Thursday, 4 June 2015

A Little bit of Luxury

If you have been follow our travels you may recall our Fawlty Towers experience. Well last night was at the other end of the scale by comparison and our best accommodation by far. Peter managed to find us two £90 ($180) rooms for £60 ($120), at Barrow in Furness in the south Lakes District, on The service was impeccable, the rooms clean, bright & modern and the food (2 courses for £12 each) was restaurant quality, no pub grub here. It was a real treat for Ross and I, as we haven't stayed in this kind of accommodation before, and even Peter was impressed.
Our destination today was Carlisle just south of Scotland and the day was planned around a half price voucher we received with our train ticket yesterday for a boat ride on Lake Ullswater. 
As you can see the weather wasn't so good, not just raining but it was accompanied by the roaring 40s. If it had been upto me I probably would have some nice inside activity but our philosophy on on this trip is if one person's really keen we're all in and we know Ross and boats. To quote Ross' favourite expressions "anyone can do it on a fine day", and it all adds to the experience, right. 
Once the rain eased off and the sun came out and despite the wind still being fierce and freezing, straight off the snow in Scotland, we ventured up on deck, it was lovely to be able to take in the scenery at gentle pace and not from the back of the car. 
At destination, Howtown, we stepped back into the story book with a stroll along this lane to local hotel.
The public bar was so small you couldn't swing a cat but cosy. We enjoyed a coke and a ginger beer (how English) before heading back for return trip on the oldest commercial boat in England, the "Lady of the Lake". 
Sorry I didn't get a decent photo of her because we didn't realise her history until we were on her. This is her bow as we're coming back to port.
One of the things we did before leaving home was join the National Trust of England ($200/couple), this allows you into any of their sites for free, which is a big saving when most places are at least £10+ ($20) each to get into. We covered the cost within 3 sites. Anyway, the information book on the sites has been our go to reference when we haven't had anything planned and Acorn Bank is one such place. The National Trust are in the process of bringing it back to it original glory. 
While the house might not have been in the best of nick, the garden was beautiful. 
An added bonus required stepping back into storyland with walk through these woods to another working mill. Couldn't you just skip along this path to find Wonderland or the Faraway Tree.
This mill was a bit more professional than yesterday's as it actually produces and small amount of flour for sale so it was a lot neater and clean. The chaps working it were very informative and interesting. The flour they produce is wholemeal but as fine as white flour which surprised me.
What a great couple of days, two of my favourites so far. I've loved immersing myself in the English countryside and transporting myself back childhood stories.
Off to Scotland tomorrow.

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