Summer sunshine has finally arrived and as the temperatures started to rise we headed towards water and a reservoir walk dad had heard of a few weeks ago.
Castle Carrock, was to be our base for a day of exploration. This small village is to the east of Carlisle and features many large old properties, a thriving community spirit and a big puddle which supplies water to the City about 8 miles away.
The journey to our destination did however prove a little time consuming due to roadworks.
What should have been an easy short trip turned out to be quite a lengthy detour via Brampton, Gelt Woods and eventually a parking bay near to the reservoir.
This area was new to us and so we were eager to go exploring.
Given the warm sunshine mum was weighted down with bottles of water, for us, and dad had even put on his shorts.
After negotiating the kissing gate we started down a track, just one car wide, and made of loose gravel and hardcore.
It turns out that the reservoir was opened in 1909 and took about 12 years to build.
To our left, and over a high stone wall, was the Castle Carrock reservoir.
At this point Charlie started to get frustrated as he could smell water, he could even hear trickles of water but he could not see the water.
Darting this way and that across the track he was oblivious to the rabbits, birds and many doggy sniffs in his quest for a paddle.
Positioned at regular intervals were safety notices warning of dangers beyond the big wall.
Harking back to the days of North West Water, their logo was proudly displayed atop the blue signs, the plastic signs warned of deep water and no swimming or boating.
After 10 minutes we thought all our dreams had come true when we spotted a sign on our right to some holiday cottages.
Set in the middle of the countryside Tottergill Farm offers some dog friendly accommodation, WiFi access for dad and a bubble tub for mum to ease her old bones.
Sadly dad said we did not have a booking and so we would have to carry on with our walk.
Oh well, maybe something to do at a later date and possibly find out more.
We were by now wanting to take a few moments to rest and take stock of our surroundings.
A perfectly positioned bench overlooking the reservoir was the ideal location and whilst mum and dad took a seat we explored the undergrowth and flowers.
The tall grass was ideal to shade us from the late morning sunshine and the slight breeze coming off the water cooled the air a little.
Rested and topped up with water from one of the bottles mum was carrying we continued along the track which was starting to get a little more rough and not as well maintained.
To our left the distinctive roof of the Draw Off tower came into view and peering through a chained and locked wooden gate we finally got to see the water.
Below the dam wall we could see the pumping and treatment works.
More than 15m litres of drinking water can pass through the facility each day, which is now run by United Utilities.
Above us, circling in the sky, we could hear the screeching of a large bird silhouetted by the bright sky.
The two leggers are not experts in bird recognition so they surmised that possibly it might be an osprey or an outside chance of an eagle.
Do you know what bird it is ? Let us know via the comments area below.
Before we leave the reservoir behind us mum spotted that the stones that make up the wall that we have been following, all look as if they have been shaped to fit.
She said that usually a dry stone wall in the Lake District is made from random, unfinished stones just gathered from the surrounding area.
This wall, which must be well over a mile long, used shaped stones in its construction and must have cost a fortune to build both in time and money.
Turning left at the end of the path we headed towards the village and with a brief stop at the church.
Here we spotted a white military gravestone to the memory of Donald Armstrong. He died, aged only 19, in April 1943.
In a field beyond the church the local leek club were getting ready for their first annual rounders tournament.
Supplies of canned beverages were being transported from the pub to the sporting arena and a number of tents had been erected along side a blow up slide.
Heading up the hill and out of the village many of the local farmers were busy haymaking and gathering crops.
The wet weather this year has made it very difficult for the farmers to get their first cut and likely that they won’t get a second. This farmer had to cut round a huge soggy pond like area in the middle of his field.
Let’s hope we don’t get a hard, cold winter so that the cattle have enough of food to eat.
Until next time
Buster and Charlie