The Most Perfect Day! :The Lakes District UK.
Grasmere, The Lakes District ,England.
Birthdays can be memorable, or they can be just any old day registering another year gone by, too much a reminder of getting older, and therefore hurried through and fast forgotten.But sometimes events coincide,and so friends may gather,in a special place and a birthday turns into that perfect day!
We'd decided to hire a car to get around Scotland, and coincidentally our drive up from Solihull coincided with friends hiring an apartment in Grasmere, in the middle of the Lakes District, so we were invited to join them, a particularly auspicious happening as it was my birthday. We had offered in return to bring the glorious sunshine up with us from Solihull, where we'd spent 6 days with our daughter.Sol obliged and shifted his rump up here with us, fighting off some of the northern gloom and mizzle which still seemed to prevail around late afternoon.
We're very impressed with the Lakes District.Who wouldn't be? Picturesque lakes, set in deep valleys,rolling hills,ancient stone cottages, drystone walls,small flocks of black faced sheep dressed in their best black, grey, brown or white jumpers,and late blooming wildflowers bordering the many tracks one can choose to wander.And 1,000's are choosing to wander! It's a walker's paradise with well formed tracks taking you on easy walks at low level around the lakes, or more demanding up to the heights where the most beautiful views are on offer.
We shared a first floor apartment right in the heart of Grasmere village. It comprised a large kitchen/dining/ lounge area, with a short rolling hallway leading to 4 double bedrooms, each with their own en-suite. Yes, a rolling hallway! The building is so old,the floor levels a drunken sailor would love! It's a 5 minute walk for a morning paper, or to stock up with good red wine, a trip we made often, given the camaraderie we enjoyed.Internet cafe just across the road.
Today we set off for an anti-clockwise wander around Lake Grasmere.Once off the narrow village roads, we were on to well formed walking tracks close to the shore of the lake that ran past the bottom fields of many quaint but beautiful stone 2 story country houses.Marvellous photo opportunities abound with views over the wildflowers, looking through overhanging trees right across to the opposite lakeshore.Our walk often followed old dry stone walls,over hills covered in bracken, or by the lake shore itself. It was a wonderful day with the sun tagging along, keeping his promise to keep up with us.
Lunch was a very hearty goulash soup at the Badger's Bar, Rydal Mount just near the famous poet William Wordsworth's house, around halfway along our walk, just prior to walking the Coffin Way back to Grasmere.An old walkway used by coffin bearers to take the departed to their burial plots .And yes we also rested on the specially built stone coffin rests along the walkway!
After such a long walk and such exertion everything to follow was completely justified! Bakewell tart for afternoon tea. Then cheese, olives and pickled garlic for Happy Hour wine and nibbles. Followed by the HAGGIS! Our friend had caught this tasty wee beastie in Taunton and hogtied it, and carried it up kicking and howling to Grasmere, just to be skinned and carefully cooked to perfection, drowned in whisky, and served up for we 7 to consume. Now we haven't finished the banquet yet.....Graeme's homemade beef and cranberry stew with jacket potatoes and vegetables was delightfully delicious. Then it was Sally's plum crumble with ice-cream and custard,washed down with Champagne. Somewhere an empty wine bottle count was done.....6!
It has been a perfect day.A wonderful birthday to remember.
And it will be even better if I keep all that lot down!