Our weekend in the Lake District

WHATEVER they put in the wishing wells aroundWindermereboats Lake Windermere, it works.

Eleven years ago I held Neil’s hand, closed my eyes and asked for us to stay together and have a family. As you can see from the stuff I write about here, I’m so happy my sentimental request was granted.

Last weekend I returned – sadly without Neil (don’t panic, he just had to work) – and made a much more modest wish. As it stayed dry and the sun broke through the clouds, it’s reassuring to see that once again, it came true.

Me, Emily, Melissa and my mum went to stay just outside Keswick. It was a wonderful couple of days for all sorts of reasons, not least because we laughed a lot.

We stayed at Highside Farm which is six miles from Keswick, on the road to Carlisle, in a room named after Ullock Pike. Oh it was lovely – really comfortable, immaculate and with a very warm welcome.


We arrived late Friday afternoon after a rain-sodden journey up the M6, fearing the worst about the weather to come. But we needn’t have worried. We felt the first warmth of the sun on our faces on Sunday as we sat at the edge of Bassenthwaite.

Friday evening was spent in Keswick where we dined on fish and chips and took a walk to Derwentwater. It was great to be back there after enjoying visiting with Neil.

Derwentwaterc0460Saturday won’t be forgotten in a hurry. First stop was the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction
where we rubbed shoulders with the likes of Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, Mrs Tiggywinkle and Jemima Puddleduck. Mum had us in stitches as she scoffed far too many jelly babies drowned by the runny chocolate from a chocolate fountain. Me and Emily had to scarper out of embarrassment as she tucked in – determined to get her money’s worth after we’d stumped up nearly £20 on the entrance fee. Then we pottered (see what I did there?) around Bowness, grabbed a sandwich lunch and headed for Ambleside.Well I’d like to say we headed there but we ended up there by accident really when I took a wrong turn – as per usual. But we were bowled over when we got there – not only by the stunning view but also by the free parking. Not that I’m tight or anything, honest.

Then we boarded a boat for a tour of the Lake. This took us back to Bowness, where we took more of a look around before heading back, sampling a local park, having a good nose at a posh hotel and going in search of Zeffirelli’s to watch Miss Potter. There was a slight drawback as Emily and Melissa missed school on Monday happy coincidence as we bumped into two teachers from their school. Who’d have thought it?

1162597_1Watching the film in the area that inspired it made it extra special. We couldn’t quite make out if it was supposed to be a film for children or grown-ups but we enjoyed it all the same. Beatrix Potter wrote and illustrated the best-selling children’s books of all time. Emily was spellbound as her current ambition is to be an illustrator. I was spellbound by the love story. I never knew that Potter’s great love died before they could marry. And of course the gorgeous countryside views helped make it so entertaining for us – not to mention Bill Paterson’s breathtaking facial hair. Afterwards, I bought The Making of Miss Potter, and discovered much of it was filmed on the Isle of Man. Oh.Then we went for a Chinese meal and laughed ourselves silly at various things I’m not going to mention for fear you’ll think I’m bonkers. What is it they say? You had to be there!

On Sunday we walked six miles. We followed a route through Dodds Woods and carried on to Bassenthwaite. It was so beautiful and peaceful and we wiled away the time watching two swans diving for food. Later, after catching up with Dancing on Ice (yes really) we set out to find a country pub and ended up at the Sun Inn in Bassenthwaite, which had everything you could ask for – home-cooked food, a log fire and again, a warm welcome.

LogotinyCarsofstarsMonday morning was spent largely at two museums. The Cars of the Stars in Keswick was a bit of a disappointment and possibly not the best destination for two eight-year-old girls, even if we did love seeing Chitty and Del Boy’s pulling wagon.  The Pencil Museum was a whole different story – we enjoyed every minute as Emily and Melissa went on a treasure hunt then took part in a workshop by a visiting artist. We rounded off our trip with lunch here. It looks smashing doesn’t it? The food was great, if a little expensive, but judging by how packed it was, nobody seemed to mind.

Find the Cumbria Tourist Board here.

The Making of Miss Potter

Highside Farm location:

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