Monday, 15 April 2013

Castles in the (Rainy) Air. . .

Nursing a bit of a cold, it might not have been the wisest idea to go walking when the weather promised mostly showers, but ever the optimist, I took "mostly" to mean "not all day" and even packed my sunglasses.

I didn't need them.

You know it's bad when the best shelter you can find for lunch is hunched down behind a wall that only stops the wind from one direction and does nothing to keep the rain off either yourself, or your food.

Still, we walkers are a hardy bunch and the grey weather can still bring out the beauty in the landscape. We're about five miles south of Kirby Stephen in Cumbria.

I won't lie - it was cold and soggy and muddy and thus rather miserable for the first half of the six hour hike. But then things got better.  For one thing, the rain stopped although it remained cloudy and windy. Then as always, the sheep cheered me up, like this philosophical one contemplating the swollen River Eden as we walked alongside.

And I knew there were two treats in store, the first one, just glimpsed through the mist.


Coming from across the pond, I'm still enough of a history geek to be in awe of anything older than the twentieth century, so to be able to walk around the ruins of a 12th century castle is quite exciting.  This is the romantically named Pendragon Castle which legend says was built by King Arthur's father, Uther Pendragon.  At one time, it was also owned by Sir Hugh de Morville, Lord of Westmorland, who was one of the knights who murdered Thomas Beckett.

I rushed right in through the doorway and crawled on my hands and knees through this portal to get inside.

Only to discover a much more civilized mode of entry just around the corner.

Both the castle and its surroundings are serene and beautiful.

A little further on, another castle appeared on the horizon.

This is Lammerside Castle, also 12th century, although what is left was mostly built in the 14th century.

It also is situated with stunning views, showing the direction where we came from. 

The last part of the walk took us through many fields. It's lambing season and there were plenty of youngsters looking quite adorable.

And what's that?  Were we actually walking towards a patch of blue?

No, as it turned out, but the sun finally did appear . . .  as we were on the coach heading home. A hot bath and a good night's sleep ensued. My cold is much worse - but it was worth it.


David Nolan (David73277) said...

The Lammerside Castle walk has been on my "to do" list for some time. Maybe I'll get round to it this year.

I did enjoy the lamb photos. Why is it that in some fields sheep run away when you approach, whereas in others one can end up with a flock chasing you, as happened to me a couple of weeks back?

Blithe Spirit said...

It's a lovely walk - I definitely recommend it. I've had a few sheep running towards me too - it probably all depends on where you are in relation to their lambs. I saw a lot of lambs trailing after a different mother until they heard their own "baaaa-ing" after them.