A Year in Grasmere Village 2016

Another year gone, and a round up of what happened in Grasmere Village in 2016. It was a year many won’t forget in a hurry. We might be a small village but there is always something going on. Especially this year, Prince and Prime Minister, Cyclists and Wrestlers it was all happening this year.

JANUARY

National Trust Allan Bank

National Trust Allan Bank

After the stress and strain of Storm Desmond it was lovely to discover that a sunny photograph of National Trust Property Allan Bank graced the front of the 2016 Handbook. A great advert for the village.

Broadgate Grasmere

Broadgate Grasmere

Unfortunately things were very quiet in the village. The main A591 closed between Grasmere and Keswick and the village literally a cul-de-sac. Various initiatives like free parking were offered but it really was deserted as you wandered round.

David Cameron Grasmere

David Cameron Grasmere

We had a visit from the then Prime Minister David Cameron spotted in the school playground.

FEBRUARY

February in Grasmere

February in Grasmere

Snow on the tops in February and then on lower ground too.

Snowy Grasmere

Snowy Grasmere

Valentine’s Day visit to the Dove Cottage restaurant was a surprise with a cherry “heart” when I cut my cake. Very appropriate and tasty too!.

Valentine's cake

Valentine’s cake

Meanwhile the environment agency were dredging the River Rothay, taking care to not disturb the crayfish, and these canoeists were quick to take advantage of a new launching area into the river. Storm Desmond was still having it’s effect.

Canoeists River Rothay

Canoeists River Rothay

After a dismal Winter signs of Spring were appearing with snowdrops and Daffodils at Wordsworth’s Grave.

Daffodils and snowdrops

Daffodils and snowdrops

MARCH

The rubble that was piling up on the Sports Field after all the dredging was a perfect viewpoint for this cheeky Herdwick.

Grasmere Herdwick

Grasmere Herdwick

Elsewhere in Grasmere and throughout the central Lakes Herdwick sheep of a different kind were appearing as part of the Calvert Trust Go Herdwick fund raising initiative.

Grasmere Go Herdy

Grasmere Go Herdy

Temporary bridges were built on the A591 and a little mini bus started running between Grasmere and Keswick, my goodness it was popular! It ran along the far side of Thirlmere and became quite a tourist attraction in itself.

Keswick bus queue

Keswick bus queue

We had another famous visitor. Prince Charles visited with a trip to the Gingerbread Shop, Wordsworth’s Grave and St Oswald’s Church.

Prince Charles

Prince Charles

Prince Charles Grasmere

Prince Charles Grasmere

It certainly made the village busier.

APRIL

Spring in Grasmere

Spring in Grasmere

April and things were looking up in the village both visitor and weather wise.

Grasmere Daffodil Garden

Grasmere Daffodil Garden

MAY

An exciting initiative in May brought coloured lights to the mere. Nocturnal Rainbows as part of Lakes Ignite Art installation.

Lights on Grasmere

Lights on Grasmere

As the tourist season started properly it was still a case of getting the message out everywhere that Grasmere was open for business.

Grasmere is Open

Grasmere is Open

Grasmere does look great in May, blossom and bluebells.

Grasmere Blossom

Grasmere Blossom

Bannerigg Woods were a sea of blue.

Grasmere Bluebells

Grasmere Bluebells

And then at last! Dunmail Raise was open and Grasmere was connected with the North again. Hello Keswick we missed you.

Dunmail Raise reopens

Dunmail Raise reopens

Diessen Brass Band (twinned with Windermere) performed at NT Allan Bank and the music echoed through the valley.

Diessen Brass Band

Diessen Brass Band

JUNE

Grasmere celebrated The Queen’s 90th Birthday.

Grasmere Celebrates

Grasmere Celebrates

The village looked lovely with flags flying everywhere.

Singing in the Village Hall

Singing in the Village Hall

Grasmere Glee celebrated in the Village Hall.

Kendal Mountain Festival kindly brought outdoor cinema to Grasmere and Glenridding to support the flooded villages. The weather was kind and a great time was had by young and old alike.

