My great first staycation in 8 months! It was exciting to take a journey of a couple of hours over the Pennines to one of my favourite places in the UK. I spent three days in Cumbria and discovered some new and old haunts.
Crossing the Pennines from Yorkshire takes in stunning lush green valleys and high peaks before descending to an area off the beaten track that borders Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire. These areas all sat in the county of Westmorland until 1974 and now sits in the area known locally as South Lakeland.
Where to Stay
Staying in a remote hillside cottage in the Lune Valley was a perfect place to feel safe on this initial stay away from home in 2020.
Being in the Dog House suited me just fine, to have total silence and views over the gentle and green and farming rich valley.
The cottage can be booked as one of Mill House Cottages luxury holiday cottages.
Villages and Towns
But it’s not all nature in Cumbria. We ease our way into town life with a drive through the picture-pretty market town of Kirkby Lonsdale, which I consider the gateway to the Lake District when approaching from North Yorkshire.
Kirkby Lonsdale sits on the river Lune, has the prettiest of churches.
Walking through the churchyard to Ruskin’s View was really special, a promenade above the river Lune.
There you can feast your eyes on a breath-taking panorama of the Lune Valley and Underley Hall – the famous, heavenly Ruskin’s View.
This scene was painted by the artist JMW Turner in 1822 and the picture so impressed the 19th century art critic, social theorist, painter and poet John Ruskin, that he wrote: ‘I do not know in all my country, still less in France or Italy, a place more naturally divine.’
In 1875, Ruskin described the panorama as ‘one of the loveliest views in England, therefore in the world’. From Ruskin’s View, you can walk down the Radical Steps to the river and follow the footpath to the scheduled ancient monument Devil’s Bridge, with its three ribbed medieval arches.
I couldn’t spend 3 days in Cumbria without a trip to Grange-over-Sands either. Having grown up there in my teens, it still has fond memories. Grange is a quiet seaside retreat on the Southern tip of the Cartmel peninsula between the mountains and the sea, only 7 Miles from Windermere.
It’s a pretty resort with an Edwardian flavour and a mild climate on the shores of Morecambe Bay.
After a stroll along the mile long promenade, then sheltering from a shower with a proper cup of tea at Hazlemere Café and up the hill to stock up on pies from Higginsons award winning butchers, all such a treat in this corner of Cumbria.
Walking in the Lune Valley
Just south of Sedbergh the Rive Lune tumbles south towards Lancaster.
The liveliest part of the river is popular with paddlers (in a canoe, that is).
Killington New Bridge is a local nature reserve owned by the Yorkshire Dales National Park and from the bridge there is an easy walk.
A perfect place to absorb the local habitat of woodland, dry stone walls, meadows, pastures and hedges.
After a therapeutic stay in Cumbria, the most picturesque route back to Yorkshire is to drive round the Howgill Fells and through Wensleydale. It’s a great way to wrap up time in the area, and a nice place to say farewell.
The next stop on a 2020 staycation will be Runswick Bay, on the Yorkshire North Sea coast. Stay tuned…
How would you spend 3 days in Cumbria?