The vast majority of my Cumbria-based posts to Holme & Away are focused on locations in the Eden Valley, and the eastern side of the Lake District National Park. This time, I am venturing out and heading over to the West Coast of Cumbria, to the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. It is practically on the opposite side of the county to myself and sits roughly 18 miles south of Whitehaven.
A few weeks ago, I made a visit to another local attraction and historical gem, Lowther Castle. I have already visited the parkland surrounding the Castle when I went to Lowther Show, and I thought it high time that I visited the shell of the building that remains. In 2017, they opened a new exhibition taking the visitor on a journey from its Medieval beginnings to present day. Let me tell you, it is hugely interesting, and so I shall tell you its story… very briefly. The whole thing would take days!
I’m kicking off 2018 with a visit to some slightly bizarre locations. Long Meg and her Daughters, and Castlerigg are two fairly well-known stone circles in Cumbria, and can be found near Little Salkeld and Keswick respectively.
We’ve now reached the end (nearly) of 2017, and I have one last ‘real’ post to go before my festive hiatus. A few weekends ago, my friend, Amy, and I visited Lanercost Priory, near Brampton. The site has been a place of worship since the 12th Century, and it is now presented as a mix of ruin and functioning church. Like most places in the vicinity of the Scottish border, such as Carlisle Castle, it has a rocky history of raids and hardship; and, like Brougham Castle, there have also been a handful of royal visits.
Head out to the outskirts of Penrith and you’ll find Brougham Castle, a medieval castle based on the site of the Roman fort of Brocavum. Very shortly after the land was acquired by Robert de Vieuxpoint in 1214, the castle was built to defend England from the Scots, and also at times from other members of the English nobility. The River Eamont which runs beside the castle used to mark the border between England and Scotland, before the boundary was moved further north by William Rufus in 1092.
As part of my birthday celebrations and presents, I was treated to a weekend in Liverpool with my sister. She’d bought me tickets to see Steps at the Echo Arena which was absolutely incredible, as well as a huge nostalgia trip!
We did also get the chance to wander along the waterfront and potter around the Museum of Liverpool for an hour or so. Liverpool is such a fantastic city, and it’s brilliant for shopping too. I may have spent one or two pounds in John Lewis!
If I had the ability to travel back in time, I would visit Versailles in its heyday every single time. As with many of palaces and castles which sit just outside of Paris, Versailles began its life as a hunting lodge, used by the King of France to entertain themselves, their guests, and to just generally show off. The lodge still remains, with the ‘envelope’ of the palace being built around it.
Travel 55½ km in a southeasterly direction from Paris, and you’ll reach Fontainebleau, a commune which actually covers a larger area than Paris itself. So it’s pretty big. Fontainebleau is known for its forest, and its château which has been developed over the centuries by successive French kings.
One of the must-see attractions in Paris is the Musée du Louvre, noted for its huge collection and iconic glass pyramids. Several people recognise the pyramids from the 2006 film ‘The Da Vinci Code’. based on the book by Dan Brown. Apparently, the film company paid the Louvre $2.5million for the privilege of filming in its galleries!
Taking a sightseeing cruise down the Seine in Paris was something I’d wanted to do since I first arrived in France, and it only took me about 10 months to finally get around to it! I probably wouldn’t have done so unless I was with these two champions: