Saturday, 30 November 2019


We headed over to Whitehaven on Friday afternoon ready to spend the day there on Saturday.

Whitehaven is a town and port on the west coast of Cumbria near the Lake District National Park.  We'd never visited before and noticed there were a few long multis there that would hopefully take us around the town and keep us busy for the day.

We stopped off in Broughton in Furness on the way to Whitehaven to walk Charlie and find a few caches.

Beautiful sunrise

It was a freezing cold start to the day but a beautiful sunrise.  We were really glad of the night heater last night.

Nethertown Station
On our way into Whitehaven we detoured to Nethertown Station, a request stop on the Cumbrian coast line and as luck would have it a train rolled into the station just as I was about to take this photo.

Whitehaven harbour

The Candlestick
We did all the multis around harbour which took most of the day.  It was a lot of fun and they were all worthy of favourite points as they highlighted things we wouldn't have noticed otherwise.  The first one took us to The Candlestick. The Candlestick is the colloquial name for the disused ventilation chimney of Wellington Pit. On the 11 May 1910, 136 men and boys died following an explosion and fire at the Wellington Pit.  You can read a more in-depth article on the Wellington Pit disaster here.

The next multi took us round lots of Whale tail benches, we thought this might be a problem but as it was so cold we only encountered one occupied bench.

We really enjoyed our day in Whitehaven and will definitely be back to area to hopefully do some of the nearby walks.

A very frosty start to the day and a beautiful sunrise.
The plan for today was to do a walk from Moor Row along a section of cycle path.  Last night we'd spotted a new unfound cache right at the beginning of where we'd planned to start our walk.  We'd expected it to have been found by now but we were surprised to find a blank log sheet.  I can't remember the last FTF we had but it must be a couple of years or so.

Public art in Moor Row
The residents of Moor Row funded the fabulous Armistice centenary mural on the gable end of the Emmanuel church.  The names of all the residents who fought in the great war are listed there too.

Next stop was Seascale for a walk on the beach with Charlie.  Seascale is a very small seaside resort.  Seascale became a popular holiday destination for Victorian holidaymakers in the North of England thanks to the Furness Railway being introduced in the 1850s.

You can just make out Sellafield nuclear site further along the beach which is about a mile north of the town on the photo above.  This is the site of the world's first commercial nuclear power station.

Water Tower
The water tower was used before Sealscale was connected to a proper water supply.

On our way home we stopped off in Winderemere for a walk up Brant Fell.  Brant Fell is one of Alfred Wainwright's Outlying Fells.

All in all a great weekend but it has to be said we are really looking forward to more daylight hours again, it's hard fitting things in when the days are so short.

Thanks for reading.

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.