Got back last night from a couple of days in the Lakes. We stayed in Windermere, which I never used to like very much, mainly because of the traffic, but the hotel was clean and bright, with friendly staff.
Managed a couple of walks; on the first day the Coffin trail from Ambleside to Grasmere (where we had the obligatory afternoon tea – or coffee in my case).

Then yesterday, we took an Ullswater Steamer from Pooley Bridge to Howtown and walked back on the low level, mainly lake shore path.
From Pooley Bridge we went over to Penrith, not a town we’d visited before. A new shopping complex, the New Squares, was largely devoid of life, but home to a fair number of estate agents’ signs. For a town with a fair few rather imposing squares already, the new addition seemed rather bland – cream walls in place of the traditional stone; still, with a large Sainsbury as the obvious ‘anchor tenant’ the local worthies obviously expect great things of the development.
After the events of the past few weeks, the break was much needed and allowed me to recharge my batteries, and I also received an email from a prospective new client, which perked me up still further. Still, it’s a shame so much has been ‘monetised’ – 20p for a slash, with railway-style entry barriers standing sentinel at the entry to all public loos, and parking at £8.00 for anything over 4 hours, means spending time in the Lakes equates with spending a lot of money doing things that used to be free.

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