Outdoor Cinema Grasmere

Outdoor Cinema Grasmere

JULY

July in Grasmere means Rushbearing. A rather wet one this year and the Rushbearing Maidens had a rather soggy walk round the village but kept smiling.

Grasmere Rushbearing

Grasmere Rushbearing

But it wasn’t all rain in July, the sun shone too.

Sunny Grasmere

Sunny Grasmere

AUGUST

August Bank Holiday and the 166th Grasmere Sports and Show. After a night of rain morning broke fair and a good turnout of visitors and locals alike enjoyed the Sports and entertainment on the Sports field.

Grasmere Sports Poster

Grasmere Sports Poster

Competitors travelled from all over the world to compete.

Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling

Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling

Fire eating was a popular spectator event.

Fire eating Grasmere

Fire eating Grasmere

SEPTEMBER

Cycling came to Grasmere in September when the Tour of Britain sped through the village.

Tour of Britain Grasmere

Tour of Britain Grasmere

The village was decorated with painted yellow bikes.

Yellow Bikes Grasmere

Yellow Bikes Grasmere

OCTOBER

Devilish Sheep

Devilish Sheep

Halloween in Grasmere meant an abundance of Pumpkins throughout the village.

National Trust Shop Grasmere

National Trust Shop Grasmere

Unfortunately Halloween weekend itself was a bit of a washout and the pumpkins on the village green looked a bit bedraggled.

Gingerbread Pumpkins

Gingerbread Pumpkins

Liked these pumpkins outside the Gingerbread shop.

NOVEMBER

Nights drawing in and streets empty by 5pm as the clocks change. Locals practice a form of reverse hibernation and suddenly you bump into friends in the street who have had heads down all Summer working hard to make our visitors to Grasmere enjoy their stay.

I was very, very lucky to win a holiday to South Africa for most of November so from 24 degrees to -4 degrees, however what a sight as we arrived back.

Grasmere Sheep

Grasmere Sheep

What a great welcome home!

DECEMBER

December in Grasmere, what a joy.

Taffy Thomas

Taffy Thomas

You never know who will be about, Taffy Thomas former Storyteller Laureate was having a wander round the village with some student teachers.

Xmas in NT Shop Grasmere

Xmas in NT Shop Grasmere

The shops have a huge array of individual gifts you can’t find in the larger towns.

Beetham Bellringers

Beetham Bellringers

A wander up the hill to National Trust Allan Bank and the sound of bells were ringing out as the Beetham Bellringers played. Very festive.

Just time to put the Christmas tree complete with Herdy bobbles up and that’s nearly it for another Grasmere year. Grasmere Players Pantomime still to see, always a great family occasion.

Herdy xmas tree

Herdy xmas tree

Wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas and Health and Happiness for the coming year.

Tour of Britain 2016 Grasmere

It isn’t often I don’t know where to be in Grasmere! However yesterday I was literally up hill and down dale. The reason for my indecision? The Tour of Britain Stage two was heading though Grasmere.

Yellow Jersey Greipel

Yellow Jersey Greipel

My initial thinking had been to head up Dunmail Raise and get some arty, cyclists flying down the road with the Lion and the Lamb in the background shots. The weather wasn’t playing that way I could hardly see in front of my face for the drizzle. Ok how about just past Penny Rock? Went down there and it was way too dark. Back to the village to look at the Sprint end Stage.

Setting up Sprint end in Grasmere

Setting up Sprint end in Grasmere

They were just setting things up but chatting to the folk there it seemed that a straight with a bend might be the best place to be. Oh by the way, have you noticed we have put our redundant phone box to good use. It now houses a defibrillator.

Tour of Britain Sprint Finish

Tour of Britain Sprint Finish

Final decision was to stand just beyond Church Bridge to catch the action, while cunningly positioning husband further down the village.

Police escort

Police escort

The sound of a helicopter overhead and a several Police motorbikes heralded the cyclists arriving. First through wearing the yellow jersey was Greipel then the others including the peloton followed in quick succession.

