Friday, 11 March 2016

So much “Catching Up” !

After a good trip down from Newcastle on Tuesday we arrived in the Lake District to visit friends Pam and Geoff at their beautiful farmhouse just south of Windermere.


It wasn’t long before evening came and we celebrated our friendship with a glass of Champagne in front of a roaring log fire.


After a super evening out at a local restaurant and a good night’s sleep we awoke to Geoff’s morning ritual of BBQ’d breakfast on the terrace.


Despite the rather chilly Cumbrian morning air the terrace proved to be a delightful place to start the day.


Just as an aside, the evening views from the same terrace as the sun was about to set were sensational ……..


……and this is a complete panorama from our bedroom window!


Pam and Geoff took us on a local tour of the area around Windermere and Coniston Water. Here we are on the “beach” at Coniston village.


Travelling a bit further we came to the lovely village of Hawkeshead and for James, who was a on a journey of nostalgia, this corner of the village (the Methodist Chapel and “The Minstrels’ Gallery” tearooms) is one of the most charming places on earth! 


Much of Hawkeshead, and many other Lake District villages for that matter, are a romantic jumble of houses and alleyways.


Down one of the little alleyways (Vicarage Lane) is Ann Tyson’s Cottage. Wordsworth lived here between 1779 and 1787 while he was a scholar at the grammar school. The chapel where the poet worshipped was up the steps on the left of the cottage. 


For James the supreme highlight of the afternoon was a visit to the Lindeth Fell Country House Hotel. A place with strong memories for him during the 70’s and 80’s.


Afternoon tea in the drawing room in front of the fire was a real treat.


The oak panelled entrance hall hasn’t changed at all.


Back home in the evening on Wednesday evening we got prepared for the arrival of four more guests to join us for dinner. “Pip” was also looking forward to more company!P1070450

The evening was real pleasure. Round the table are Pam, Doug, Geoff, Nigel, Chrissy, Don, James (behind camera) and Arthur. We have to thank Pam and Geoff for an absolutely fantastic couple of days. It was really great to catch up again and hopefully it wont be too long until the next time.

On Thursday we headed further south to Stockton Heath to catch up, and stay, with friends Pauline and Neil.


The rest of Thursday was spent relaxing and laughing our way to bed time and on Friday morning the four of us walked into town to meet up with more Stockton Heath friends Bill and Jill. Here, Bill, Neil, Pauline, Doug and Jill enjoy a coffee and a chat in the sunshine.


After coffee we said farewell to Bill and Jill (it was fantastic to meet up with you both, albeit so briefly) and took a lovely walk along the Bridgwater canal ……..


……….. where things looked fairly deserted on this lovely sunny day.


Walking up the hill from the canal towards Appleton, there was evidence of some very desirable residences in the area!


At the top of the hill we could look down over Stockton Heath towards Warrington.


At the edge of the cemetery talented professional artist Mark Turner was in the throws of his latest landscape painting. Thanks Mark for the interesting chat about painting and canal boats! 


The area has a number of interesting properties which have, in the past, been homes to the rich and famous. This one was once lived in by Roger Moore ………


…… and this one, now a hotel, was the previous home of George Formby OBE.


In the evening we all went for a meal at the Bear’s Paw at High Legh. It was good food but even better company as always. Thanks so much Neil and Pauline for your help and hospitality – wonderful as always and we hope to catch up and do some cruising with you in the summer.

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