The wonderful Lake District – part one

In June Ellie and I went camping to the Lake District, partly so that we could visit another few National Trust houses. The Lake District is a very important place for the National Trust, not only due to the amount of land it looks after there but also as it is a key part of its history.

Canon Rawnsley, one of the founding members lived there and worked to enhance education and employment opportunities and one of the key contributors to protecting the land was the children’s author Beatrix Potter who lived there and bought land which she donated to the Trust.

We have visited a small bit of the Lake District before on whilst on holidays to Centre Parks but never actually been to the area for any length of time which is very remiss of us as it is only 1 1/2 hours from here and is the most glorious place.

Lake District - camping 1

We stayed at Low Wray campsite which is owned by the Trust and is literally on the shores of Lake Windemere and right next to one of the properties we visited, Wray Castle. This is the view from the edge of the site. What an amazing place to stay and so cheap, 3 nights there only cost £54 which was a real bargain.It is a beautiful campsite with an outdoor pizza place and boat hire so if you are looking for a place to stay I would really recommend it.

Lake District - camping 2

Lake District - camping 3

We were camped just behind this ridge on the right of the picture above, they also have tepees and camping pods for hire if you don’t have a tent.

In total we visited four Trust properties which I will post about later and a Trust owned pub , The Sticklebarn in the amazing Langdales.

Lake district - pub 2

Lake district - pub 1

Lake district - pub 3

We also visited Grasmere and Derwentwater Lakes and the little town of Cockermouth which was also very beautiful. Just the drives were amazing in themselves, the scenery is truly breathtaking.

Lake district - Cannon's house

Lake district - Derwent 1

Lake district - Derwent 2

Lake district - Derwent 3

I definitely want to go back and spend more time there, another place for the retirement list, only another 3 years, 8 months and 17 days to go until I can do that, not that I am counting 🙂

It is a wet and windy day today which is such a pity as the Jazz Festival is on this weekend in the village. I am volunteering tonight and all day tomorrow so hopefully lots of people will wrap up warm and come and visit anyway.

I am working on some more applique from the free gift at the moment so will be able to show you some of that next week. Hope that you all have a nice week ahead and thanks for visiting.

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Under a cloudy Shropshire Sky

We had a lovely time at Farmer Phil’s festival with my sister. As we were there from the Tues we went for a couple of long walks up on the hills where we could see the beautiful scenery.

Shropshire 2018 3

Shropshire 2018 4

At the top of one of the hills we came across two wind blown trees which made for great pictures against the cloud backdrop. One of them was a Rowan tree which brought back lots of childhood memories as we both went Rowanfield Primary School where our uniforms were the colours of the tree.

 

There were plenty of sheep including this cute one who had very deer like ears.

Shropshire 2018 2

We also saw a llama, there were actually three in a garden on the way back from our first walk.I think Jacky thought I had lost the plot when I suddenly shouted, ‘llama’, but she saw this cute little one just as I spotted it as well, they were so friendly.

Shropshire 2018 9

The weather was variable but luckily Jacky had bought a lovely fire pit so we had toasty nights watching the flames. The last evening was beautiful sunshine and I spent some time taking pictures of the sun peeping out from the clouds as it set.

 

I have been busy at work since I got back doing clearing which is dealing with those who have not got the A level results they expected but have managed to finish the Steampunk jacket for the Lincoln event, with four days to go! A minor miracle and I will post pictures of that later in the week.

Meanwhile take care and thanks for visiting.

If you want to get ahead …..

I had a lovely time in Spain, no photos for you except this one of wine during a meal at one of our favourite beach bars as the rest of the time was spent being very hot and so sitting in the shade or being in various pools and the sea.

Spain - August - wine

It was a lovely time with family but confirmed my already fairly certain view that I was born for colder climates. I really admire all of the people working there in that heat, I could do nothing more than sit with a cold drink mopping my brow!

A quick turnaround saw me going to my first ever proper festival, Farmer Phil’s in the gorgeous Shropshire countryside. I loved it, and will be back next year for longer so we can take advantage of the lovely area and go for walks. Look there was even blue sky.. in England!

Actually the weather was very good for August with only rain on the Sunday night which necessitated a much appreciated tow out of the muddy field.

I stayed with my sister Jacky who has recently bought a new camper van, I would dearly love to own one when I finally learn to drive so we spent some time wandering round looking at all of the lovely ones at the festival.

Farmer Phils 1 - tent

I was staying in Jacky’s pop up tent next to her van and we had a very lovely time catching up as we have not seen each other for a while, during which she has become a grandmother! Seriously we are not old enough for this sort of thing 🙂

Loved the music, lots of folk and folk/punk bands and great musicians generally and discovered some  new people to listen to. Just lovely to be in the sun, not too hot though 😉 , drinking delicious rhubarb cider and enjoying the event.

