Spud and I arrived at our destination between 5 and 6. We were the last of our party to arrive, but we made pretty good time, having left just after 9 that morning and travelling quite a distance across the country. Spud worked out a good route and we also managed to avoid the worst of the traffic.
We were a party of 14, comprising of my parents and brothers, my aunt, uncle and 3 young cousins, another aunt, and my grandparents. We stayed at a Christian guild holiday home in Grange over Sands, but rather than staying at the big house, we were housed in 3 lodges in the grounds. They were positioned on an incline above the house and the view from there was spectacular! We could see Morecambe Bay, and all the way across the waters to Lancaster.
After a day of travelling, no one felt like venturing out too far the following day. Spud and I attended the service at the house. It was the first time I'd been to a church service in weeks, and it refreshed me spiritually. The speaker was really excellent and there was plenty of worship in song, followed by some quiet time which provided the opportunity to really listen to God.
That afternoon, Spud and I went for a walk with my brothers. There was a station at the bottom of the drive, so we crossed the railway tracks and walked through the field beyond until we reached the shore. Here are some of the pictures from our little jaunt:
The following day was Bank holiday Monday, and we knew that everywhere would be heaving. We caught the steam train to the bottom of Windermere, and spent the afternoon by the lake side:
That night we received a visitor, just upward from our lodge:
A deer (I appreciate that the photograph isn't all that clear. This was the best of several shots).
The next day the weather turned on us. It was decided that a town would be our best option if we were going out, as it would be more sheltered, so we opted for Kendal. Unfortunately, may tourists seemed to have the same idea, and the free car park was packed. Thankfully, Spud and I have a really tiny car so we were able to squeeze into a small space that was going. We mooched around the town, and then visited the castle on the way home:
On Wednesday we went to Coniston waters where we hired Kayaks. I left my camera behind as I didn't want to risk getting it wet (we did get pretty wet, although nobody fell into the lake!) We then went on to Keswick where we stopped at a mountainside cafe that Spud visits every year with his family, and Castlerigg stone circle. Again, no photographs I'm afraid.
On Thursday my father and brothers, along with my aunt, uncle and cousins, climbed Scarfell Pike (England's tallest mountain). I would have loved to have climbed the mountain too, but Spud has a serious heart condition which prevents him from undertaking such strenuous activities, and I was also feeling under the weather that day. Instead, the two of us drove to Carlisle so that I could do my research, while my mother went out for a drive with my aunt and grandparents. It was a very hot day and a fairly long drive to Carlisle, and I felt pretty weak and light headed for most of the day. We visited the castle and cathedral, and then wandered around the city centre:
There was also a curious display in the town centre, involving lots and lots of cardboard boxes!
Friday was the last day of our holiday, and we set off to Grasmere. We went to the churchyard, in search of a plaque my grandparents commissioned in the name of their second son, my late uncle. We hadn't realised just how many there would be:
And, of course, as a former English Literature student I took the opportunity to visit Wordsworth's grave:
We sampled Grasmere's famous gingerbread. It was delicious!
The slogan of this shop was clearly inspired by what is probably Wordsworth's most famous poem:
On the way home we took a detour and stopped by a lake. Spud and I walked the perimeter with my parents:
Midway around the lake we discovered a fallen tree embedded with coins, which passers by had driven into the bark:
That night after our last dinner together at the house, we went outside to pose for family photographs:
With the grandchildren:
With the children:
And that was how we celebrated my grandparents' Golden Wedding Anniversary: 50(+) years of love.