Round Windermere II

IMG_2386

Sunday started a good deal brighter than Saturday had. I expected to be stiff and sore following the exploits of the day before, but actually felt fine, but for one slight issue. I’d chosen to wear the same rather worn-out pair of Clark’s shoes in which I do most of my walking. I realise that might seem an unusual choice and some people might even go as far as to disapprove, but the shoes have been very comfortable, pretty waterproof and have looked after me well. Until now. I bought them in a sale and have had them for quite some time now. I knew that they were past their best, but I didn’t realise the extent to which the soles had worn thin. As a result, I now had a blood blister on the ball of each foot. They weren’t excruciating. I managed to scrounge some plasters from reception at the hostel and decided to wear two pairs of sock by way of compensation.

My walk started through…

IMG_2387

…which was really rather wonderful. On both days of the walk, I was really struck by the immaculate and colourful gardens I passed, most of them stuffed full off flowering shrubs…

IMG_2389

Rhododendrons and azaleas?

A and I passed this way at the end of the second day of our walk from Silverdale to Keswick, but it was a bit dark by then to see the flowers, so I’ve wanted to come back.

This section of the route, via Jenkin Crag to Troutbeck, is an old favourite and is very familiar territory.

IMG_2393

Coniston Fells from Jenkin Crag.

IMG_2395

Claife Heights and Latterbarrow from Jenkin Crag.

IMG_2397

Looking down the lake to Gummer How.

IMG_2398

More Bluebells.

IMG_2402

High Skelghyll.

IMG_2403

Looking down the lake – Belle Isle seems almost to split the north and south basins into two separate lakes.

IMG_2405

Troutbeck.

IMG_2408

Townend.

I thought, this being a National Trust property, I’d definitely be able to buy a cup of tea here, but it wouldn’t open for hours yet.

I’ve always admired this rather fine bank barn across the road from Townend. I hope that the National Trust won this too, and that it’s being looked after.

IMG_2409

At this point, my route diverted, for a while at least, from the one A and I had followed. I dropped to a different bridge, well, bridges…

IMG_2410

…over Trout Beck. These must have been destroyed in the flooding a couple of years ago. The new bridges look very robust.

I’m glad I stuck with Mister Turner’s route, because this section of path was new to me, and very beautiful in a low key way.

IMG_2417

There are a number of houses here, above the RHS gardens at Holehird, which have the most amazing views.

IMG_2419

Next on the agenda was Orrest Head, which, as always I suspect, was absolutely thronged with people.

IMG_2424

The view north along the lake from Orrest Head.

IMG_2426

The view south along the lake from Orrest Head.

Busy at it was on Orrest head, I dropped down into Common Wood on a permission path and soon was completely alone again.

I thought that these distinctive looking flowers would be easy to identify…

IMG_2428

…but in fact they took quite a lot of tracking down. As usual, it was the excellent Wildflower Finder website which came up trumps. I think that this is Indian Rhubarb, an introduced species native to the western United States. Apparently the leaves, when they appear, are every attractive, which is why gardeners like it for damp shady areas in their gardens.

This field…

IMG_2429

…on the lane just beyond the wood, was brimful of Cuckoo Flower, which is native, tasty and the principal food plant for Orange-tip butterflies.

IMG_2430

Part of a stunning garden on the outskirts of Windermere.

The slopes of School Knott, above Windermere, proved to be extremely confusing. My map shows open fields, but trees have been planted, which are now growing quite large and there are paths everywhere, with some sort of de facto right to roam seemingly in operation. I stopped a couple of dog walkers and asked for directions, but ended up following my nose uphill.

IMG_2434

Windermere and beyond from School Knott.

It’s a lovely spot, with terrific views, and, like Orrest Head, is another of Wainwright’s outlying fells. I noticed that some walkers were also climbing the higher Grandsire, although the map doesn’t indicate any access is allowed. It looks worth a look though, so I shall have to come back.

IMG_2437

Grandsire and School Knott Tarn (?).

There is a path down to the little tarn though. So…

IMG_2439

…that’s the way I went. It was warm enough here for me to be regretting that I didn’t really have enough time to stop for a swim.