Grasmere Sprint Results

Grasmere Sprint Results


Greipel in Grasmere

Greipel in Grasmere

After the first three, the riders came quickly through the village

Tour of Britain Grasnere Stage

Tour of Britain Grasmere Stage

https://twitter.com/cragchris/status/772873106297917440

While I like to take still photos, husband was in full slow motion filming mode.

Grasmere cyclists ToB 2016

Grasmere cyclists ToB 2016

The cyclists fairly flew over Church Bridge. I was slightly distracted by an American Coach which had obviously decanted it’s tourists to pick up gingerbread from the Gingerbread Shop. They obviously hadn’t a clue what was happening, some of the comments were hilarious.

Cyclists Tour of Britain 2016

Cyclists Tour of Britain 2016

And then they were past. Many vehicles with cycles on their roof racks followed.

Tour of Britain entourage

Tour of Britain entourage

Next stop the struggle in Ambleside. Mention must be made of Grasmere’s own Knit and Nat group. They had done a sterling job knitting little yellow jersey bunting. It looked fab if a bit wet on the village green.

Knitted Grasmere Bunting

Knitted Grasmere Bunting

Another nice surprise on the day was bumping in to Viv who used to manage the National Trust Shop in Grasmere. She now lives “down south” but was having a holiday in the area and knew if there was something on in Grasmere she would spot me somewhere. While waiting for the cyclists we had a good catch up, so you see, I did choose the right place to stand after all.

 

 

Grasmere Sports 2016

After a night of torrential rain it was a pleasant surprise that the weather for the 166th annual Grasmere Sports and Show was dry and fine.

Adamson Brass Band

Adamson Brass Band

Proceedings were given a rousing start by the Adamson Brass Band, always a crowd pleaser.

Young Runners Grasmere

Young Runners Grasmere

Young runners first and there were plenty of entrants for the sprint and fell races.

Fell Race Route Grasmere

Fell Race Route Grasmere

Meanwhile the crowds were being entertained by Andy Jester who was keeping everyone amazed by a bit of nifty fire balancing and eating.

Andy Jester

Andy Jester

Breathing Fire

Breathing Fire

Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling is always an important part of Grasmere Sports and this year the 11 stone World championships were held in Grasmere. I spotted competitors from Scotland who call their style “backhold”. There were also competitors from Brittany France recognisable by the word Gouren on their tops.

Grasmere Sports Wrestling

Grasmere Sports Wrestling

Icelandic Wrestler

Icelandic Wrestler

Icelandic wrestlers also took part. Their style is called Glima. Glima was the most widespread sport in the Viking age, and was practiced by both men and women. Glima was so important to Viking society that their god Thor was also the Viking god of wrestling.

More info at http://www.cumberland-westmorland-wrestling-association.com

French Gouren Wrestler

French Gouren Wrestler

Time for a cup of tea or coffee, thirsty work this Sports watching!

Thelma the Tiny Tearoom

Thelma the Tiny Tearoom

A new addition this year was Thelma the Tiny Tearoom, while old friends were also doing good business at the Coffee Bug. Too much choice.

Coffee Bug

Coffee Bug

Elsewhere on the field our very own Taffy Thomas the Storyteller was keeping everyone entertained.

Taffy Thomas Grasmere Storyteller

Taffy Thomas Grasmere Storyteller

Further along the field the hounds were going through their paces.

Hounds at Grasmere

Hounds at Grasmere

Hound trailing is a very popular event. More information can be found here. http://www.houndtrailing.org.uk 

Fell gathers Roadshow

Fell gathers Roadshow

Animals of another type were also attracting attention. Herdwick and other breeds of sheep were shown and discussed.

Sheep Watching

Sheep Watching

It’s always good to see children taking part in the good old classic egg and spoon, Sack race and three legged race.

Three legged race

Three legged race

and parents like to get involved too. Balancing a bean bag was very popular with parent and child teams.

Family races at Grasmere

Family races at Grasmere

Of course the main feature at Grasmere are the Guides Races. An amazing feat as runners head up and down the fell side. This year there was a bonus £500 to run for, for both men or ladies beating the current records. No records broken this year so the money rolls over again to next year.

