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Snowy Grasmere at last!

Well at last the rain has gone and things are looking a bit more seasonal in the village. Snow overnight and blue skies this morning mean January is looking more hopeful weather wise.

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Grasmere snow

At the moment car parks in Grasmere are still free to help the local economy recover, however I visited all three car parks today and there were only a handful of cars in each. Roads were clear and it was a beautiful day. A slight worry.

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Free parking in Grasmere

Grasmere in weather like this is wonderful to visit.

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Wordsworth Hotel Grasmere

Even if you don’t come to walk on the fells the village is like a winter wonderland.

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Grasmere Village in Winter

Even a little wander round the riverside walk is a delight in the snow.

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Millennium Stone Grasmere

I was actually going to get my shopping from the Co-op, who could have a better trip to the shops!

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Broadgate Grasmere

Not a lot of people around here either. What a shame.

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Broadgate Grasmere

Can’t believe what everyone is missing. Shopping bought and still “wandering lonely”!

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Wordsworth Graves in Winter

As I always do, went by the Wordsworth Graves to see if the snowdrops were out yet. Still “wandering lonely”.

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Grasmere is open!

Grasmere is open! Roads from the south are clear of snow it’s one of the best times to visit and we are ready to welcome you. Yes some shops are still recovering from flooding but we will all look shiny new for you very soon. The Grand at Grasmere has a brilliant new look. Lots of hotels and holiday homes have real bargains at this time of year and if you are worried about slipping in the snow, Mountain Warehouse were featuring a bargain in snow grips, so no excuse!

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Snow Grips

Grasmere is Great! Whatever the weather.

As I sat happily writing this blog the river burst it’s banks and was flooding Stock Lane yet again. Luckily we had time to act and despite lapping at the doorstep it has not come inside, new carpets remain dry (so far). Due to the landslips on the fell, water flooded down Greenhead Ghyll and into the river causing it to overflow. Urgent action is needed to clear becks. The A591 to the North of Grasmere remains closed after storm damage and this has to be treated with the utmost urgency. Coaches are not going to come to Grasmere if they then find they have to go back to the M6 Via Kendal again. People need to get to work in Keswick. Schoolchildren come from Keswick to Grasmere School. Grasmere is effectively a cul-de-sac at the moment. More than ever we need people to support local businesses to help everyone get back to normal. Anyway, on with the reasons why Grasmere is great to visit!

GRASMERE  2015.

As another year is about to come to a close, and Storm Frank is blowing outside giving Grasmere a sense of uncertainty about flooding again, it seems like a good time to look back at 2015.

JANUARY

Gingerbread Shop Grasmere

Gingerbread Shop Grasmere

A seasonal start to the year. A little snow and blue skies.

FEBRUARY

Broadgate Grasmere

Broadgate Grasmere

Snow on the tops and snowdrops appearing at Wordsworth’s Grave in the churchyard.

Wordsworth Grave snowdrops

Wordsworth Grave snowdrops

MARCH

And the daffodils appear in the daffodil garden. Spring at last

Grasmere Daffodil Garden

Grasmere Daffodil Garden

Was taking a photo of the rainbow but who can spot the low-flying jet too?

Grasmere Rainbow

Grasmere Rainbow

APRIL

April Blossom in Grasmere

April Blossom in Grasmere

The days are getting longer and the sky is blue.

Early morning Grasmere

Early morning Grasmere

MAY

Grasmere Lamb

Grasmere Lamb

One of the best sights at this time of the year. Lambs in the fields.

JUNE

Foxgloves

Foxgloves

June is a great time for wild flowers in Grasmere. This field below Helm Crag was a delight.

Wild flowers Grasmere

Wild flowers Grasmere

JULY

Wouldn’t be Grasmere without the annual Rushbearing Ceremony.

Grasmere Rushbearing

Grasmere Rushbearing

And perfect weather for tea by the mere and perhaps a row on the lake.

Boats on Grasmere

Boats on Grasmere

AUGUST

Grasmere Village Cows

Grasmere Village Cows

You never know what is round the corner in Grasmere. Here is our “rush hour traffic”.

Grasmere Sports

Grasmere Sports

Grasmere Sports day dawned dry and bright and a great day was had by young and old alike.

SEPTEMBER

Butterfly

Butterfly

Loads of Butterflies this year. Good to see.

Misty Morning Grasmere

Misty Morning Grasmere

Early morning is glorious in Grasmere.