Just beyond this point, I met a party of four on the Dales Way path, who asked for directions. They told me that they were walking from Bowness to Staveley (the one near Kendal, not the one I’d passed through the day before) and back. Since they were barely out of Bowness, they decided to amend their plans.

A fair bit of road walking followed, some of it along a busy road past Windermere Golf Club, which was unfortunate. Once I’d turned into the much quieter Lindeth Lane, things improved again. I met another lost party, a large group of ladies. I gathered they’d been a bit confused for some time. The explanation for how they’d lost their way was rather simple, but, in fairness, they’d missed a turn on to a path which I’m not sure existed on the ground.

I’d taken many photos on the next part of the walk, although it was very pleasant, through a mixture of fields, woodland and wood pasture with bits of scrub.

This…

IMG_2444

…and this…

IMG_2445

…are Podnet Tarn. The track which runs past has, by this point, become a metalled affair.

Nearby, Great Ludderburn Moss…

IMG_2449

…Little Ludderburn Moss and Green Hill form a nature reserve owned by the lake District National Park Authority which, unusually, seems to have no online presence at all (the nature reserve that is).

IMG_2456

On the map, it looks like the paths here link perfectly, but unfortunately, due presumably to the intransigence of some local home owners, there’s actually a detour by road before it’s possible to pick up a path to get back on course.

The detour goes right past Low Ludderburn, one of the houses in the area where the author and reputed spy Arthur Ransome lived, but I’m afraid I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t take any photos.

Wood anemones.

IMG_2459

The next part of the route, a long steady ascent of Gummer How via a path beside Burrow Beck was an absolute delight. The path is obviously well-used, although it isn’t a right-of-way. The woods are full of moss-covered lumps and fallen trees.

There’s also quite a bit of…

IMG_2462

…this shrub, which I thought was Wild Privet, but clearly isn’t since I just read that only begins to flower in June.

IMG_2460

Oh. More research needed!

Edit: I’ve done a little more checking, and I now think that this is Bird Cherry.

It was late afternoon now and it had clouded up, the wind had picked up, there were a few drops of moisture in the air and when I emerged from the woods on to Gummer How, I realised that it had grown quite cold.

Still there were the views for compensation…

IMG_2463

It was very satisfying to look back on where I had walked for the last two days.

IMG_2467

Lakeside and Summer House Knott. Notice Bigland Barrow and Haverthwaite Heights behind – both long overdue a revisit from me.

Duncan Turner gives this day as 16¼ miles with 2891′ of ascent. It took me a good deal less time than the day before had, which probably puts some perspective on how long that was. I’d cut it slightly short by stopping below Gummer How, but MapMyWalk measured it as 28km which is actually a bit further. (But subsequently ‘lost’ the data, so I can’t include a bird’s-eye Google-earth map. (Andy thinks that this might be a problem with the antiquity of my phone, rather than one inherent in the app.).

Screenshot 2019-05-29 at 14.08.22Screenshot 2019-05-29 at 14.07.05Screenshot 2019-05-29 at 14.05.51

It is an excellent route, thoroughly recommended. If you had more time you might incorporate Black Crag and Wansfell on either side of the head of the lake. If you are contemplating following in my footsteps, then please consider buying a copy of ‘Windermere: Walking Around the Lake’, not just because it’s a handy and informative guide, but because royalties from the book are donated to Holehird which provides a home for people living with disabilities and which is just off the route.

Talking of charity appeals:

In the summer, I shall be attempting to complete the annual 10 in 10 challenge. Briefly, the idea is to walk a route over 10 Wainwrights in 10 hours or less.  You can find out more here.

The event is a fundraiser and I’m hoping to get some sponsorship for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. My Just Giving page is here. All donations, however small, will be most welcome. I should add that the sponsorship is not a condition of my entry and that I’ve already paid a fee to enter which covers all costs, so all sponsor money would go directly to charity.

A heartfelt thanks to those who have donated already. The event is getting frighteningly close, so I’ll shall soon stop pasting this onto the end of posts, I promise. I could really do with about another year, or maybe two, to prepare….

 

 

Round Windermere II

Deer Prudence

P1230758

This winter, we’ve frequently had four Roe Deer in the garden, three female and one male. Two of the does seem to like to sit under the kids trampoline.

