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South Lakeland District

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    • Day 54

      Lake District - 70km

      May 21 in England ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

      Nous partons sous un ciel un peu gris, mais pas trop menaçant, pour une « balade » de 70km, 1500m de dénivelé et 3 cols (dont 1 que nous ferons 2 fois, on aime bien la difficulté !).
      Nous débutons la journée en longeant Elterwater, un beau petit court d’eau, traversons Little Langdale, une vallée très verte et entamons la grimpette avec la première montée de Wrynose Pass qui culmine à 393m avec seulement 3,3km de montée, ça grimpe dur… Une jolie rivière accompagne la montée avec de petites cascades par endroit ainsi que nos éternels amis les moutons, eux sont bien toujours là avec leurs lots d’agneaux. Puis on enchaîne rapidement avec le Hardknott Pass : on ne le savait pas à ce moment-là mais c’est la montée la plus pentue d’Angleterre avec un passage à 30%, un autre à 25%, une moyenne totale de 14% et… nous avons réussi à rester sur les vélos jusqu’en haut ! Apparemment ce col est un des must du cyclisme sur route en Angleterre, un peu comme le Galibier en France.
      Les descentes font plaisir, presque autant que les montées.
      Après un déjeuner bien mérité, nous faisons une boucle dans la vallée de Duddon, passons devant la petite gare de Dalegarth et apercevons un vieux train qui fonctionne encore en tant qu’attraction touristique et permet de traverser la vallée.
      Ensuite, nous montons sur un plateau pour aller admirer le Tarn Devoke, enfin de l’eau dans cette région des lacs !
      Pour finir la journée, nous reprenons la route, repassons par le Wrynose Pass et descendons à Ambleside pour quelques courses avant de retourner au camping, éreintés par cette journée.
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    • Day 52

      Todmorden > Lancaster - 90km

      May 19 in England ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      À nouveau un départ avec le soleil, nous avons de la chance avec le temps mais vous verrez, ça ne va pas durer.
      Nous quittons la jolie petite ville de Todmorden et commençons à prendre de la hauteur, la région est montagneuse et ça grimpe pas mal.
      Puis direction la côte, où nous avons prévu d’arriver à Lancaster avant la fermeture du château (dernière visite guidée à 15h45).
      À noter que les anglais ont l’air d’adorer les voitures : anciennes ou récentes et les sortent le week-end. Encore plus quand il fait beau.
      Nous traversons la petite ville de Whalley et rentrons dans la forêt de Bowland. Les paysages sont tout d’abord très verts puis plutôt arides (notre hôte nous a dit que les arbres avaient été coupés il y a plusieurs centaines d’années). Nous suivons donc la vallée et sa rivière avant de passer un col pour rejoindre Lancaster.
      Ouf, nous arrivons pour la dernière visite guidée. Nous apprenons pas mal de choses intéressantes sur le château, en effet, il n’est plus la demeure de riches habitants (voire ne l’a presque jamais été) mais sert de tribunal et de prison ! Nous visitons les anciens cachots, mais également la prison datant de la première moitié du XXe siècle, et la plus récente (plus en activité, je vous rassure). Les salles d’audience sont également impressionnantes, remplies de blason des différentes maisons anglaises et de bois sculpté.
      Enfin, nous reprenons les vélos et passons par la petite cité balnéaire de Morecambe où nous avons une belle vue sur la mer et les montagnes de Lake District, région que nous rejoindrons demain.
      Ce soir, nous dormirons dans un camping. Le temps de monter la tente et un orage montre le bout de son nez. Nous l’évitons cette fois-ci en allant à la douche pile au bon moment !
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    • Day 7

      Walkabout Wednesday

      September 13, 2023 in England ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      We had a nice low-key day today. We enjoyed a relaxing breakfast onboard and spent some time tidying up the boat. We walked into Lancaster to find a bank to switch our 50-pound notes. We tried to spend them in shops and pubs but no one wanted them. The first two banks were lined up, so we tried what appeared to be a credit union. They said no if we weren't customers. We found a Lloyds Bank, and they turned us down, too. They suggested we try a Post Office. The first person we spoke to at the Post Office suggested we take them to the Bank of England, seriously? Randy explained our challenge to a lovely young lady who initially apologized and said she couldn't help us but then said she would change all our 50s into 10s and 20s. We were so grateful. A word of caution don't bring 50 pound notes if you come to England. Actually, everywhere we've been tap has been the preferred payment method. Once we had our cash under control, we visited the Lancaster Priory and the Lancaster Castle. Both were definitely worth seeing. The area surrounding them was also very beautiful. We stopped for a late lunch in a little cafe and picked up some supplies at Aldi. It was a beautiful day today, and we really enjoyed our short southbound trip. Initially, we planned on stopping in a heavily wooded area, but we decided we wanted to enjoy the sunshine. We found a really nice secluded spot, no pub for us today. We had our chairs at the front of the boat to enjoy the sunshine and seclusion, but then a friendly dog came for a visit with his owner. Many people walk their dogs along the tow path. We had a nice chat about the history of the canal. As he continued his walk, another canal boat pulled up behind us to park for the night. We've met them a couple of times and it was nice to have a happy hour with them. They owned their own narrowboat previously and were now occasionally renting. They shared so much information on other canals. We had a nice dinner on board and played a few card games.Read more

