Monday, 29 August 2016

Mellrigg Cottage, Ullswater, Lake District

During our week's holiday at Ullswater earlier this month we stayed at Mellrigg - a  most delightful, old cottage sitting on a quiet country lane, about 10 minute drive from the lake. Except for a house to the left of the cottage there were no other properties nearby. I absolutely loved the piece and quiet of the isolated location surrounded by nothing other then glorious nature. And the cottage itself is a bit of a dream home to me.

I was so looking forward to spending a week at Mellrigg that, as we drove up and it finally came into view, I squealed with excitement. Just loved its white washed walls and the stone barn attached to it. This is the front view you see from the road but I took the photo from the property's large side lawn. There are also big lawns to the front and the back of the cottage making for an amazing amount of land.

The back of the cottage -  just as pretty as the front. We loved popping out through the back door to enjoy the outdoors.

A bouquet of pink stocks - some of my favourite flowers - the owners left for us in the jug on the dining table. There was also a bottle of red wine, cake and card to welcome us with. We were really touched by this; it is not what you normally get when you hire a holiday cottage, and we appreciated it very much.

The dining area with a window seat. We had a few tasty full English breakfasts here to keep us going on our daily ramblings, and some simple but scrummy evening meals, all made so much more enjoyable by the lovely ambience.


A charming side window to the right of the dining table. It is the third window in the room. Always thought it so nice to have more than one window in the same room.

The sitting area opposite the dining area with another window seat. If I ever move from where I am now, and I definitely would like to, one of the musts would be to have a window seat in the new home. It is an ideal place for reading or, at Mellrigg....

.......for just sitting and watching the birds on the feeder outside......

There were many beautiful antique/vintage ornaments around the cottage like this old davy lamp hanging off one of the ceiling beams in the sitting room.

The kitchen has been modernised, and much as I would have loved to cook on an aga I understand that in this day and age an electric cooker is a much more appealing choice for majority of people. What I'd also like to say is that the kitchen was very well stocked up with everything you need in the kitchen, more evidence of generosity on the part of the owners.

The hall inside the back door with the kitchen to the right, sitting room/dining area to the left and the staircase to the first floor.

The staircase, the front door and a lovely vintage two-seater in the front door area of the hall.

Beautiful interior detail captured with my back to the front door.....

My favourite ornament of all - a bronze statue of a hare on the staircase window sill. It had instantly become a must have for me and now I am searching for a similar one for my house.

Upstairs landing and hall with its lovely wooden banister and a small bookcase.

Pretty little bathroom window. The bathroom as well as downstairs toilet are inside the barn building.

The master bedroom with its charming country cottage decor.

The view from the back door. Every morning, as soon as I opened my eyes, I scampered downstairs to fling the back door open, step out......

.........and drink in the stunning beauty of the view ahead.
Most mornings were sunny but breezy and a bit on the nippy side for August. Later on on some days it became cloudy and it also rained a fair bit, but we managed to realize all our plans regarding walks and visits to the two nearest towns - Penrith and Keswick.

To the right of the view above there are stone steps .......

and a little wooden footbridge.....

.......over a stream. Yes, Mellrigg has even got a stream within its gardens, which is, for me, its most delightful feature of all.

Over the stream sheep were frequent visitors to the garden. We even saw a deer on a couple of occasions. Pure bliss with birdsong, murmur of flowing water and sheep bahs soundtrack to our stay!

This is the view beyond the stream. At the border there is a small pet graveyard with little headstones.

Mellrigg basking in the mellow afternoon sunshine.

My friend Liz enjoyed a cuppa sitting on the bench in front of the cottage while I was taking photos.

The house next door, the only other property in the vicinity. It does not seem to be occupied very often; we did not see anyone there.

The entrance gate to the Mellrigg's drive from the front garden. Love the redcurrant bush to the left.

I found Mellrigg a magical place, and I took quite a few photos before I was satisfied I had caught its magic on the camera.

Mellrigg at dusk, my favourite time of the day.

Would I come back to Mellrigg? I definitely would and dearly hope I will have a chance to do so. There is still so much in the area to discover and explore and I couldn't wish for a better place to stay.
Would I recommend Mellrigg? Certainly so if you are a nature lover like me and enjoy the tranquility of remote and extremely beautiful countryside.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Walking From Glenridding to Howtown, Ullswater, Lake District

Last Friday I returned from a lovely week's holiday at the lake Ullswater in the Lake District. We stayed in a charming old cottage with stunning gardens which I will be blogging about next. Today I would like to share our first and longest walk of the holiday.

Ullswater is the second largest of the Lakeland's lakes and meres, and arguably the most beautiful of the English lakes. It is often compared to Switzerland's Lake Lucerne. It is a "narrow ribbon lake" formed as glaciers gouged out the valley floor during the last Ice Age.

When you look at a visitor map of Ullswater one of the first things you notice is that there are steamer trips spanning the length of the lake with three stops. You can have a ride the full length of the route or you can hop on and off at the three piers. Of course, going on the steamer was a must, and we opted to go on a linear walk between two of the stops -  Glenridding and Howtown and then take the steamer back. It was a 7 mile walk, mainly on an undulating, sometimes rather steep and rocky path.

I took this from the road near Glenridding pier at the start of our walk. It is a common Lakes scene, but too beautiful to take for granted.

Another typical, delightful Lake District view: one or two white houses nestling at the bottom of a mountain with the lake in the foreground.

We soon got onto a track leading to a farm.....

........and the views all around us were wonderful.

The charming Side Farm. Loved the pink flowers behind the dry stone wall. We passed through its stable yard where there was an inviting tea room, but we didn't stop - there were still quite a few miles of walk ahead of us.

We continued along this track for quite a while. No, we didn't climb the ladders to go over the wall, I just liked the way they looked in the setting, and the light.

There were many breathtaking views of the lake and its islands from the path to the left.

The combination of moss and dry stone wall always catches my eye.

At times the lake would disappear from the view, but the landscape remained very beautiful......

There was a lot of cloud about, and the light was constantly changing from sunny to moody. It was pretty much my favourite sort of day for photography.

I liked the frame with a mixture of scattered isles and rowing boats on the lake surface.....

........and then one with a Lakeland Herdwick sheep in the foreground and the Ullswater steamer in the distance...

As we were now descending to the lakeshore the sun came out fully, and I was regaled to this lovely pastoral scene. Just love the sheep. light, colours and the background here.

Couldn't resist a little play with my Jessica Drossin textures on this one.

The perspective, vegetation and whole scenery was changing as the path was getting flatter .....

.......and we finally reached the water's edge. My loyal friend Liz can be seen on the very right in the turquoise top waiting for me (yet again) to take that "perfect" shot.

After a quick rest and a very welcome refreshment at the nearby pub at Howtown we boarded the steamer at Howtown jetty and were on our way back to Glenridding.

It was so very windy and draughty on the ferry, and cold too as temperatures were generally way too low for August, that my camera very soon got put away. I'd planned on taking pics throughout the half an hour cruise, but this shot of the boathouse with some mellow light on the hillside behind was the last one I took on the outing.

We arrived at Glenridding weary, windblown and and in need of something invigorating, so we decided to head straight away for the comfort of the lovely cottage we were staying at. We had a great day - a very good and satisfying start to our holiday.