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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Scattered around the house were cushions with quotes. I particularly liked the ones in the play room.
The play room was just waiting for little Easter visitors with books and toys to enjoy.
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.
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.
Just time for a quick look in the little shop, but the grounds were calling. Sunshine in the Lake District can’t be wasted.
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.
Next further up the path with a glimpse of Helm Crag in sight.
And finally Helm Crag in all it’s glory.
Something that hasn’t changed this year, or for a long time before is the old Victorian viewing tunnel in the grounds.
Time for a last cup of tea and tempted to cake by Sophie to round off my visit.
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.
Spring is arriving at last in the village. We now have a lifeline in the form of a bus link to Keswick so we aren’t feeling quite so isolated, and the work on the A591 needed after Storm Desmond is progressing. We can be easily accessed from the South or by the scenic route over Kirkstone Pass to the North. It is always a lovely time to visit. Snow on the fell tops, daffodils appearing, shops stocked up for the new season and hotels all spruced up over the winter. Some good bargain breaks at this time of year too.
Today we had rain, sleet, snow and sunshine, and that was just the morning!
It’s a funny thing but I suppose we all have our own idea of when Spring has arrived. The thing I always look for are the daffodils starting to flower at Wordsworth’s grave. Well today there were daffodils appearing everywhere.
Even in shop windows. This was a lovely Spring window display in Sam Read Bookshop and further down the road Herdy was getting in on the act too.
Of course the Lake District is always associated with daffodils because of William Wordsworth’s famous poem. Grasmere has it’s very own daffodil garden and you can find part of the poem reproduced there.
In the garden I would say the daffodils will be perfect just in time for Easter this year.
I decided to head round the riverside walk through Broadgate, then to the Mere.
The Environment Agency have been dredging the River Rothay since the floods in December and as I approached the other day I was amazed to see that as the digger exited the river, three canoeists appeared and used the slipway to launch their canoes! A nice bit of positive thinking.
They paddled along and the next thing I spotted them in the Mere.
We might have had a lot of rain over the winter but another advantage is that everything is looking very lush and green at the moment. As you can see Grasmere is ready for the new season, all that is missing are the visitors. Get yourselves up here, you don’t know what you are missing!
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!
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.
A seasonal start to the year. A little snow and blue skies.
Snow on the tops and snowdrops appearing at Wordsworth’s Grave in the churchyard.
And the daffodils appear in the daffodil garden. Spring at last
Was taking a photo of the rainbow but who can spot the low-flying jet too?
The days are getting longer and the sky is blue.
One of the best sights at this time of the year. Lambs in the fields.
June is a great time for wild flowers in Grasmere. This field below Helm Crag was a delight.
Wouldn’t be Grasmere without the annual Rushbearing Ceremony.
And perfect weather for tea by the mere and perhaps a row on the lake.
You never know what is round the corner in Grasmere. Here is our “rush hour traffic”.
Grasmere Sports day dawned dry and bright and a great day was had by young and old alike.
Loads of Butterflies this year. Good to see.
Early morning is glorious in Grasmere.
Some cracking Fungi in Grasmere this Autumn.
Great lighting at this time of year too.
Autumn in Grasmere, a riot of colour.
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.
And Grasmere wouldn’t be Grasmere without the Annual 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