Despite the bus breakdown, the ride to Cockermouth was stunning, with mountain, lake and forest views along the way.
I did find a big mural with the history of the place. The town has been around for over 1000 years, which is pretty incredible!
Cockermouth is an ancient town, the first written record of it is almost 1000 years ago so it’s probably been around even longer. Apart from the castle it doesn’t look very old though and unfortunately the castle is a private home.
I walked around the Main Street and saw a new history mural.
There was an historical walking route so I decided to follow that around the town.
Cockermouth is most famous (to me, anyway) for being the home of William Wordsworth. I thought it was peak daffodil season because there were white daffodils everywhere, which felt like an odd choice, considering the famous poem is about a host of yellow daffodils. A lady I met on my detour told me that I’d missed the yellow ones by a couple of weeks.
We talked about how many times her house has flooded since she moved here from the south (twice) as she lives by the river. We also talked about how small towns like this are being affected by things like Airbnb, online shopping and younger people moving away. It’s the same story everywhere, really. The towns that are thriving are too expensive for locals and the smaller quiet places feel dead because the houses are empty except on weekends.
We also talked about the largest building on the river, the brewery, which was now for sale. The locals want a museum but it all depends on who buys it.
I returned to the trail, which took me through the main courtyard of the brewery.
A man saw me taking photos and jokingly asked if I’d like to buy it and I said I was just seeing how much I had on me. He said if I had three quarters of a million pounds it could be mine! Well, I said I’d have to ask my husband but why not?
Next was around the castle wall to have a peek through the bars, then down some back lanes. I quite like the name of this pub.
Next was the churchyard.
It’s always worth pushing on a church door, just in case you can get in and have a look. The stained glass looked like it might be worth a view from the correct side.
Very nice! But I think my favourite part was where it looked like they had the local primary school kids do a project on the church then put the beet one on display.
The buildings in Cockermouth are quite brightly coloured, which is interesting (well, to me!).
It was a nice day for a wander about. The little blister on my toe is getting better but I’d like it to be gone by the time I get to Spain so I’m having a couple of easy days. Plus it’s supposed to rain tomorrow.
The last thing I did before I caught the bus back was have a chocolate eclair from a very nice bakery. I sat in the sun at the bus stop with an older lady and got chatting about chocolate eclairs and the weather and the buses and she said ‘You look very familiar,’ and I replied that there was no chance of her seeing me before as I’d never been to Cockermouth. Then we worked out that she had been on the bus that had picked me up from the broken down bus earlier that day.
When the bus arrived I once again got the front seat at the top (woo hoo!) and, since it was a different numbered bus it went back along the other side of the lake and I got to see the train cafe where Luke and his family and I have booked for an afternoon tea when we come back to the area in late May.
Before returning to the campsite I went back to Mrs F’s Cafe for some lunch. Pea and mint soup.
I asked what soup would be on tomorrow – curries butternut squash. I can’t wait!
Back to the campsite to enjoy the sun. The wind that had been predicted wasn’t affecting my little spot but, with two days of rain predicted, I decided to pack up and book a bed and breakfast.
As I was rolling up my gear another camper arrived, Chris, who was doing the Cumbria Way so we had quite a long talk. I had some time to fill before the 4pm check in at the B&B and it was nice standing in the sun.
The bed and breakfast was only about 600 metres from the entrance to the campsite – Keswick isn’t very big, but I haven’t stayed in this area before, close to the lake park near the theatre (for anyone who knows the place). Also about 100 steps from The Wainwright, one of the best pubs in town.
I had a lovely dinner of steak and ale pie and read my book. A lady at another table asked me what I was reading so we talked about that.
She was there with her mum and the two of them looked like they were having a whale of a time, like a two person hen’s party, laughing at everything.
I returned to hop into bed reasonably early and it’s amazing how even just one night of camping can make getting into a real bed seem like one of life’s great pleasures!