Farmer Phils 6 - stage

I think my favourites over the whole weekend were Nick Parker who is a brilliant songwriter and Bar Steward Sons of Val Doonican who have some brilliant comedy rewrites of classics such as Lady in Red (Lady in Greggs – which for those of you outside the UK is a sandwich shop and bakery) and Beyonce’s Single Ladies which they have turned into a wonderful song about Dinner Ladies.

Farmer Phils 7 - sons of VD

We also had a great baked Camembert and cheese platter at the Cheezy Vinyl bar where platters are old records, that was delicious and will definitely be going back next year.

Farmer Phils 12- Cheezy

Farmer Phils 13- Cheezy

As well as the music my other favourite things were festival outfits. There were some gorgeous outfits, some brilliant fancy dress and lots of bright colours, face painting and general loveliness.I think the combination of the rainbow unicorn head dress and the jacket with spoons on below was one of my faves.

I am going to work on some more lovely stuff for me to wear next year, definitely need more of the floaty summer hippy chic that lots of people were wearing! Oh and I also need some nice boots rather than my very old walking boots, not sure which of these are my fave so far.

As the title of my post says, if you want to get ahead….. get a hat so I treated myself to two new top hats for festival wear, I love top hats and have decided to wear them lots at events and wanted some that I could further embellish.

Farmer Phils 14- Purple hat

The purple one is great for wearing with my flower crowns as here and I am planning to make some removable bands for it as well and I will add some more bling and lace to the black one.

Farmer Phils 15- Black hat

Ellie and I are off again this weekend, I know, will the fun never stop! We are going to see a fab live spectacular show, Kynren, up in the North East with a little National Trust visit en route. Then it is only one week until the combined Lincoln Steam Punk weekend and medieval show where I shall get some nice pics of my newly lace embellished jacket and boots for you.

In between all this gadding about I am also still working on things for Yarndale, have got little to show you that is finished but have been embroidering and paper piecing for the final pouches and needlebooks.

Have a good weekend ahead, whatever you are doing and see you next week. Thanks for visiting as always.

 

 

Natural beauty

Ellie and I have just come back from our long weekend camping in North Wales. Originally we were booked into a re-enactment at Conwy but our group had to cancel so we thought we would make the most of the opportunity for a visit to some of the National Trust properties in the area.We stayed at  Conwy Touring Park which was a lovely site with great views.

Since it was nice weather for most of the time we not only got to visit several properties but also go for a walk in the mountains in Snowdonia. We saw such beautiful places so I thought I would share some of them with you.

First we visited Erddig , which is a house that dates from the early 1700s and it has been beautifully restored after falling into a ruinous state in the 1960s. The formal gardens were gorgeous and I particularly loved the less formal borders with thistles, poppies and lilies.

Erddig 2

Erddig 3

Erddig 4

Erddig 1

On Saturday we drove into the Snowdonia National Park to an area known as Cwm Idwal which is also owned by the Trust.

Cwm Idwal 1

Cwm Idwal 2

It was a perfect day for walking, cloudy but not wet and the clouds added to the dramatic scenery. We had a brilliant walk round the lake and then a picnic by a waterfall, just perfect!

Cwm Idwal 3

Cwm Idwal 4

Cwm Idwal 5

In the afternoon the sun came out which made the wonderful Bodnant Gardens look fantastic. The house is still in private ownership and the gardens that surround it are just gorgeous with the most beautiful views towards Snowdonia.

Bodnant 1

Bodnant 2

Bodnant 12

Bodnant 13

We really loved the hydrangea bushes, the heads were all at different stages of flowering and it was amazing to see the colours develop on these blue ones, so beautiful!

Bodnant 10

Bodnant 9

Bodnant 11

A great weekend and I will be back later in the week with some of the lovely interiors from these and the other places we visited.

Meanwhile I am working on some more Steampunk stuff as I want to update my outfit. We have been dressing up in the evenings at events and here is a picture taken by my lovely friend Silke at Tatton.

Alison Steampunk - Tatton - small

I love my top hat and am awaiting a new skirt, gloves and choker that will be delivered this week.I am decorating a pair of boots and velvet jacket with lace to add to my collection of outfits.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

Beautiful campsites

Hello everyone and hope that you are well, I have had a lovely weekend away at our last event of the season in South Wales, another beautiful place to camp and I will share some pictures of that event later in the week.

We are so very lucky as re-enactors to camp in amazing places and this was the view I had from my tent the weekend before last at Lincoln Cathedral.

Lincoln Bishops' Palace show

Lincoln 3

The cathedral looked amazing lit up at night and the sky was beautiful as well, all very atmospheric and makes you realise what a powerful impact these magnificent buildings would have had in medieval times.

Lincoln 5

Lincoln 2

Lincoln 6

Lincoln 7

Here are some more pictures that I took of the interior of the cathedral.

Lincoln 11

Lincoln 12

Lincoln 13

Lincoln 14

Lincoln 15

This is my favourite because of the light coming through the windows – just beautiful!

