February 2023

The snowdrops are out, always a sign that it will not be too long until spring is properly with us. The birds are starting to sing and the woodpeckers are drumming on the trees in the woods.

It is also time to open the Cottages for the 2023 season. January has been busy checking everything, decorating, cleaning, replacing where necessary and making sure that everything is in good working order. We had our annual VisitEngland inspection in November, the inspector was very happy with everything and we retained our Five Star rating with Gold Award in all cottages scoring an important 100% on cleanliness.

It seems a little while since I last wrote anything although I had made a few notes and lined up some pics from walks. The most recent was yesterday when I saw the first frogspawn on the track up Mosedale en route for Melbreak, no more pics from the day as the clag was down.

It was rather different the day after New Year’s Day when I had my first picnic of the year by Derwentwater.

Two weeks later we had a fall of snow and you just couldn’t miss the opportunity of walking on the fells. Here is the view from Darling Fell across to the aptly named Whiteside.

Later in the month I had a rather different walk with some local friends. We followed the coffin route from Workington to Camerton described by Alan Cleaver in his book ‘The Corpse Roads of Cumbria’  It was fascinating. The start in Workington is marked by two stone crosses built into a house wall on Cross Hill and then follows down to the river via Workington Hall and Mill Fields. The walk then continues along the riverside to Camerton church.

And to add to our enjoyment we saw two little egrets by the river – amazing.



It must be coming up to Christmas as the climber is attempting the ascent of the Moot Hall in Keswick again.

Thank you to everyone who has visited this year and I hope to see you again sometime. So many of you have commented on how much they have enjoyed the peace and quiet of Loweswater and the surrounding areas.

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas


The past month has been one of very mixed weather, some sun but like everyone else we’ve also had our fair share of rain, clouds and wind but it has generally remained warm.

At the end of September there were some lovely early autumn morning dog walks.

A few days later it was impossible to get across the bridges at Crummock.

At the beginning of October I took a trip to Silloth on the Solway coast with some friends and we walked round Grune Point. It’s a lovely walk with lots of sea birds, well worth a visit. On the way back I spotted a hay bale sculpture which an ice cream selling farm had built just south of Allonby: it really made me smile.

Looking at the photos I took through the month, most of them looked a bit cloudy and damp.

The weather does not really stop you from going out walking and you can still appreciate the views. This is one from the top of Walla Crag last Sunday morning.

Further along Borrowdale at Ashness Bridge the autumn colours were beautiful despite the clouds and we appreciated the view with a couple of traditionally dressed Asian ladies.



Today, Sunday 18 September, the day before the Queen’s funeral, seemed a bit of a ‘loose end’ day so I decided to take a nostalgic walk from Rosthwaite over to Watendlath and hopefully have a coffee at the tea room at Caffle House Farm where I worked during a summer holiday when I was a student many years ago.

It is a very special place with its beautiful tarn, old packhorse bridge and also its importance in the Herries chronicles as the place where Judith Paris, Rogue Herries’ daughter, lived.

It was a good walk although the weather was a bit dull but the tea room was open!

The big event locally in September is Loweswater Show on the first Sunday in the month. It is the first time it has been held for three years because of bad weather or the pandemic so it was a rather special occasion. It was good to see the sheep dog trials again although one or two sheep had minds of their own.

I especially love to see the herdwicks in their Sunday best.

The animal being carried is I believe a goat!

Loweswater Show however would not be the same without Tony and the Luchini’s ice cream vans. You may know their shop in Keswick or have seen their van at Surprise View on Whinlatter – best ice cream ever!

Tony has just got a new state of the art van which was publicised throughout the day over the tannoy system. On the far side of the van there are photographs of the family going back to 1901 when the business started.

If you would like to see more of the show visit Roger Hiley’s  loweswatercam

Finally, a happy snappy of Max at Crummock one rather cloudy morning.


