Busy Bowness-on-Windermere….

Well storm Erik hit and raged through the night, bringing a lot of rain (the noisy kind!) and howling through the trees but I’m pleased to say apart from the odd little tremor and a couple of twigs hitting the roof we remained snug and safe, mostly sleeping soundly. It remained quite gusty through the morning but died down around lunchtime as we were heading over to Bowness.

We parked up at the south end of town for an outrageous £4 as all the free parking was taken (note to self – don’t come again at the weekend or park outside town and walk!). I had it in my head that you could walk around the Lake, a sort of Coastal Path around the lake and was quite disappointed to find that this is not the case! The town itself would be nice for a mooch, with lots of shops and galleries and more than it’s fair share of cafes and pubs but was much too busy for us.

So headed northwards out of town, frustratingly though the road was busy and with only a narrow footpath, not that pleasant to walk along and only glimpses of Lake Windermere. We soon gave up on the idea and joined the throngs of people wandering along the small bit of frontage where all the ferries and boat trips set off from. Found a quiet bench and I enjoyed a cup of tea and a bun whilst Poppydog twitched away at all the ducks and geese eagerly awaiting being fed.

We did find a stretch of footpath heading south of town a short way to the Ferry, so ambled along there before calling it a day.

Two thoughts of the day:

Having looked at the map, there are quite a few stretches of footpath running along different sections of the shoreline, so next time we will head for one of those.

I think there should be footpaths all the way round the main lakes – don’t you?

A little windy up on Hampsfell…..

Well it was certainly forecast to be wild today and lived up to expectations – to be fair this site appears to be quite sheltered so we haven’t felt the full brunt. Though it rained through the night and into mid morning it remained dry for the rest of the day. We didn’t venture far, parking up in Grange-Over-Sands and instead of walking along the promenade which was our original plan we decided to head up through the park to take a look at Hampsfell Hospice.

Mostly surrounded by woodland, glimpses down to the sea were few.

After a couple of miles uphill (feeling rather unfit!) the woodland gave way to open moorland and then we felt the full brunt of Storm Erik! We battled on to the top and Hampsfell Hospice – a small shelter dating back to the 1830’s to offer respite against extreme weather with a viewing platform on the top.

The entrance was locked and access was chained off, however it was way too windy to even contemplate going up the crude stone steps on the outside to take in the views!

Still with our feet firmly planted on the ground, the views were still pretty amazing.

Across to The Lakes.

And across to Arnside.

Well that 4.5 mile walk certainly blew away any cobwebs we were harbouring!

Two thoughts of the day:

Seems at the moment we are doing quite a good job of dodging all the extreme weather – long may it continue!

Much as I’m not keen on walking in the wind, somehow a walk in the wind feels very refreshing – once you’re back in the warm of course!!

Rainbows over Arnside….

Bit of a showery day today so we spent a fair time planning our adventures in the warmth and comfort of the van. We took a chance mid afternoon and popped into Arnside for a walk and some fresh air.

There was a bit more breeze about so the high tide looked rather more choppy today.

We got away with it as the rain held back and enjoyed the views from up above the village before returning home to continue our quest.

Two thoughts of the day:

Deciding whether to spend two or three weeks in a place takes quite a bit of map searching and time!

Maybe a glass of wine will help!

Back to Arnside….

Mostly grey but thankfully dry day today. We were on a mission today to witness the Arnside Bore, a tidal phenomenon occurring in very few places in the U.K., where the incoming tide forms a wave where the estuary mouth is narrow and this wave pushes its way up against the natural flow of the river. This wave can be anything from a tiny little ripple to a metre high spectacular, depending on the wind, height of tide and amount of recent rainfall. The best time to witness it is a couple of hours prior to a high Springtide, which today was not, but we set off to arrive in Arnside a couple of hours prior to high tide, ever hopeful!

Well we watched and watched as we walked along the shore, but the water stayed obstinately calm and flat – I guess it was just a ripple then? Still we enjoyed the walk along the shore beyond New Barns,

With the tide forcing us inland just before Blackstone Point

Though we were able to scramble back down onto the beach between here and Arnside Point

I did also give Poppydog some freedom as there was no one else about and she was soon splattering about in all the wet marshland chasing everything and nothing.

From here the footpath took us up into Arnside Park a large area of woodland and we continued along the shoreline.

We eventually arrived at Far Arnside, a pretty stony beach (the sand all being hidden under the tide) where Poppydog chased stones and I took awhile to enjoy.

From here we made our way back to Arnside village along a series of lanes, passing Arnside Tower in the way.

OK so mission not accomplished, but we will try again and in the meantime we have had a lovely 7 mile circular walk.

Two thoughts of the day:

21st of Feb is apparently one of the two highest tides of the year so, guess where we will be?

Well my plan to eat an apple a day has thus far failed! Tomorrow!

A wet walk around Sizergh Castle….

No sunshine for us today, a grey start but by lunchtime the rain had set in and was here to stay. Well the hound still needed walking and I didn’t want the rain to ruin a day on the beach, so we set off for a nearby NT property – Sizergh Castle. Not surprisingly, apart from the cafe which was doing a roaring trade, we didn’t meet anyone else as we took a walk around the castle grounds.

At first we followed various trails leading up to Helsington Church, which is in the middle of nowhere and originally built by a local farmer – not a very attractive church but with some pretty stained glass over the altar.

Opposite the church is a viewing point, from where many of the peaks of the Lake District would be visible – not today though!

We did venture up a bit higher towards Helsington Barrows but the rain was coming down, ever heavier so we decided to head back for a look around the castle. The snowdrops are out – spring is on its way!

Unfortunately dogs are not allowed in the formal gardens, so we made do with a soggy walk around the parklands – ok its a Castle – now let’s get out of the rain!

Two thoughts of the day:

This rain is clearing all the snow off the peaks – what a shame!

I think I prefer rambling, crumbling old castles than beautifully manicured restored ones.