Our second day in the Lakes was cooler and rainier than the first. Again, we left it until after midday before we left our cottage and this time went to the nearest town – Keswick.
Fortunately, the rain left off for the first part of the afternoon so walking round the town was fine.
An interesting alleyway in Keswick
I had never been to this town before and Richard hadn’t visited for many years. I loved it! It has lots of interesting shops and plenty going on but it isn’t as packed with tourists as Ambleside is.
We bought gifts from the shop below for my mother and our next-door neighbour (who watered our tomatoes) and also a jar of marmalade as Elinor wanted some. My blogging friend Rachel, formerly of ‘Could Do Worse’ visits the Lakes every year and when I saw this shop I thought of her.
The Chocolate Shop
Here is what Rachel had to say about it last year. She did three or four great posts from the Lakes last year and you’ll find them just before and just after the post I’ve given you a link to. She has recently started a new blog called The Patch Out Back – do give her a visit.
A pretty tree in the park.
After wandering round for a while, and Elinor sampling some of the best chips she had ever tasted from The Old Keswickian, we agreed we’d like to see the lake. To get to Derwent Water from the centre of the town you walk through an underpass and alongside part of the town park which is where I took the above photo.
From the path we could see the fells that surround the town
Lots of very friendly Greylags and Canada Geese wait to be fed by anyone foolhardy enough to buy packets of goose-food from the shop.
This is Derwent Water
As you can see, it was a very cloudy day.
The lake has four islands on it and one of them is just opposite the ferry landing stage near where we were standing.
The clouds began to drift lower and we knew it would rain again soon.
It was nice to watch people rowing on the lake
Fells near the lake
We found this lady and her Poodle most amusing.
She got to the shore-side and took the dog’s lead off and replaced it with a long rope. The dog was very excited and was barking loudly and shrilly. It galloped into the water and splashed about, snapping at the water (I can’t imagine how many pints of lake water it drank). The woman was having to hold very tight on the end of the rope especially when the dog saw a large flotilla of geese come into view.
The geese remained out of reach, to the poodle’s disappointment.
I saw some attractive Bush Vetch (Vicia sepium) near the lake.
As it started to rain again we made our way back to the car and then drove back to the cottage.
After our evening meal, Richard and I went for a walk down the lane our cottage was in.
The first plant I saw was Greater Bird’s-foot Trefoil (Lotus pedunculatus)
The cloud was low and everything was very wet but the fine rain soon stopped.
Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare) was everywhere – (as it is here at home)
Marsh Thistle (Cirsium palustre) has smaller flower-heads and they are grouped together at the end of the stems. (A Spear Thistle is behind it)
Masses of Heath Bedstraw (Galium saxatile)
Sneezewort (Achillea ptarmica)
Sneezewort’s name ptarmica comes from the Greek word ptarmos which, surprisingly, means ‘sneezing’. The plant looks grey and in the bad light that evening the flowers seemed almost luminous. The upper stems are downy and the flower-heads are made up of white ray florets and greenish-white disc florets (though in this photo they look grey). The leaves, which are hot to the taste, used to be used in salads. In the Middle Ages Sneezewort was used to alleviate toothache. Sufferers held the roots in their mouths which helped the toothache by ‘evacuating the rheum’ according to Nicholas Culpeper. I can’t imagine how sneezing would help anyone with bad toothache! Culpeper recommends sneezewort for people with stuffy heads. The powder of the herb was ‘stuffed up the nose..’ which caused sneezing and ‘cleanses the head’. Explosive!
More low cloud
We walked almost to the end of the lane but as it was getting quite dark we turned round, retraced our steps and returned to our cottage.
Thanks for visiting!