Just to update on my last blog did we go home or away for the final week of the holiday? Well as it turned out we sampled the joys of both the Lakes and the Borders and opted for away and then home.
We looked carefully at the weather forecast and realised that the first half of the holiday the weather was good in the Lakes. So we headed there to my parents wee house in Glenriding. It was great to be able to do favourite walks and we fitted in Brothers Water and Gowbarrow circuit. Brothers Water showed up straight away how unfit I am as we used to do that walk as a wee walk on the last day of the holiday. Confess I stumbled back blisters on foot dog pulling me along and my daughter’s encouraging me as the boys had gone ahead and were back twenty minutes ahead of us. I managed the next day though to walk Gowbarrow circuit blisters and all and once we were away from the crowds at Aira Force the walk was quiet allowing us to enjoy the peace of the countryside and the wonderful views of Ullswater. It remains one of my favourite if not my favourite walk in the Lakes.
Half way through the week the weather broke but we stayed on as I had a plan school shopping hideous but given we had Kendal Village and Gretna Gateway on our doorstep we felt at least our cards were not completely cracking up with the strain of the expense that is getting the kids back to school. So we got the kids all sorted out before heading back for home.
Before I talk about our time at home I must say that along with the stunning views, the walks, the lakes of course and all the individual towns what I love about the Lakes and Cumbria is the local produce. As you know if you read this blog regularly as a family we have been trying to eat local as much as possible. And it’s made so easy in Cumbria so many shops sell local Cumbrian produce. This time we found a new shop well new to us Cranston’s in Penrith great local produce. Plus we returned to my favourite supermarket Booths which is a North West institution and makes it easy to shop local and eat well. I love it for its focus on local, local beer section that has to be seen to be believed and quality products and usually for its customer service. I always think it’s customer service is great and in the supermarkets in Kendal and Windermere it was. In the cafe though in Kendal it could have given Faulty Towers a run for its money. It was torrential rain or we too would have left along with the three plus customers who left without being served while we were there. It took at least half an hour to get served, another twenty minutes to get cakes and another ten minutes to get drinks. Lots of staff, no management and total chaos so we won’t be going back there. But apart from that blip we really enjoyed our stay in the Lakes. And no I don’t know why we didn’t complain at the time we were on holiday, the rain, my blisters who knows? We should have so I am making my complaint here instead.
Back home I was given a day to recover from my blisters and sore feet and then we were off on another walk. This time Selkirk back to St Boswells. I have done that walk many times at various times of year. But never as muddy and boggy as it was last saturday. It was a dry day up above apart from one rain shower but under foot was a different matter. I love the walk so don’t get me wrong I enjoyed it with marvellous views over the Cheviots but I did arrive home having stepped in a bog and was able to wring out my socks then look at the horror that was the back of my feet more blisters. But must admit a meal at the Buccleuch Hotel in St Boswells as a last treat of summer did a lot to make me feel better.
On the last day of the holiday though when another walk along the Tweed was planned I decided walking boots were out mules were in anything to avoid the agony of more blisters and the existing blisters getting worse. I expected to give my feet an out of doors mud bath you know a spa out doors. But for some reason it wasn’t as muddy down by the Tweed and I was fine and didn’t have the biting of the tongue when I got home and tried to peel the back of my feet away from my sock. A relief as neither me or my feet could take much more. 35 miles plus later they had had it!
And as we headed home on that last day with the Eildons in view back to St Boswells there was a huge part of me which was really sad. I have really enjoyed the summer. Kintyre was an unforgettable two weeks at the beginning. I managed the juggle in the middle three weeks of work and spending time with the kids and must admit we had lots of fun despite the funny hours I kept. We enjoyed our split holiday of the last week away and home. It has been a great summer and I am really sad it had to end. But in many ways we need to get back to routine as without it we wouldn’t enjoy our holidays so much. And anyway my feet need to have a break from all the walking well until October and the next holiday. Rumoured we might walk the Borders Abbey Way. Do you think my feet will have recovered?