Saturday, September 1, 2012

Day 14: Cumbria

It took us two full weeks before we encountered any of the rain that is typical of the British Isles.  Although the day was a bit soggy it didn't stop us from enjoying the lake district.  We started of the day with an English breakfast at our B&B the a short walk through our village, Near Sawrey.  Beatrix Potter owned a property in this village directly next door to our B&B.  The village is full of sites that show up in some of Ms. Potter's stories.  Here are a few photo's of her inspirations.

We continued our stroll into the adjacent village called, "Far Sawrey".  Here are a few of the things we saw along the way. 

After our walk we got into our car and drove to another lake called Coniston Water.  The drive took us through some much more lush country side.  This part of the country still has the open fields and hedge rows, but their are also wooded areas full of ferns and moss.  Its a really varied and beautiful area.  When we arrived in Coniston Water, we parked in a lot outside of the town where we took a stroll along the water.  

Coniston Water is dominated by a mountain called Old Man of Coniston.  Genell and I saw this mountain from a distance and decided to explore it.  We drove into town a departed on another hike.  Here are some pictures...

After our hike we consulted our Lonely Planet guide for other near by attractions which led us to tour the Brantwood Estate which was the home of John Ruskin.  John Ruskin was a prominent art critic, social thinker and philanthropist of the victorian era.  As we would learn, John Ruskin, was an extremely important figure in the art scene during his time.  Mr. Ruskin was also very against capitalism (although you wouldn’t guess this after touring his home).  His house was very nice, but the tour only allowed access to about four rooms.  After we toured the house we hiked through the grounds of the estate which extended all the way up a large hillside overlooking Coniston Water.  It took us about 45 minutes to get to the top. It rained the whole way but we enjoyed every second of it anyway.

After our ride back home, we took some time to relax at our hotel before heading off to dinner at the pub around the corner; The Tower Bank Arms. This pub was also illustrated in one of Beatrix Potter’s books. Inside they had a bunch of tiny plush Beatrix Potter characters hiding in the rafters in homage. When we left, it was so dark outside. The town doesn’t have street lights and you could see tons of stars. So sweet. 

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