Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside…

A sunny, warm day off. What’s a soul to do?

Gather the family and head to the coast.  As we’d not been there in a while, we headed down to Seascale via the scenic Cold Fell route.

We arrived to this view from the car park.

Standing on the path, I looked to my left.

And then to the right.

Best Beloved and the dogs wasted no time at all; they put feet to sand first.  As usual, I lag behind, admiring wildflowers and snapping photographs.

There’s a dip in the ‘pier’.  When the tide is high, the paler portion is under water.

Walking south along the beach, you can see Black Combe in the distance.

BB and the dogs have been playing a joyous game of fetch on the packed sand. (And through the rock pools.)

A very happy spaniel.  Is it just me, or is she smiling?

And this fella, this westie, he is in his element.

What a backdrop for this beach walk.  Zoom in on the photo below and you’ll see the Scafel Pike, the highest mountain in England at 3,209 feet / 978m.

On a much smaller scale, a factoid: in the south-west of England, rocks covered with seaweed are called ore-stones. I wonder if there is a Cumbrian term for them?

The tide began to turn, and the dog’s were due for a drink. Time to walk back to Seascale.

We indulge in an ice cream cone from Mawson’s Ice Cream Parlour.

Happily, they’ve placed a bowl of fresh water outside for the dogs .  BB and I take turns going inside for our treats.

Mawson’s always have imaginative flavours. Among the Snickers, Honeycomb Crunch, and Strawberry Cheesecake, we find Unicorn.  Thank you, Internet.

I chose Panacotta & Forest Fruits. It was a good choice – gentle dairy sweetness balanced with sharp berries. BB had a double scoop, both the Panacotta & Forest Fruits and some Strawberry Cheesecake.

My cone crumbled a bit, but it was delicious.

Song filled drive to the coast – check. Relaxing sound of waves and fresh coastal breezes – check. Sandy and wet game of fetch – check.  Ice cream eaten on a bench in the sunshine – check.

Memories made.

Goals met, we jumped into the car and started the journey home.

What are your favourite beach memories?

Peace,

Herdy Girl

 

Short walk in Lanthwaite Wood

The weather today is predicted to be quite changeable, so we headed out this morning to walk off a little of yesterday’s cream tea. Let us not waste the sunshine!

We’ve walked a lot of open hillside recently, so decide to go to Lanthwaite Wood for a change. This walk is part of the Lake District National Park’s ‘Miles Without Stiles’.

01 Lanthwaite Wood Parking
The car park is Pay & Display.  Free to National Trust members.

Today, we parked in the National Trust car park at the edge of the wood. Very convenient.

Said National Trust have provided signage with general information.

So you know where you are, if not where you’re going.

The dogs were excited to go somewhere different.  Lots of new smells.

They shot off ahead; I dawdled behind.

I love it when a forest or wood pulls you into it’s silence. I don’t know about you, but these moments give me back a little of my childhood wonder.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one to the waterside.

Trees, ferns, sunlight dappling your path. And then you are suddenly on the shingled beach at the head of Crummock Water. Or is it the foot?  One or the other!

05 Lanthwaite at Crummock
A young lad admiring the cold water and clear views.

Our two dogs don’t mind the water, but they’re not the kind who are difficult to keep out of it. They’re happy to putter along in the shallows.

There were other smiling folk enjoying a sunny moment – a lovely lady who drove an hour to walk her collie and enjoy the lakes, a young family with picnic and pups, and a chattering group of people possibly headed toward the western shore.

06 Lanthwaite at Crummock
Not a bad view at all.

The walk to this beach is quite easy. From here, there are plenty of choices for setting out further. Should you turn right, you’ll come to the source of the River Cocker.  There are some lovely walks that way, toward Loweswater and the Kirkstile Inn, or Melbreak and Scale Force.

We head off the other way, along the eastern shore of Crummock Water.

A place to rest, should you be weary.

There are plenty of resting or picnicking spots along this walk.  It’s quite civilized.  The bench in the photo above has a lovely view across Crummock.

This view would have to make your picnic taste better…

We’re not stopping today, though. Just passing through.

