Take a trip down the western side of Windermere and down a few narrow roads, and you’ll reach Wray Castle. Built in the 1840s, this new-gothic creation was the brainchild of James and Margaret Dawson, a Liverpudlian couple, who moved to the Lake District because, well, why wouldn’t you? Unlike other castles I have visited throughout the course of writing for this blog, Wray is a bit of a fib. It emits an air of old-world majesty and you could be tricked into thinking it was once lived in by Dukes and Earls of times gone by. The tarmac surrounding the building kind of dampens the charm, but it is still quite an imposing construction.
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.
Dad and I have been out and about again on one of our walks. Starting at the northern tip of Ullswater in Pooley Bridge, we walked 16km (10 miles) down the eastern edge of the lake to Patterdale, following the Ullswater Way.
Grasmere and Rydal are two Lake District hotspots with deep ties to one of England’s most well-known poets, William Wordsworth. His most well-known residence, Dove Cottage, was the starting point for this walk. Well, nearly. We started from a car park over the road from Dove Cottage, but it’s near enough.
The second installment in my series of Lake District walks takes place in the Borrowdale Valley, an area ever so slightly touched upon in my previous post. This walk was a little bit shorter, finishing up as a nice round 10 kilometres, but it was a touch more tricky underfoot to begin with. As with the last route, I shall add the map of this walk to the end of this post.
As part of a new series of blogs, my Dad and I are heading out on a variety of walks in the Lake District, finding spectacular, interesting, or quirky things along the way. The first of our walks took us around the Derwentwater Way, a ten mile route encircling the lake. I’ve added a rudimentary map of the route we took to the end of this post, but the Keswick visitor website has another downloadable, easy-to-follow map, which can be found here. The walk is a very popular, fairly easy and flat walk in the Lake District, and is generally well sign-posted.
So after a slight hiatus following an incredibly busy week for me, I am returning to France. Sadly, I’m not actually physically going back to France, but my blog is. I’ve got so much still to share from my year away that I haven’t got round to yet, so there’s lots to look forward too!
This time, it’s the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution! I’m lumping this in with one other museum around the Jardin des Plantes, so there’s a bit of variety in this one! The Grande Galerie is home to a huge collection of taxidermied animals from all corners of the world. I’ve never really seen anything quite like it! The collection is split over four floors, starting with underwater/marine life, and a massive whale skeleton.
Throughout my time in France, I have been attending a language school who occasionally put on cultural trips to supplement our learning, which I think is great! Our most recent excursion took us from Chatou to Bougival, via Croissy-sur-Seine, to discover more about the Impressionist painters of the later 1880s.
Home to thousands of plant species, the Jardin des Plantes is the main botanical garden in France, and forms one eleventh of the ‘Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle’ (No prizes for guessing it’s English translation). It’s also right over the road from the Grand Mosque of Paris so it’s easy to combine a trip to both places in the same afternoon.