P1230757

You’ll have noticed what I did with the title? Feeble isn’t it?

I know it’s a Beatles Song, but I always hear this version in my head. At this point Robert Smith was the Banshees’ guitarist, which apparently came about when The Cure toured with the Banshees as their support act. I wish I’d been at one of those gigs! I did see Siouxsie and the Banshees shortly after this, at the Apollo in Manchester, by which time they’d recruited a new guitarist; but I never saw The Cure, which is an odd omission, because I was quite obsessed with them for a while.

Deer Prudence

Roe Deer in the Garden Again

P1230201

Roe deer continue to be frequent visitors to our garden. In fact, we see them increasingly often. Partly, perhaps, because the kids seem to have rather lost interest, for now at least, in the trampoline, so the garden is quieter than it has been. We saw deer almost every day last week, but these photos are from back at the tail-end of October.

P1230199

This buck was in the garden when we arrived back from our walk to Arnside. Red Deer are also found in this area, but they are considerably larger than Roe Deer. The white rump patch is also a good distinguishing feature of Roe Deer.

The next day we had three deer in the garden. An adult female…

P1230204

Notice that she has a short tush, unlike the male. With this doe were two smaller deer, presumably her fawns from back in the early summer.

They were still smaller than her, but catching up. We’ve had visits from a doe and two fawns on and off through the summer and autumn. Were they always the same three? Hard to know – I like to think so.

P1230220

Roe deer commonly give birth to litters of two or three young. These twins are brother and sister…

P1230217

…she’s on the left here, with a tush like her mum.

It’s hard to see, but you can just make out that he has the beginnings of antlers sprouting on his head…

P1230213

There are photos of this, or another, Roe Deer family scattered through this post, if you want to see them in their gorgeous golden summer coats.

P1230222

Roe Deer in the Garden Again

Doddington Hall – Sculpture Exhibition

P1220177

As I mentioned in my last post, Doddington Hall has a biennial sculpture exhibition, which was the principal reason that TBH and I were keen to go back there. I’m really glad we did – I really enjoyed viewing all of the works on display in the gardens. I took a huge number of photos, many of which are here, but some of the sculptures which I liked haven’t made it into this selection, simply because my photos haven’t worked too well in some cases.

P1220231

The extensive gardens were littered with sculptures – some tiny, some huge and all points in between. I think I remember the exhibition brochure saying that there were over 600 works on display. We didn’t see them all – some were ceramic and on display inside somewhere and we didn’t get around to those. We probably missed some in the garden too.

P1220175

As I say, we had a brochure, but for the most part I don’t remember which artists made these sculptures. These two, above and below, however, must be by Heather Jansch; her horses are so distinctive and well-known. The one above is actually bronze and not wood – an original wooden model has been cast in bronze. I think it was priced at £70,000. We’ve decided to buy three of them. Perhaps.

P1220200

About the remaining sculptures here I can’t tell you much at all, apart from the fact that they gave me great pleasure.

P1220178

P1220185

This one…

P1220186

…has water flowing down between those three hollows.

P1220190

P1220193

P1220205

P1220207

P1220212

P1220217

P1220221

P1220223

The boys were very taken by this enormous seat…

P1220228

P1220234

At the back right of this photo…

P1220242

You can see A and TBH examining this sculpture…

P1220244

It was mesmerising: a very geometric design which looked quite different from different directions, even slight changes of perspective could create radical shifts in it’s colour and pattern.

P1220249

I think we all liked it.

P1220246

P1220247

I don’t know why Little S wants to box these huge seeds. Perhaps he was taking his lead from this nearby hare?…

P1220252

P1220272

There’a a rang tang in my garden, anyone?

P1220282

P1220288

P1220295

P1220298

P1220303

P1220306

P1220307

P1220310

P1220313

P1220316

I decided, on the day, that if I could take just one statue away with me it would be this one…

P1220314

As usual, I find it almost impossible to say why. Partly, perhaps, it’s because, like Heather Jansch’s horses, a very lifelike image is created from seemingly unpromising elements. And then there’s a lot going on, both visually and emotionally, in the image: the figures are about to kiss, but are also apparently flying apart; it’s both touching and poignant. Maybe it’s just because it reminded me of a very arresting panel..