Senior Guides Race Grasmere

Senior Guides Race Grasmere

I really don’t think there is a finer sight than all the runners streaming up the fell side.

Grasmere Race close finish

Grasmere Race close finish

It was an exciting race to the finish!

Guides Race Winners 2016

Guides Race Winners 2016

Well done Sam Tosh, Simon Bailey and Rob Hope.

The ladies weren’t far behind.

Female Grasmere race winners

Female Grasmere race winners

Sharon Taylor, Steph Curtis and Ruby Sykes ran a brilliant race.

Grasmere Tigers

Grasmere Tigers

I noticed one of our oldest residents Mary watching the race. Wonder what she thought of the two tigers next to her? Mind you there have been reports of a large black cat like animal at Penny Rock so watch out!

While the race was on I had been keeping an eye on a special bunch of runners. I had met them earlier as they prepared to race for the Rosemere Cancer charity http://www.rosemere.org.uk

Rosemere Foundation Runners

Rosemere Foundation Runners

Fresh and raring to go, they still had a smile on their faces right at the end!

Made it to the finish

Made it to the finish

A friend of mine Alison comes up from York especially to help at Grasmere Sports. She took this great photo of the Guides race flag the night before.

Guides Race Flag Grasmere

Guides Race Flag Grasmere  by Alison Taylor

So it will be the 167th Grasmere Sports Next year to look forward to. We do however have another sporting event passing through the village this Monday. The Tour of Britain is cycling through Grasmere this Monday. Can’t wait as several Olympians will be taking part. Just got to decide where to watch it.

Grasmere Rushbearing 2016

Grasmere Rushbearing 2016 was rather a wet one. It became obvious fairly early on in the day that the rain wasn’t going to ease up.

 

Grasmere Rushbearing Maiden

Grasmere Rushbearing Maiden

With good spirit everyone dressed for the weather and started to parade through the town.

Grasmere Rushbearing 2016

Procession passes along Churchstile

I thought the owner of Bridge House Hotel in the centre of this photo looked rather happy about something and later discovered she had become a Grandmother for the second time very early that morning!

Singing the Rushbearing Hymn

Singing the Rushbearing Hymn

Normally everyone gathers on the village green to sing the traditional Rushbearing hymns but the ground was a bit soggy so a stop was made on College Street instead.

 

Grasmere Rushbearing Maidens

Grasmere Rushbearing Maidens

I couldn’t help feeling a little sorry for the Rushbearing maidens. While everyone else had the benefit of a waterproof coat they had to tough it out in traditional costume.

A rather wet Rushbearing

A rather wet Rushbearing

I noticed more than one person dashing in to Lucia’s for a takeaway coffee to warm up with.

Children in the parade

Children in the parade

Time to head back to St Oswald’s Church

Bearings and Umbrellas

Bearings and Umbrellas

I think umbrellas brighten up the parade on a rainy day.

Processing down Church Stile Grasmere

Processing down Church Stile Grasmere

Taffy Thomas the storyteller always has a good view point from the Storytellers Garden.

A welcome sight

A welcome sight

Back at church and time to get inside and dry off before a welcome cup of tea.

Grasmere Rushbearing Parade

Grasmere Rushbearing Parade

Now all the time I was watching there was one thing that I kept thinking. How heavy must the cloth the Rushbearing Maidens were carrying have got as it was absolutely sodden by the end.

Grasmere Rushbearing Maidens 2016

Grasmere Rushbearing Maidens 2016

So well done girls you did a great job!

Anyone who wants to see photos of sunny Rushbearing parades need look no further than this blog. You win some and you lose some but no matter the weather the show goes on.

 

Grasmere Celebrates The Queen’s 90th Birthday

We really have been having some gorgeous weather in Grasmere recently. It has been wonderful to see people sitting outside pubs and cafes soaking up the sunshine. Business has picked up since the A591 has reopened and things are more or less back to normal.

Grasmere flags are flying

Grasmere flags are flying

Almost overnight flags have appeared in the village as Grasmere gets ready to celebrate The Queen’s 90th Birthday.

