Lake District Travels

Similar to the previous week in Yorkshire, the weather for our week in the Lake District can best be described as dreadful. This somewhat limited our activities, so this post will cover a number of our trips. In addition to touring the Lake District, we also planned a trip down to Barrow-in-Furness, which is where SS Oriana was built. Oriana was the ship we first met, when Judi was a passenger and I was a lowly cadet.

The forecast for Tuesday was heavy rain, so we planned indoor activities, driving to Barrow-in-Furness, stopping at the Lakeland Motor Museum enroute. Departing the hotel, we headed down to the lake, following the A592 towards Newby Bridge.

One of many typical Lake District roads

The above photo depicts a section of the A592 between Bowness and Newby Bridge – fairly narrow, winding, with solid walls on both sides. Our first stop was the Lakeland Motor Museum, located just off the A590, in Backbarrow.

Lakeland Motor Museum

They have adequate free parking around the museum. Entry fees are UKP 8.50 at the door, with a small discount available for online purchases. No seniors discount is available.

Motor Museum main hall from the balcony (courtesy of website)

With over 30,000 exhibits, it is a very busy museum, with many cars jammed into tight spaces. The route through the museum is 1-way and is well marked.

1907 deDion Bouton 

The vehicle displays started with a number of vintage cars, then progressed through the ages to some of the popular cars from the 70’s/80’s and 90’s. They also had a couple of high performance street legal cars.

Ford Model T Van, a little smaller than our F350 Dually

1934 Hillman Minx

We didn’t have any vintage cars, but my mum did have a Hillman Imp for many years. Sadly, the Hillman name has long since disappeared from new vehicle showrooms.

1982 Ford Cortina Mk V

This was the vehicle we had for many years through the 70’s & 80’s, although we had the “Estate” or “Station Wagon” version. When I moved to Canada, Judi also had an old Cortina MkIII, which became my car, when she got a new Escort.

1972 Ford RS Escort Mexico

Wow, this was one of my favourite cars as a teenager. Had I stayed in UK, I was planning to buy the RS 1600 Escort (Mk I). Seeing one for the first time in almost 40 years, I was amazed at how small the car was.

In addition to the main building they have a couple of caravans (RV’s) and an additional room, displaying the land and water Bluebirds that captured both speed records.

Sir Malcolm Campbell’s 1935 World Speed Record car

The above vehicle achieved a world speed record of 301 mph in September 1935.

Bluebird K4 Replica – boat that achieved water speed record in 1939

In August 1939, Sir Malcolm Campbell piloted K4 on Conniston Water, breaking his previous record, by attaining a speed of 141.74 mph. This record remained until after his death in 1948.

Bluebird K7 Replica – 1967 jet propelled hydroplane

Sir Malcolm’s son Donald took up his father’s challenge, breaking the water speed records on 7 occasions, attaining a speed of 276.33 mph. However, when attempting to break 300 mph at Conniston Water in January 1967, Bluebird crashed, resulting in loss of the craft and the death of Donald Campbell.

1948 Caravan exterior and interior – a little smaller than our Redwood

The Bluebird exhibits were our highlight, as in addition to the cars and boats, they had a number of informative and historical films, and lots of posters through the hall. Departing the Bluebird exhibits we stopped at the cafe for a spot of tea and one of their good looking scones. An excellent treat.

Brandrake Head looking south towards Barrow-in-Furness

We continued heading south to Barrow-in-Furness, to visit the Dock Museum and see where the SS Oriana was built. This was the ship we met aboard, so was of interest to both of us. While the actual shipyard is long since gone, we believe it is now a modern shed for building UK’s nuclear submarines. One benefit of departing the Lake District was the blue sky we found at the coast.

Barrow-in-Furness Dock Museum (courtesy of website)

Our first stop was the Dock Museum, which we believed would have provided loads of information on local shipbuilding and the Oriana. As we approached the entrance another couple were waiting outside the door, who explained the museum was closed. Unfortunately, they are closed every Monday & Tuesday, even during the summer months. Being early August, I never thought to check that they were open.

Canal that Oriana would have used from yard to sea

The above canal connecting the inner basin and open sea is now blocked by the Dock Museum. The large building in the background is the submarine building yard.

Exit from the canal to open sea, serious dredging required!!

With the museum closed, we took a quick drive around the town, then headed back, stopping at the Haverthwaite Station, to watch a steam train arriving and departing. See an earlier post for a report and photos.

On the following day, we planned to drive up to Keswick and then take a sight-seeing tour around some of the rural roads. Unfortunately the heavens opened and the cloud base reduced to below the mountains, so we couldn’t see anything.

The weather system continued for a couple of days, as we woke up Thursday to the rain bouncing a couple of inches off the street. We decided to have a quiet day and, if the rain abated, we could take a quick trip around the town. During a break in the weather we headed out for a walk, stopping at Bryson’s Craft Bakery & Tea Room. We headed upstairs to the tea room, where the service was excellent. OMG ! what an excellent bakery, I had my usual fruit scone with clotted cream & jam, and Judi a pastry. Of course, all washed down with pots of tea. It was so good, we purchased more goodies, to take back to the room.

On our last day, the weather cleared, so we headed out for a scenic drive, culminating in my favourite refreshment.

Windermere ferry ramp on Bowness side

Ferry ramp to south of Bowness

Windermere ferry docking at Bowness

Cable ferry docking at Bowness Nab

Once across Lake Windermere, we headed to Coniston, driving along Coniston Water, before crossing the moors to Newby Bridge. We then headed up the rather steep Fell Foot Brow, heading to Hawkshead Brewery in Stavely.

Enjoy a few of the photos from that day’s drive.

Hawkshead Brewery was an exceptional find, having an excellent selection of beers. I tried the 5-hop IPA, which was very similar to the West Coast IPA’s we get in North America. The also offer lunches, so we both had stuffed yorkies. Yummy, yorkshire pudding stuffed with roast beef and topped with gravy.


Hawkshead Brewery in Stavely

Hawkhead Brewery

Hawkshead Brewery pint of Cumbria 5 Hops

5-Hop IPA

This concludes our week in the Lake District, as the following day we were heading south to Henley-on-Thames.

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