Lincoln 16

Bishops’ Palace where we held the event, would have been very impressive as well, now sadly ruined, partly as a result of damage during the Civil War.

There were several Great Halls for entertaining, one of which we used for our camp and the other for our tournament arena. This one below was once used to entertain King Henry 8th and Katherine Howard.

Lincoln 10

Lincoln 4

Lincoln 8

It is brilliant to be able to camp in these places and help bring them to life once more!

I am busy this week with preparation for the new term, not long to go now. This weekend is set aside for making the wedding jacket so wish me luck 😉

Have a good week ahead and thanks for visiting.

What a lovely end to the season!

Well we had a brilliant weekend away at the Mortimer’s Cross event at Hampton Court Castle.

I knew it was going to be a fab weekend when after a very pleasant train journey spent sewing more flower brooches I ended up pitching my little tent in a field with this view and settling down to a cold cider and my last evening meal in the open air for this year. A lovely end to a busy week.

Hampton Court camping

Hampton Court 2-camping

The weather was perfect and so I had a wander round the gardens on Saturday in between the two battles.

Hampton Court  -gardens

Hampton Court 4 -gardens

Hampton Court 5-gardens

Hampton Court 6-gardens

Hampton Court 7-gardens

Hampton Court 8-gardens

We then had a tour of the castle before tea (contemplating how we would redecorate if we bought it as it is currently up for sale at only £9 million).

Hampton Court  - castle

Hampton Court 10-castle

This is my new friend Angela who I first met at the Caldicot event.

Hampton Court 11- castle

I would keep these fabulous light fittings, they reminded me of the William Burges designs at Cardiff Castle.

Hampton Court 12- castle

Hampton Court 13- castle

Hampton Court 14- castle

Hampton Court 15- castle

Hampton Court 16- castle

There were two bands on Saturday night including a wonderful Celidh band with an excellent fiddle player so we danced lots and stayed up far too late really 😉

Sunday was more of the same, the weather held and the two battles that day were even better, everyone making the most of the last event.

Hampton Court battle

Hampton Court battle 2

Standing on the field with the guns going off and arrows raining down I couldn’t have been happier. Such a lovely time and an excellent way to end a very good season.

You can tell how happy I am in this picture as it looks like I am dancing with these two friends in armour. Thanks to Pat for the battle photos, he did a brilliant job as always of capturing the action for us.

Hampton Court battle 3

This has to be my fave picture of the season, another one of Pat’s photos – a friend captioned this as ‘now we know that gunners have hearts!’

Hampton Court battle 4 - guns

Looking forward to our first off-season kit making weekend, the Sisters Kerry and Ellie plus friend Jamie will be here.There will be linen everywhere and hopefully completed shifts at the end of it!

Meanwhile there are more brooches and Christmas ornaments to be made, what would life be without fabric and wool?

Thanks for visiting and look out for the next post which will be a very special one as it my 400th so I will be having a little giveaway!

A wonderful view (when you get to the top!)

We are very lucky and we get to camp in some amazing places, castles and historic venues and this weekend we had an event at Peveril Castle in the Peak District. The views were amazing and well worth the very long climb (with tents and lots of kit!) to the top of the hill.

Peveril the castle 2

Peveril view

Peveril the gorge

Peveril tent and view

Due to the nature of the site we only took modern tents rather than authentic as we had to take the tents down each morning as well. The picture below shows Mark and Shane climbing up on Saturday morning with their kit, it was a long steep hill!

Peveril Castle

But this picture just sums up everything I love about re-enactment, breakfast (bacon butties of course!) in the sunshine outside the tent.

Peveril Castle

The weather was brilliant – despite my fears that this might be a very wet weekend, it was actually a little too hot on the Saturday, we girls were ok in the shade down by the entrance to the castle doing our head dress talks but the boys were sweltering at the top and did a brilliant job of running the events in that heat.

Thanks to Wendy, Kevin, Philip and Daniel for these pictures that they posted to our group Facebook site.

Peveril show

Luke had a new cotehardie to show off – he looks brilliant and I love this picture.

Peveril event

I also really love this one of the girls looking at the view.

Peveril the sisters

Peveril Me and Ellie

Here are Luke and Jamie doing a dagger display.

Peveril Luke and Jamie

This is the arena from the top of the castle.

Peveril event

And here am I with Luke’s very impressive horned helm.

Pevril me and view

Pevril Sisters

Peveril Luke and Mark

Peveril Paul and Jamie

Pevril me and king

Peveril end of show

We were all so tired that after a trip down to a pub at the bottom of the hill for a very nice meal Saturday evening we only had a little sit round the campfire before bed.

A really excellent weekend and a great way to finish the Swords of Mercia events for this year. The Sisters still have a few events left before the tents go away for winter 😦

Ellie is now here for a week’s holiday so we may do some days out later in the week, we do have a trip planned to a textile museum en route to moving Jake into a new flat in Middlesbrough.

Hope you have all had a good weekend and thanks for visiting.