Grasmere celebrations

Grasmere celebrations

If you are in Grasmere on Saturday 11th June why not come and join us. From 1-4pm we will be inviting people to bring their own picnic to the park. A little bird tells me The Wordsworth Hotel and Spa might even be offering complementary strawberries and cream.

Miller Howe Cafe Grasmere

Miller Howe Cafe Grasmere

In the park on Saturday there will be sports and trophies for all ages, Kendal Concert Band will be playing and Grasmere Glee Club. Grasmere Players will also be performing.

Heaton Cooper Grasmere Window

Heaton Cooper Grasmere Window

On Sunday 12th June at 4pm there will be a service of Thanksgiving for the Queen’s Life.

St Oswald's Church

St Oswald’s Church Grasmere

A well known face in Grasmere Cameron Butland will be back to lead the service and there will be tea and cake for everyone afterwards.

St Oswald's Grasmere

St Oswald’s Grasmere

So as you can see we are all ready to celebrate, lets hope the weather holds out just a little longer.

Grasmere Village

Grasmere Village

How many more flags will spring up tomorrow?

Cunninghams Grasmere

Cunninghams Grasmere

You will just have to visit us and see over the weekend.

Mountain Warehouse Grasmere

Mountain Warehouse Grasmere

 

Written in memory of my Father in law who built the shop above. Long time lover and resident of Grasmere.

Eric Shaw. Died 25/5/2016 a month from his 99th Birthday.

Eric Grasmere Sports age 7

Eric Grasmere Sports aged 7

Prince Charles visits Grasmere

Could hardly not blog about our latest visitor to Grasmere, Prince Charles the Prince of Wales.

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Prince Charles visits Grasmere

After a very quiet village for several months it was wonderful to see such large crowds lining the streets as Prince Charles came to Grasmere to show his support for the Lake District after the December floods.

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Crowds gather in Grasmere

The local schoolchildren were very excited as they were led to the front.

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Grasmere schoolchildren arrive

Next to arrive was a painted sheep! Throughout the summer you can spot these individually designed sheep in various places. Raising funds for Calvert Trust http://www.goherdwick.co.uk Pick up a Trail map from various outlets and see how many you can spot.

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Herdwick Trail Sheep

And finally a car appeared round the corner

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Prince Charles arrives

Flags were waving and there was an air of great excitement.

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Prince Charles arrives in Grasmere

The Prince of Wales took his time and chatted to locals and visitors alike. Most amazing thing of all, till that point there had been a grey sky and drizzle all day, he arrived and the sun came out.

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Sunshine for Prince Charles

Prince Charles was accompanied on his visit by Claire Hensman who is the Lord Lieutenant  of Cumbria.

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Prince Charles and Claire Hensman

By this time the schoolchildren were getting really excited. Prince Charles headed over to them and he spoke to every single one. I was very impressed by how relaxed he was taking his time after a very busy itinerary all day.

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Chatting to Grasmere Schoolchildren

The Prince also noticed a lady holding a large England flag and headed over to her to chat.

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Chatting to the crowds

The sun was still thing and Prince Charles next went to the Grasmere Gingerbread shop.

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Prince Charles visits Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

He seemed to be enjoying a joke with owner Joanne Wilson, then disappeared inside for quite some time. It appears he was having a try at slicing gingerbread in the kitchen, however the Gingerbread recipe is a secret! Even to Royalty.

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Sharing a joke at Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

Now here is where the local knowledge comes in. Up until now I’d been balancing on the church wall, but jumped backwards into St Oswald’s Church grounds. Meanwhile everyone was waiting for Prince Charles to re-appear out of the front door.

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Waiting for the Prince

But he didn’t he came out through the back door and made his way across the graveyard to Wordsworth’s Grave. He was met here by Michael McGregor Director of the Wordsworth Trust and I got a great view.

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Director of Wordsworth Trust and Prince of Wales

It was wonderful that the Daffodils were out at Wordsworth’s Grave and Prince Charles took a little time for reflection.

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Prince Charles at Wordsworth’s Grave Grasmere

Prince Charles then headed through the graveyard towards the church where he was viewing an art installation by the local schoolchildren. Chatting to various locals on the way.

