Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Lake District, October 2017. Day 4

Our final day saw another lazy start.  In the early hours tawny owls were calling again and over breakfast it was good to see a tree creeper spiralling up a tree just outside the van.  A very tame pheasant made its daily perambulation being rewarded with some tit bits from each caravan.  Having enjoyed the boat trip on Lake Windermere in very wet conditions the last time we were here, today we planned another, this time combined with a walk.  We caught the ferry from Bowness again, but this time to Ambleside, where we enjoyed our lunch while we waited for the launch across the lake to Wray Castle.  These small launches are beautiful.  Straight out of Swallows and Amazons they are all wood and varnish, more works of art than a form of transport.  As we landed at Wray Castle the sun made an appearance through the haze and lit up the gold and bronze autumn colours of the stately beech trees.  Out walk took us along the west shore of the lake through beautiful woodland to The Ferry House where we caught the launch back to Bowness.  The trail passes through ancient Claife oak Woodlands.  The clean air encourages a luxuriant growth of lichens and the platforms of charcoal burners from times past can be seen on the hillside again reminding me of the encounters with these characters in Swallows and Amazons.  Of interest, too, is Bark Barn, built in the nineteenth century to store oak bark before being transported to the local tanneries for use in the leather industry.