I took this pic of Foulsyke on my phone coming back home up the field from a morning dog walk. It’s a view I see most days but there was something about it that day that made me take my phone out of my pocket.

There is an increasing awareness of the need to protect and improve our environment and several of my recent blogs have included the local wild life ponds that have been created by the West Cumbria Rivers Trust. They have also been busy at the far end of Loweswater reconnecting Dub Beck with the flood plain through meanders, back waters and pools rather than the existing straight channel. It looks very natural already.

I have recently read Lee Schofield’s book ‘Wild Fell’ He is the site manager at RSPB Haweswater and the book is about the development of a landscape scale nature reserve which incorporates working farms: it is a fascinating and thought provoking read.

On a lighter note, Theatre by the Lake’s summer production of ‘One Man Two Guvnors’ is one their best, it is brilliant and I have been encouraging visitors and friends to go and enjoy it. Two cottage guests went yesterday and one of them ended up on stage – I did tell them not to sit in the front row!

The walk from Lanthwaite Wood car park to Crummock has been enhanced this summer by some local poetry.

And one of the poems ( which has got a bit mucky)

And finally Crummock in the early morning sun.


July 2022

Staying indoors as much as possible during the current heatwave, I thought it was a good opportunity to write my July blog! Despite the heat the farmers are working hard in the fields cutting and baling hay. There’s a low hum of tractor noise from very early morning until late evening and there is a pervasive smell of new mown hay everywhere.

The other scent that is very distinctive in July is that of the meadowsweet. I was down at Crummock very early this morning and you could smell the meadow sweet before you reached the water meadow beyond the pumphouse: it is particularly abundant this year.

Continuing with scents I went to Lowther Castle the other Sunday to see the rose garden having watched it develop over the past couple of years. It was designed by Dan Pearson inspired by the Sleeping Beauty myth and planted in the shape of an old English Rose: it is absolutely beautiful, well worth a visit.

On my way back from Lowther, I made a detour at Eamont Bridge to visit Mayburgh Henge which is a large and impressive Neolithic henge. Its banks are very high and it is said to have been constructed of pebbles collected from the nearby river.

I have become interested in Cumbria’s neolithic past having read  two fascinating recently published books, one by Adam Morgan Ibbotson, Cumbria’s Prehistoric Monuments and the other Stan Abbott’s Ring of Stone Circles.

On a local level  I had often wondered about a tree in Holme Wood which is on its own on a raised mound: I am told this was a neolithic burial chamber and there is a second similar mound a bit further along the path.

Back to Foulsyke, the view towards the lake one morning last week was rather special and then when I turned round towards Foulsyke I was surprised again.

June 2022

The main event throughout the country at the beginning of June was the Queen’s Jubilee and Loweswater joined in the celebrations.

A cherry tree was planted at the Grange at the other end of the lake. Chris Todd, a local farmer, did the heavy spade work and Jonathan Edwards, the Olympic triple jumper who has a house in the valley, added the final spade of soil. Local residents watched happily on, a glass of fizz in one hand, a flag in the other. We then moved to a beautifully decorated village hall for lunch followed by cake which was cut by two older residents who attended the village hall in the 1940s when it was the local school. It was a very happy and friendly occasion.

Sarah, one of my Saturday helpers, is a great cake maker and she brought in an amazing cake for us all to share at our lunchtime break on Saturday changeover. Needless to say, it was delicious.

Lorton marked the occasion by creating a beautiful Jubilee Garden next to the Yew Tree Hall: its opening was celebrated with Pimms and afternoon tea.

The West Cumbria Rivers Trust working with local landowners and farmers are continuing to create wildlife ponds in the valley. The four in the field behind Foulsyke  are now looking very established. A new more extensive pond system has just been created in the field in front of Foulsyke. I am looking forward to seeing what wildlife it attracts, I have already seen some ducks checking it out.