OCTOBER

Fungi

Fungi

Some cracking Fungi in Grasmere this Autumn.

Grasmere Fells

Grasmere Fells

Great lighting at this time of year too.

NOVEMBER

Autumn Trees Grasmere

Autumn Trees Grasmere

Autumn in Grasmere, a riot of colour.

Autumn in Grasmere

Autumn in Grasmere

And then came the rain, which I’m not going to dwell on as I have written enough about that for the time being. Grasmere is open and and ready for visitors.

Wet weather Grasmere

Wet weather Grasmere

DECEMBER

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

And Grasmere wouldn’t be Grasmere without the Annual Grasmere Players Panto.

Grasmere Players Panto

Grasmere Players Panto

The Best of Wishes for 2016 and why not make your resolution to visit our village. We are ready and waiting to give you the best holiday ever!

For my own reference as much as anything. Storm Frank 30/12/2015

Storm Frank Grasmere

Storm Frank Grasmere

Storm Frank Grasmere

Storm Frank Grasmere

Storm Frank Grasmere

Storm Frank Grasmere

Storm Frank Grasmere

Storm Frank Grasmere

Grasmere Floods. Grasmere bounces back.

Well we are now a few days in since the floods which certainly had an effect on our village. How are things now.

Ripping up carpets

Ripping up carpets

Well I never knew how heavy underfelt was when it was saturated with water. However the carpets are up.

Work has begun

Work has begun

Workmen are checking everything is safe.

Road being repaired

Road being repaired

The road that was being washed away is being reinstated. So it’s just a case of waiting for everything to dry out and getting back to normal. In the rest of the village it’s the same story.

Bin bags piled up

Bin bags piled up

Bin bags of spoilt stock, carpets and muck swept down from the hillside.

Flood water Grasmere

Flood water Grasmere

Apart from the odd side road all roads are clear. Our main problem is the A591 going North to Keswick which has been washed away, making Grasmere the end of the road. A huge detour down the M6 is now necessary.  Bus services now terminate and start at Grasmere but the roads from the South are now all clear.

Back to normal Grasmere

Back to normal Grasmere

Today signs of normality were all around. Happy children playing in the school yard. Parents worked quickly to get the flooded school back to normal. A Tesco delivery van who had to wheel shopping quite a distance to homeowners.

St Oswalds Church Grasmere

St Oswalds Church Grasmere

The church which was flooded was again cleared out and brought back to normal by a band of volunteers who rallied round really quickly. I understand there is a wedding here on Saturday, so business as usual.

Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

So despite the floods Grasmere is bouncing back. Shops are open. Hotels are open, and we really need you to come, do your Christmas shopping, and help us get back to normal. The famous Grasmere Gingerbread shop is open and looking lovely for Christmas.

National Trust Shop Grasmere

National Trust Shop Grasmere

The National Trust shop is open and has a wonderful selection of gifts, all for charity too.

Sam Reads Bookshop Grasmere

Sam Reads Bookshop Grasmere

Independent Bookshop Sam Reads is open and has a wonderful selection of books for all tastes. Brilliant children’s section too.

Barneys Newsbox Grasmere

Barneys Newsbox Grasmere

Jigsaw heaven at our local newsagent Barneys Newsbox one of the largest collections of jigsaws anywhere, just head up the stairs and you will see what I mean.

Heaton Cooper Studios Grasmere

Heaton Cooper Studios Grasmere

The shop I could spend a fortune in. Great source of art supplies at Heaton Cooper Studios. Gifts and prints. Open for business.

Herdy Shop Grasmere

Herdy Shop Grasmere

And Grasmere wouldn’t be Grasmere without the Herdy shop. Open with a great range of exclusive gifts.

Attic shop Grasmere

Attic shop Grasmere

Attic shop was looking ready for Christmas and I couldn’t resist browsing the enticing range of gifts.

Hotels are open too and ready for visitors.

Wordsworth Hotel Grasmere

Wordsworth Hotel Grasmere

They all have decorations up and are looking forward to visitors for the festive season.

Red Lion Grasmer

Red Lion Grasmere

I happened to be in the Red Lion Hotel today. Looking very Christmassy downstairs however not all was as it should be upstairs.

Closed due to flooding

Closed due to flooding

The swimming pool was closed due to flooding.

