Monday, June 17, 2013

Sunday afternoon stroll

One of the nice things about moving to a more rural area is being able to go for long country walks quite literally from the doorstep.

Yesterday we went for a lovely Sunday afternoon stroll without even touching the car, and hit open countryside after less than ten minutes of street slog.  And what countryside!  It might not be the high fells, but the scenery is a stunning mix of woodland and fields, heath and open fellside, criss-crossed by streams, stone walls and ancient tracks.  The path meanders up and down; there are farms with fascinating names like Matson Ground and Old Droomer, and less than two miles from the town you could be in the middle of nowhere.

As to the wildlife, it was pretty spectacular too.  Loads of flowers at last - the warm weather a week or so ago seems to have brought everything out at once.  But also signs of some less common creatures: a raven flapping and croaking overhead; deer tracks by the tarn at Matson Ground; and a strange animal scent nearby that put us in mind, rather forcibly, of big cats in zoos.  There've been tales in the past about a big cat roaming the countryside at the back of Bowness; could this have been proof?  Or just otters in the tarn?  We'll probably never know, but it made for added interest on the walk.

We covered about four miles in just under two hours with frequent photo stops.  The picture here isn't one of mine (I'm still waiting to download my SD card) but shows Old Droomer farmhouse - a perfect example of a seventeenth century Lakeland farmhouse hidden in the back lanes behind Windermere.  Sadly, the farm it used to be attached to is now derelict and it's pretty much surrounded by a modern council estate, but still retains its charm.  If anyone knows where the name comes from, I would love to find out!

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