Quick trot down to the old boathouse. It was the bumpiest part of the path.

The sun is really shining. Beautiful. The heather is just starting to bloom on the heights; soon purple will tinge the fells.

If only you could smell the clear air and hear the gentle lap of water on the shore.

10 Lanthwaite Wood toward Melbreak
Sunny Melbreak.

This is our turning point today. Across the water, past the boathouse, you can see the beach we were on earlier, right of centre in the photo below.

11 Lanthwaite Wood toward 1st beach
Looking toward Scale Hill and Low Fell.

Were we to continue along the eastern shore, we’d leave Lanthwaite Wood and enter High Wood with it’s towering conifers. Not for today, though. Best Beloved wants to get back home while the sun is still out – he claims that he wants to work in the garden.

So, we head back to the car park.

How did I miss this beauty on the way to the boathouse?

The dogs are a tad slower on the route back – don’t know if they are a little weary or if they wanted to explore more… Actually, it could be that they are super relaxed.  That’s certainly how I feel.

13 Lanthwaite Wood
Love this motley wee crew.

Walking behind BB and the dogs, I keep an eye out for Red Squirrels. It’s a bit late in the morning for them to be about; probably too many visitors, too. But I remain hopeful.

Plenty of flora to enjoy, as well as a slowly-decaying pile of logs – presumably part of the National Trust’s forest management. They look as though they may be home to all sorts of woodland creatures.

14 Lanthwaite Wood
Mossy pile of logs or pile of mossy logs?

It doesn’t take long to get two humans and two small dogs safely situated back in the car. We’re soon tootling up yonder road.

I feel fortunate to spend time in this lovely part of the world.

The Road Ahead

Lest you think that the sun always shines here, please note that an hour after we’d returned home, the weather had altered considerably.

Shrouded in mist
Descending mist and cloud

And a slightly different viewpoint, across Crummock Water, shows that today’s weather can be confirmed as ‘changeable’.  Indeed.

A cloudier Melbreak!

Sunny or cloudy, life is still good.

Peace,

Herdy Girl

National Cream Tea Day 2017

Today is Friday and, more importantly, it is National Cream Tea Day here in Britain. Though it is only a minor holiday, I feel that failing to celebrate it would be rude.

The precise origin of the cream tea is unknown and disputed, especially between the two most south-westerly counties in England, Devon and Cornwall. Historians in Devon claim to have found proof of monks serving bread with clotted cream and strawberry jam amongst the eleventh century manuscripts of Tavistock’s Benedictine Abbey. Definitive proof?  I think not.

I’m of the mind that, in a land blessed with good dairy cream and glistening berries, the combination of baked goods with cream and preserved fruit was eaten long before someone thought to write down the fact.

Besides, look at the variations between cream teas: Whipped double cream or clotted cream? Fruited or plain scone? Jam first (Cornwall) or cream first (Devon)? What type of jam? Tea in cups or tea in mugs?

Oh my…  There isn’t even agreement on how to pronounce the word ‘scone’. Should it rhyme with ‘gone’ or with ‘throne’?  A study by Cambridge University tells us that if you’re from The North (orange) it’s the former, which is the pronunciation I notice used by most Cumbrians.

Map showing that British pronunciation of scone is probably related purely to geographical location, as released by Cambridge University.
Image: Cambridge University

Some folk in Cornwall would say a cream tea should only be enjoyed with a traditional sweet bun called a Cornish Split, not a scone at all.   (See! It’s almost as contentious as barbecue!)

At least aficionados can all agree on one thing – Cream Teas are delicious. Make that two things – it has to be served with tea. (This is where Tavistock’s 11th century claim really fails. No tea. Sorry, Devon.)

In honour of this most delicious day, Best Beloved and I are heading to one of our favourite local spots, Syke Farm Tea Room, also home to the delectable handmade Buttermere Ayrshires Ice Creams.  (Post code CA13 9XA.)

Syke Farm, in scenic Buttermere.

Syke Farm is a working farm in Buttermere, and is owned and run by a local family.  At milking time you can watch the red-brown and white Ayrshire cows (of ice cream fame) going to the barn to be milked. And there are sure to be farm dogs around and about. Or sheep. Or chickens.

