The first May Bank Holiday long weekend 2014 has just been and gone and what a lovely time we had meeting and greeting new guests and welcoming again one of our previous guests. Takuyah first came to visit with us in 2002, our first year at Blenheim Lodge. He had travelled from Japan to the Lake District for the first time during the New Year holidays and was on his lonesome, so we invited him to join us for dinner during New Year. Since then, Takuyah has visited us a few times, and it felt like old times to see him again.
May Bank Holiday long weekend was accompanied by lovely weather, and Takuyah enjoyed visiting old haunts on his own, such as Derwentwater in Keswick, about a 45-minute drive from Blenheim Lodge. However, we promised to take him out if he was still around on Monday, Bank Holiday Monday, since we knew that most everyone would have checked out in the morning, leaving us free to go touring with him later in the afternoon. The evening light does not fade until well after 9 pm now, so we had lots of daylight still when we set off after 3 pm. Takuyah wanted to see Buttermere and Crummock Water. Our route took us via the Newlands Pass and on through Whinlatter Pass to Crummock Water. En-route, we got out of the vehicle to stretch our legs on Newlands Hause, the former’s highest point at 1093 feet.
‘Newlands Pass is a three-mile-long road running along a ledge above the Newlands valley, from the village of Braithwaite, near Keswick, to Buttermere. The highest point is Newlands Hause, 333 metres (1093 feet), where there is a car park, and a short walk to the Moss Beck waterfalls.’ (www.visitcumbria.com/cm/newlands-pass) We saw Buttermere in the distance as we descended the Newlands Pass.
There is an ice cream shop in Buttermere that we wanted to take Takuyah to, but we were just five minutes too late! Quite literally, it was five minutes past 5 o’clock when we drove up to the cafe and saw the ‘closed’ sign, saying that it was closed at 5 pm. Well, onwards and upwards! We took the road to Crummock Water, stopped for Takuyah to take photos, then went back towards Keswick via the Whinlatter Pass. En-route, we drove past a sign for Spout Force, made a u-turn further along the road, and turned back. The sign said that it would be a half-mile walk to Spout Force. So, armed with nothing more than a map and good spirits, we made our way along the footpath which quickly turned rather indistinct – so much so that we were not sure which way to turn when we saw two paths verging away from each other. I walked towards the right to check it out and found myself on rather churned up ground which looked most unlike a path. Thus, we took the other path and soon found ourselves on a flat plain. With no other directions, we continued ahead. Some minutes later, we saw a footpath and came across first one stile, then another. Poor Zack was rather too large for the second stile and was NOT happy about negotiating it! The most challenging part, however, was still to come. Steep sides with earthen steps cut into them and gravel slopes came into sight. Down, down, down we went. Then, we crossed a stream before heading towards another steep slope where we did the very opposite: up, up, up, we climbed. The footpath is what I might call perilous if one were to miss one’s footing. I prayed. Thankfully, none of us did.
Finally, we reached the view point and there, opposite us on a cliff face, was Spout Force. ‘Spout Force waterfall lies in the beautiful Whinlatter Forest Park, a largely coniferous forest which was planted shortly after the First World War and which offers some superb scenery. The waterfall can be seen from a viewing platform. Aiken Beck descends dramatically over a cliff of around a height of thirteen metres to drop into a plunge pool below.’ (www.english-lakes.com/spout_force.htm)
Our descend from Spout Force was no easier than our ascent but all of us had a wonderful time out together. Hubby and I hope that Takuyah will take back with him happy memories of his time with us. He had meant to stay three nights, but ended up staying five. Since working at our Bed and Breakfast, we have met some really lovely people from all over the world and have kept in touch. It is always good to welcome them back again and to meet new folk with whom we can share this beautiful Lake District National Park.
Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’
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