We decided to lengthen our 3 hour drive from Edinburgh to Keswick, England (in the lovely Lake District) to 8 hours, taking in the sights as we drove down. We saw a sign on the way for Thirlestane Castle, in Lauder, Scotland, and decided to stop. It was a beautiful castle converted "country house" occupied by the Duke of Lauder in the 16th century. Members of the Lauder family still live in it today. (By the way, I apologize for some of these photos not being centered. Not sure what's going on but blogger won't let me fix it).
The grounds were beautiful.
All those sheep dotting the green! We knew we would see sheep on our trip, but they are everywhere. Their entire lives consist of eating grass. And that's about it. Poor sheep! Of course, they do have plenty to go around, in a beautiful landscape. So maybe its not so bad.
So many stone fences everywhere. Every time I looked at them I thought about how much time it must have taken to collect all those rocks, let alone build the fences. It blows my mind. I wonder how many years people were building these stone fences, all over the place.
These black slugs were everywhere.
We finally made it to Keswick that evening. We both just loved the village! It was a small touristy town, like something from Currier & Ives. I could picture a large tree in the square at Christmas. We thought about going to a sit down restaurant for dinner, but decided to grab some "take away" fish and chips from the Old Keswickian that were supposed to be really good. And oh yes they were. We roamed the quiet streets, enjoying the rain-free evening and lazy atmosphere. It was a magical night.
Me with my sticky fish and chips fingers. I'm holding Rick Steves's travel guide to Great Britain, which we used for our trip.
At this point (above) a large trailer had parked perpendicular to the road to unload and then lead a monstrosity of a cow to his pasture. We just chuckled. We weren't in Kansas anymore!
Our teeny tiny car.
The garden gate used in some of her book illustrations.
We grabbed a copy of The Tale of Mrs. Tiggeywinkle for Aspen and walked back to the car, admiring the village as we went (below).
Then we headed to Keswick again to hike the Catbells which was, according to Rick Steves, the hike with the best views. It is a very popular hike, and I though that meant it would be a nice, gradual climb, moderately difficult. Little did I know the horror that awaited us......
I never knew we'd see so many ferns! They were beautiful.
So Eric reached the top first. I did too eventually and it was worth it. Every step. The 360 degree views were stunning!
We could see Gill Brow Farm from the top too. Then, just moments later, a thick fog made its way across the summit. It was one large mass, just incredible. And then we couldn't see a thing!
When we got to the village we couldn't believe how crowded it was! There were people everywhere. So different from the night before. We were exhausted but were sad to be leaving Keswick in the morning. Here's me with Ann the next day, before we left and headed for York.