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Prince Charles in St Oswald’s Churchyard Grasmere

He spotted Grasmere Tea Gardens across the river and asking who owned it gave everyone sitting outside a cheery wave.

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Waving to visitors in Grasmere Tea Gardens

Stuart Cunninghams a local shop also got a chance to chat about business after the floods.

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Taking time to chat with local business owners

Then into the church.

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Prince Charles Grasmere 23/03/2016

The Prince of Wales visiting was what we all needed. Everything was feeling more positive, people on the streets, Easter this weekend and the clocks changing this weekend too. Just the A591 to re-open at hopefully Whit Bank holiday and we can all breathe a sigh of relief and try to make up for the business we have lost. Grasmere is well and truly open.

 

Spring at Allan Bank Grasmere

A beautiful Spring day. As Allan Bank in Grasmere (a National Trust Property unlike any  other) was open, I decided to take a wander up the hill and see what they were up to. This is the fifth year the property has been open and a while since I have written about it.

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Beatrix Potter and Daffodils

The property is a short walk from Grasmere (disabled parking on site) and has the most glorious views of Grasmere. The sun was shining and the daffodils were out. Lambs in the surrounding fields. Paradise!

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Allan Bank Grasmere

Grasmere school children were enjoying the grounds as part of their Forest Schools activities. It looked as though they were having an Easter egg hunt.

Allan Bank Art Room

Allan Bank Art Room

The Art Room had been changed around over the Winter. Anyone adult or child can just sit down and use the art material provided to paint the amazing view out of the window.

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Refreshing the flowers at Allan Bank

In the kitchen cafe one of the volunteers (they are always looking for more) Janet was making Easter floral arrangements to decorate the tables. Tea and coffee are by donation and you can wander around the house, tea in hand.

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Roaring fire in Wordsworth’s Study

Or if you are lucky grab a seat beside the roaring fire in Wordsworth’s Study, pick up a book and relax.

Allan Bank was once the home of Wordsworth and his young family but was also the home of Canon Hardwick Rawnsley one of the co-founders of the National Trust. This is the 150th Anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s Life and Canon Rawnsley was an inspiration to Beatrix when she was a young girl. He encouraged her creativity and also encouraged her in her love of the countryside.

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Beatrix Potter Quote Cushion

Scattered around the house were cushions with quotes. I particularly liked the ones in the play room.

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Peter Rabbit Cushions

The play room was just waiting for little Easter visitors with books and toys to enjoy.

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Playroom Allan Bank Grasmere

Allan Bank isn’t just for children. Upstairs is the Chorley Hopkins Mountaineering Library with a wealth of books on Mountaineering both in the Lake District and beyond.

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Mountaineering Library Allan Bank

Just along the corridor is a craft room where visiting crafters sometimes demonstrate lace making, printmaking etc. There are lots of vintage board games in here too. Looking out of the window you can quite often see the resident red squirrels but none today.

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View from Craft Room Allan Bank

Just time for a quick look in the little shop, but the grounds were calling. Sunshine in the Lake District can’t be wasted.

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Allan Bank Shop

In the grounds there is a fabulous woodland walk with great views. It is steep in places but well marked and resting places to be found. I had a little seat to look at the mere.

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View of the Mere from Allan Bank

Next further up the path with a glimpse of Helm Crag in sight.

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Allan Bank Woodland Walk

And finally Helm Crag in all it’s glory.

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Helm Crag Grasmere

Something that hasn’t changed this year, or for a long time before is the old Victorian viewing tunnel in the grounds.

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Tunnel in grounds Allan Bank Grasmere

Time for a last cup of tea and tempted to cake by Sophie to round off my visit.

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Tea and cake at Allan Bank

For more information about Allan Bank Grasmere see http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/allan-bank-and-grasmere

Follow them on Facebook. National Trust Allan Bank or Twitter. @AllanbankNT

My previous Blogs with the history of Allan Bank.

https://grasmerevillage.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/alan-bank-grasmere-unseen-for-200-years/

https://grasmerevillage.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/allan-bank-grasmere-a-new-beginning/

 

 

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