Related image

…from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons ‘Watchmen’ comic. Who’s to say?

Presumably, the next show will be in 2020, anybody up for a visit? Better start saving your pennies now.

 

Doddington Hall – Sculpture Exhibition

Doddington Hall – Picnic and Gardens

P1220281

Many moons ago, we toured Doddington Hall with my Mum and Dad. It’s not too far from where they live. On the second day of our trip to Lincolnshire this summer, TBH and I were eager to go again. For some reason, Dad wasn’t so keen, and kept turning up alternatives which he thought might appeal to the kids. He balked however, at the idea of accompanying them on a treetop trek, so in the end Doddington Hall won out.

P1220277

There was a wedding in the hall that day, so we were restricted to the gardens, but that kept us well occupied beyond the advertised closing time, so it wasn’t really a problem.

Be warned, if you’re planning a visit: there are signs near the entrance forbidding picnics in the gardens. There’s a lot of green space at the back of the carpark though, which was a halfway decent alternative, but a bit rough on my Mum and Dad who prefer not to sit on the ground these days (or prefer not to have to get up again, anyway).

P1220137

There is a cafe in one of the many estate buildings, which looked to be doing a roaring trade. I’m told that the cakes that some of the party sampled there later in the day were very good. The wasps certainly liked them.

Just by where we picnicked, there was a small pond…

P1220136

And so some potential for flora and fauna…

P1220141

Common Darter (I think).

P1220142

Tachina Fera on Mayweed – both very tentative identifications.

P1220143

Tachina Fera again.

This photo shows the strong black stripe on an orange abdomen which makes me think that this fly is Tachina Fera. The larvae of this fly parasitise caterpillars.

The plant is Gipsywort…

P1220146

“Rogues masquerading as itinerant fortune-tellers and magicians used in past centuries to daub their bodies with a strong black dye produced from gipsywort, in order to pass themselves off as Egyptians and Africans. Swarthy looks were supposed to lend greater credibility to these vagabonds when they told fortunes; it was this use that gave the plant its names of gipsywort and Egyptian’s herb.”

Reader’s Digest Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain

Moving into the gardens…

P1220168

Little S was particularly impressed with the huge…

P1220167

…squashes, pumpkins? I’m not sure which.

He won’t really remember our last visit, since he was barely a year old at the time.

P1220150

Small Tortoiseshell.

P1220156

Large White.

P1220157

P1220164

Moorhen.

P1220170

Another Tortoiseshell.

P1220172

This bee was absolutely coated in golden pollen, having just emerged…

P1220174

…from a courgette flower.

P1220278

Something that really stuck in my memory from our previous visit were these gnarly old Sweet Chestnut Trees.

P1220262

They predate the hall, making them very, very old indeed.

P1220274

P1220275

P1220286

P1220284

P1220299

One more Tortoiseshell.

P1220305

The gatehouse.

P1220315

Unicorn topiary.

P1220309

The Hall is Elizabethan and was built, between 1595 and 1600, by Robert Smythson, who was the master stonemason when Longleat was built and who also designed the highly impressive Hardwick Hall, among others. Apparently, it has never been sold, which must be highly unusual. These days it seems to be the centre of a thriving industry, with several shops in the grounds, as well as the cafe and weddings. Not to mention the biennial sculpture exhibition in the gardens….of which, more to follow…

Doddington Hall – Picnic and Gardens

Les Jardins de Marqueyssac

P1200761

Whilst the rest of the party, including our own kids, were off swinging from trees and performing similar acts of derring-do, TBH and I were left with time on our hands. How delightful! As parents of three very active children, to have an entire day to ourselves was beyond a novelty, almost unprecedented in fact. We had threatened to have a lazy day at the camp-site, reading our books. I had made a good start on Hilary Mantel’s ‘A Place of Greater Safety’, her account of some of the key figures of the French Revolution. It’s a huge and magnificent book, so a day luxuriating in its company was very tempting, but in the end we decided that a day out together was too good an opportunity to miss. We flicked through some brochures and leaflets which J had picked up about various local attractions, but in the end settled on Les Jardins de Marqueyssac both because they looked attractive and because they were within walking distance.