So that’s the story a few days on. People have rallied round. Farmers have suffered greatly and a lot of people I have spoken to are not insured or cannot wait for Insurers to give the okay to proceed. Time is money, Christmas is coming.

I have a sign in my hall. As the rain started again today I kept looking at it and trying to believe.

A little rain must fall

A little rain must fall

The rain is falling heavily again tonight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grasmere Flood December 2015.

Little did I know when I wrote my last blog, that a few weeks later on, Grasmere was about to be hit by the worst flooding in living memory. I can say that because my 98year old father-in-law says so. Mind you so has every reporter on the TV so it must be true!

Red Weather Warning

Red Weather Warning

High winds and continual rain for several days as Storm Desmond (we have just started naming storms in this country) hit the country. Cumbria was particularly badly hit. Roads quickly became impassable and villages became islands with no way in and no way out.

Stock Lane Grasmere

Stock Lane Grasmere

The river Rothay rose and rose. We watched anxiously.

River Rothay Rising

River Rothay Rising

And then it burst it’s banks.

Flooding Stock Lane

Flooding Stock Lane

In a situation like this you can use as many sandbags as you like but the force of the water is unstoppable. It comes up through the floorboards as well as through the door. You can feel the trembling beneath your feet.

Overflowing river Grasmere

Overflowing river Grasmere by @luciastakeaway

Roads became rivers and several residents had to be evacuated from houses that were flooding. Thanks to Josie at Bridge House who had been watching elderly residents all day and then offered a bed for the night and warm meal, despite her hotel flooding too.

Landslides Grasmere

Landslides Grasmere

The next morning provided an opportunity to see just why the flooding had been so bad. About twenty years ago after another flood the river was re-routed at the top of Dunmail Raise to prevent it happening again. Had this been the cause, had it taken the old route, (apart from the excessive amount of rain too). One look at the fell side and it was obvious that the rain had caused two large landslides which had contributed to the flooding and debris.

Destruction

Destruction

The strength of the water had lifted tarmac and exposed pipes (amazed after I righted it the plant pot survived).

Flooding Grasmere

Flooding Grasmere

Dirty water had flooded in the front door and out of the back of most businesses.

Bag shop Grasmere

Bag shop Grasmere

Everywhere people were sweeping the floodwater out of shops.

St Oswalds Grasmere

St Oswalds Grasmere

Even the church was closed (on a Sunday!) as it had been flooded for the first time ever. Not long after though a large team of helpers were cleaning up. I am sure normal service, or services! will be resumed soon.

Flood water Grasmere

Flood water Grasmere

Still a bit of water in the streets but the water had receded quickly.

Village Green Grasmere

Village Green Grasmere

This reindeer made his appearance for the “Grasmere Welcomes Christmas” celebrations a few weeks previously when we had terrible weather too. Any one think he should be renamed RAINdeer ?.

Broadgate Grasmere

Broadgate Grasmere

You can see the two scars on the fell side that have appeared. Quite a few shops on this stretch were flooded. The Coop was shut, and when I made it through to Ambleside later I met lots of Grasmere people with the same idea as myself buying bread and milk as the main road from Keswick has disintegrated and the road from Windermere is flooded.

Stewart Cunningham Grasmere

Stewart Cunningham Grasmere

Several shops had started cleaning up already but there were also quite a few where people couldn’t reach Grasmere to assess their properties till all the roads open. Hope things aren’t too bad for them.

Flood Debris

Flood Debris

All along fences was debris showing how the river had pushed across the fields.

Overflowing river

Overflowing river

Although this looks like a weir, it is actually a drystone wall that the river has decided to take a route over.

The main thing is that yes! there are cafes and shops open. We need your support. Please help us get back to normal by visiting once the roads are running normally again. Let’s spare a thought for the poor residents elsewhere, Keswick, Cockermouth, Appleby and Kendal to name but a few who have been very badly affected.

There is an Appeal launched to raise funds to support individuals and communities affected. You can donate via text message. Send a text to 70070 with the message FLUD15 and a monetary amount. For example FLUD15 £10

I will leave you with this photo which summed up today for me.

No use in a flood!

No use in a flood!

Grasmere December 2015.

 

Autumn Weather and Flooding in Grasmere

The weather in Grasmere this Autumn has been stunning. This week the weather changed and many parts of the village are flooded. Snow is forecast for next week. It would be easy to forget the beautiful days we have had in September and October so here are a few images.

