Sykehouse Cottage

A beautiful C17th Holiday Cottage in the Lake District

Go Herdwick

A lovely new arts trail raising money for a local charity will go on display from 25 March this year.  60 models of Herdwick ewes, each decorated by a local artist and sponsored by a local ewefirm will be displayed around Keswick, Grasmere, Rydal, Ambleside and Windermere.  The animals will be placed in public places and follow the route of the 555 bus service.

In September the flock will be rounded up for a gala auction in October.

We are particularly pleased to see that a favourite local artist of ours, Jo McGrath, has one to paint.  She plans “… to use the sheep raddle powder we use on our Herdwicks at Yew Tree farm, to mix up an acrylic paint to use to sheep-hatdraw /paint designs of herdwicks onto the main herdwick model. The designs will be applied in such a way that they will look like the sheep model is marked with traditional ‘smit’!”  To have a look at more of Jo’s work, click on this link for her website. I posted another blog about her here.

Money raised will help fund redevelopment of Old Windebrowe, the Calvert Trust’s grade 2 listed farmhouse and tithe barn, which is thought to date back to the 1550s and was once used as a home by William Wordsworth.  The Trust provides adventure holidays for people with disabilities and plans to use the centre to provide specialist accommodation.  If you would like to know more about the Trust and its campaign, click here.




Ruskin at Brantwood


In 1871, when Ruskin was in his early Fifties, he purchased – on impulse and unseen – a dilapidated house on the shores of Coniston Water.  This became his main home for nearly 30 years until his death in 1900.  Ruskin’s love of the Lakes started as a child.  His parents travelled to Scotland every year and always broke their journey in the Lake District.  When he bought it, Brantwood was little more than a cottage; Ruskin altered and enlarged it, including the lovely lantern set in the corner of his bedroom.

Here, he could experiment with his gardens.  He built a reservoir, and redirected the waterfall down the hills, added an ice house, and enlarged the harbour, from where he rowed his boat, the Jumping Jenny.

Brantwood is now a museum, exhibition space and arts centre with a rather splendid cafe, The Jumping Jenny, and is a favourite day out of ours.

If you want to find out what’s on has all the details.

Across the Water, the Ruskin Museum in Coniston is a fascinating Cabinet of Curiosities, crammed full of wonderful objects and paintings inspired by Ruskin’s love of geology, botany and the Lakes.  It also includes a special exhibition on the Coniston Bluebird and Donald Campbell.  Click here for more information about the Ruskin Museum.