Last Thursday was my final full day and I decided to make it a bus trundling day…..I’d looked through the bus timetable and found a bus from Penrith that would take me to Pooley Bridge. I’d passed through it on the Penrith to Windermere bus but never stopped there and wanted to see Ullswater lake, the second largest lake in England according to the guide books and where the old fashion steam boats were. However Mr Google tells me it’s the 4th biggest 🤪……anyway it’s big – It’s a ribbon shaped lake, 7.5 miles long and 3-4 miles wide…….. it’s always looked inviting when I’ve passed through
But first I had to get to Penrith, which was easy enough as it’s the same bus I take to the station and always leaves at 20 past.
I got to the station in plenty of time only to find no-one waiting for the Penrith bus which was really unusual. I stood for a while, then glanced at the times on the lampost only to find to my horror that this one left at 08.55😳 it took me a while of staring to realise I’d missed it🙄
I sat for a while on the bench to squash my disappointment, my head feeling empty and lost at a solution but then I saw the Windemere bus arrive and thought maybe I could do the trip the other way round. afterall I’d never done this one before so the only thing to spoil were my original plans. I decided to get on the bus and work it out from there.
As i settled into my front upstairs seat i took the timetable out for Pooley Bridge and instead of starting at Penrith, started at the other end, Windemere. It all seemed to slot into place even though it would all happen much later and hopefully before the rain arrived.
Although I’d checked the timetable for Pooley, it never occurred to me to check the one to Penrith as it always left at 20 past……accept the one at 08.55 🙈
Anyway, the bus ride is always lovely with amazing scenery to while away the time
As we reached Grasmere, home of Wordsworth’s Daffodil Garden, I saw the open top bus which was also going to Windermere. Hopped off mine and went upstairs on that one. It was breezy but mild. There was a gorgeous spaniel sat across from me loving the wind in his fur
We passed by Rydal water – always snap the single tree on the little island close to the bank
Derwentwater is low at the mo and so was this one
Into busy Ambleside and pass by the smallest house – one up one down…
Then on towards Windemere – the largest lake in England, with the start of the lakearound Ambleside..
As we reached Windemere station, I had an hour to spare before my next bus, so decided to stay on the open top down to Bowness. Here I got off and went to my favourite deli and ordered my baguette for supper….there was a long queue so by the time I came out it was time to head back to the bus stop, passing by a very shiny Austin Healey, which I always thinks has a lovely big smile…..
Back to the bus station and within minute the Pooley bus arrived. I asked the driver if he could tell me when we’re there as I’d never gone this way before. His look said:
“I’m fed up of tourists”
I smiled, and asked ‘or will it be obvious?” and all he said….
“We’ll go over a big bridge and they’ll be lots of people, then you’re there”
He wasn’t grumpy just on a downer day with tourists……so instead of relying on him, I just followed the bus time table mentally ticking off the stops.
Troutbeck followed by the baron and beautiful Kirkstone Pass that only comes to life as you reach the only Inn for miles. Then a few miles down the road, Ullswater Lake came into view at Patterdale, where it starts, followed by Glenridding, where I almost got off as it looked very friendly, then Park Brow where I saw a sign for waterfalls and almost got off again. My brain and body just don’t work quick enough and by the time I’ve thought of it the bus has started again 🙄
Finally we reached Pooley bridge. Yes, we did go over a bridge, a very new one as I found out later. In fact it only open last year….
I got off and immediately felt lost and wanted to go back to Keswick, but the next bus to Penrith wasn’t for an hour so I had to mooch around. I suppose it was because of its unfamiliarity. I didn’t feel safe tootling down inviting lanes as I do in Keswick. So I just kept to the Main Street, first crossing the new bridge to look at the river which runs into the lake
We’d passed the Steamer launch on the bus, so I carried on round the corner and came to a viewing point
Then the steamer launch. It wasn’t a very friendly place, the signs saying, you have to book online and before 9am of the day you want to have a ride. No turning up if the fancy takes you, no smiley man at the desk. Felt very cold, so I just left.
A couple more photos later….
……And I was back where I started. There was still 20 minutes for the bus, so I got myself an ice cream and sat on the wall watching the world go by. It’s probably a lovely favourite place for many, just as Keswick is for me, but I just wanted to get back to my paradise……I also remembered I don’t like ‘big’ and Ullswater is big, just like Windemere. I prefer the coziness of Derwentwater. Just as I’ve never yearned to climb big mountains; Cat Bells, Walla Crag being perfect for me. My youngest daughter, Gemma, always likes ‘small’, miniature items and I’m the same.
As I’m looking through my days photos as I’m writing this blog, the ones at Pooley Bridge, bring no emotion, yet as soon as I get to the Keswick ones, my smile returns…..
A couple of hours later and 2 bus rides, I was finally ‘home’. It instantly felt better, wrapping me in a large welcoming hug. After dropping my supper off in my room, I knew if I sat down I’d be in for the ramainder of the day. Instead I went straight out for my last visit to Friars Crag.
The bench was empty and waiting for me
This is where I belong I thought, as I sat and simply stared
I could see the rain clouds rolling in across Borrowdale in the distance. Cat Bells would be there for me next month when I’m here
The familiar, that’s what I have to have now, the familiar……it had been a glorious week, but as I got back to my room, it was as though the weather knew I was leaving; spots of rain splattering my window and the view gently being rubbed out by the approaching clouds…as if the weather was weeping at my departure…or was that me…..
A wonderful few days in paradise. Wonder which fell I will climb next time….?