Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Watery Reflections

Watery reflections, filigree trees and wintry hedgerows created a wonderful backdrop to our first few days in England. After a quick shop for warm socks and jerseys and a much needed sleep after our long haul flight, we headed off to Newby Bridge where Julia and Tom moor their boat, the Niaad. The Lake District really is the prettiest part of the country and each season has its own beauty. We arrived late afternoon as the sun was low in the sky and birds made their way to nest overnight. After a quick visit to the boat to enjoy a glass of champers and the view, we headed indoors to our overnight nest - The Lyndhurst. Chris and Les welcomed us here with a welcome cuppa and home made mince pies. Tom and Tony - self appointed mince pie connoisseurs, rated them a well deserved eight and we wolfed them down while planning our three days of country capers!

These included - a lovely morning at Windermere mooching around the High Street and enjoying the views, Afternoon Tea at Lakeside (which won Best Hotel or 2012) and the afternoon tea was an award winning experience too. It had everything an afternoon tea should have - crisp linen, a variety of teas, fresh sandwiches, scones with homemade jam and thick cream and a delicious array of cakes (seven each to be precise) and all served in a beautiful setting with a view over Lake Windermere. The hotel itself was wearing its festive best and after tea we sank into soft chairs in the lounge and could have nodded off but the grandfather clock chimed six and reminded us to make our way back to Lyndhurst. There was no need of dinner that night - we just snacked on the remains of our tea - enjoyed with a glass of wine!

Next morning the sun was shining and we celebrated by enjoying a walk along the banks of the River Leven enjoying the bird life and country scenes - Just beautiful and serene - my camera went into overdrive! After waiting for a steam train that didn't arrive, we set off for Grassmere where gingerbread is a speciality! A quiet walk around the quaint village was interrupted by children singing so we investigated the nearest church where local children were practicing for that evening's performance of 'A Christmas Carol.' What a touching treat to hear them sing carols and recite the story all dressed in Victorian costumes. We dragged ourselves away in search of the Ginger Bread Shop just left past the home of William Wordsworth - the recipe is over a century old and the gingerbread magic - It disappeared in no time LOL!
On the scenic drive back we caught the sun going down at Waters Head, Ambleside and I jumped out to take these photos - Just a lovely finish to the day out!

Before going home we enjoyed a quick visit to Cartmel - the site of an ancient priory and the quaintest little village which just happens to be the 'home of sticky pudding'. We enjoyed hot soup as we walked the cobbled streets enjoying the Christmas wreaths and decorations.

That night we enjoyed a meal at the Newby Bridge with Christmas crackers, sherry and a cracking fire. The Lake District is a little piece of heaven on earth and the Lyndhurst is the perfect place to explore it from. Sadly we had to pack and make our way back to the north west to make ready for the Festive season. We will be packing our cases again in a day or two to visit London and Carols by Candlelight at the Royal Albert Hall.

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