Sykehouse Cottage

A beautiful C17th Holiday Cottage in the Lake District


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May Half Term Ideas 2017

Here at Sykehouse Cottage we have some favourite holiday activities.  These include:

  • A trip on thratty2e Eskdale and Ravenglass Railway.  Also known as “La’al Ratty”, this is one of the oldest narrow gauge railways in the country.  They start running daily from mid March, through some beautiful countryside.  Click here for their website. It’s about an half an hour from Sykehouse Cottage either across Corney Fell or taking the A 595.
  • This can be combined with a ramble around Muncaster Castle and Gardens where for this Half Term, muncaster2they are holding their Muncaster Festival (28-30 May) with lots of family activities including circus skills and a climbing wall – complete with the International  Jesters’ Tournament on the final day.  Click here for more details.
  • Closer to home, we can walk across the fields  from Sykehouse Cottage for a gorgeous pub lunch at the Blacksmiths Arms, Broughton Mills.  Click here for details of opening hours on their website.self catering cottage


William Wordsworth

Apart from wandering the Fells and spotting the daffodils, there are two excellent houses to visit associated with Wordsworth.

After University at Cambridge and a spell living in Dorset, in 1799 Wordsworth now aged 29 moved back to the Lake District to Dove Cottage in Grasmere; and in 1813 he moved six miles East to Rydal Mount,a house between Grasmere and Ambleside, where he lived until he died in 1850.  Both houses can be visited and are about 20 miles from our cottage.

Rydal_Mount_-_geograph.org.uk_-_959824Rydal Mount is a privately run house with beautifully landscaped gardens shaped by Wordsworth.  Their website can be reached here.

Dove Cottage is the home of The Wordsworth Trust, an independent charity, set up to preserve the house and its neighbouring buildings.  The Trust also looks after works by Wordsworth and other writers and artists of the period.  At the heart of this collection are the manuscripts that Wordsworth’s descendants donated in 1935 so that they could remain at Dove Cottage.  The Trust has an excellent programme of exhibitions and activities.  Their website can Dove_Cottage_-_geograph.org.uk_-_70618be found here.


Easter Holiday Ideas

Here at Sykehouse Cottage we have some favourite Easter activities.  These include:

  • A trip on thratty2e Eskdale and Ravenglass Railway.  Also known as “La’al Ratty”, this is one of the oldest narrow gauge railways in the country.  They start running daily from mid March, through some beautiful countryside.  Click here for their website. It’s about an half an hour from Sykehouse Cottage either across Corney Fell or taking the A 595.
  • This can be combined with a ramble around Muncaster Castle and Gardens where for this Easter Weekend, muncaster2they are running a Teddies Go Free promotion – free entry for every child with a teddy and there’s the
    Muncaster Giant Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday and Monday.  Click here for more details.
  • And of course if anyone needs anymore chocolate, you could always find a Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt at various NT venues including: the Coniston Steam 1152337Gondola (are they floating?); Fell Foot at Newby Bridge; Claife Viewing Station on the west bank on Windermere; and Wray Castle at Ambleside.  Click here for more details and opening times.


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

John_Ruskin,_1882

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 Brantwood.org.uk 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.


Yards of Industry

From this half term, the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry will be running an exhibition of old photographs and artefacts to shed light on a fascinating and unique part of Kendal’s history, the town’s “Yards”.   The museum’s display will attempt to answer such questions as:  What was life like the Yards? Who lived and worked there? How did they get their names?

There’s a collection of contemporary photographs of Kendal’s remaining Yards on the Visit Cumbria site here.  They are a lovely part of this old town.

Yards of Industry: The Working Life of Kendal’s Yards  : 13 February – 3 September 2016


Arts Round Up for the New Year 2016

2015-AH-Canaletto-HAbbot Hall, Blackwell House and the Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere are all favourite trips out for us when we are staying at Sykehouse Cottage.  I sometimes think people forget about these fine museums in their haste to get up a mountain …

Abbott Hall Art Gallery in Kendal have the fabulous “Canaletto: Celebrating Britain” running until 14 February 2016.  “Canaletto makes you feel as if you’re wandering around with your eyeballs cleaned.” Robert Clark, Guardian Guide Oct 2015

Abbot Hall Art Gallery: until 14 February 2016

2016-Laura-Ford-HThen from 11 March, both Abbott Hall and Blackwell will be showing “Laura Ford: Sculpture and Drawings”.   Located at Blackwell on the lawns, with select pieces in the main house and at Abbot Hall, this exhibition will comprise Ford’s earlier work together with new sculptures.  Laura Ford describes her work as sculptures dressed as people who are dressed as animals, as they meld together ideas of childhood memory with a disturbing edge.

Abbot Hall Art Gallery: 11 March – 25 June 2016
Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House: 11 March – 4 September 2016

fillThe Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere has  its “Shepherds to Charabancs” exhibition running until 28 February.   Subtitled “Changing Life in Grasmere 1800 to 1900” the show has been inspired by a recent addition to the museum an 1859 survey map of Grasmere.  Curated by The Grasmere History Society the exhibition explains the transformation of Grasmere through local stories and brought alive with objects belonging to local residents as well as maps, artefacts and images from the Wordsworth Trust’s collection.

The Wordsworth Museum : until 28 February.

Abbot Hall, Blackwell House and the Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere are all favourite trips out for us when we are staying at Sykehouse Cottage.