Posted by: sweetpea | May 14, 2007

Grasmere weekend

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‘Little Parrock’, Grasmere.  Our home for the weekend. 

I have just spent a fabulous weekend in the Lakes with some friends. There were 10 of us staying in a beautiful Victorian house just outside Grasmere, up towards Easdale Tarn. It was such a beautiful setting, a meadow with sheep in front of the house, views of the surrounding hills, and a beautiful cottage garden too full of colourful azaleas (In fact Phil and I had a bit of a competition to see who could identify the most plants, not sure we arrived at a winner, but one plant did bug me until I remembered that it was Solomons seal).

We all arrived in dribs and drabs on the Friday, some of us lucky enough to have the day off work and arriving earlier to have a bit of a wonder around.  Steve and I traveled by train as there were not enough spaces in the cars, and it was either that or hiring a car but I don’t particularly enjoy driving and Steve hadn’t driven for a few years!  To be honest I don’t mind travelling by train, in fact when time isn’t a limiting factor it is my preferred method of transport for long journeys.  We set off from York around 11am and were in Windermere by 2.30pm, not a bad journey at all and we were able to relax and enjoy the scenery too. 

We decided to wonder down to the lake from Windermere since most of the others wouldn’t be arriving at the house until around tea time.  It’s quite a walk from the station but thankfully all downhill 🙂 We stopped for a hot drink before deciding we should make a move to catch the bus to Grasmere, except I’d read the times it left the station rather than the lake so we just missed it!  All was not lost though because it meant we had just about enough time to eat an ice cream before the next one was due.  At this point in my tale I’d like to comment on the fact that it’s amazing what a small world it is, we bumped into another friend from the salsa gang as we were buying our ice creams, he was there on a lads reunion tyoe weekend.

The bus to Grasmere was of the open deck variety, so of course, being dry and slightly sunny, we opted for the open deck albeit at the front with some protection from the wind.  It’s quite scary travelling at the top especially if you are sat at the front because you can’t help think ‘how the hell is he going to get through there’ or ‘watch out your going to crash!’, and breating in when your squeezing through what looks like too narrow a gap.  And of course there is the dodging of branches up above, but I made the clever decision of sitting on the right hand side so avoided the compulsion to duck despite there being a piece of glass between you and said branches.  Travelling on the top deck was fantastic though, you get to see so much more than you do in a car 🙂

Once we reached Grasmere we got out our instructions and started to walk uphill towards where our accommodation would hopefully be situated, a good 13 mins or so out of the village.  We arrived and thankfully we weren’t first so didn’t have to search under flowerpots for the key.  Phil and Liz gave us a tour of the place and then we sat down with a cuppa to chat and await the arrival of the rest of the group.

Natalie and Christoph were the last to arrive with their friend Laurent who was visiting from France, and then we all sat around the dining table for a very tasty Moroccann stew created by Annabel.  Decisions had to be made about the planned walk on Saturday, which was made a little harder as the weather seemed so uncertain. In the end we decided on a relatively lowland walk in the Borrowdale area.

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