UK Road Trip

September 5, 2014 —Keswick to York

Andy and Mandy of Linnett House served us a very nice hot English breakfast.  Our bedrooms here were tiny and the pillows quite hard, so we were happy we were only staying one night.  We walked to the town center, then took a short walk to Derwentwater Lake.  Keswick is in the North Lake District of England and is a beautiful town of about 6,000 people.  It’s a bustling town, and everywhere we drove today was teeming with tourists.  We drove from Keswick to the South Lake District where we stopped at Dove Cottage, the home where William Wordsworth wrote much of his poetry.  We toured the cottage, and our guide told us that we were very lucky to have such a warm, sunny day.  She said some people stay for a week and never see the nearby mountains.  Wordsworth was an interesting man and was a friend of Samuel Coleridge and Sir Walter Scott.  Scott was in the habit of leaving one of his dogs when he visited—he left a dog named Pepper with Wordsworth (Scott had more than 20 dogs named Pepper).  The impressive thing about the small, modest Dove Cottage was that the furnishings were original pieces that dated back to the time Wordsworth lived there for 8 years starting in 1799.  Next we drove south along Lake Windemere, where we planned to do a short hike, but we couldn’t find a place to park in the town of Ambleside.  The highest mountain in England is Scafell Peak (3,206 ft.) and is located in the Lake District, which is also a national park.  We stopped for lunch in a pub called the Dalesman Country Inn, located in Sedbergh.  This town is inside the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  We found a 'park and display' parking lot, but in small towns like this, cars park right on the main road, usually filling up about 2/3 of the lane.   We’ve seen bikers, walkers, and an occasional animal in the road, but today we saw something truly amazing—a double baby buggy coming toward us in our lane! The posted speed limit on some of these hilly, curvy, crazy roads is 60, but our top speed was about 45.  The roads were often lined with hedges or stone walls and we went over several one-lane bridges with a hump in the middle so you couldn’t really see what was coming.  Taking the scenic route today through two national parks from Keswick to York was the long, slow way, but the beautiful scenery made it absolutely worthwhile.  We checked in at Ashbourne House outside the walled city of York around 5:30.  We relaxed for awhile, then walked to the Plough Pub for dinner.  Jay had a typical English meal (!) of Texas chili, Barbara had lasagna, Marylee had chicken curry and Ward had steak and ale pie.  Marylee proposed a toast to Jay for his fine job of driving today.  Yea!

Derwentwater Lake, Keswick

Derwentwater Lake, Keswick

Derwentwater Lake, Keswick


William Wordsworth Museum

Dove Cottage, William Wordsworth's home

Dove Cottage - the writer’s chair 

Dove Cottage (poet laureate’s award on right, passport on left)

View from Dove Cottage garden

Yorkshire Dales National Park


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