Glorious Grasmere

Reflections on the mere have been amazing. Even when the early morning mist hangs in the air.

Mist on the mere

Mist on the mere

The Island in the middle of the mere a symphony of Autumn shades.

Grasmere Island

Grasmere Island

The entrance to the village a riot of colours too.

Grasmere Autumn

Grasmere Autumn

And Grasmere Daffodil Garden looking lovely at any time of year.

Grasmere Daffodil Garden

Grasmere Daffodil Garden

The weather however took a turn for the worst this week. It started with excitement as the first snow on the higher fells was spotted.

Grasmere

Grasmere

It then deteriorated as the rain arrived, and it rained and rained. Several weather warnings were in place and it looked like the river might burst it’s banks. The floods however came from the ground being totally saturated and newly formed rivers flooded in to the village.

Grasmere Sports Field

Grasmere Sports Field

The Sports field end of the village was affected and the Daffodil Hotel was flooded.

College Road Grasmere

College Street Grasmere

The centre of the village near the garden centre was awash.

Grasmere Flooding

Grasmere Flooding

Getting in and out of the village was a trial for anyone that had to.

Flooding Rydal

Flooding Rydal

The river is still high and the rain continues, lets hope things settle down soon. Thanks to Mountain Rescue, Environment Agency, Police and Fire Brigade among others who I saw helping to keep everyone on top of things.

 

Grasmere Rainbows, Autumn, and Halloween.

October in Grasmere has been an amazing month for rainbows.

Grasmere Rainbow

Grasmere Rainbow

The beautiful weather we had over the summer has led to sunshine and showers and with the showers, rainbows. Lots of rainbows!

Another Grasmere Rainbow

Another Grasmere Rainbow

Early morning has been beautiful too. Great cloud inversions looking towards the mere.

Grasmere Cloud Inversion

Grasmere Cloud Inversion

and once the clouds dispersed a little, wonderful reflections.

Grasmere Reflections

Grasmere Reflections

October in Grasmere also means Autumn Festival and thoughts of Harvest. It was pouring down this morning but this display in the entrance to St Oswald’s Church brightened up the morning.

Autumn Church Porch Grasmere

Autumn Church Porch Grasmere

Crossing the road at Church Stile I noticed the National Trust shop was looking very Autumnal too.

Grasmere National Trust Shop

Grasmere National Trust Shop

Halloween is also fast approaching and in College street the Herdy shop was brightening up a rainy day.

Autumn Herdy Shop Display

Autumn Herdy Shop Display

Lucia’s Takeaway had been busy with their own personalised pumpkin.

Lucia's Pumpkin Grasmere

Lucia’s Pumpkin Grasmere

and at National Trust Allan Bank it was pumpkin central as they were having a pumpkin trail over the half term holiday.

Allan Bank Pumpkins

Allan Bank Pumpkins

Cocoa Hearts chocolate shop had lots of people sheltering from the rain making chocolates to take home.

Cocoa Hearts Grasmere

Cocoa Hearts Grasmere

and a witch seemed to have taken up residence in the Good Bag shop next door.

Witches are good

Witches are good

So despite the rain, Autumn is a great time to be in Grasmere, and when the clouds part…..

Grasmere Light

Grasmere Light

the views can be truly spectacular.

Halloween Rainbow

Halloween Rainbow

So keep an eye open for rainbows, and Happy Halloween everyone.

 

Rainy Day Grasmere. So much to do.

Having a few days off work and awoke to rain. Despite having a sign in my hall saying “A tidy house is the sign of a boring woman” I started doing the job I hate most. Defrosting the freezer. Soon lost interest, and left it to it. Wandered up the village, and saw two people gazing in a melancholy fashion from a holiday cottage window. This got me thinking. There is so much to do on a rainy day in Grasmere, I almost knocked on the door, told them to grab their coats and follow me!.

Lakes Artists Society Exhibition

Lakes Artists Society Exhibition

First port of call, another look round the Lakes Artists Society Exhibition in the Village Hall. This usually runs from end July till beginning of September every summer and is open daily. Founded in 1904 by artist W.G.Collingwood (secretary to John Ruskin no less). Membership is limited to 45 artists all who must reside in the Lake District.

Lakes Artists Society Exhibition

Lakes Artists Society Exhibition

A fascinating mix of painting and sculpture. For more info see http://www.lakeartists.org.uk

Next stop. Barney’s Newsbox on Broadgate Grasmere.

