The 17th Century Lady Visits Satterthwaite and Ambleside

Last Bank Holiday weekend, my husband Gavin and I went back up to the Lake District in Cumbria. We stayed at a farm again, this time in the middle of and pitched our tent up on a hill in the midst of Grizedale Forest. Grizedale lies between Conistan Water and Lake Windermere. It was a most picturesque spot. It was raining so we got a little muddy.

Grizedale Forest



Aren’t those lambs cute? (No, I don’t eat lamb).

About a 10-minute walk from the farm lies the small parish of Satterthwaite. This tiny, beautiful village has approximately 50 buildings and was constructed during the early nineteenth century. The blossoms were in bloom throughout this village and it was truly lovely.

From the Satterthwaite website:

In 1614, during the reign of James I, the Sandys and Rawlinson families of Graythwaite and Grizedale acquired local estates. The Sandys lived at Graythwaite Hall, and the Rawlinsons owned Old Grizedale Hall, the first of the great mansions which stood near where the Grizedale Visitor Centre is now located. These estates saw the growth of a new era of rural iron making when bloomery forges were introduced to the Parish.

It appears that I must go back and visit Greythwaite Hall! During the Elizabethan period, there was a good amount of woodcrafts made in this area. Gavin and I spent several hours in the local pub, The Eagles Head.


The pub food was very expensive, but very tasty, so it kind of balanced itself out. It was jam-packed and we were lucky to have a place to sit to eat. We spoke with some locals, who were very friendly and cultured, and they stated that the largest source of income to the village now came from visitors to their several B&Bs and campers at the farm. In the past, the farmers could sell their bacon and eggs to locals but there are hardly any locals now. Apparently very wealthy people have bought second homes here which they seldom use, thus making the village almost like a ghost town. I found this quite sad, and we all agreed there should be a requirement of home owners to live in their homes for an agreed period of time. When we left the pub around 10pm, it was very dark and only a handful of the homes had lights – so what the villagers had told us was probably true.

When we arrived back at the campsite, Gavin made us a really great fire and we roasted marshmallows and one of his fingers. :p


Our airbed mattress deflated in the middle of the night, which wasn’t so good. I normally sleep on the floor but the ground was very cold. Needless to say, I returned that mattress to Asda yesterday. We were supposed to go on a 5 mile walk in Dacre and visit Dalemain – a stately home with 17th-century origins, but Gavin was too tired (I actually slept quite well, rolled up in our sleeping bag). The drive out from the farm was lovely, we passed two very friendly ponies and lots of breathtaking countryside.

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Instead, we drove to Ambleside, a lovely town near Lake Windermere. We had breakfast at The Priest Hole.




During this meal, I noticed there was a plaque across the street and it was Wordsworth’s old office! I bought a book of his poems in a nearby bookshop (there are several!) and took this photo:

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Ambleside was so lovely. I was in for a real treat when I came across this building, which is the smallest building looked after by the National Trust! This remarkable little building, Bridge House, was constructed in the 17th-century!!! Originally an apple shop (as in apple the fruit!) it had a variety of uses throughout the subsequent centuries. Read more about Bridge House here:

The bridge

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On the other side of Ambleside stands this beautiful church and graveyard:20140505_131536


Soon enough, our little visit to Ambleside had to come to an end because Gavin had to get the train from Blackpool back down to Birmingham, where he works. I actually hope he doesn’t work there much longer because Birmingham is a very, very dangerous place and we were attacked twice by a thug near the station there. I had to tell the police and everything. Anyway, the Lakes do not have the same kind of trouble. We bought some fish and chips and got back to the car (the main car park is quite reasonably priced). We went down the M6 and there was so much traffic – due to the fact that everyone was driving back home and because a lane was closed FOR NO REASON!? Yeah. Oh well, Gavin got his train on time and that was the end of another exciting adventure.

Thanks for joining me!


Hear ye! One thought — so far — on “The 17th Century Lady Visits Satterthwaite and Ambleside”:

  1. Elena Wehrenberg

    Hi Andrea
    I have moved back to London. It is Elena Wehrenberg from Kensington Palace. We did Garden History Tours together. I am so proud to see all you have accomplished in the last 2 years. I would love to see you when you are next in London.



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