What a noise outside the bedroom window this morning as the birds started up with their dawn chorus. One good thing is that we were wide awake good and early ready for adventure.
Windermere was to be our first destination and the Brockhole visitors Centre with Castlerigg Stone Circle near Keswick being visited on our way back home.
Built in the 1890’s Brockhole was the home of the Gaddum family. Funds for the lavish home came from business interests in silk and yarn manufacturing in northern England.
Beatrix Potter was a frequent visitor to Brockhole, due to her cousin Edith Potter marrying William Gaddum.
The gardens of Brockhole are Grade II listed and were designed by Henry Mawson .
In 1969 it was opened as the first National Park Visitor Centre in England and Wales, providing a range of information, interpretation and educational services.
Currently the Lake District National Park occupy and maintain the property.
As we strolled around the gardens a lot of preparations were in place ahead of the main planting and growing season.
Large beds had been covered with ground protection and marked out, no doubt to a well discussed format, whilst the soil warms up and the frosts of winter are behind us.
Thousands of yellow trumpets covered the grass banks and path edges as the daffodils burst into spring.
Concern was being raised only a few weeks ago that the season was late. However, daffodils are blooming with gusto now that the sunshine has appeared.
Mum says that many of the daffs here are wild originals and not the incomers so often seen in gardens and in vases. She says you can tell by the size and shape of the flower.
After a quick walk around the gardens it was time for us to make our way to the visitors centre.
We were made most welcome with silver drinking bowls full of cold water by the door. Whilst mum went into look at leaflets, one of the staff came outside to say hello and said that it would be alright if we went inside.
As the sun was shining we declined the kind offer and sat on a nearby seat watching everyone go past.
Returning to the front of the main house we entered onto a terrace with a small flight of steps up to the orangery.
As the name implies this is where oranges and citrus fruit may have been grown when the house was used as a private residence.
Unlike today. lemons, limes and oranges were not easy to get hold of and in the good old days wealthy landowners would create rooms to grow exotic fruits.
Bright sunlight filled the room via the ornate windows and skylights which reflected of the white interior.
Assorted plants in pots sit on light coloured wooden benches, whilst overhead a grapevine provides a dappled shade.
Of all the rooms mum has visited on our expeditions this has to be mums favourite and she says that when the Premium Bond win comes in or we have a great day with website ads, she will buy a big house with an orangery. This is her goal planning.
Windermere is a mere and not a Lake. The only Lake in the National Park is Bassenthwaite.
Now that this is out of the way we can continue with our walk which brought us to the shores of Windermere. Ahead of us, in the distance, are the assorted mountains and fells of the Lake District.
High on the fell tops the last of the winter snow is melting, as the many tourists return to clog up the roads and paths.
With the arrival of the tourist comes the return of the assorted water taxis.
Seating 25 people, The Princess of the Lake, operated by Windermere Lake Cruises, was the first of the larger craft to come into view.
The traditional wooden launch offers a round trip service between Waterhead Pier in Ambleside and Brockhole.
MV Tern was the second big vessel to be spotted. Again operated by Windermere Lake Cruises.
Launched in June 1891 with a passenger capacity of 633, Tern is the flagship of the Windermere fleet.
Unusually for a stretch of water, Windermere is classed as a public highway.
Fed up with carrying bottles of water for Charlie, dad has bought him his very own rucksack.
Two big pockets lie on either side of his fluffy body with straps going under his tummy to keep it in place.
Best of all is the big handle on the top which is allows dad to pick Charlie up and lift him over gates and fences.
The zips are waterproof to protect the contents from a rain shower.
A company called Ruffwear have produced a series of doggy backpacks to suit many sizes of dog.
Charlie seemed to get on really well, however you have to be careful to get the loading correct or the bag rotates around the wearer. Mum is also going to add some hook and fluff tabs to the straps to keep them in place so they don’t slacken.
After a quick paddle in Windermere and a walk around the grounds to get dry, we left Brockhole. Dad expected to find the roads a bit congested, especially heading north, however we soon arrived at Keswick.
With a panoramic view of the Lake District, the stone circle at Castlerigg is not of the scale of somewhere like Stonehenge. However, it does make up for the size of the stones with the commanding location.
Raised in about 3000BC the Castlerigg stone circle is possibly one of the oldest British stone circles.
Another claim to fame is that Castlerigg was one of the first monuments to be declared an Ancient Monument in 1883.
The ‘official’ number of stones, as represented on the National Trust information board at the monument, is 40.
The circle has been owned by the National Trust since 1913. The stones are in the guardianship of English Heritage.
Our final stop for the day was to photograph the clock at St. John’s Church Bassenthwaite for one of dads websites called civic-time.com.
This website came about because dad noticed that over the many outings we are doing we had photographed many public clocks.
Little seems to be known about them and even less recorded on the interweb. So if you can add to the history of any of those listed dad could update the webpage.
Another busy and activity filled day has resulted in us wanting to curl up in the back of the car whilst dad takes us home.
Until next time
Buster and Charlie