Thinking of wildlife, we have so many birds visiting the feeders at present, today I counted six young bluetits on the nuts at the same time and there are also woodpeckers, including young, visiting several times a day. I was very excited the other morning as I walked the dog along the river path at Crummock to see a goosander swimming along with two chicks. I wondered if it is the same one that I used to see flying around the beech trees in the front garden.

It is particularly beautiful walking by Crummock at present as the meadow along the shore between the pumphouse and the kissing gate is full of grasses and wild flowers. The views along Crummock towards Gable are very special but it can also look very attractive in the other direction.


The May blog always seems  to include the arrival of the cuckoo and the local bluebells! This year I first heard the cuckoo on 30 April but neighbours had heard it earlier in the week.

Rannerdale bluebells are magnificent this year. Many visitors come to see them and for those who come by car parking is a problem. The bluebells themselves however are more protected now as the National Trust rangers have waymarked the path through the valley.

I am lucky enough to be able to go on foot from Foulsyke, about an hour’s walk from the door, going along Crummock shore which is a lovely walk even without the bluebells but I think the best way must be to come down through the valley at the end of a long day’s walk on the fells.

There are many places with beautiful bluebells at the moment. Holme Wood by Loweswater always looks lovely and Brackenthwaite Hows is a quiet place to enjoy both the bluebells and the views.

I was thinking the other day whilst walking the dog about flowers that get all the attention in Spring such as bluebells, primroses and cowslips and how other flowers seem to get overlooked. The delicate stitchwort on the verges is particularly lovely this year.

and the poppies along the wayside are looking particularly colourful.

Away from the flowers, I managed to visit our latest attraction, Bassenthwaite Lake Station, for lunch with friends earlier last week.

It is good to see the station revitalised and lunching in the train that was used for the film of Murder on the Orient Express was quite an experience! An added bonus was a quiet walk afterwards through the Silver Meadows Nature reserve – a place I have always wanted to go to but never made it.


It’s Easter and in Cockermouth there are daffodils everywhere, as well as gardens and verges shop windows have daffodil themes and the streets have been beautifully decorated by schools and local organisations.

Looking through my photos over the past month there are several of trees, at this time of the year you can really appreciate their structure before the leaves appear.

The one along our lane is a beautiful old oak

And I always like the trees by the kissing gate at Crummock because their shape has been so determined by the weather over many years.

Although the sky has been a beautiful blue on several occasions we have also been subject to snow which stayed on the high fells for some time.

I don’t seem to have had a picture of Foulsyke for a little while so here is one taken on a beautifully clear morning looking across the Loweswater valley towards Foulsyke from the top of Brackenthwaite Hows


It has been a gloriously suuny day today in Loweswater, these daffodils and crocus are making a beautiful display in Loweswater churchyard: it does really feel that Spring is here. The weather recently has encouraged me to take my camera with me when I’ve been out and about so for this post I am going to share some photos I have taken locally over the past couple of weeks.

I always smile at this time of year when I awake to bleating  on the radio, it’s Radio Cumbria  advertising their ‘lamb bank’ to help find homes for orphaned lambs. The main time for lambing in the valley is April but I found this little flock at the far end of Loweswater.

On the same walk I found these primroses by the roadside – you can even see the tarmac in the picture.

Most days I take the dog up into the woods behind Foulsyke and go past the new wildlife ponds – guess what! Frogspawn!

Last Sunday I walked round Buttermere and met the Buttermere belties at the the far end. Coming back round towards the tunnel there were some herdies in the field beautifully set against the crags behind. Before I came home I stopped  at the Syke Farm tea room for coffee and also to buy one of their super pies for later in the day.

I usually go down to Crummock early morning but one day I happened to walk down later in the afternoon and caught the sun coming across onto the lake from the west. The stone is a good marker for the level of the lake, it can go from being totally  submerged to being part of the beach.

Finally, a photo of Loweswater Church I took this afternoon.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little snapshot of Loweswater in the Spring.