Our walk took us across a bridge over the Dordogne…

P1200680

Where many parties of canoeists were enjoying the same sort of trip which we had undertaken just a couple of days before.

P1200681

P1200682

Chateau de Castelnaud.

P1200685

Clouded Yellow butterfly.

That’s Marqueyssac…

P1200686

…at the top of the hill. It was a short but very hot and sticky climb up a road so minor that no traffic passed us at all. As we walked, we had both the views and some sun-warmed and very sweet blackberries in the hedgerows to reward us.

P1200688

Arriving at Marqueyssac, we discovered that picnics are forbidden in the grounds, but that picnic tables were provided on a terrace by the entrance which had a lovely view over the valley below.

P1200691

Once inside the gardens, we popped into a small building which housed a curious display of stuffed animals in which the creatures had been arranged into dioramas so that predator and prey were locked eternally in pursuit. Nearby, another building had a full skeleton and also another skull of an Allosaurus. The fossils were found in Arizona and bought at auction, at great expense, by the owner of the gardens. Allosaurus are from the Jurassic period and have mostly been found in the US, although the information boards seemed to be saying that there had also been recent findings in France.

P1200696

We hadn’t explore far, but felt the need for something cooling, so sat on another terrace with a great view, where customers were sprayed with a fine mist to cool them! TBH had a glace whilst I drank a glass of beer.

P1200707

P1200708

The gardens were quite unlike any I’d visited before. Long and narrow, they sit atop a limestone ridge and are mostly woodland with paths bordered with neat boxwood hedges.

P1200709

Three different paths run the length of the garden and we did our best to contrive a route which took in all three as much as possible, without doing the entire length twice. At the far end of the garden from the entrance you are close to Roque Gageac…

P1200721

This photo…

P1200724

…gives a good view of the ridge which the garden occupies.

P1200729

P1200732

During the entire walk we saw butterflies galore, but very few would pose for a photo. This Wall Brown being an exception…

P1200737

Roque Gageac again…

P1200742

….on the left you can see people on the belvedere from which I took the previous views.

P1200743

This little chapel…

P1200745

…was, annoyingly, locked-up and my attempts to take a photo through the slits in the door weren’t entirely successful…

P1200744

It was possible to take a short tour of part of the Chateau…

P1200757

P1200751

But I found that oddly uninspiring without some context or understanding of what I was seeing.

One final view…

P1200754

…I think that’s the Chateau de Beynac on the right in the distance. This area seems particularly rich in castles and gardens and caves and other interesting places to visit. We’ll have to go back!

On the way back to the campsite, suffering from the heat, TBH decided to dive into one of the shops set-back from the road. It was in a large building divided into two – one half selling soap and the other half, full of mannequins, was supposedly a soap museum. One mannequin was shaving another. A female mannequin was washing clothes. There was a donkey, for reasons which weren’t clear to me. Photos weren’t allowed in this amazing place – it must be seen to be believed! You’ll have to go!

But prepare to be underwhelmed.

Les Jardins de Marqueyssac

Sunshine in the Garden.

P1190186

Bank Holiday Monday was another glorious day. We spent the morning sunning ourselves in the garden again and then most of the afternoon taking an interminably long time to prepare for an overnight trip (of which more to follow).

P1190218

We’ve regularly had a female Broad-bodied Chaser in the garden over the last fortnight. I had convinced myself that it was the same one each time, since it seemed to be quite small of its kind, but then, a couple of days ago, I saw two close together, both of the same size, which has obviously put a huge dent in my conviction. Whether or not it was the same one each time, I’ve really enjoyed taking photos.

 

P1190194

I took some photos of flowers too. This must be a knapweed of some description. TBH has planted them in the garden in several places. The bees seem to like them too…

P1190231

P1190196

Large Red Damselfly.

P1190198

P1190238

P1190200

Peony.

I’ve been noticing the sounds of Starlings a lot whilst out and about, since coming across the nest on the Lots. B and I spotted some Starlings which were surely visiting a nest in a hedgerow beside Moss Lane. There have been a lot of Starlings on the feeders in our neighbour’s garden too.

P1190226

Here they are perched in the top of our Silver Birch.

 

Sunshine in the Garden.