Sunday, 17 November 2019

Allan Bank National Trust

Charlie will be a year old on Saturday!  The time has just flown by.  It's been lovely having a dog in our lives again and we've been on some fab trips and walks with him so I thought I'd start writing a few blogs about dog friendly walks and places to visit starting with our visit to Allan Bank National Trust property on Sunday with our daughter Beth.

We have been to Allan Bank previously to see the Red Squirrels, in fact it was a year ago but we didn't go in the house as it was closed at the time.  We found the cache there and watched the red squirrels.  So we thought it was time to pay another visit to see the red squirrels and also have a look around the house this time.

We weren't sure just how dog friendly this National Trust property would be, in fact we were prepared for Charlie not being allowed into the house and Mark had already said he didn't mind waiting outside but as we approached the door we spotted the dog biscuit tin and little blackboard and knew Charlie was going to be made welcome... let's just hope we could behave ourselves 😉

About Allan Bank

Allan Bank is a very relaxed, informal National Trust home.  It's set on a hillside overlooking Grasmere lake and fells.  Its history of notable tenants include William Wordsworth and one of the founders of the National Trust - Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley.

There isn't a National Trust car park in Grasmere and to visit Allan Bank you'll need to park in Grasmere itself. It's only about a 10 min walk from the nearest paid parking.  We parked a little further afield for free.

If you're planning a visit check up to date opening times on the website before travelling.

Watching the red squirrels

Red Squirrels

After a family holiday in Cumbria in  2003 we fell head over heels in love with the cute little red squirrels.  The North American grey squirrel was introduced here as an ornamental species in the 1870s and since then the number of reds has dropped from around three and a half million to an estimated 120,000 - 15,000 of these are thought to be in England.  This is why places like Allan Bank are so important.  It's a great place for visitors to be able to see these adorable little animals.  Allan Bank works alongside the Grasmere Red Squirrel Group to make the grounds an ideal place for them to live and they apparently spend over £900 a year on feed!  The red squirrel is under constant threat from the non-native greys that carry a deadly virus.  Anyway, I could talk about red squirrels all day. There are a few others places to see red squirrels, you can check out the Northern Red Squirrels website for details.

Charlie bird and red squirrel watching
I think this is the most relaxed National Trust property we've ever been to and we've been to a lot over the years.  There's something to do in every room.  All the rooms have comfy chairs that you're encouraged to sit in and you're allowed to help yourself to a drink and biscuits (donation) and sit by the window watching the wildlife or even sit by the cosy log fire.

There are books to look at in all the rooms, games to play, dressing up for children and in the art room you can even make your own Christmas card which we couldn't resist doing.

Art room

There was even a knitting room so Beth and I were in our element.

After spending a very relaxing couple of hours in the house we went to explore the gardens where we saw more cute red squirrels.  We then went back to the van for our lunch before heading back into Grasmere to have a mooch around the shops.

There are some lovely walks to be had from Grasmere, you can head up to Silver How or Easedale Tarn.  The walks are detailed on the National Trust website.  We ran out of daylight to go on a longer walk so we took Charlie a short walk near the lake to find a couple of caches before heading back home.

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