Cumbria Journals

This is England

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A July 2005 trip to Cumbria by shaunandtrish

A pint in the beer garden Photo, Cumbria, England More Photos
Quote: My England has nothing to do with double decker buses, policeman's helmets, big ben, postcards with pictures of fried breakfasts, bulldogs wearing Union Jack T-shirts, or beefeaters. My England is a lot bleaker, much more interesting, and infinitely more beautiful. Bleak is the new black.

This is England

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Overview

The sea ... Photo, Cumbria, England
Quote:
I live in the northeast, but a trip across the pennines to the northwest is always welcome, so when I had to work at a well-known nuclear reprocessing facility in south Cumbria for a week, I took my camera along so I could take on some nearby attractions. South Cumbria means "the lakes" to most, but there's more to the region than that. For instance, you've got some unspoilt and charming coastal villages like Ravenglass, the beautiful gardens of Castle Muncaster, and further north there's Hadrian's Wall. Most people don't venture any further west than Keswick - maybe Sellafield puts people off - but there's plenty to see, and the lower density of people makes it all the more enjoyable.Quick Ti...Read More

Stanley Arms Hotel

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Hotel | "Stanley Arms Hotel, Calderbridge"

Stanley Arms Hotel Photo, Cumbria, England
Quote:
I was placed here because it was close to the place I was working that week. It was nominated by my price-sensitive clients. Under such circumstances, you never know what you'll get. I keep my fingers crossed and expectations low - a clean bed - so long as the bed is clean, I can put up with most other things. As it turned out, the Stanley Arms exceeded my carefully managed expectations by some margin. Despite its proximity to the Sellafield nuclear facility, rumours that the curtains would be lead-lined proved unfounded. It's called a hotel, but it's more like a pub with a dozen or so rooms upstairs. The rooms are simple, but very clean and cosy. There was a portable TV with no remote control an...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 31, 2005

Stanley Arms Hotel
Calderbridge
Cumbria, England Ca20 1DN
+44 (0) 1946 841235

The Stanley Arms, Calderbridge

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Restaurant

A pint in the beer garden Photo, Cumbria, England
Quote:
I stayed at the Stanley Arms for 4 nights and ate there each night. It has a typically simple pub menu with all the usual suspects on the menu. That means steak, fish and chips, steak and ale pie, lasagne, gammon and pineapple, scampi, etc. There's a "specials" board too. Sometimes the specials board contains more adventurous offerings - but I'd stick to something uncomplicated. Whilst the Stanley Arms is great at doing what you want pubs to do well (simple, filling, tasty stuff at a nice price), the fancier stuff, while still cheap, is less reliable (my duck in summer fruit sauce was more a puzzle than a meal). Main meal prices range from £5 to £10, and there are also some typical puddings a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 30, 2005

Calderbridge, village of surprises

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Story/Tip

Path along the stream Photo, Cumbria, England
Quote:
I stayed at the Stanley Arms only because it was cheap and near my work. I'd not been there before but was pleasantly surprised when I got there. Despite being only a mile as the crow flies from the biggest and most infamous nuclear reprocessing plant in the UK, it carries itself off as a quiet little village in the middle of nowhere quite well. There's a nice little stream running through the middle of the village, over which is an old stone bridge from which I presume the village takes its name. Anyway, after I'd finished my first day's work, I checked into the Stanley Arms, got changed, and since it was a nice night, decided to wander off and take some photos. This didn't take long because the ...Read More

Muncaster Castle and Gardens

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Attraction | "Castle Muncaster, near Ravenglass"

Muncaster Castle and Gardens Photo, Cumbria, England
Quote:
I'd been recommended to take a drive to Ravenglass to take some pictures of the bay (see its own journal). After I'd finished that, I was on my way out of the village, planning on returning to the Stanley Arms for the evening, when I noticed a brown sign indicating "castle" in almost 1 mile (along the A595 in the opposite direction of Calderbridge). It was a beautiful evening and I had plenty of time on my hands, so I decided to go and see if I could get near enough to take pictures without forking out any cash. I travelled a few hundred yards up the road and came across the car park for "Castle Muncaster." It was free, just the way I like it. On the opposite side of the road was the stone gateway...Read More

Muncaster Castle and Gardens
Church Lane
Ravenglass, Cumbria CA18 1RQ
01229 717 614

Killing an Hour in Ravenglass

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Story/Tip

Ravenglass Photo, Cumbria, England
Quote:
Killing time after work and before bedtime and avoiding extended periods in the hotel bar when you're working away can be a challenge (must learn to read sometime). So I'm always happy to receive suggestions from friendly locals of where's nice to go to within a 30-minute drive. Ravenglass was one such suggestion. I was staying in Calderbridge, which is on the A595, and Ravenglass is just 8 or 10 miles south of there along the same road. I didn't know what to expect, save for being told there was some sort of railway museum there or a miniature railway or something. I'm not a train person, so I was prepared to be non-plussed by it all. Still, it would be better than to start drinking at 6pm on a w...Read More

Finding Wast Water

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Story/Tip

Wast Water Photo, Cumbria, England
Quote:
It was recommended to take a trip to Whitehaven and take some pictures of the harbour, but I wasn't in the mood for towns, so I looked at the map to see what was in and around Calderbridge. To be honest, I'd enjoyed Ravenglass and Castle Muncaster so much the day before, I was tempted to do the same thing again. However, after studying the map, I noticed a lake just up the road and decided to go there. This lake was Wast Water, which I'd not previously heard of. It’s not one of the better-known or most-visited lakes in the region. I travelled for a couple of miles south on the A595 from Calderbridge then took a left on to a winding little road at the village of Gosforth. As it happens, there are a...Read More

Take a trip along Hadrian's Wall

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Story/Tip

Hadrian's Wall Photo, Cumbria, England
Quote:
West to east or east to west, Hadrian's Wall offers a uniquely high density of artifacts and attractions from Rome's most northern frontier. Stretching more or less across the pennines in a straight line from modern-day Newcastle in the east to Carlisle in the west, Hadrian's Wall needs no introduction. The concept of Roman emperor Hadrian, in answer to the persistent irritation of the small-time raids and pilfering from the tribes to the north the clear solution, was to build a wall to keep them out. Much of that wall still stands today after nearly 2,000 years, but since the invention of "the ladder," it has become less effective at its job. I won't trawl over the historical facts in thi...Read More