Britannia on tour

Our record for watching steam trains is not unblemished. Once last year we noted the expected time of arrival and timed our circular walk to arrive at the station in time to see the train. Well, that was the plan. In the event we met a lot of people walking away from the station; we were too late. The mystery is that we neither heard it nor saw the smoke.

Another time I saw a reminder on the internet and jumped to conclusions resulting in being two weeks early! We did not wait at the station, but farther along the track. Even so, I should have realised there was too little activity.

This week the time of the train had been announced and updated. I wanted to set off twenty minutes before the train was due. What happened isn’t important, but I went to the station on my own and heard the alarm for the level crossing barriers before I was within sight of the station. As I arrived I was told there were over one hundred people there. I wanted to cross the bridge for a better view, but the steps were crowded. The train was coming early so I stopped on the bridge, where I was barely tall enough to see what was going on.

Hubby, who followed me down, found a spot in the station car park and took some good photos. All that can be said about mine is that the angle of view is unusual!



A (brief) visit to Townend

Having been delayed by bad weather and slow traffic we made an unplanned visit to a National Trust property near Windermere, Townend. It was our first visit, although we have passed the sign to it on countless journeys. We were in time to eat our picnic lunch (in our car in the car park) and to visit the house shortly after it opened at 1pm. (There had been two fully-booked guided tours earlier.)

As it was the half-term holiday it was fairly busy even on a showery day. The farmhouse had been the home of a farming family, who collected books. One of them also carved furniture in elaborate patterns. It was fascinating.

The garden gave a view across to a bank barn, which we did not have time to inspect more closely.

Near the car park there was a wildflower meadow. By coincidence the challenge for #wildflowerhour was #inthemeadow.

Our satnav (GPS navigation) told us to turn the opposite way along the lane from the way we had arrived at the car park. It turned out to be a short cut along a narrow country lane.

Flash photography was not allowed inside the house. There are pictures of the interior and of the exterior on a brighter day here.

A favourite circular walk

From the beach at St Bees there are walks in many directions. An earlier post described a walk up the head. This walk also sets off across Rottington Beck and then instead of taking the cliff path continues along the edge of the caravan site.

There are lots of different types of environment along the walk: grazed fields, arable fields, hedgerows, a beck and a single track lane with passing places. Many of my flowers for #wildflowerhour have been growing along this route.


The path can become very boggy in places, especially near a water-pipe and around the gates and stiles. There are a few stiles consisting of sandstone steps and a narrow gate above them as well as some kissing-gates. The drainage along the path has been improved in recent years. It was very dry on the day I took these photos.

There are no longer any buses serving the village, but for a number of years the lane was a bus route! It is a very sheltered area. The two sides of the steep lane are roughly north- and south-facing and have some different species of plants.