    • Day 95

      Royal respite

      December 7, 2023 in England ⋅ ☁️ 7 °C

      I believe today marked the start of some very boring updates, dear readers!

      We awoke in our castle, enjoyed some tea and some freshly baked bread which was dropped off by our lovely bnb host, drank some more tea before heading out for a walk to see our castle grounds and the adjourning small town of Hornby.

      Our accommodation is buildings attached to the main keep of the castle - so we aren't staying in a castle per se, but it's close enough.

      After doing 2 laps of the 'quaint' (tiny) town we decided we needed to find a walking path if we even wanted to consider hitting our 10k step goal, so we found a public path that took us through some private farms before turning around and getting absolutely drenched in the rain.

      We made our way back after hitting the step goal and enjoyed watching Shaun of the Dean before finishing off the charcuterie leftovers from yesterday.

      Step count: 11.6k
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    • Day 94

      Roman around the countryside

      December 6, 2023 in England ⋅ ☁️ 2 °C

      This morning we said goodbye to our Newcastle accommodation and headed east towards the great northern wall, none other than Hadrian's Wall! We picked around the middle of the wall as there was a Roman fort and museum there, but once we got there we found out that it was closed... It was very sad to see.

      Fortunately for us, today was the first day of blue skies and sun in England that we've had in a while, so we decided to walk part of the wall. It was a toasty 4°C and the sun was shining brightly and there wasn't a breeze. We walked past Roman ruins, sheep, frozen mud and puddles for about 45 minutes until we decided to turn around and start heading back. It was very peaceful, and a lovely way of getting our daily steps in. Thanks Emperor Hadrian for such a lovely wall, I'm sure that it was effective at keeping the Picts out!

      After making our way back to the car, we drove to a nearby town to grab a coffee and a scone, then bought some supplies for the evening and got back on our way to head to our accommodation.

      The road had us go between the Lake District and North Pennines nature preserve, which was a beautiful drive. The hills and mountains loomed in the distance, and the tops were all still covered in snow. We're hoping we get a chance to come back up and explore some of the area before we head too far south!

      Eventually we made it to the town near our accommodation and stopped briefly at the Lidl to grab some more groceries before heading to our dingy little hut.

      Did I say say dingy little hut? I meant to say castle!!! (Or at least, part of one.) It was pitch black when we pulled in so we have no clue what our accommodation looks like. I'm sure we'll have photos to share tomorrow.

      Once we got in and situated, we put together one of the few appropriate meals when you're in a castle: a charcuterie board! (And if you're looking at the photo, NO we didn't eat it all, there's plenty for tomorrow... And potentially the next day.)

      We spent the rest of the evening doing some more planning for our trip before heading to our much upgraded bed!

      Step count: 15k
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    • Day 96

      Just the one swan actually...

      December 8, 2023 in England ⋅ 🌧 8 °C

      Today was our day to explore part of the UK's lake district. We had a coffee and left for the hour drive into the hills.

      First up was the nice little town of Ambleside. This town contains a 17th century house built on a bridge over a river to avoid the town's land tax. Very cheeky!

      After walking around the town for a little while, we continued up the road to the lakeside town of Keswick, where we took a walk to Friars Crag, a view that overlooks the lake. It was lovely and peaceful, and considering the rainy weather, we had great visibility of the lake.

      After another coffee the next stop was Aira Force Waterfall, an impressively big waterfall. While it was a lovely area with a great view, it was also annoyingly busy considering the time of year and the weather, so we didn't spend too long there.

      Finally, on the way back to our accommodation, we took a lovely road that was on the edge of the lake Ullswater. At some points the lake was only a few metres from the road. It was very impressive! (And lucky that the road hasn't flooded...)

      Once we were home we relaxed a while before making up the third and final charcuterie leftovers for dinner while watching the legendary movie: Hot Fuzz!

      Step count: 10.1k
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    • Day 23

      Up hill and down (Yorkshire) Dale(s)

      May 19, 2023 in England ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      Nothing especially amusing today, but we do have a little bit of inside info for those who might be interested.

