Saturday, 27 August 2011

Ferries, paddling and ghosts

04 ‎July ‎2011

Double excitement for Sal, this was the start of her holiday in the Lakes and also the first time we had travelled there together. There was great giddiness in Bingley that morning as I picked up her and her accompanying luggage. The thought occurred to me that maybe a transit van would have been more appropriate as I stuffed bag after bag in the boot of the car.

Off we tootled along the A65 and as usual, the major discussion point was which pub we were going to stop at for out first liquid break. As we were going across Windermere, the easiest option seemed to be the Sawrey Hotel at Far Sawrey. We somehow got on to the subject of old TV programs and especially It's a Knockout. A certain person only had it on her IPod and proceeded to play it which as a result had us both singing along merrily. Lets just say the theme tune to It's A Knockout will always be associated with our journey over!

The giddiness level of a certain person increased dramatically as we boarded the ferry across Windermere. She was straight out and snapping away with the camera. We pulled in on the far side of Windermere and both of us took a few photos of the Marina and then sped off the few miles to the Sawrey Hotel with it's stable block as a bar, a place seeped with history and legend.

Oh I forgot, first of all before we ventured anywhere, our Sal had to dip her feet and have a paddle in Lake Windermere.

Back to the Sawrey Hotel, legend has it that a ghost, a monk from Furness Abbey in Medieval times, whose mission was the rescue of a fallen woman haunts The Sawrey Hotel. He apparently fell in love with one who rejected him and he went mad, dying, crying his anguish on the heights of Claife, which his ghost has haunted ever since. On one occasion, the ferryman mistook his cry for a call, and he went out for his fare. When he returned, his hair had turned white and he never spoke again.

We had a nice drink in the sunshine and explored the Claife Crier Bar before heading off towards Coniston. We took a slight detour to
Hodge Close Quarry which is just one of many slate workings in the Tilberthwaite Valley, between Langdale and Coniston. It was worked on a large scale from the 19th century to small scale in the early 1960s.
It is a massive excavation of light green coloured slate, sheer-sided and unfenced, with an original worked depth from ground level of about 300 feet. More photo opportunities was then followed by a laze in the sun.

Our last port of call was the Sun Inn in Coniston. Sal had been telling me about this place for ages and she really wanted me to pay a visit with her. I was a bit reluctant but she twisted my arm up my back so I couldn't refuse.

There can be no better way to finish a day than sitting in a beer garden in the sunshine overlooking the Lakeland Fells and having a good old laugh and a natter.

As we drove down the track to the campsite Sal was telling me about the herons which are usually there and as if on cue, they appeared over our heads. Sal let out a scream of delight, this moment was the perfect ending to a perfect day for her.

We made arrangements to meet up later in the week and I took Sal down into Coniston to meet up with her parents and to begin her holiday. We'd both had a great day.

A journey of two halves.

It was one of those all too frequent occasions when the weather forecast had a big wad of thick cloud and rain hanging over Cumbria whilst ...