England

A fabulous Farmstay

Finally, time to pack my bags and go on an adventure! I’ve been waiting since March to hear my photographer tell me that we would be going to explore somewhere new. Though this time we wouldn’t be going on any long trips or even need to use an airplane to get to our destination. Normally I would go against a staycation, instead favouring the opportunity to visit a new country. I’m happy to report I am now a changed dinosaur. Going without the opportunity to travel has reminded me to simply enjoy the opportunity to go on any sort of holiday, no matter how close to home.

Once again my photographer decided we should go away for a few days at the last minute. I literally mean 16 hours before we were meant to be leaving. Like many other dinosaurs, it takes me at least three days to pack, mainly due to my awkwardly short arms but I digress.

Riding shotgun in the car, once again sitting next to the sat-nav. I found out we were heading to the Lake District. Situated on the North West coast of England, it is a very famous location which I have never visited before. The drive across the Penines was beautiful and the views went on for miles. I simply could not believe I live a 2 hour drive from somewhere so incredible. The Lake District is huge and consists of sixteen lakes. Windemere is the largest, Derwent water the most famous and Bassenthwaite Lake is the only officially named lake!

I wasn’t staying on any of the lakes, instead I would be staying somewhere very special. A Farm! Its the first time I have ever visited one and I was really looking forward to meeting some new furry friends! I’m really pleased we chose a quiet location away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Located in the heart of the Lake District National Park lies the Newlands Valley. It is one of the most picturesque and quiet valleys in the area, which I found surprising because it is so close to Keswick.

Gill Brow Farm is a working farm which is home to several herds of sheep, some cows and three very naughty chickens. Out of everything I witnessed whilst staying on the farm. One moment that I will cherish and remember forever is when my photographer was sneezed on by a chicken. My photographer was sitting nicely on a bench. Hearing some happy clucks, we turned around to see an inquisitive chicken. The chicken came right up to my photographer, who decided to take a photo of the animal. Turns out the chicken was allergic to my photographer and sneezed loudly. Not only did I get a fright but the chicken also scared itself and ran away from the scene of the crime. My photographer spent the evening showering away the chicken germs. I’m happy to report I didn’t need a bath (for once!).

Inside the farmhouse was quaint and old. The room I stayed in had its own bathroom and a beautiful view of the valley going over to Catbells. I love the view from the room and could have sat looking out of it for hours (which I did). The window proved to be the best place to watch an incredibly violent thunderstorm. Terrifying yet beautiful, nature never ceases to amaze me.

Breakfast was a full English, which came on fine bone china. The host kindly provided me with a vegetarian one too! The food was homemade and delicious, I particularly enjoyed the slice of homemade cake and fresh coffee when I arrived.

The only downside was the distance from the nearest village with an eatery. They were in easy driving distance but neither my photographer or myself felt safe driving on windy back roads in the dark. In future I would stay a bit closer to a village so I could go out on an evening and eat. This adventure involved larger lunchtime meals and picnics on an evening.

However, I couldn’t fault the farms location. It was in easy driving distance of so many different places. Also in walking distance of Catbells which I didn’t hike on this trip. There was so much to see I sadly couldn’t get everywhere on my list. That just means there may be a future visit to the Lake District in store! I’d love to hear any suggestions of places to visit in the area.

Gill Brow Farm, Newlands Valley, Lake District.

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