31 August 2012
Coxwold to Windermere
I left Newburgh House with a sad heart ~ it was so beautifully peaceful there and I would have been happy to sit in the breakfast room watching the birds and looking out at the gardens and exploring more of the area. So, as I often did on this trip, I filled the journey to my new destination with stops along the way. Just a few miles away from Coxwold was the small town of Kilburn. I knew I was getting close when I caught this glimpse of the White Horse of Kilburn on the hillside!
Unlike many of the other chalk carvings on hillsides that date centuries if not thousands of years back, this one is a much more recent creation from the mid 1800's, done to encourage more visitors to the area!
The little town of Kilburn was quite picturesque with it's lovely stone and half timbered buildings. And everywhere, beautiful little gardens tucked in. I stopped in Kilburn because I wanted to see the Mouseman of Kilburn Museum.
Robert Thompson was a woodcarver who developed a signature mouse, which he carved into every piece he made. This lovely set of buildings is where his first home and workshop were located and is now a museum showcasing his work. The previous photo is where the Robert Thompson Craftsmen's Workshop is located today.
The whole place was lovely and inviting! I loved the climbing rose growing against the wall!
Outside were enormous split trunks of English Oak, curing in order to be better suited to the carving that would later take place.
All of the furniture was lovely with the hand adzed finishes, the quotes included on some pieces and the little mice carved into each piece! On this one, you can see the mouse on the lower left. On some pieces, the mouse wasn't immediately apparent and might be hidden on the back or underside if not appropriate to have on the front, such as on some of the beautiful crucifixes.
I loved this bed and it's quote (and the ribbon embroidered pillow!)
How I'd have loved to bring home a big dining room table to seat my family around! But alas, it wouldn't fit into my suitcase and my wallet wasn't quite large enough!
But I did come home with a couple of small treasures! The mouse bowl is holding my pebbles from Iona and Tintagel at the moment. I'll use the little flat board to hold my teapot or a small loaf of bread! In the workshop I was able to watch several of the craftsmen carving mice like these!
From Kilburn, I made my way to the town of Thirsk, where I parked next to this Green Grocer.
There's just something about boxes of fresh vegetables sitting out that I love! All the color and goodness of it! It just makes my heart glad!
From the greengrocer, I made the short walk to this rather plain unassuming building, which was the home and veterinary clinic of author James Herriot, of "All Creatures Great and Small" fame! It was the reason I stopped in Thirsk. Now the building is a museum known as "The World of James Herriot".
Each room is set up just as it was in James Alfred Wight's (his real name) time and in this one there is a nod to one of the characters who shows up regularly in his books!
The figures used in the space really made the books come alive!
I loved seeing the surgery and the storeroom!
In the back of the property are all the film sets from the BBC series! All a much smaller scale than I would have thought!
But at last it was time to head across the Yorkshire Dales and make my way towards the Lake District. The clouds hung low and the sky was filled with mist and rain. Instead of hedges, the fields were bordered with stone fences.
I had to stop and say hello to the sheep!
And look at the beautiful wildflowers.
And marvel over the stone barns and fences on the hillsides.
It was just lovely! I suspect that I missed much of the scenery due to the clouds and rain, but I loved what I saw.
I arrived at Invergarry Guest House in Windermere ~ very different from the other places I had stayed, but it was a typical house of the area!
In my room I discovered this lovely bouquet of flowers sent by my sister! She had been hoping to join me for my week in the Lake District, but wasn't able to come due to her job and the busy forest fire season in the western US, so she sent these flowers instead! They stayed beautiful for my entire stay!
I arrived at Windermere early enough that I had time to do a little exploring. I walked down the hill into Bowness on Windermere. All along the docks there were gulls, swans, geese, ducks and pigeons by the hundreds!
I loved the wooden boats available to rent. I would have loved to spent and afternoon rowing about the lake in one of these, but somehow, but solitary rowing on an unfamiliar lake didn't seem to be the safest option!
Seeing this large boat named Swan with a real swan swimming next to it tickled me! Since rowing wasn't a good option for me, I opted to take an evening lake cruise on a similar boat!
While waiting for my cruise to depart, I had time to enjoy some dinner on the wharf ~ fish and chips! As usual, the portion was far larger than I could eat, but these two geese were happy to beg for and eat some of my leftovers! I told them that they should be eating the nice green grass or looking for lettuce, but they ignored me! Guess they are as addicted to french fries, pardon me ~ that should be "chips"~ as I am!
This dock was the preferred resting spot for the ducks! Again, I loved all the wooden boats! So much more romance to be had in wooden boats!
The "Blue Cruise" took a 45 minute tour around the islands of Windermere. Along the way there were lovely views of the far shore as well.
The rainy mist from the day lingered well on into the evening.
But then as night fell, the clouds suddenly lifted and the rain ceased and there was a lovely sunset visible from the windows of my room!