We slept onboard the Niaid (Julia and Tom's 33ft Cabin Cruiser) which is moored on the Levan river at Newby Bridge.
The river is at the South end of Lake Windermere and the boat is moored at the Swan Hotel which was a favourite destination of my parents when we were young and 'days out' were part of the school holidays. On one visit my parents were inside the hotel enjoying a drink and we were left on the car park with pop and crisps and the river and for entertainment. Half way home my younger brothers owned up to having emptied all the tables set outside of the glasses which they had packed into our boot. too late to go back we spent the rest of our childhood drinking from glasses with 'The Swan Hotel' written on them!
A trip to the village of Cartmel
Cartmel is 15 minutes drive away and the most beautiful little village built around a 12th century priory. The priory was filled with fresh flowers as a wedding had just taken place and there was an organ recital in progress. It had such a calm and spiritual atmosphere and it was manned by some really helpful and friendly volunteers more than willing to answer questions. Two of them invited us into their home Park Cottage as we strolled by he following day - how friendly is that?
Cartmel is also the home of sticky toffee pudding - Guess what we had for dessert that night?
As we walked into the sticky toffee pudding shop there were two ladies who when asked by the assistant if they needed help replied, 'We are looking for two men,' this caused a lot of mirth as they were at least 70 and were looking for their husbands - who were probably across the road viewing the racecourse.
A Family Picnic
On Sunday my niece Claire brought Aunty Gladys through for a picnic. It was pouring down in the morning and we considered cancelling but they had already set off. We were sat in the Swan hotel - where Aunty G had spent many happy hours with her late husband and our parents - making contingency plans, when the rain stopped, the sky cleared and the sun put its hat on. We sat by the banks of the river and enjoyed a lovey picnic in the bright sunshine - just perfect!
A game of ludo
Ludo is a game that the family have enjoyed since Nan Westwell introduced it to us even before we started school so it has become a tradition for Julia and I to have a Ludo evening at least once when on holiday. We played it on the boat with a vodka and coke (Nan would definitely not approve) and the usual knocking back and 'cheating' was enjoyed. shouting S (E)IX every time you throw one is compulsory and I can only imagine what the other boat owners thought when I rolled eight on the trot followed by much laughing. It was all in vain though and Julia is still the undisputed Ludo Champ!
The Lake District has to be the most beautiful place on earth. Walking along the banks of the river and seeing the hawthorn, lilac, buttercups, wild flowers nestled in the woodlands, sheep with lambs on the distant hills, birdsong and the call of water birds also added to my delight. On cue a swan sailed under the bridge towards the weir and met up with a lone heron that was wading there. The swan called out and then gracefully slid over the edge and continued on her journey down stream. A weekend to remember! I took some lovely photos and cant wait to scrapbook them!