Monday, 30 July 2018

St Bees Head

The next morning the skies had cleared and the sun was out so we headed to the Cumbrian Coast near Whitehaven. We couldn't work out how to get to the carpark for the RSPB St Bees Head Nature Reserve so we eventually parked up at the base of the cliff in St Bees itself. We headed off to walk up along the cliffs towards the Reserve. It was a lovely clear day and the views were stunning. We saw plenty of seabirds along the way and also loads of Ravens.

                                       St Bees Beach

View towards Fleswick Bay


               After our walk we had a picnic on the beach and a paddle

Views out toward the Western Fells

After lunch we decided to head up for a drive along the Solway Coast and see if we could find Justin's Grandparents Farm in Drumburgh near Carlisle

View towards Scotland across the Solway Firth

We found what used to be the driveway up to the farm and found the land surrounding it is now Drumburgh Moss National Nature Reserve

A herd of lovely Exmoor Ponies are responsible for grazing the reserve and helping the other wildlife.

We finished up our day with dinner at the Greyhound Inn at Burgh by Sands
Not sure if the inside of the pub was dog friendly or not but we were welcome in the garden. The food was good and for the first time in years I had scampi in batter. Not something I find very often but definitely a favourite!

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Dodds Wood Ospreys

We headed down towards Bassenthwaite Lake and parked up in the Doods Wood car park and walked up to the viewpoints overlooking the Lake and the Osprey nest which is manned by RSPB volunteers with spotting scopes. It was quite a steep walk up to both viewpoints and it was rather warm but didn't take too long.
Unfortunately the female bird KL didn't make it back this year so there are no babies to see but it looks like the male has had some other female interest so hopefully they may breed next year. We did get some distant views of the adult birds though.

                            Southern tip of Bassenthwaite Lake

View towards the South West

After heading back down we had a pretty good lunch in the Old Saw Mill Tearoom which is situated at the bottom of the trail up into Dodds Wood.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Ennerdale and Buttermere

Ist Day of our trip we headed down to Ennerdale Water which is the most westerly lake in the Lake District. Our first stop off was Whinlatter Forest for a short walk. The weather was dry but still a bit misty and murky from the previous days rain.

                     View of Bassenthwaite from Whinlatter

We had lunch at the community run Fox and Hound Pub at Ennerdale Bridge which is dog friendly. The food was great but portions were huge and we actually had to leave some chips (which doesn't happen very often!) The garden is along side a stream so the dogs splashed around in the water while we ate. Shame we were joined by a few persistent midges
          After lunch we headed down to Ennerdale itself and did another short circular walk. Ennerdale  is one of Britains longest running rewilding projects where the plantation trees have been removed and the landscape left to evolve naturally with low levels of human intervention. It is also a "Dark Sky Discovery Site" where you can see the Milky Way with the naked eye.

We drove back along the small scenic roads past Loweswater and along Crummock Water turning up a pass through the fells from Buttermere and home.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Trip To The Lake District - Snittlegarth Lodge, Ireby

So after an 8 and a half hour drive, rubbish traffic and a torrential downpour we arrived at Snittlegarth Lodge near Bassenthwaite Lake. The weather dried up and the beautiful surroundings helped us immediately feel relaxed. A bottle of wine was waiting for us in the fridge and the lodge was lovely.

Snittlegarth Lodges 1 and 2

                               Views from around the farm

 Outside the lodge's is a half acre area which is exclusively for use of visitors which has feeders and nest boxes set up in the trees. These were visited by numerous birds including Great Spotted Woodpeckers and also Red Squirrels which we saw daily.