Friday, June 5, 2015

A Drive through the Northern Lakes

Day #9. June 5

In an attempt to rest our hiking legs today we set off in the car for an excursion north to Keswick and then continued west and north stopping off first at St. Kentigern  Church in Crosthwaite ('thwaite' an Old Norse word for a cleared enclosure). St. Kentigern (formerly St. Mungo) founded the first church there in 553 after being forced out of Glasgow by a pagan princ. He posted a cross there in the fields, thus the name, Crosthwaite. Robert Southey, a poet and writer, is buried in the churchyard as is Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, a Church of England clergyman, poet, hymn writer, local politician, and conservationist and co-founder of the National Trust, an organization that has served us extremely well on our travels in the U.K., served as Vicar at Crosthwaite for 34 years. He was also a friend of Beatrix Potter. Crosthwaite church has 12 consecrated crosses etched in the interior and exterior walls, an unusual feature of English churches. Next stop was Caldbeck, a pretty little village with colorful cottages (several with ladies names like Fay Cottage, Martha Cottage, Elizabeth Cottage) strewn along a pretty stream (the 'beck') that runs through the village. The Old Smithy Cafe served up a tasty lunch for us. Bill and Malcolm chose the Coronation chicken sandwich, Dolly, a homemade sweet potato and pepper soup, and I, a Toastie, an open-faced grilled cheese and red onion chutney sandwich. All were good choices. As we traveled along our route the countryside in places reminded us a little of the Yorkshire Dales. One large area filled with clump after clump of bright yellow gorse and Scotch broom especially delighted us. A welcome bright spot in the heavy mist! Shortly after arriving back home at Butt Hill cottage mid-afternoon, the sun burst forth and everything was aglow. I grabbed my camera and set off for some pretty meanderings on this our last day in a favorite Lake District village. Since arriving here a week ago, the meadows are now filled with buttercups and the footpaths are adorned with a variety of wild flowers. Foxgloves are ready to pop. Back through the village and home by 6:30 for Malcolm's yummy hamburger dinner. Now we're all packed and ready for tomorrow's all day drive north to Oban where we'll catch our ferry to The Isle of Mull. Knowing we're off to Mull softens our departure from Troutbeck and England's stunning Lakes.

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