Sunday, 19 April 2009
Caldbeck In The Springtime
Today has been one of those glorious, sunny and warm Spring days when England looks so wonderful, especially so in my exquisite corner of it, Cumbria. Most of the county is a National Park, but some of my much-loved places are not within the well-known Lake District, but on the outskirts of it. One of my favourite villages is Caldbeck, 13 miles form where I live. It is an ancient village that nestles in a verdant hollow in the Fells, the foothills of the mountains of the Lake District.
My cousin Janet and I had a day out in Caldbeck today, along with the terrible two, Pepsi and Max. We parked the car and walked along a narrow pathway beside the river, past cottages and grander houses with gardens full of Spring flowers, and past the 12th Century St Kentigern's Church. On the riverbank behind the church was by St Kentigern's Well, where from the 6th century Christians were baptised.
A stone bridge crosses the river just beyond the church and a short walk on form there is the Priest's Mill. Built by a rector of the nearby church in 1702, it was a working corn grinding mill until 1933. It was restored in 1986 and now houses shops and a wonderful cafe that serves delicious homemade food. The huge waterwheel is still in full working order.
We stopped at the Priest's Mill as we knew they had an outside area where we could eat and take the dogs. Unfortunately a lot of other dog owners had the same idea, it was like a Doggie Central Meeting Point! We had a delicious meal there and the dogs had a lot of canine socialising.
Afterwards we walked back through the lovely village which, as it's a conservation area, has remained unchanged - I'm sure someone coming back here from a hundred or more years ago would recognise most of it.
We went on to just beyond the car park to the village pond and sat on a bench in the sunshine. The pond residents, the mallards, either sunbathed on the grass or were dipping their heads underwater tails in the air, looking for food.
It was so peaceful, there was no noise except for birdsong all around us and the odd splash and quack from the ducks. It was so relaxing and we sat for ages just chatting. All in all a lovely day, sometimes the simple things are the best aren't they?