National Trust Day Out #1

Last August we got ourselves a National Trust membership. Whilst at the time this felt seriously middle aged we’ve had some really lovely days out as a result of it! The National Trust ticks the things that we both love; history for me and outdoors for Jonny.

Our most recent trip out courtesy of our membership was to Acorn Bank and Sizergh Castle in search of daffodils. Here are a few shots from our day. My favourite part of Acorn Bank was definitely the variety of fairy doors and houses they had scattered in amongst the trees.

Sizergh Castle Daffodils 2

Fairy House Acorn Bank 2

Fairy House Acorn Bank 4

Fairy House Acorn Bank 3

Acorn Bank 1

Sizergh Castle won for being daffodil-tastic though.

Sizergh Castle Daffodils 1

Fairy House Acorn Bank 1

We’re currently planning a summer camping trip to Devon and Cornwall (where we’ll try to squeeze in some National Trust based days out!)

Which National Trust properties are near you that we should visit?

Birthday Weekend in Grasmere

Grasmere 1

As a treat for my 29th birthday (and to make up for our lack of holiday last year due to numerous weddings!) we spent the first weekend of February in Grasmere.

It’s a beautiful little village that has all the charm you’d expect from the Lake District without being as in-you-face-touristy as Windermere and Bowness are.

Grasmere itself is only 50 minutes from us so we headed up on the Friday evening after work. Our hotel was lovely, with a view from our room out over the River Rothay which was filled with ducks each morning!

We spent Saturday scaling my first ever mountain. Some of the ascent was seriously tough, with me having to scramble up on my hands and knees at points. It definitely wasn’t glamorous. There were points when I ached and wasn’t enjoying myself but I persevered as I know how much Jonny loves being outdoors. The view from the summit was reward enough in itself though, as was the sense of achievement that I’d made it and not died! (I’m not the fittest of individuals!)

Grasmere 2

Grasmere 3

Grasmere 4

Once we’d wound our way back down and into Grasmere we spent a more sedate afternoon enjoying giant hot chocolates and pottering around the lovely independent shops. The book shop is my favourite (I got a gorgeous copy of Little Women from here as my Valentine’s gift!)

After an incredible meal at Sara’s Bistro on Saturday night (a restaurant we stumbled across in New Year 2013) we spent a relaxed Sunday taking in some culture. We purchased Grasmere gingerbread and had a tour around Dove Cottage (one of Wordsworth’s Lake District homes.) The guide was fab and sparked my interest back into poetry. I’ll be searching out some Wordsworth next time I’m in a book shop.

Grasmere 5

Grasmere 6

Grasmere 7

It was a well earned break from work and general life hectic-ness and I would definitely recommend Grasmere as a weekend away destination. Where should we plan our next weekend away to?


Playing Outdoors: Autumnal Crook of Lune

After having friends to visit this weekend we spent Sunday afternoon wandering through our local woods and alongside the River Lune.

Crook of Lune November 1

Crook of Lune November 3

Crook of Lune November 2

It’s definitely one of my favourite areas and I’m so glad we live within walking distance of somewhere so beautiful.

Going for a walk at this time of year is definitely more enjoyable than in the middle of summer, there’s something about the colours that just make everything seem more striking. (I may be biased though, I much prefer autumn and winter to spring and summer!)

Crook of Lune November 5

Crook of Lune November 4

Crook of Lune November 6

Sunday in Ambleside

This Sunday we drove up into the Lake District to meet my lovely friend Roz for Sunday lunch. We’re really very lucky to live so close to the Lake District, and Ambleside is a handy halfway-point between our house and Roz’s.

Ambleside is a beautiful little town, just further north than Windemere. Its normally full of walkers, and generally outdoorsy folk, something the vast array of outdoor shops will attest to.

Garden Centre 1

This time, however, we stopped just outside the town at a HUGE garden centre for lunch and proceeded to fill up with hot chocolate and lots of melted cheese based food! The garden centre itself is nestled in amongst the beautiful Lake District hills, which the cafe looks out across.

Garden Centre 3

Garden Centre 2

The highlight for me, though, (apart from catching up with the lovely Roz and Kay!) was that half of the centre had been transformed into Christmas world! Complete with flying reindeer, gnomes galore and more decorations than you could ever need. Christmas peacock, anyone? I love Christmas, winter is my favourite season of the year, so I thoroughly enjoyed wandering round their little wonderland. It’s just a shame we hadn’t had a lottery win to fund some serious Christmas spending!

Garden Centre 4