A Day in the Lake's District
It was raining when we woke up this morning, but no one in the breakfast room seemed to mind so with our umbrellas in hand, we headed out to make the best of the day.
The main town is just a short walk down a footpath. It's market day and stalls were selling everything from farm fresh vegetables to knock-off Cath Kidston bags. Just beyond the market we found a wonderful pet store that even sold woolen jackets for dogs.
I spotted a craft fair taking place in a little stone church. It was small, but the crafts were beautiful. No pretzels and dip mix here. They had handmade silver jewelry, quilts, photographs of wildlife, and watercolor prints of the Cumbrian countryside. We bought two prints and chatted with with artist, Ron Ablewhite. He told us he likes to take photographic journeys into the countrside to take pictures he wants to paint. Every print was so pretty it was hard to decide so we settled on one of a farmhouse with sheep and one of a sheep dog.
This afternoon featured an unusual attraction: The Cumberland Pencil Museum. The Derwent pencil has been the best selling British pencil since 1832. The Museum is immensely popular with families with children, We learned the average pencil can be sharpened 17 times for a total of 45,000 words.
The museum displays told about the discovery of graphite and the manufacturing of a secret pencil during WWII with a map and compass hidden inside. The animated film, The Snowman, was sketched with Derwent pencils.
The clouds lifted slightly in the afternoon revealing tall green hills so we took a 50 minute cruise on an old wooden boat around the lake, Derwentwater. Protected by the National Park, it's a beautiful setting with no other boats in these pristine waters other than kayaks or canoes, and very little development.
Sheep graze just above the water's edge.
We played crazy golf (mini golf) on a wonderful old- fashion course with tiny churches and rocks as obstacles. It was a lot of fun.
Tomorrow we head for Bath. It will be a long day, but the train ride through the countryside should be beautiful.