Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Summer holidays

The latter part of the summer this year saw me take two UK breaks: the first a camping trip in Suffolk with college friends and the second, a week in the Lake District with my family.

Michelle, Matt & Me

In mid-August Matt, Gavin, Michelle and I spent a weekend at Honeypot Camping on the Suffolk/Norfolk borders.  A small but spacious campsite with a couple of lakes and a little "conservation" area of wildflowers, scrub and trees. 

Aside from the usual liquid refreshments, camp stove issues and an over amorous pigeon... we managed to get out on the Saturday and visit Suffolk Wildlife Trust's Redgrave and Lopham Fen which has the Raft Spider as the star attraction.  Fortunately for me we didn't see any!  It's a lovely big reserve and we had a lengthy walk round looking at dragonflies, frogs, and birds.  Stupidly we hadn't taken any lunch and practically ran the last part of the Waveney Trail to get to the pub for lunch.

Redgrave and Lopham Fen, Suffolk


At the beginning of September Joel and I drove to the Lake District to Brockwood Hall where my parents had rented a log cabin for us all, including my brother and his girlfriend.  The idea was that we would do many walks in the countryside stopping off at cute pubs before starting off again.  Sadly the weather had other ideas.  As the tailend of hurricane Katia whipped the west coast, Cumbria suffered from heavy rainfall and high winds.  But that did not stop us. 

Highlights included:

Ambleside: pouring with rain; boys watched a football match in the pub; ladies went for tea and scones. 

Keswick: pouring with rain; The Pencil Museum, Derwent Water. bumped into friends.

Windermere: rain showers; lunch with friends, Jackdaws jumping around the water's edge like ducks!

Coniston: beautiful waterfalls and rivers.

River flowing out to Coniston Water

Seathwaite Tarn: beautiful sunshine; a decent walk up to the Tarn spotting several butterflies on the way including Small Copper, Peacocks and Red Admirals.  Lots of the beautiful herdwick sheep around too.

Seathwaite Tarn

Small Copper
Red Admiral

The delightful Herdwick sheep

 Swinside Stone Circle: another walk - this time dryish with strong winds; lots of mud and bog.  Standing stones provided us with something of interest at the top of the walk; along with a farmer advertising he was farming for wildlife - good to see!

Swinside Stone Circle
Swinside Stone Circle
Although it was wet and windy for much of the week, it was a truly beautiful place.  I would love to work in such a remote location - I'd just have to get used to the rain and the tourists! 

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