Lake District grounds and gardens

This is my final post on the Lake District houses we visited in March / April. I showed the interiors of the houses a few weeks ago, and now it’s the turn of the gardens, grounds and views.

Sizergh Castle

Sizergh had the best display of daffodils we saw all week! I’m not so keen on the topiary, but I liked the rock garden.

Allan Bank

There was a lovely woodland trail at Allan Bank, leading to a spectacular viewing seat.

Wray Castle

Wray Castle lies on the shores of Windermere and has no fewer than four boathouses. St Margaret’s Church was built for the original owners in 1856, but is not now open to the public.


Blackwell’s grounds would also have run down to Windermere originally, but no longer. You still get the view though – spectacular!

Holehird Gardens

We also visited Holehird Gardens, just outside the town of Windermere, which belong to the Lakeland Horticultural Society. Splendid – until I slipped in the mud round the pond. Oh well, it was our last day. It didn’t matter too much that I had run out of clean trousers.

A to Z Road Trip

A family bereavement meant I had to pull over on my A to Z Road Trip. I hope to be back en route soon.

Lake District interiors

Last week, I showed the exteriors of five Lakeland houses and asked who lived there. This week, I’m taking a peek into their interiors. The first two have very fine woodwork, but consequently are dark and not very photogenic so the best is saved to last. (Click on the title links if you want to see the outside.)

Sizergh Castle


Allan Bank

Allan Bank is unrestored and allows all sorts of creative activities (we were particularly taken by the dragon) as well as having a large board for visitors to write their suggestions. I hadn’t visited anywhere quite like it – until we went to Wray Castle a couple of days later.

Wray Castle

Unrestored, like Allan Bank, with opportunities to write on walls! The ship’s wheel remains from the house’s time as a naval college and the Peter Rabbit room for children is a nod towards Beatrix Potter who was once a holiday tenant.


As I said – the best is saved to last. Blackwell is an Arts and Crafts house which reminds me so much of Mackintosh’s work.

Which house would you rather live in?

This week on the Road Trip

I’ve met a few new (to me) bloggers on the A to Z Road Trip this week. So far so good. My featured choice is Eunice at A tent, a caravan, 4 wheels and me. Eunice is from Bolton in Lancashire and solo-camps with her two dogs. Although I’m fairly sure I’ll never go camping again, I enjoy reading about her experiences and the photos of her recent Welsh trips are lovely.

Five Photos, Five Stories: Day 1

I’ve been invited to take part in the “Five Photos, Five Stories” challenge by Jude of Travel Words. The challenge is to “post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph, and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”.

My five photos are from our recent Lake District holiday. The weather wasn’t very good so we visited a lot of houses. I’m going to take them in chronological order and ask “Who lived there?”

Sizergh Castle – who lived there?

Sizergh Castle

In Sizergh‘s case, the question should be – who lives there? The estate belonged to the Strickland family from the 13th century until 1950 when they handed it over to the National Trust, but the castle is still their home. There was a gap after 1688 when, as Catholic Royalists, the Stricklands went into exile in France with the court of James II, but other than that they have been there all the time. I find it hard to imagine what it must be like to have such a clear and continuous view of one’s family history – do you?

I always feel a little shy passing these challenges on and I’ve noticed some other people do too. I’ve spotted two ways of dealing with this recently – and I’m going to copy both! First, the open challenge to every reader. If you’d like to do 5 Photos 5 Stories  let me know in the comments and I’ll give you an “official” nomination.

Second, a shout-out to blogs that I enjoy. I’m guessing that if you’re reading this you might also be interested in other British-based travel bloggers, so I’ve selected a few of them. First up, Restless Jo. I’m including her today because she runs a regular theme, Jo’s Monday Walk. Click on the link to see where she’s taking us this week. Thanks also to Richard at A Bit of Culture whose latest post is on part of the South West Coast Path and who first alerted me to Jo’s walks by taking part in one. I recommend them both.