and occasional views of Windermere (lake). Ravens nest there – you can here them ‘coughing’ at certain times of the year – and there are often lambs and always an abundance of flowers, as well as a sprinkling of historic farms.
Today’s lambs were in shorter supply than usual but there were spring flowers everywhere and a wonderful sweet scent on the air. As well as a few daffodils still hanging on in there, we saw blackthorn, violets, wood anemones and even a solitary early bluebell.
The terrain is hilly without being challenging so it made a great circuit to test out the lungs and legs. I didn’t go quite as far – or as fast – as I usually would, and my legs were jelly on the way back, but it was smashing to get out into the fresh air.
And as an added bonus, on the way up I found a charm that had dropped off my handbag several weeks ago!
The main photo above shows the view from near Helm Farm, looking across to Brant Fell in the distance. Below are a couple of shots of some of the lovely flowers: blackthorn, the first violets, and a wood anemone.
Saturday brought another sunny but bitterly cold morning. For the first time in ages we drove to Keswick for a walk down to Derwent Water and along the shore path as far as the well-known viewpoint of Friar’s Crag.
The ‘Crag’ is a small rocky promontory overlooking the lake which was acquired by the National Trust in the 1920s and has been a popular destination as a viewpoint ever since. It’s not far from the town – about a fifteen to twenty minute stroll past the Theatre by the Lake and the boat landing strips, and makes a pleasant stroll whatever the weather.
Everything looked absolutely stunning with beautiful views across the lake to mountains still dusted with snow, and spring flowers bursting out everywhere. I’m still a bit short of useable legs so I couldn’t manage my usual mooch round the market and shops, which was annoying as Keswick has particularly good shops! But we’ll save that for when the post-Covid exhaustion has finally disappeared. And in the meantime, there was still plenty to enjoy.
The photo above shows Causey Pike (the one with the knobbly bit on top) across Derwent Water, with higher and snowier fells in the distance.
Yesterday’s Daily Walk (TM) took in some of the maze of back lanes and footpaths around the town of Windermere including Birthwaite Road and Old College Path. It’s a fascinating area dotted with old cottages, streams and ponds, trees, rocky outcrops, views across fields of sheep – and snowdrops. These pop up without fail along the verges of Birthwaite Road every year and in spite of the almost constant bitter weather since Christmas, there they were again.
We were glad of the chink of brightness and suggestion of spring they provided, because it was sleeting the whole time we were out. Of course, the minute we got back home and clambered out of big coats and boots, the clouds rolled away and the sun came out again! But it was an interesting walk with lots of fresh air, and we were glad to grab the opportunity as the forecast for next week is even worse. I just hope the snowdrops don’t get snowed in, or blown away.
A rather hasty exploration this time, for two reasons. One, there isn’t really all that much of Hawkshead to explore (it’s a small village) and two, it was absolutely freezing! However, the sun was shining and it was nice to get some fresh (okay, very fresh) air and a brief stagger round.
Hawkshead is a photographer’s dream, with a maze of narrow, crooked streets and alley-ways surrounded by ancient houses, some with outside stone staircases or archways straight over the road. Many of the buildings date back to the 15th or 16 centuries; almost all are white-washed, and all sit prettily together around a series of small squares, with interesting nooks and crannies and (from spring onwards) flowers everywhere.
After a coffee at Hawkshead (the outdoor gear shop, not the entire village!) we meandered our way to Vicarage Lane, which climbs up towards the Grizedale Forest past Ann Tyson’s cottage and a babbling stream (and on Saturday, two hens and a sheep munching hay), then made our way back across some hair-raisingly muddy fields to the church yard. Here there were snowdrops, and even a few early purple crocuses, and that plus the colourful display outside the village shop might almost have convinced us it was spring… if it hadn’t been for the arctic wind.
Here’s a handful of photos, of a small section of the unusual slate fencing Hawkshead is famous for, the church, and the flowers and boards outside the village shop.