I Love the Lakes. Which reminds me - I haven't seen any posts on Facebook recently. Must find out why. Of course I follow Max and Paddy and To climb the Wainwright Fells along with most of the Mountain Rescue sites. I love them. But this was an HF Holiday Now, I love HF Holidays. So much so, that I became a leader for them, and I was leading during this week in Coniston. What a fab week we had.
Because I live so far away, I had to spend the previous night elsewhere (Monk Coniston was fully booked, there was no room at the Inn!). I was booked into Newlands House in Malhamdale. A fantastic old country house, as most, if not all, of the HF Houses in the UK are. There was no guided walking that night. A group of Scottish Dancers had booked in, along with a Bridge Group. This filled the house, so there was no need for a leader as such. Of course, there is always the "Discovery Point" for people who want to walk. In the morning, we woke to the first frost of the season.
Unfortunately, we couldn't linger. So we started on our way to Coniston. As we had plenty of time to spare - or so we thought - we decided to do a detour to Hawes. It's not often we get to be in that part of the country so it was too good an opportunity to miss.
On the way, we passed the Ribblehead Viaduct,
and visited a rope factory in Hawes. We really enjoyed that, it was very interesting!
After coming out of the rope factory we realised we had cut it a bit fine, but we would certainly be there on time. We hadn't factored in Records week though. And Windermere was choc-a-bloc. We heard this on the travel reports on the radio, so decided to go south of Windermere, cross via the car ferry and voila, we'd be almost there! Well, it all took longer than anticipated, so I rang John, the manager at Coniston, and explained the situation. There was no problem, he'd see me when I got there. We were about half an hour late in the end, so still had plenty of time to catch up with my co-leaders, Graham and Dennis.
The guests arrived, and were shown to their rooms, and at 4.30 we had the customary cream tea - gluten free cakes for me!
This was the scene from our bedroom window the following morning. What I hadn't realised was that it was Records week, this week. The lake is Conistonwater, and is famous for its World Speed records, due to its length, (5 miles). Donald Campbell lost his life whilst attempting World Speed records.
The house at Monk Coniston was once owned by Beatrix Potter and she bequeathed it to the National Trust, who still owns it. HF Holidays lease it from the National Trust. It has a fantastic arboretum, walled garden, and of course, views over Conistonwater.
Day 1 of walking - That's my next blog!!