Fun Times, Fifty Year Friendships and Forager Fez
Alison was gifted an “experience” voucher for her big birthday in January, which she’d used to book a Foraging Day in Whinlatter forest for the two of us.
It seemed like a good opportunity to grab a week in the Lakes, so we booked Ale Cottage in Ireby near Cockermouth. It’s about 2 hours from home and we took the chance to call into Tebay Services for lunch. I’ve got to say that the standards seemed to have slipped since we last popped in. The food was distinctly average and the level of service was less than ideal. The views, though, were as great as ever.
We were soon at the cottage and settled in – even popping next door to the Red Lion for a quick pint.
We headed to Cockermouth to walk Ralf beside the river, with the Castle on high above us, then wandered into town to find almost all the shops and cafes shut. The town’s looking a bit run down, probably reflecting the fact that it’s off the main tourist routes in the Lake District.
We headed out of town towards the coast – our house has just gone on the market and we’d spotted a property for sale, in the small village of Mawbray, north of Maryport. It wasn’t suitable, so we headed back into Maryport for a quick walk around – the fishing boats were preparing to go to sea and I’ll be honest, I didn’t envy them their journey.
We drove to Keswick on Monday. It’s the town we used to visit from Teesside when I was a boy and it holds lots of happy memories for me.
There’s a great walk from Keswick to Threlkeld along a disused railway line that was ideal for Ralf. The last time I’d been along it I was with two friends, cycling the Coast 2 Coast route from Workington to Newcastle (10 years after we’d done it from Whitehaven to Sunderland).
It was perfect on a blustery, showery day and all of us really enjoyed it.
Time for another Castle on Tuesday as we drove to Carlisle in the rain.
Eventually the sunshine arrived and we could take Ralf for a run off the lead in Bitts Park.
After a quick look at the map we headed to Port Carlisle and a trip along the Solway Coast
Wednesday brought heavy drizzle, so we chilled in the morning, before heading to the nearby village of Caldbeck, just as the sun emerged. Alison found a perfect walk along Whelpo Beck to a Bobbin Mill. We saw Flycatchers, Dippers and Whitethroats and stopped to chat with the only 4 people we met whilst walking.
Suprise View is on the drive back to Ashness Bridge, giving spectacular views over Derwentwater and beyond.