We had a leisurely start and a short ferry ride to visit Hill Tops Farm, the home of Beatrix Potter, at Near Sawrey . Unfortunately, this significant tourist attraction closes on Friday's and we were unable to view. As a consequence, we drove North via Ambleside to Rydal to visit Rydal Hall and it's gardens. The drive overlooked the lakes in many places and was as spectacular as we have become accustom.
The gardens which are primarily formal were restored in 2007 after years of neglect. A feature of the gardens is a stream and waterfall that lie within the " Quiet Garden" and have a Grot, built in 1668, overlooking the falls. The frame of the window in the Grot offers a border for artists to frame their paintings and pictures. Another feature, as seen from the terrace of the main house, is the panoramic view of the distant hills, valleys, gullies and open paddocks saturated in mature trees of every shape and colour. It was from these gardens that William Wordsworth received his inspiration for such poems as Daffodils. Wordsworth's home in which he lived for 37 years lies at the entrance to Rydal Hall.
Following a coffee break at the Old School Room Teashop, we drove via the lovely village of Grassmere the 12 miles to Keswick. This regional centre, located on a lake is nice but not as spectacular as the small centres around the Lakes.
We returned to Bowness via Grassmere and Ambleside crawling through these towns to absorb their character - both worth a good visit in their own right. We stopped briefly at the stately home, now hotel Langdale Chase for a wine and to view the house and gardens. A feature of our visit was identifying two antique brass coach lamps exactly the same as those we had purchased in 1974 and have disposed of since.
We returned to our accommodation towards late afternoon and immediately considered dinner. We settled on Italian in a nearby restaurant recommended to Kaye. At 1800hrs we were the first to arrive and received attentive service. Jan and I settled for pizza's and Kaye for an entree of white bait. The white bait was a fail and Kaye then ordered a third pizza . The wine was from Montepaluciano in Tuscany, selected from our memory of visiting the region previously. Dinner overall was pleasant without being spectacular. As we were leaving a group of young ladies of dark appearance entered; two were obviously sisters with one exceptionally attractive and having the darkest and most impressive eyes - it was such a standout and defining personal feature.
After dinner, we wandered to the Belsfield Hotel again for a coffee and a "cultural connection" before returning for another early night. Unfortunately, I decided to read my book " The Man in the Black Fur Coat" - the story of a German WW2 soldier who experienced captivity under the Russians and as a consequence I did not get to sleep until 1 AM - it's a great read.