Shearwin's in Europe 2015 travel blog


The morning was cold and windy and we made our plans hoping to compensate for the conditions.

Following breakfast at our accommodation, we drove to Kendal 8 miles SE of Windemere to visit Sizergh ( pronounced size) Castle. Unknown to us, the castle is closed on Friday's and Saturday's and our visit was restricted to the gardens only. It appears that the castle, which is now the property of National Trust, was bequeathed by the Strickland Family in the 1950's, in perpetuity for family descendants and these two days were agreed their private use. We did however view the gardens and were given an hour long overview of the house by a Trust Guide. Unfortunately, this tour was conducted outside and in the cold and Kaye was most appreciative of the castle's coffee shop and hot chocolate. Overall it was a good tour and the gardens were very well done with quite a few outstanding features. The 90 year Japanese Maples in the rock garden and the house pond special.

In the early afternoon, we headed for Grasmere via Ambleside to revisit this village which we had passed through briefly yesterday. We wandered the village which was a picture perfect lakes village, stopping for an afternoon wine at the very comfortable and lovely Wordsworth Hotel - it appears the garden that inspired his poem "Daffodils" is at the heart of the village. There is no doubt the crystal clear stream passing through the village could inspire any poet to compose well.

The weekend visitors and traffic in the area discouraged a stop and wander through Ambleside, however, we did find the opportunity to visit Garden World a "Bunnings size" shopping complex that was all things outdoor. It was impressive and popular amongst visitors.

On our return to our accommodation, we completed personal administration which allowed me to finish my book from the night before - a great little read.

Our 1800hr dinner at The Spinnery Restaurant nearby was simple but very nice. Kaye had the Nochi, Jan the Bass and I had the seafood pie + a Pinot Grigio ( our most popular for this trip). Coffee and a "wedding watching" at the Belsfield hotel followed.

The only downside to the day was the loss of my travel card through an ATM . The card is now irrecoverable as we leave early on a Sunday morning. Fortunately, I was able to transfer funds to Kaye's card and hopefully continue to operate as before - annoying!!

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