Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Stepping Into a Storybook

The last couple of days have been delightful. It felt like I had stepped into a Beatrix Potter or Enid Blyton story book. Walking along country lanes lined with stone walls and hedgerows, strolling through woods of silver birch, oak and beech trees surrounded by wildflowers, looking at mill houses and riding on a stream train. Do you get the picture?
The fantasy started with a visit to Beatrix Potters house, "Hill Top". It was as if time had stood still. Everything is just as she left it, full of all the things that she had collected just because she liked them, very eclectic. I was particularly taken with two very intricate cross stitches she had purchased at some time in her life. 

Looking around the the house, garden and surrounding countryside you can see where the inspiration came from for her children's book. It wouldn't have surprised me if I'd seen a rabbit in and little blue coat.
For something different in the afternoon we drove to Ravencliff, which is near the west coast, to have a ride on a miniature stream 
We arrived at the station minutes before the train was due to leave so Peter while  bought the tickets the rest of us ran to try and hold the train but it leaves on time no matter what. It's alright though, Peter managed to get on as it was pulling away fortunately it wasn't very fast.
It was leisurely ride and while the scenery wasn't spectacular it was lovely relaxing way to see the countryside. We thought it funny that our destination was Eskdale and that we'd travelled half way around the world to a town with same as one about an hour from our home in Australia that, I think, I've been to once.
Once we reached Eskdale we decided to take short walk to England's oldest working grain mill. It doesn't work commercially, just for tourists, mind you OH & S (Occupational Health & Safety) would have a field day it was in Australia. 
It was another step back in time and shall I say rustic, but I love this kind of thing. 
When we returned to Ravencliff we were in for a real treat a large stream came through the station and to small engines were there to greet it, there was lots of tooting and steam everywhere.
All that excitement over we headed south for Barrow in Furness where we were in for a treat.

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