Barney's Newsbox Grasmere

Barney’s Newsbox Grasmere

Now while you may have bought your newspapers from here while visiting Grasmere, have you ventured upstairs?. Home to over 20,000 jigsaws, you can’t fail to find something to while away a few hours, or more!

Jigsaws Galore

Jigsaws Galore

A few pieces, many pieces,  jigsaws for young and old, take a look you will be amazed.

Even more Jigsaws

Even more Jigsaws

Can’t manage to Grasmere, they ship Worldwide. http://www.jigsawsuk.co.uk

Grasmere is lucky to have lots of independent shops, and that’s what makes it so interesting. One of my favourites is Sam Read Bookseller. Established in 1887 this is the place to browse for every type of book imaginable. Snuggle up on the couch of your holiday home or guest house, listen to the rain against the window, and transport yourself into another world.

Sam Read Bookshop Grasmere

Sam Read Bookshop Grasmere

Situated on the corner of Broadgate and College Street Grasmere, you will be surprised by what you find inside. Very helpful staff, with great knowledge to find you just the right holiday read.

Sam Read Bookshop Grasmere

Sam Read Bookshop Grasmere

To see a selection of their books, maps and other reading material. http://www.samreadbooks.co.uk situated next door is Lucia’s Takeaway Coffee Shop, great for a quick snack or picnic item. On sunny day’s you can borrow a sit mat to use on the village green opposite while you eat.

Across the green is situated Heaton Cooper Studio. Another family business that was established in 1905. I don’t think I have ever managed to get out of here without making a purchase from their wonderful art shop. This time wasn’t any different!

Art Shop Heaton Cooper Grasmere

Art Shop Heaton Cooper Grasmere

The  Gallery features work by several generations of the Heaton Cooper Family. Wonderful images of the Lake District in all it’s glory.

Heaton Cooper Studio Grasmere

Heaton Cooper Studio Grasmere

They also have a new exhibition space. A great addition and I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the exhibition currently on, entitled “Working The Landscape”.

Working The Landscape

Working The Landscape

Have a look at their website to see what’s on when you visit. http://www.heatoncooper.co.uk

Walk out and turn to your right. Another wet weather idea is National Trust Allan Bank situated up the lane to the side of the Miller Howe Cafe. This is not your normal National Trust experience. A quirky house, once lived in by Wordsworth and co-founder of the Trust Cannon Hardwicke Rawnsley. Each room has a loose theme, Art Room, Play room, etc. No ropes and no “Do not touch” signs.

Allan Bank Grasmere

Allan Bank Grasmere

It now features a kitchen cafe with a great selection of cakes.

Butlers Pantry Allan Bank

Butlers Pantry Allan Bank

Dogs are welcome in the house too, so no need to leave four legged friends behind. Another interesting room has the Chorley Hopkinson Mountaineering Library in it, so if it’s not the weather for climbing you can at least read about your next adventure.

Mountaineering Library Allan Bank

Mountaineering Library Allan Bank

Plenty for children and adults alike to do. Sit beside the roaring fire and read the complimentary newspapers while the children paint a masterpiece. Fantastic views too, even on a miserable day.

Allan Bank View

Allan Bank View

Best of all there are red squirrels at Allan Bank and they seem to like the wet weather best.  Sit at the window and see what you can spot.

Allan Bank Red Squirrels

Allan Bank Red Squirrels

No squirrels about? You never know what animal you might find (dressing up optional!).

Allan Bank Fun

Allan Bank Fun

Allan Bank Information http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/allan-bank-and-grasmere/

So what else to do on a rainy Grasmere day? Pop in to St Oswald’s Church.

St Oswald's Church Grasmere

St Oswald’s Church Grasmere

Buy some Grasmere Gingerbread. Always warming on a miserable day.

Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

Or pay a visit to the Wordsworth Trust and Dove Cottage another of Wordsworth’s homes in the village. They usually have a great exhibition on too.

Dove Cottage Grasmere

Dove Cottage Grasmere

And if all else fails. Treat yourself to a fab Herdy Umbrella and do a bit of singing in the rain!

Fab Herdy Umbrella

Fab Herdy Umbrella

So I hope this has given you some ideas of what to do on a rainy day in Grasmere. Only one problem. I spent so much time enjoying myself wandering round the village my freezer had defrosted it’s self all over the floor, so it was not only wet outside but inside too!

 

 

 

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