Tag-Archive for »Country Fest«

Posted Monday, October 20th, 2014 by

hilltop-blog

 

Fancy a trip back in time? Relive the early 20th century world of a 20 something author, at Beatrix Potter’s cottage. Not only will your trip be memorable, if you’re bringing kids along, the journey is sure to be educational and worthwhile for their young minds.

 

Near Sawrey, Ambleside in Cumbria, Hill Top Cottage is an immaculately preserved homage to an incredible author and woman.

 

A time capsule made of bricks and mortar, it has in place all of Potter’s possessions and trinkets, it almost feels, upon entering the cottage that guests are voyeurs, gazing into a real person’s home. Each room has some sort of reference to Potter’s tales. You’ll recognise the rhubarb patch where Jemima Puddle-Duck laid her egg and the garden where Tom Kitten and his sisters played!

 

The lovely cottage garden is home to a patchwork of vegetables and flowers. At first glance it is easy to see why Beatrix Potter loved this place so much, bought in 1905 with proceeds from her first book, the Tale of, she used Hill Top as inspiration for much of her body of work. It was here that she would gaze out of her window, blot her quill with ink and write those iconic tales of animal shenanigans.

 

Great care must be taken to ensure upholsterers and interiors are not ruined by the movement of too many bodies up against the fragile walls and door frames. For those reasons entry is limited. Only small groups can enter at any one given time. While waiting times can be frustrating, your patience will be rewarded, with an enriching educational experience.

 

There is even a quaint little gift shop in Hill Top, where you’ll find a great range of Beatrix Potter soft toys, books and other lovely gifts. If you buy from the gift shop, you will be supporting the work in the Lake District. Indeed. profits made there go to support the conservation projects at Hill Top, the Beatrix Potter Gallery and the surrounding countryside.

 

For further details see www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hilltop

 

Prices are incredibly reasonable Adults £10.00, child £5.00, family £25.00. National Trust members go free.

 

This really is an unmissable experience with thousands flocking to this part of the country every year, to relive that unique and sentimental world of childhood imagination, that Potter’s books so eloquently created.

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Posted Monday, October 13th, 2014 by

Pencil-blog

 

While you’re in Cumbria, why not visit the Pencil Museum. Tucked away in the quiet town of Keswick, the museum is a great afternoons activity and one that the whole family can enjoy.

 

Keswick, surprisingly is the home of the first pencil, and pencil perfection since 1832.  Indeed it is right next to the precise locale where graphite was first discovered- the nearby Seathwaite Mine.

 

In the rooms of the museum you can learn first hand how pencils have been developed and reinvented over the last 350 years. You can even learn some strange facts and view the worlds longest pencil, which measures 25 metres long.  There is so much to discover and to do. You can discover the secrets behind the fascinating history of the escape artist’s pencil that RAF pilots used during the war to guide them safely home, in the Secret Pencil Exhibition. Get your head around how exactly colours are implemented into pencils and find out whether you have a budding Picasso in the family, by letting the kid’s imaginations run free in the Kids Art Studio.

 

As you can probably imagine the gift shop is stacked full of the finest pencils, so if you are an avid sketcher or writer you can be sure to pick up a few gems.

 

There are work shops through out the year where you can try out some of the pencils under expert guidance of artists who will show you how best to get the most of of these tools.

 

Finally there is a charming cafe that offers the best in the way of post museum treats, such as cakes, coffee and pastries.

 

The admission prices are exceptionally low considering the quality that’s on offer, Adults can enter for just £4.25, children (under 16) pay £3.25. With these kinds of prices there will definitely be enough cash left over for those all important souvenirs.

 

 

For further details see www.pencilmuseum.co.uk

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Posted Friday, September 19th, 2014 by

ghyll-scrambling-blog

 

Looking for something truly exhilarating during your time in the lakes? Grab a taste of scouring gorges, ghylls and canyons, to really challenge yourself.

 

The word ghyll describes a stream cut into the hillside. A gorge is generally a larger stream or river which tends to be closer to the road. It’s in amongst these natural fixtures that this unique take on rambling occurs. Imagine hill walking without the paths and smooth terrain and you will be close to envisioning what this sport is all about.

 

The craze involves hikes up and through these natural features, to really connect with the land.

 

How much you want to exert yourself is dictated by the individual gorge or ghyll.  Some encompass swimming and getting wet, while some are less precarious and allow you to catch your breath and take in the surrounding area, in a gentler fashion.

 

Gorges and ghylls can be great fun; however they can also prove tricky and some what dangerous if the appropriate safety measures are not undertaken. For this reason we always recommend going with an experienced and reliable instructor. Not only will they ensure that  you survive your excursion unharmed and carry the right equipment throughout, they will also be able to recommend the best sites to run up or down.

 

Some ghylls and gorges are better done in descent. If this sounds tame then don’t be fooled. This generally involves sliding and jumping rather than climbing and scrambling. The descents can also be referred to as canyoning. Canyoning,  sort of like abseiling, is taken pretty seriously in some quarters. You will have to use ropes as you apply yourself to the steep decent down the watery trails. Canyoning requires you bring quite a lot of equipment, so you can’t suddenly get out of the canyon and decide to take it easy, like you can with a gorge or gyhll.

 

Splashing and scrambling up rocky mountain streams, is highly rated by those with an appetite for outdoor adventure.

 

Climbing cascades and sometimes waterfalls, traversing pools and drinking in the captivating views, is a winning combination and one that many of our guests over the recent years have indulged in.

 

These activities do carry a risk, especially if you happen to fall foul of the weather. Plan your day well in advance so you can be sure of no surprises. Slipping down gorges in the pouring rain can make the whole experience much more hazardous. Always bring sensible footwear and waterproofs.

 

Pool jumping is also becoming a trendy thing for young upstarts to get involved in, during their time at the lakes. Pool jumping is undeniably fun, but just make sure before you go throwing yourself into open lakes and pools that you know how deep the body of water is, so you can avoid broken bones, if the pool is too shallow and drowning if the pool is scarily deep. Also, watch out for freezing temperatures that may cause hypothermia. This is England after all.

 

Other than that, get involved! How better to connect with nature.

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