A convenient stop for walkers and day-trippers.

They offer seating inside and out. Today was a bit cloudy, so we chose inside and upstairs.

It has been a long week, and we’re ready for a relaxed bit of caloric intake!

Our view before the room filled.

Syke Farm Tearoom is dog friendly, has a wood-burning stove downstairs, and serves a good selection for breakfast, lunch and in-between times.  And the ice cream selection is ever-changing and really good.

They’re often busy, but always friendly.

They even let me take a fresh-from-the-oven photo!

Ahhh, the cream tea.  Not afternoon tea.  That is an altogether different affair requiring dainty sandwiches and pastries.  No, not today.

Today, this:

Today’s cream tea is a lightly fruited scone, clotted cream, raspberry jam, and a bright cup of loose-leaf tea.

Clotted Cream is made by heating whole milk, then letting it rest until cooled clots of cream collect on the surface and the liquid drains away. It’s considered clotted cream once there is a golden crust above and thick, silky cream below. You’ll find it rich and almost-buttery.

Testing Devon vs Cornwall styled scones.

I do have a personal preference for my cream teas. Plain scone. Cream on bottom, if clotted, or on top, if whipped.  As for jam I like something with a sweet-tartness, say damson or a sharp raspberry.

Personal partialities aside, both BB and I really enjoy the cream teas at Sykes Farm Tearoom. Especially when there is a sofa free to lounge upon, as we swirl the cares of the world away with tea and scones.  Happy days.

My half of the scone. Nearly finished off!

Right.  Cream tea enjoyed, now we’ve got to do a bit of moving about.

Happy Cream Tea Day!

Peace,

Herdy Girl

 

Walking up Robinson

What do you do when you live in the Lake District and you dog-sit a 15 month old Border Collie?

You take her up the hills and mountains, known locally as the fells. Especially when the weather is not too hot and not too cold.  (Not too wet makes it even better.)

Above Buttermere

While enjoyable, walking around our local loop is insufficient exercise for a young Border Collie. These dogs were bred to work sheep all day, and this particular collie comes from a local farm whose sheep range far across the surrounding fells.

She is athletic with a huge amount of energy.  Smart, too.

I (Herdy Girl) am not fit enough (yet!) to walk up a big fell, and I’m a big scared baby when it comes to heights. So, Best Beloved took to the hills and reported back:

I parked along the road just above Buttermere, near St. James church.  The walk up High Snockrigg (not Snotrigg!) is quite steep. It will test your cardiovascular fitness. The next bit is boggy, Buttermere Moss. The weather is pretty dry at the moment, but I was up to almost the top of my boots in sogginess a couple of times.

Persevere, though. The views ahead are worth it!

From High Snockrigg: across Rannerdale Knotts, toward Crummock Water and Melbreak. Buttermere Village in the bottom left corner.

Looking down from High Snockrigg and Robinson, you really understand why this is called the Lake District.  Buttermere to the left, Crummock Water to the right with Loweswater in the distance beyond. And, in the other direction, you can see  distant Derwent Water.

Overlooking Newlands Valley toward Keswick.  Newlands is one of three local mountain passes.

The weather started to turn, so we retraced our steps down Robinson, across Buttermere Moss, and then down steep High Snockrigg.

Altogether it was about a seven mile journey with roughly 2700 feet of climb. An all round good walk.

I’m exhausted, but the collie is just about warmed up!

Where to next? View from the top of Robinson toward Honister Pass.

My enduring thanks to BB for taking our canine guest out for a good, tiring run.  She’s currently snuggled up behind his chair, napping.

I suspect BB will be nodding off any minute now!

Peace,

Herdy Girl

Saturday Scene for 17 June 2017

Capturing snippets of Saturdays… going to call it Saturday Scenes. Could be all sorts.  This is a good start.

Midmorning Walk with this girl. Beautiful weather. Hardly a soul about.

Mind you, she’s looking at me as if to say, ‘Good grief woman, can we get this photo stuff over with and get back to the serious business of fetching the stick?’

Onward and upward!