Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Kirby Stephen, Kendal & onto Borrowdale

I'm heading off to the Lake District for some walking for the following few posts but I can offer a bit of photographic variety. This was the journey that my friend and I took to get there. It wasn't the most direct route to take but it was mainly for his benefit. Bear with me, it's a long day.

(I have had to miss a few posts out as I am going to be seriously behind after this and the latest adventure that I have just had, but I promise that I will share them at a quiet moment. I am in between another two trips and have just today left at home, will try and catch up with some of your blogs today... 230 on RSS feed is rather a lot though... need to pack as well.)

Kirkby Stephen is a market town on the edge of Cumbria with the main building of St Stephen's parish church dominating the landscape.

There were several early churches on this site before the current one was built in 1240 with modifications and restoration in 1847 and the 1870's.

These were taken on The Royal Wedding day with the above image being at the time of the wedding. How different and peaceful is "The Cathedral of the Dales" compared to Westminster Abbey at this time. (I did catch up with the TV coverage later in the day.)

The Newsagent was open for business and all was peaceful as we sat and had lunch in the market square next to the flower beds (seat in first image).

We couldn't sit here forever enjoying the peace and tranquility as we had a task to perform today to help my friend out. As we left Kirkby Stephen travelling westwards, I discussed my future interest with the preserved railway there and as the rest of the day was all about him, he insisted that we stop the car and take a look at this great sight. The two class 37 locomotives of my interest are a long way off completion but the railway station building looks in reasonable order.

After a short period we arrived in Kendal. It is not a great place to find somewhere to park the car and the above image describes perfectly the theme that we had to follow a one way system over many bridges to get back to check a previous car park out. He is helping to organise a holiday in South Cumbria this week and we had to find a suitable car park in this town to accept 5 cars on a busy weekday.

 The object of this exercise was to lead a walk for a large group and while he was off asking the locals about other facilities, I found a small fraction of time to see what was available for capture.

Kendal is another South Cumbrian market town on the River Kent that most people associate with the sugary substance of Kendal mint cake which was marketed as an energy food for the mountains.... something you won't find in my back pack !! Historically Kendal was a fortified town from the Border Reivers with the main industry of that time being the manufacture of woollen goods.

Bank Holiday main street

On a side note, this is the town where Blackburn born Alfred Wainwright moved to during the 1940's to continue his career as a treasurer with the council albeit with a pay cut to be near the Lake District Hills. Ten years later he commenced his 7 pencil drawn "Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells". It took him 13 years to complete this project, drawing or writing one page every evening. He described 214 Lakeland fells in these books mainly for his personal pleasure but at the time a local Newspaper (The Westmorland Gazette) wanted to publish these pages and due to their sensitivity of the area, he agreed. The "Wainwrights" have been walked and completed by many people, including myself, and a list is maintained by the Long Distance Walkers Association on their website. Alfred Wainwright went on to write and draw many more large style coffee table / armchair books and long distance walks such as the Pennine Way Companion and Coast to Coast after he retired in 1967. He died in 1991 and his ashes were scattered on his favourite hill, Haystacks, overlooking Buttermere Lake.

Town Hall, Wainwright's workplace?!

It is at this point that my friend's walk starts from going in the direction behind the camera....

Up the hill ...

... and out of town

As the time was starting to disappear, there wasn't time to do all of the walk and as he had done some of it before, it was mainly an exercise in finding the footpath that left town. It was a pleasant path amongst the peripheral rolling hills of Cumbria although nothing really to get excited about photographically as we crossed a golf course further on and stopped above the main road exiting the Lake District to the south.

We found an alternative lower level route back with a similar aspect of views and stopped for a snack outside this barn.

A few locals for a look

Path back into town ... 90 minutes in total

Tea shop closed
 We then travelled on to our destination for the weekend in Borrowdale ......

Arrival at last ... Glaramara

Glaramara outdoor centre was built in the earlier part of the 20th century when walking and climbing in the mountains were a new thing to most people wanting to explore that activity. Since then, it has played host to group bookings for a selection of outdoor activities and courses but due to under investment over the years it has become less of a Hotel but more than a Hostel. The new owners have taken on a big challenge and there are encouraging signs of tasteful development in this period building. Now who wouldn't want to stay here with a view like this from the front door ....

The mountain Glaramara .... (next post)
 Now what about that cup of tea that I have been waiting all day for......   !!

Having to wait a little longer at the Miss Marple trolley  !!


  1. Wonderful to see pictures from the Lake District without rain. Speaking for myself -Don't worry about us, just enjoy yourself and your outings! There will be blog time next winter.

  2. Kirkby Stephen, another for my list. definately not a drive through town. I have tired with Kendal but got nothing out of it so double gold stars to you.

  3. Lovely pictures of a lovely place. I enjoy seeing the old buildings--so quaint and beautiful. And the countryside certainly looks pleasant. What a wonderful time you must be having traveling around the country. It does take time to post and then to check other people's posts, but it is such fun to share with others. Mickie :)

  4. Just when I've nearly convinced myself that I can be content without going back to England, you put up another post with those amazing photographs. Pic #13 is where my resolve started giving way and when I saw the sheep and the path back into town, it was all over.

    I hope you continue to have great weather. Enjoy your walks!

  5. Fun post! You are the king of the arch photo--but I loved the sheep, too.

  6. I love this set! Beautiful place which seems to be so calm. Miss Marple trolley is superb!

  7. the field pics the best..... i fee free just by looking at it.

  8. I like the variety of pictures displaying town and countryside, old and newer structures, mountain and river, animals (sheep) and plants.
    Oh, and the yellow of the flowers is just warming the heart and enchanting the eye.

  9. Beautiful town. I feel like Maria from the Sound of Music will come out of the photo and sing. Love all the photos esp that flower photo. It made me smile just by looking at it.

  10. Inetersting mixture of rural landscape and architecture, I like the bridge in particular. And the sheep picture is just cute:)

  11. A very nice post and a wonderful country side, J_on_tour! I love those little tea shops:)

  12. Your`e photographs and write up of the areas I`d love to go back to are a true inspiration.
    You have a real gift and the fantastic photographs you take give me ideas too, I hope you don`t mind, you`ll have to let me know what camera you use, I may have to adapt!
    Well done and thankyou for such a brilliant post that brings good memories. xx

  13. So beautiful every places you went,
    I really want to join your your trip!

  14. ahhh! your blog is always such a delight! I find that your writing style is relatable to a large audience! That is why I'm inviting you to contribute to a website that I'm launching this weekend. www.EcoTramps.com is a sustainable travel web-magazine that covers green destinations, ecological forms of transportation, and sustainable activities (as well as DIY projects and green products). As the website is a start up, compensation is in the form of free publicity to your article and website over the webpage, Twitter, Facebook, and newsletters (totally sign up, they'll be chocked full of green goodies)!

    I've also got the "Judgement Day Challenge" on Where in the World is Kae Lani Kennedy (like a launch party for the website woooo).

    I look forward to your submissions! This new website is gonna be fun! :D

    Kae Lani Kennedy

  15. Wonderful photos, very well framed and pin-sharp focus! Bravo!

  16. Bravo J! A very romantic tour of your country! I plan to visit all these beautiful sites.


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