Woke up today to get out of the house for a day long road trip to the Lakes District, winding up in Hawes, home of the Wensleydale Creamery (we bet you Wallace and Gromit fans know what we are talking about). We are spending the night at the Wensleydale Heifer, a truly British country inn that has been serving guests since the 1700s.
Our day started out with me feeling much better! I think my cold has turned the corner. That said, we were out of Castle Howard by Paul’s set time of 8:30 and headed to Windermere in the Lakes District. The drive out was beautiful. Not sunny but not raining either. Truly a typical northern England day (or so we have been told). We got to Windermere around 11:00 am and set off looking for a…what else…tea. We have really grown to love our tea stops and proper English tea is really good. It has helped me get over this cold. And this time we had it with scones. Yummy!
After our tea and conversation (we always have the best conversations over tea) we walked back through Windermere to the lake side where we decided to jump on a tour boat for a 45-minute run up and down the lake. It was pretty cool in more than one way. The tour was cool but the weather was COLD! We tried sitting on the open deck and Kathleen and Gail gave up and went in the cabin in about 15 minutes. Paul and I gave up at the 35 minute mark. One thing of interest that kept happening while we were in Windermere was that military jets and vintage WWII aircraft kept flying overhead at a VERY low altitude. I am pretty sure the first two planes were WWII RAF Spitfires. After that it was just jets. Nasty looking Blue Angel-type warplanes. They would buzz the lake at about 1000 feet or lower. Got a couple of good pics.
Back on the road after our boat ride, heading here to the Heifer we had the one real scare of the trip. As we came off motorway in Nateby all of sudden Paul’s Audi started making a horrible noise. We were able to get into a neighborhood where we could look at the car and some kind of cover that is supposed to protect the undercarriage of the car had somehow come loose and was scraping as we drove, making a horrible noise. Paul tried knocking it back into place but no luck, so we started driving again. It didn’t scrape unless the wind blew it down so there was no noise unless the car went over about 15mph. Of course at that rate we would reach Wensleydale around midnight. So as we were trying to figure out what to do, Paul drove (slowly) around a corner and lo and behold, an independent auto repair shop. In the middle of absolute nowhere. Seriously. It was a gift from God.
We pulled in and Paul asked the mechanic working on a car out in front if he could take a look at it. He put the car up on a jack, slid underneath, tightened three screws and we were on our way. He even refused to take any money. He told us there was a charity box on the desk in his office and we could put something in there. They got a bill out of Paul’s wallet and all my coins. What a champ he was!
Then it was on to the aforementioned Wensleydale Creamery where you can sample about 30 kinds of cheese—which we did. After that (and buying a couple of trinkets) it was back in the car and on to the village of Hawes where we walked the small downtown and stopped for…no, not tea this time…a proper half pint (Paul had to drive still and we didn’t want to make him feel bad so we got a half pint too) of beer. Delicious.
After our quick stop, back in the car for a half hour drive to the Heifer. If you look at the website (linked above) make sure and check out our room, the Heifer suite. Paul and Gail are in the Herriot suite. The rest of the rooms are totally themed and a hoot to look at. Check out the James Bond cow in the movie room.
We are here and in for the evening and in about so minutes will meet Paul and Gail in the hotel’s bar for a pre-dinner drink and then we have 7:30 reservations in their dining room (which is world famous…according to their website). I will let you know after dinner.
Sadly, I even though I can post this today, I don’t have any photos to add because even through I brought my Mac, I forgot the card reader so I can’t get the photos off my camera’s card until we are back at Paul & Gail’s in Leeds tomorrow. I promise there are some good ones.
Well, time for dinner. More tomorrow. PS: Not the greatest quote below but how often do you get to quote Amanda Peet, who I have always thought was awesome.
If I had to give up cheese or chocolate, I’d give up chocolate in a heartbeat. —Amanda Peet