Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Lake District and beyond...

We travelled out of Whitby on the A174 which is probably one of the most beautiful roads in England to drive along, especially in the evening sun. According to locals, at times of heavy snow the road gets closed off which is easy to understand as there are no walls either side of the road! It is literally like driving over open fields. We drove into Keswick as the sun was going down to find our hotel. We had desperately tried to find more rural accomodation, tempted by tranquility and beautiful views but because of the time of year everything was booked-up. Keswick was surprisingly full and noisy on a Saturday night and we were woken up at least four times throughout the night, which although very unlike our normal partying selves, was not expected or appreciated. 

It is definitely worth taking time out to visit this vast expanse of countryside. We reckon it would have been brilliant to stay somewhere like The Cottage in the Wood or Willow Cottage with its herb and flower gardens. Rural is certainly the way forward in the lakes. Up earlier than anyone else in our hotel the next day (we thought the keeno walkers would have already trekked halfway up a mountain and eaten their lunch by this point...), not really up for a big walk but totally full of good intentions to go and do a "watercolour challenge" up in the hills, we were greeted by stormy clouds and it proceeded to absolutely piss down so we chickened out and bought the local Gazette to try and work out what to do. Who would have thought we would have to choose between a chilli festival, a sandcastle competition and a Quaker tapestry exhibition? So we took the scenic drive from Keswick to Kendal on which we spotted one for Lauren's sister and any other avid poetry lovers; Dove Cottage where Wordsworth wrote much of his poetry and is now a gallery and museum. After passing Lakes Thirlmere and Windermere, we arrived in Kendal and tried the Quaker Tapestry Exhibition. Not knowing it was closed on a Sunday, we managed to piss-off the Quaker crew as they were having a little meeting and were not that impressed by us trying all the doors to get into the exhibition hall (oooops). Anyway with the prospect of the much-awaited Scarecrow Festival going on in Kettlewell that day, we were not about to hang around. 

After Kendal, we passed by a small canal and spotted a sign for a car boot. We had been asking anyone who would listen if they knew of one going on, so it was jackpot for us. After a quick google we worked out that the Borwick's Dock Acres carboot is MASSIVE on bank holiday weekends, six miles to be precise which must be intense! Bargains galore, from job-lots to cheap one-off antiques, everything was basicily 50p which is pretty nuts compared to the prices we are used to. You can look here to find the best of the North and if tempted, make sure you get there early to nab all the best bits.

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