2018 June Social Trip

Our short break this time took us to the Southern Lakes and what a beautiful area it is to explore. Celia must have been on her knees for days before we left Horsham as we were blessed with the most wonderful weather.

Our lunchtime stop on the way up took us to Tatton Hall and gardens where there was the most beautiful Japanese Garden and topiary. Then before we knew it we were arriving at our hotel in Kendal. The staff there were charming and made us very welcome. It is situated on the banks of the River Kent and converted from an old tannery which gave it real character.

The next day we were able to walk to see the Quaker Tapestry comprising 77 embroidered panels (40 of which were on display). We were amazed to hear that it took 4000 men, women and children to craft this and it showed 350 years of Quaker Life and experience.

It was nice to have time afterwards to explore Kendal and get our bearings before making the journey to Grasmere which is a very pretty village. The poet William Wordsworth lived there and is buried with his family in St. Oswald’s Church.

Tuesday was a very full day with our first stop at Ambleside where we caught the boat to Lakeside and what an amazing trip it was. Most of us sat outside and the scenery was beautiful with calm water and astounding views for miles. When we arrived the steam train was waiting to take us down to Haverthwaite which brought back many happy memories of travelling in our youth. After that we took a short journey down to the Lakeland Motor Museum where there is a wonderful collection of old vehicles and paraphernalia with a complete section devoted to Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell.

For our last full day we were joined by Ian, a local Blue Badge Guide, who took us firstly to Grange Over Sands where we were able to take a delightful walk along the front with very good views of Morecambe Bay. Then we moved on to Cartmel which was really surprising for such a small village. The highlight is the 12th century priory but it also has a small racecourse which holds just nine race days each year. We mustn’t forget that it is also home to the famous ‘sticky toffee pudding’ and several purchases were made in the village shop.

The restored church has a most attractive east window, a 14th century tomb and beautiful carved misericords. Later we went to Holker Hall which is now home to Lord and Lady Cavendish. This house had a lovely feeling of being ‘lived in and loved’ as there were no ropes or barriers which allowed us to wander around at our will. There were some gorgeous drawings and paintings amongst the neo-Elizabethan Gothic style house. Outside there were stunning gardens and parkland which holds one of Britain’s grandest trees, the 400 year old Great Holker Lime with its girth of 7.9 metres.

After dinner Dean, out driver, gave us another of his super concerts where he played his banjolina to several George Formby songs. It was a super ending to an outstanding day.

All too soon it was time to leave for home and on the way we called in at Packwood House a delightful Tudor Mansion. Although it now belongs to the National Trust it was the home of Graham Baron Ash who initially served as a volunteer in the medical corps and later became a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps. They are lucky enough to have his diary showing a first-hand account of his experiences of being a Balloon Observation Officer in the final year of the First World War.

Altogether this trip was an unmitigated success and we give our utmost thanks to Celia, Lisa and Dean for organising this on our behalf.
Carole Duffy