Catch up on days 1, 2 & 3!
Our last day in the lakes was to be spent doing something neither of us had done before. We had previously tried and failed whilst in Canada so knew it was time. I am of course talking about the Honister Mine Via Ferrata.
A via ferrata translates as iron road and originate from the alps. Simply put it is a steel cable which runs along a mountain route to allow climbers to clip on to reduce the danger of falling. There can be steel cables, pegs and ladders which can make it exciting yet easier for non-climbers to traverse peaks.
After a lovely first day our second real day in the lakes also happened to be Easter Sunday. As expected it was raining which did scupper our plans slightly as we would have loved to have attempted to climb Scafell Pike (highest mountain in England.) It just wasn’t meant to be this time round, still, it’s a great reason to head northwards again in the future.
After a leisurely breakfast we hopped in the car for the short drive to Hilltop Farm – home to the one and only Beatrix Potter. Along with writing children’s books, most famously Peter Rabbit, she was also a firm believer in the countryside and brought up a lot of the Lake District area. When she died this was handed over to the National Trust.
Our first day in the lakes began with a 7.5 hour drive from the south of England to the north. Top tip, it’s true what they say about traffic in the UK on a bank holiday, horrendous. Avoid at all costs.
Still, we made it to our destination of Coniston late afternoon so had time to grab some supplies from the local shop and check into the cottage. The cottage was lovely – decorated in a country style. One bedroom two floor space with a lounge/kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. It was located on a main road and the minute you step out of it you are on the road but it was manageable.
We could park opposite the cottage and walk into two via an abandoned railway line so a good location too! We booked this through Airbnb and I would recommend staying here!
Full round-up of our 4 days in the beautiful Lake District coming soon!!!
As part of my Christmas present my in-laws got me a Gin Parlour Experience in London which involved drinking gin. Which everyone knows is one of my favourite activities. As it involved gin we needed to stay in London which meant we were going to make a weekend of it! I’ve written about our day at London Zoo so here is a round-up of the rest of our time.
Given that gin was the order of the day I was very excited!
Before we got to the zoo we headed to a bookshop I’d read about that specialised in travel literature. The Marylebone store of Daunt Books was the closest to the zoo, I was glad we made the trip. It actually ended up being the first of two travel bookshops we stopped at but it was the prettier of the two. Filled from top to bottom with travel books, new and second hand it was a travellers paradise.
My dream one day is to have a huge travel book collection but today neither of us wanted to carry anything heavy so reluctantly we left without our body weight in books.
To get to the zoo we walked by through Regent’s Park which was lovely, if not a little covered in Saturday morning runners!
Sometimes the UK really is a wonderful place to be!
We spend a lot of time thinking about getting away and thinking that holidays have to be abroad but there are some truly fabulous places right here.
So, with China only a few weeks away it was time to do something to fill in the time. After the enjoyment of the Chilli Fiesta in August we signed up quickly for the Apple Affair at West Dean.
We had high hopes of a day filled with apples and fun just like the Chilli Fiesta and it was fun and a nice day (read couple of hours) out but…..I wasn’t blown away. They could have taken it much further, done more with the apples, had more activities going on to really highlight the apple harvest. Our only criticism of the Chilli Fiesta was that there wasn’t enough “free” stuff that was included with the price of the ticket and this was certainly true of the Apple Affair.
Yes we got to walk around the grounds and the gardens which are lovely, there were some wonderful stall holders, cookery demonstrations and a music tent which did make it enjoyable but that was really it.
It was a shame considering it could £9 ish per adult ticket (including gift aid) as we only stayed for a couple of hours, it might have been different if we had children to run around with but we don’t. The event did have a wonderful community feel with the villagers of West Dean. The atmosphere may have been better had it only been a 1 day event but hey ho that’s just our opinion.
We did get some lovely pictures and did see many many apples!!!
Have you been to the Apple Affair? Did you have the same thoughts? Any better ideas for apple festivals in the UK?
We are slightly River Cottage crazy and have now been to two events at the farm, brought 8 out of 15 handbooks, own 5 of his cookbooks and have watched nearly every episode of the shows. Slightly obsessed I know but nonetheless great experiences (and with Raspberry Vodka currently being made in a jar in the cupboard you can’t go wrong!)
We booked to attend the Summer Fair back in June after missing the Spring Fair. Tickets were cheap and if you happen to be in the area its probably a very cheap day out. For us we had to drive for 3 hours across 3 counties but it was so worth it!
We got there early and it was rather quiet to start with. We headed to the main stage to hear John Wright do a short talk. He made some beer ice cream and there were many laughs between him and Steve Lamb. We had mini fan moments and then made our way around the event.
Sorry for the delay – our internet is back! (YAY) Here’s the run down…I think the pictures do it more justice though.
The West Dean Chilli Fiesta is a festival held once a year on the grounds of the West Dean College. It was the festival’s 20th anniversary this year so all the stops were pulled out, from chilli throwing competitions to cookery demonstrations and live music.
It was a bright sunny day (read HOT) and we drove over to the site, drove through a field and parked up. With a quick wander down to the festival entrance you could really see the beauty of the area. The site is noted in the Domesday Book and was owned by the James family. In 1912 possession landed in the hands of Edward James who turned it into what it is today. Left to the Edward James Foundation the whole site is a charitable organisation.