It rained buckets overnight and this morning our babbling brook looked more like a raging torrent.
By early afternoon the skies had brightened somewhat so we decided it was time to do a bit of sightseeing. We resisted a trip into Keswick (our favourite town) and instead headed off in the direction of Windermere. The colours of the hills have to be seen to be believed, even in still-greyish conditions.
The first stretch of water we encountered was Thirlmere, which is not strictly a lake but a reservoir – built from the two original lakes in the late 19th century in order to supply much needed water to Manchester through a pipeline – it apparently takes 24 hours to travel the distance. We parked Bessie and walked along a winding path between the water and a lightly wooded slope which was studded with bluebells.
Newly born lambs scampered with their mothers:
Meanwhile Bessie was waiting patiently with her new best friend, the Yorkshire Dales ice cream van.
And yes, we did sample the delights of the orange van – chocolate chip cones – nice but not as good as the Italian ice cream bought last year in Keswick. That’s for tomorrow! 🙂
Travelling onwards beside the water we came upon a strange castle-like edifice, complete with what looks like a royal coat of arms. Later on, upon investigation, we discovered that this Victorian folly was in fact a well-disguised pumping station!
We headed on towards Windermere and noticed the increase in hotels and guest houses along the way but the scenery is really magnificent.
At Grasmere is the Dove Cottage museum devoted to William Wordsworth, complete with tea room. Ambleside is quaint and bustling with people, most of whom were probably tourists. The National Trust look after what must be their smallest property, the 17th century Bridge House built over Stock Beck, which apparently onced housed eight people!
Pelter Bridge at Rydal Water is pretty and fairly typical of the Lake District. We did consider taking Bessie over her but decided against it in the end, not wishing to push our luck!
The weather started to close in again and so we wended our way back to Troutbeck and the campsite. Hopefully, tomorrow will prove brighter than today, although we’re not holding our breath.