Whitehaven in the autumn

Whitehaven is a Georgian town on the Cumbrian coast. Long ago it was the most important port for ships bound for America (ahead of Liverpool). This year the parks department has excelled itself, keeping St Nicholas Gardens looking colourful as well as filling every public space with begonias in containers.

One day I went looking for autumn colour in Trinity Gardens. Occasionally I stop to take photos in passing. The curled-up swans stopped me in my tracks.

A walk in a country park

For many people Cumbria and The Lake District are synonymous. However not all of Cumbria lies within the Lake District National Park. Some areas outside have lakes of their own. It was one of these we visited to hunt for wild flowers. Longlands Lake is used for fishing and the paths are popular with dog-walkers. The day we visited it was quiet. The river Ehen (pronounced Ian) flows nearby.

The red mud is probably rich in iron. The area used to have iron ore mines, the miners being known as red men!



A visit to Cragside

During a short break in Northumberland we spent an afternoon at Cragside. This extensive National Trust property is home to the first residence to have electric light from hydroelectricity.

It was our second visit to Cragside. On our first visit some-teen years ago we had been unable to enter the house due to staff shortages. This time the arrangements were completely different. Unguided access to the house was permitted. As it was a damp day being indoors was a popular option!
Fortunately the weather improved as the day went on. After exploring the house and being impressed by its former owner’s ingenuity we had a late picnic lunch. Then we followed the signs to the labyrinth.

I was sure that labyrinth now means a single path with only one route through it. This labyrinth turned out to be a maze. We entered through one archway and left (after being directed by other explorers) by another. The nearby carriageway helped us find our bearings and return to the house. Then we had a walk through the rock garden to the iron bridge and back to the car park via a path, which turned out not to be a short cut.

There were lots of fungi. My pictures of those are littering Twitter under the hashtag #WildWebsWednesday.

Instead of driving directly to the exit we followed the carriageway for six miles around the estate.