An afternoon in the Lakes

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Saturday morning I got up and turned on the tap to fill the kettle – time for my morning brew! – only to see the water fizzle out into a trickle and then vanish altogether. Oh Oh! Checking the United Utilities web site confirmed that our water supply had been cut off due to a burst pipe which was affecting a major part of Wigan. It was obvious that it was a major problem that wasn’t going to be resolved for some time and although we had bottles of water to drink there would be no water for washing up, cleaning, flushing the loo and brews. That settles it, we’d have to go out for the day to somewhere where I could guarantee hot drinks and flushing toilets. There was bound to be plenty of water in the Lake District!

We had intended to revisit the Barbara Hepworth exhibition at the Abbot Hall Gallery, only an hour’s drive away, and it was due to close next weekend anyway, so that made the decision of where to go quite easy. It was a grey morning with some threatening clouds but the weather forecast had promised that it would brighten up in the afternoon with the prospect of a fine evening in the Lakes. And that’s the way it turned out.

We reached Kendal just after midday and parked up at the gallery. After a quick meal in the cafe we looked around the exhibition. It was good to revisit the works, some of which, being on loan from private collections, we probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to see again. After that we had a wander into Kendal town centre before popping back for another look (our usual routine!). It was only 3:30 and the cloud was beginning to break so we decided to drive the 10 miles or so over to Windermere for a short walk by the lake. But before that we called into Blackwell for the last hour before it closed.

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We’ve seen the house several times now as our Friends of the Lakeland Trust membership includes entrance and I never really tire of looking round the stunning interior and at the surrounding countryside.

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The small exhibition of pots by Bernard Leach held in parallel with the Abbot Hall  was due to finish next week so it was good to take another look at that as well as the exhibition on the “Glasgow Style”. The late afternoon was developing as promised by the BBC weather forecast and so it was peasant to stroll around the grounds.

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We treated ourselves to a brew and a slice of tea loaf apiece (naughty but very nice) just before the cafe was due to close and the found a table outside on the terrace with a great view over Windermere and Grizedale forest towards the Coniston fells.

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Ringing home we discovered that the water was back on but as the sun was shining after returning our pots to the kitchen we drove the short distance to Bowness.

It must have been busy during the day as there were still plenty f cars parked up, butwe managed to find a free parking space on the road. Now Bowness isn’t my favourite place in the Lakes. It’s easily accessible and is usually busy with day trippers and with it’s amusement arcades, souvenir shops and fast food outlets it rather reminds me of a, albeit more refined, seaside resort. But we had a pleasant walk along the “prom” enjoying the views across the lake as the late afternoon sun lit up the water and the distant fells.

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