Once upon a time a talented author known as Beatrix Potter bought a great number of farms in the Lake District, a picture-postcard-beautiful area of North West England, to ensure that they would remain unspoiled. She was a true conservationist; she rescued 14 farms, totaling 4,000 acres, and we are blessed to be able to benefit from her actions. This farm is known as High Yewdale and we (those of us of our tour group) were lucky enough to have a treat here and explore the grounds.
But first, we embarked on day 5 of our 16 day trip by heading out of Liverpool. This photo is of Georges Dock--it is fairly historic, one can surmise this from the structure itself, but it's not very exciting (except for the structure itself).
The Lake District, as you might have guessed, is replete with lakes that shimmer like jewels in the summer sun. With the mountains on the horizon line, I felt very much at home. It felt very "California" to me.
This flower bed full of begonias is not terribly California--they would wither and die very quickly here. But in England, sigh . . .Aren't they gorgeous?
This is a hotel right on the water in a little town called Ambleside. Or Windermere. Or maybe the lake is Windermere. Not sure. My notes read: Lush Windermere photo break at Ambleside.
The ducks and swans flocked to Mary, and not just because all animals do. (The very nice man to her left gave her some seed to share.)
Clearly these birds have been well-trained.
A through-the-coach-window photo of the countryside as we made our way to the farm in or near Coniston. The roads are narrow and wind around--my favorite kind! Our tour guide reported that this is the hardest day of the tour for the coach driver. In fact, there was a bit of a showdown between our coach and a long line of cars just before we arrived at High Yewdale. Fun stuff.
Is this not the dreamiest cottage? It needs a climbing rose to clamber over the arch in front of the door, with a few branches trained up against the house, as well, but one can't have everything (unless you are the farm next door which had exactly that but which defied the molasses-slow speed of my camera operator). We were served a delicious tea (caffeine free was available for the 10 (count 'em--10!) Mormons on this trip) and, in my case, an incredible gluten free chocolate confection. The owner of the house also owns a bakery from whence came said confection. I was promised the recipe but it has yet to land in my inbox. She is probably afraid I will set up business with it--it was that good.
While we ate (three or four tables were set up in two or three different rooms) we were regaled with some interesting stories, one of which included the discovery, by the current owner, of this wooden panelling that had been covered up by drywall. It was a very exciting discovery as it dated the house to the 1500's, which makes it about 100 years older than formally supposed. (This photo features our new friends, the Johnsons. Love them!)
The inside of the house was full of people and tables so I decided to take photos outside until the house cleared (I never got back inside, darn it!). This photo marks the moment when the dog (name forgotten) began his/her? attachment to Mary, as all dogs do. The gal with the backpack is either Brooklyn or Bailey McKnight (they are identical twins and just because I am one doesn't mean I can tell them apart--except me and mine--I know which one is which, pretty much all of the time--I'm uber smart that way) who have their own youtube channel with over 2 million subscribers. They were recently featured in this video by Studio C. They became famous by modeling hairstyles on their mom's, Mindy McKnight ;s, channel called Cutegirlshairstyles. (Maybe some of you have heard of them.) They were on our tour with Mom and Dad and they met fans everywhere they went. It was pretty remarkable. (Remember the photo of Mary with the swans? A photo of the twins frolicing amongst the swans went onto Instagram and 6 hours later it had 86,000 likes. Mary's had none. Mostly because I didn't post it on Instagram. But you hear what I am saying.) Anyway, a very nice, sweet family--we enjoyed getting to know them a little bit.
Here's some of the folks from our group milling about. I can't get over the setting of this house. Spectacular!
As can be seen all over the U.K. and Ireland, flowers grow like weeds, here, even when they are in containers. Happy happy happy! I love their colors against the blue of the caravan.
I suppose this is the barn. I want one of these, too. Take note--Christmas is coming!
View from the garage towards the other ridge of mountains. I guess one ridge just isn't good enough.
I adore stacked rock walls. I am almost certain it would make, in modified form, a gorgeous kitchen backsplash. Someone really ought to get to work on that.
There are roses, yes. And they are pink--happy day! And they are spilling over a wall of stacked gray stone. It almost makes up for the lack of a rose crawling over the walls of the house.
Mountains, trees (yews, maybe?), white washed walls, slate roof, there is just all sorts of loveliness! Also, just to the left of the gate are our new friends the Vichrillis. Love them!
The mudroom is just outside the door to the left--great idea!
There is no such thing as a bad photo of High Yewdale.
Here's Mary with our much-loved tour guide, Ann. They are most likely discussing the dog. Have I mentioned how much Mary loves dogs?
She now has a lot of photos of many strange dogs all over Ireland, England and Scotland. I suppose it is not any different from my copious photos of strange buildings and strange flowers. I must say, this was a very cute dog. Everyone wanted to visit with her and pet her. However, when it came time to board the coach, Mary went over to her/him? one last time, whereupon the dog made it abundantly clear that he/she wanted Mary to take him/her along. Like I said, it was love at first sight.
Do be sure to click on this photo above to enlarge it. It is all kinds of gorgeous.
Our last sight of High Yewdale through the coach window. I hope to be there again one day.
Next time: more of the Lake District and Grasmere where William Wadsworth is buried in a pretty little graveyard. I am fairly certain that it sports daffodils in the spring.