Sunday, 5 February 2017

Stunning Autumn Colours at Sizergh Castle

Moving onto Wednesday of our stay in Silverdale.

Every old village worth its salt in days of old had a set of stocks and Beetham still has its set sitting on the village green.  

Here I had asked Jerry to sit down and try them out for size so that I could take a picture. You can clearly tell from his face the answer was something like "You must be joking!"

Beetham village is a lovely little place and has its fair share of quaint cottages.

A post office and tea rooms both of which were closed on the day we visited. 

It also has a come-and-have-a-look-inside church. The beautiful St. Michael & All Angels church is a Grade 1 listed building, parts of which date back to the 11th and 12th centuries. It's a shame I had to cut the tower off in this picture but I couldn't get both all of Maureen and all of the tower so I went with all of Maureen. However, there's a much better picture of the church in this post.

Next up was a visit to Sizergh Castle.  William and I both love this place and have spent many happy hours here.  There are several marked walks to take from the car park, most of which we have done.

But on this day the focus was on the stunning autumn garden.

The colours were jaw droppingly gorgeous!

Just for the heck of it here is that same garden in March 2015.  The difference between spring and autumn. Incredible isn't it?

Our next port of call was  Low Sizergh Barn just a short spell down the road.  We made our way there and were just in time to see the cows squashed together in the barn queueing up for milking.  This poor cow was definitely one of the more squashed ones!

Thursday morning Sylvia made her farewell but not before we had a walk round the campsite...

... and snapped a couple of pictures...

..for posterity.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Autumn in Silverdale 2016

In my last few posts I have chronicled our happy trip to Cornwall with Maureen and Jerry. Well, I haven't done with their visit home yet as I still have our five day break in Silverdale, Cumbria to get down on this blog for posterity.  So without further ado, here goes.

Returning from Cornwall we all had a two day breather at home before reloading the car, collecting Maureen, Jerry and Jean and heading north.  Our base in Silverdale was Holgates Caravan Park.  The idea to stay in a caravan was mine.  Of course everybody agreed to it but ultimately if it turned out to be a bad idea I would shoulder the blame!  I knew the site and the area well.  The site has high standards in everything and Silverdale is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  However, I admit to a couple of sleepless nights after I had booked the caravan.  Would it be big enough for six adults?  Would it be comfortable? Mainly would it be warm enough for visitors from the southern USA who had left behind temperatures in the 80s and 90s?  And my sister, Jean, who isn't in the best of health at the moment, would it be warm enough for her?

Thankfully all my worries faded away.. 

 .. when I stepped foot inside the van to find it was big, spotlessly clean, had a spacious living area, a good sized shower room and a further separate toilet. Moreover the heating was on and the whole van was toasty warm and cosy.  Phew!

Naturally, after unpacking the first thing to do was relax with a nice cup of tea.  The weather was pleasant enough to sit outside and enjoy it.  This holiday was to be all about taking it easy, strolling here and there, enjoying the scenery and filling our lungs with fresh autumn air.  Mostly it was simply about enjoying each other's company.

Tuesday morning we were joined by our sweet cousin, Sylvia, who had driven up from the Peak District to spend the next couple of nights with us.  We had arranged to meet her in lovely, sunny Arnside.

We were so lucky with the  weather.  October 2016 turned out to be one of the driest on record for the last 65 years.

After strolling around Arnside it was time for morning coffee at one of my favourite places in this neck of the woods, The Wolf House Gallery.

Fortified by coffee and cakes we were ready for more wandering.  This is Gibraltar Farm campsite.  For peace and tranquillity I think this site would be hard to beat.

Very photogenic windswept trees in the bottom field.

The men take in the view.

Gibraltar Farm is a working farm and as we passed the open cow barn it was a treat to see all the new calves.  I think they are beautiful creatures.  Those big doleful eyes.  What's not to love?

Four happy wanderers, their faces dappled by the sunshine coming through the trees.

We wandered off the beaten track and just went where the paths led us.

Making our way back up the hill through the bracken back towards Gibraltar Farm and ultimately our base at Holgates which was only a ten minute or so drive away.

Like I said this holiday was all about taking it easy and I think at the end of every day we could sit back and safely say - mission accomplished.

Until next time,

Monday, 19 December 2016

The Last One of Cornwall 2016 - Lanhydrock

Before we set off on our trip to Cornwall I asked my sweet cousin, Sylvia, if there was anywhere she would recommend we visit during our stay in her cosy little cottage. Lanhydrock was one of her suggestions and so visit Lanhydrock we did.  After visiting it I would heartily recommend it too.

I would say Lanhydrock is one of the best properties under the National Trust's umbrella that I have had the pleasure to visit.

A very impressive gateway..

...leads through to the very impressive main house beyond.

Jerry and Billy reading the house's family's war service history.

We all loved the gardens.  My eye was taken by this huge and healthy yucca plant.  I didn't know that was what it was but Maureen did and she told me.  So if it's not a yucca I'm blaming her.  I'm sure she was right though.

53 rooms are open to the public.  This is the nursery which along with the kitchens are the rooms I enjoyed the most.

A cute little toy on one of the shelves.  Adorable.

Looking out of one of the windows the church was a lovely sight.

Virginia Creeper, just turning colour.  I love this stuff.

After all the tromping round the house and gardens it was time to put the nosebags on. Lunch was had in the converted stables.  See Jerry, smiling sweetly, up there?

Autumn was beginning to show her colours.

On the  way out now.

And back through that imposing entrance way.  We had spent a good long afternoon looking round this grand property and were so glad that Sylvia had recommended it for us. Definitely a special place, full of history and tales of a bygone age.

So, that ends my posts from Cornwall.  To say we had had a good time is an understatement. We had packed a lot into a short time and made some happy memories but there was more to come.  After a weekend at home we had another trip planned and waiting to unfold for us. This time a trip north to Silverdale in Cumbria. 

Until next time,

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Cornwall 2016 - Fowey

Fowey is a very special place.  I've only visited it a couple of times but I have loved both those visits. The name Fowey, is pronounced to rhyme with joy, and appropriately that's what William, Maureen, Jerry and I had the afternoon we spent in Fowey - a joy filled time.

For me Fowey is all about the waterfront.  There's so much to look at.  The boats bobbing about, the wooded hillside and the homes peppering the far side.  What a view those home owners have every day!

Picturesque to say the least.

This is the town side, where we spent the afternoon wandering around, in and out of the shops and up and down the little tight streets.  After which thirst drove us to one of those waterfront pubs...

... where we quenched our thirst ...

... enjoyed the tranquil view and rested for a while as twilight fell.

Time was marching on by now and we needed to attack the steep hills back to the car park.

It was uphill all the way.

This picture makes me smile.  Jerry and Billy are manfully soldiering on while Maureen, down there at the bottom, hand on  hip, takes a breather. :-)  It was definitely a good old slog back up those hills!

But once at the top there were more fantastic views to reward our efforts.

Twilight and autumn colours made memories of this day so special.  Oh, and the fact that we got well and truly lost between Polperro and Fowey.  That is far too long a story to go into but the four of us remember it well I'm sure!

Maureen takes a last lingering look over...

..this incredibly beautiful Cornish scenery and the setting sun.

The sky was ablaze with colour as we arrived at the car park.  A fitting close to a long and happy day spent in Polperro and Fowey.

Before the day was truly over, back at the cottage there was time for Rummikub, nibbles and a tipple or two before we climbed the wooden hill to bed.