      It is apparent that there are a number of closet ‘All Creatures’ devotees out there, judging from the private messages we have received. It wasn’t our intention to devote any more space to this, but to satisfy the interest of said ‘Herriot-o-files’ here is a little extra we discovered this morning before leaving Grassington.

      After a full ‘Mrs. Hall’ breakfast - including some traditional Yorkshire Pudding which even Loss sampled, we went for a stroll around the village and came across a little street that looked (to our untrained eyes) as if it would be perfect for the series and both of us commented along those lines - cobblestone street, perfect looking little houses etc.
      As we looked further down the street we saw some activity happening. It was a group of tradies and people from the production crew of ‘All Creatures’ preparing another house to feature in the next series. It will belong to ‘Gerard’ - Mrs. Hall’s new romantic interest(!) They were preparing the house - external painting (replacing modern colours around windows and doors with appropriate shades of brown etc.) as well as internal furnishings.

      ‘Is it OK if I take some photos?’
      “Hmmm, you’re not really meant to….but I can’t see your camera…”

      Filming to take place on Monday. You saw and heard it here first.

      Our plan today was for another circuitous / scenic drive through the Dales. Again, it was fascinating to see the ever changing scenery and the amazing houses in little villages all jammed in together around the main road through town (which was often barely wide enough to fit the little Fiat through). After heading north and east through Leyburn, we headed across the more rugged part of the Moors to Tan Hill Inn - the highest Inn in England. A ‘signature drink’ Ginger hot chocolate was had before continuing on to Hawes
      - and the impressive sounding ‘Hadrow Force Waterfall’. This also laid claim to fame as being England’s largest drop waterfall.
      We drove in, paid our entrance fee and walked along the path towards the falls. With the hype about its vertical drop etc I was expecting a Niagara Falls type of experience, however this certainly wasn’t the case. Although very pretty, the water volume and height were relatively modest, perhaps more comparable to En Gedi falls (for those who have been) than Niagara - or even Fitzroy falls or similar, for that matter.

      Next point of interest was the Ribblehead Viaduct which is essentially just a photogenic railway bridge. We pulled over on the side of the road just long enough to snap a couple of shots, then it was onwards toward our main destination for today - the waterfall trail at Ingleton.
      This is a popular attraction in this area of the Dales. It is a series of waterfalls, gullies and chutes. The trail is about 8km and we took around 2 1/4 hours to complete it. Again, the falls were relatively modest but very picturesque and thoroughly enjoyable.

      We have settled into another very historic hotel tonight in Ingleton.

      And the weather has even warmed up a little - we were down to shirtsleeves for most of the day!
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    • Day 6

      Day Four Ribblehead to Dent

      August 1, 2022 in England ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      What a difference a day makes. Yesterday rain rain rain and today 17km in the sun sun sun. It made for such great walking. I stopped a lot more to look at things, birds, horses, butterflies, sheep, dead sheep 🙀, cows, and ducks seem to be enjoying to good weather. There were times where I got a little lost as the signs were misleading or not there at all (see photo) but my gps map is working really well. I have not yet met anyone doing the walk but my host last night said there is a couple a day ahead of me. I have a couple of blister but nothing too much at the moment.Read more

    • Day 30

      Kendal

      August 9, 2022 in England ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      Goedemorgen Kendal!

      Het doel van mijn trip naar kendal was in intentie om Lake District in te gaan.
      Nu ben ik er helaas achter gekomen dat het lastig is om dit door middal van het openbaar vervoer te doen.

      Vandaag besluit ik dan ook om in en rondom Kendal rondt te lopen aangezien ik hier toch maar een volledige dag heb.

      Zo gezegd zo gedaan dan ook.
      Ik heb vandaag voornamelijk rond gelopen in het dorp.
      Zo kwam ik tijdens mijn wandeling een berg op een ruïne kasteel tegen met prachtig uitzicht.
      (Foto’s doen dit soort plaatsen helaas nooit eer)

      Later op de middag besloot ik voor het eerst echt engels te lunchen. Wat u ziet; gepureerde doperwten (waarom?!), een soort hartige taart met rundvlees (dit was men), frietjes en jus.
      Al met al best om voor £8

      Om 17:00 ga ik weer terug naar het hostel. Hier eet ik een van de meest ranzige pizza’s welke er bestaat.

      Verder doe ik vanavond niet erg veel. Ik ben een geruime tijd bezig met het achterstallige werk van de FindPenguins en lees een boek.

      Morgen ga ik naar Edinburgh!
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    • Day 4

      Coniston Hall Campsite

      June 12, 2023 in England ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Na de warme wandeltocht zijn we naar Coniston gereden en hebben een prachtige plek gevonden aan het water waar we zelfs even hebben gezwommen. Ook nog een onweersbui gehad, maar dat mag de pret niet drukken. We genieten nog steeds 🤗Read more

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