Excursion G: Lakeland Tour and Country Fair
Tour highlights: Windermere – cruise on Coniston Water – the Lakeland Country Fair for traditional (Lake District style) Olympics – stunning mountain scenery
We drive by way of the M6 motorway and Kendal by-pass into the heart of England’s beautiful Lake District. The route will take us past Windermere, England’s largest lake, and Ambleside to Coniston, a gem of a town nestling beneath the slopes of the Old Man of Coniston, where slate has been quarried and copper mined since the 16th century.
Here we board the Coniston launch for a cruise on the northern part of the lake past Brantwood – the home of John Ruskin.
On our return to Coniston, there is free time (approximately 1 hour) to visit the Ruskin museum (optional) and take lunch. There are plenty of places to purchase lunch in Coniston, but packed lunches can be provided on request.
After an early lunch, we rejoin the coach and depart for the short drive to Torver (arriving approximately 1300), where the Lakeland Country Fair takes place. The coach will drop off at the entrance to the Fair.
As well as being a typical Lakeland show, it showcases many traditional Cumbrian skills and activities. There will be Herdwick and Swaledale sheep on display, and demonstrations of hand-clipping. Various breeds of dogs will be on show, including sheepdogs. Teams and individuals will compete in a tug-of-war. Other competitions are Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, and Fell Races for juniors and seniors: the seniors run to the top of the Old Man of Coniston! Traditional skills on show include stickmaking, woodcarving, weaving, spinning, leatherwork and bee-keeping. There will be trade stands, refreshment stalls and a bar.
At 1600, we rejoin the coach at the Fair ground entrance and drive back to Lancaster through the scenic south lakeland countryside.