It was Hubby’s birthday and we had originally wanted to go visit one of our sons in order to deliver some of his things to him at university. Unfortunately, our boy had had a change of schedule which left his parents footloose and fancy free! As Wednesday was a little blustery, but generally a lovely day, we decided to go out for a jaunt anyway.
First, Hubby looked up a pub online where we could enjoy a meal. We had heard of this pub previously because some frequent guests of ours go there each time they come to stay with us. The menu looked appetising, so it was an easy decision to go and try it out. The pub is situated in Hawkshead, and we could either drive overland via Lakeside or Ambleside, or we could take the car ferry located at Ferry Nab, only 0.75 mile from our guest house, Blenheim Lodge, to Ferry House on the other side of Lake Windermere. Having quickly weighed up the pros and cons, we decided to drive to Hawkshead via Ambleside, which took about 20 minutes.
Hawkshead is a small and pretty village, with characterful higgledy-piggledy buildings built around its village square. There are plenty of tea shops, restaurants, and pubs for visitors and locals to patronise, as well as a few shops dotted around. I counted at least three car parks, so there is certainly ample parking in this little place.
Having parked the car, we walked around slightly aimlessly, trying to locate the pub. When we finally found it in the village centre, we were thrilled to find that dogs were allowed into its two front rooms. We took a table that we hoped would offer enough space for Zack to lie underneath. Zack, of course, had different ideas about lying down when food was about. Aside from the few minutes I could count on one hand, he made sure that he sat up to observe his surroundings, and to solemnly accept the accolades of those people who got up from their seats in order to comprise part of his ‘adoring’ public.
The food was excellent. I had a small portion of fish and chips and Hubby had wild mushrooms on a slice of fancy toast for starters as well as belly pork for mains. Zack probably munched through a quarter of our food. As usual, he had ignored his kibble for breakfast, so he was probably rather hungry by lunch time.
After lunch, we took a leisurely drive to Wray Castle, which is reachable either by boat, bus, or car from our Lodge. With its imposing mock-gothic facade, Wray Castle cuts a striking figure on the Lake.
The house was built in 1840 for a retired Liverpudlian surgeon, James Dawson, who built it along with the neighbouring Wray Church using his wife’s fortune. After Dawson’s death in 1875 the estate was inherited by his nephew, Edward Preston Rawnsley. In 1877 Edward’s cousin, Hardwicke Rawnsley, took up the appointment of vicar of Wray Church. To protect the countryside from damaging development, Hardwicke Rawnsley, building on an idea propounded by Ruskin, conceived of a National Trust that could buy and preserve places of natural beauty and historic interest for the nation.
Well, we might have missed seeing our boy on Wednesday, but we certainly enjoyed going out and about in the Lakes that afternoon, including our walk around the grounds of Wray Castle. We are planning to visit our son as soon as he can get his timetable sorted out. It will be so lovely to see him again after two months.
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.’
Visit our website: www.blenheim-lodge.com
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