We are now back from a great week in the Lake District. We took the caravan to Lake Windermere, where we stayed at Fallbarrow in Bowness. This is a great site, right on the lakes edge, with all the touring pitches divided by hedges and each with their own water, electricty & TV supply plus drainage. Our pitch on RogerGround was very handy for the shower block and only a stones throw from the lake itself.
The dogs were as good as gold and behaved themselves beautifully all week, despite the number of ducks and swans they saw every time we took them for their walks down to the lake. They even got to go on the top deck of an open top bus between Bowness and Ambleside and then back down the lake on a steamer, which was a real adventure for them!
We did a fair bit of touring round the area. Went out to the coast and saw Barrow in Furness and Grange over Sands on the first day. Wasn't particularly impressed with that part of the Cumbrian coast to be honest, although Barrow was interesting for it's industrial heritage and shipbuilding. There are still large docks there and they are still building submarines there.
Our next trip was over to Coniston Water and round the lake there. This is where Donald Campbell was killed in 1967 trying to beat the world water speed record in Bluebird. It is also the setting for Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons books. The water was very tranquil and smooth and the scenery very prety. Most of the houses in this area are built from the local granite, some of which are a lovely greeny colour and have no evidence of mortar between the rocks, so they appear to be dry stoned, like all the field walls in the Lake District.
On a couple of evenings we pootled into Bowness which is literally a couple of minutes from the entrance to Fallbarrow, and even I could manage to walk to the town centre easily, despite my bad back! We strolled round checking out all the pretty shops and restaurants, and then went for a drink in the Albert pub. We spotted a nice looking restaurant called the Postillion which we bookmarked for dinner on Friday.
Friday was our big touring day, when we covered the most ground and really saw the Lake District properly. Altogether we visited 9 lakes including Grasmere, Thirlmere,
Buttermere, Bassenthwaite, Crummock Water, Derwent Water, Ullswater (my favourite!), Brothers Water & back to Windermere. We took a look at the towns of Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith and wended our way up and down through Honister Pass and Kirkstone Pass. We stopped for lunch in Buttermere and I had a lovely Brie & Bacon baguette with chips in the Bridge Hotel's bar.
Later that evening we walked the very short distance into Bowness and tried our luck at the Postillion Restaurant we had found earlier in the week. Unfortunately we had neglected to book a table and were told to come back at 9pm (an hour & a half later!). Not fancying having to eat so late we looked for an alternative and found a lovely little family run Italian Restaurant called the Villa Positano hidden just off Ash Street. This turned out to be a real find as the food and atmosphere was great. Despite our not having a reservation they found us a table and service was excellent.(Having read reviews for this restaurant on the web since returning home, I think we were very lucky to get in at all!). I had calamari provencale (squid in a tomato, onion & garlic sauce) followed by pappardele pasta with chicken livers in a white wine and chili sauce, both were delicious, and followed it all up with tiramisu. And not too expensive either.
Saturday morning we leisurely packed up the van and pulled off site just before 12. Had a pleasant journey home in the sunshine and 4 hours later arrived at the farm we keep our caravan in storage. This is a CASSOA Gold site and the security is excellent, so we never have to worry about having it stolen or vandalised.
Twenty minutes later we were home and remembered to switch off the burglar alarm as we went into the house. Much as I like going away and visiting new places, I like coming home to the comfort of my own bed even better!