Neither of us were disappointed. Hubby wanted to do the Old Man of Coniston (that's a mountain, not a person) and I was determined to get my hands on some wool local to Cumbria, as it's just as famous for it's high sheep population as it's gorgeous peaks and lakes.
Since we got together, we've been going up every couple of years or so and we always base ourselves in Ambleside, which is just at the top of Windermere, the biggest lake and fairly central to the whole of the Lake District. Hubby usually chooses which peaks he wants to visit, then I choose the walks there, so that we don't get anything too strenuous.
The tourist trail to the Coniston Old Man is a steep climb straight up, so the walk I found took us around the far side of the hill past a lake called Goat's Water. That was a stunning lake, but it was slightly marred by the steep 100m climb up the corrie wall to get further up the hill:
The next day, my leg muscles went on strike, so we settled for a flat walk along Rydal Water and Grasmere to Grasmere village. We'd walked past Rydal before, but this walk was a revelation. Beautiful woods carpeted with bluebells, baby deer running around and one of the most pictureesque villages we've seen. We've driven past Grasmere village so many times and because it's shielded by trees from the main road, we simply hadn't seen how pretty it is. It's a real gem and we'll definitely go there again next time we're in the area.
The real treat for me this holiday was to go up to The Wool Clip in Caldbeck, which is a co-operative formed by local wool producers and crafters. Hubby wanted to visit Carlisle Castle and Caldbeck just happened to be on the way there. I'd only intended the briefest of visits, because of hubby's presence (I always worry that he'll get bored) but once I'd grabbed some yarn and got chatting to Cecilia, who was working there that day, it turns out we were there for about an hour! (Oops). She showed us how you can spin your own yarn with a spindle and explained how the co-operative works. It's a great idea, but I won't bore you with all the details, and you can find out all about them on their website at www.woolclip.com
From the top, going clockwise, we have:
1. The cushion made in Pure Alpaca aran yarn from Town End Alpacas (www.town-end-alpacas.co.uk)
2. Three hanks of Ryeland aran yarn from Fornside Farm (www.fornside.co.uk/wool)
3. Some mystery Alpaca/Cashmere/Silk yarn that's not local but was so gorgeous, I had to buy it!
4. And finally, two balls of Wensleydale Wool from Roundhill Farm near Ambleside
What I haven't included in the picture, is the wretched cold I ended up with the day before we left to come home (we visited Hubby's brother on our way to Cumbria and his kids both had colds). Just as I thought it was getting better, I also lost my voice and have spent the last two days in the office being laughed at by various members of staff at work because I can't shout back at them. Little do they know that I'm keeping tally of the jibes and as soon as I'm better, I will take my revenge. *Rubs hands in glee because throat isn't capable of an evil laugh. Yet.*