Friday 8 September 2023

A Walk on the Ullswater Way

Yesterday we headed to the Lake District and Ullswater for our Thursday walk. Mike, Charlie and myself left Langholm at 9.15am to be in Pooley Bridge in time for the 11.05am Ferry to Howtown. We allowed plenty of time to get a parking spot and were lucky that we managed to get a spot, but in another 15 minutes or so they would all have been taken. A quick Coffee at the Ferry Pier and then 25 minutes on the boat to Howtown. It was almost full with visitors and their dogs.
Ullswater from the Ferry. The sun never got out all day and at times we had a few spots of rain, but it was always very warm.
Mike and Charlie on the Ferry.
Once we were off the ferry we left all the people behind and soon we were walking along the side of the lake and maybe a couple of hundred feet above the lake level. This was a mountain stream that came through a small gap in the drystone dyke.

Ullswater and our Ferry disappearing in the distance.
Plenty of drystone dykes.
A very interesting and high stone stile in the dyke. Mike as usual leading the way.
The very small gate on the other side of the stile.
An interesting little valley we passed by on our walk.


Wednesday 6 September 2023

A Visit to Dumfries House in East Ayrshire

 For many years Dumfries House in East Ayrshire has been on my Bucket list of places to visit and at last today we managed to get to visit it with Niall and Elspeth. It's under 2 hours to get there from Langholm and well worth the trip. The weather was glorious and it consisted of a 90 minute guided tour of the house with an excellent young guide followed by a visit to the Walled Garden. The gardens are extensive and you could never get round the whole garden so we concentrated today on the Walled Garden and it was well worth the couple of hours we spent in it. We were not allowed to take any photographs inside the house but it was spectacular and full of Chippendale Furniture. The following photos are of the gardens and Walled Garden so often no explanation is needed. I apologise there are so many of them but it really was a spectacular Walled Garden and in particular I loved the many Apple trees which were laden with fruit. 
The Walled Garden is assisted by many young people doing training schemes at Dumfries House and also school children from local schools get involved as well.  
A nice place to sit in the sun on such a hot day as it was 26C.

There were loads of vegetables and all will be used in the catering establishments in the grounds.
one of the nicest Apple Trees
The Walled Garden was a mass of colour
Lots of areas in the Walled Garden are planted with wild flower seeds and they are spectacular at this time of year and especially on such a sunny day.

This was covered in Butterflies

This turret was added to the house when the side extension was built so the join in the two parts was hidden.
Gaye and Elspeth on the Chinese Bridge opened by Prince Charles on 9th September 2016
Butterflies galore

A grand rest in the shade of the Maguire Arboretum

This tree sits on the highest part of the grounds and is no doubt very old
The front of Dumfries House and the lovely fountain

Another fountain in the Walled Garden

Part of the extensive Rose Garden

The bridge over the Lugar Water

On the steps at the front of the house
The Maze

Sunday 3 September 2023

A Great day at The Benty Show

Yesterday we headed up to Bentpath early morning so Gaye could enter 6 of her lovely house plants into the Benty Show. We had them all in the tent by 9.00am and then went for Coffee to Wilma and George's house and to look round Wilma's beautiful garden, which it turned out was an award winning garden as she won the Shield for Best Garden in the valley. 
This was an award winner last year but the flowers are just a week later this year so Wilma didn't enter it in the show. 
The plants in our car boot, with the exception of the beautiful Japanese flowering one which Gaye held onto in the back seat for our drive up the valley. 
Wilma's lovely greenhouse and the area surrounding it was full of plants in pots.
After Coffee I headed back to the Show to see the Sheep Judging. My reason for this was the entry in the Sheep classes of Tarras Valley Nature Reserve Shepherd William Nixon from Cooms Farm which is now owned by TVNR and as a subscriber to the buyout from Buccleuch I feel I own at least one of the Sheep on show. 
Due to the decline in sheep farming in the area with many of the Buccleuch Farms being sold off for forestry there are fewer farms left to enter sheep. The remaining few farmers and Shepherds had however supported the show very well by putting more in than usual so it was still a large turnout of sheep.
It was great watching the judge at work and it took him a wee while to reduce each class down to 4 sheep from which the eventual winner would be selected.
William with his prize winning ram

This was yet another class with over a dozen sheep 

The judge looking at the teeth of one of the sheep
Another class and another win for TVNR and Cooms Farm
The Best in the Show
After we had a lovely lunch in Benty Hall we headed back to the main tent where Gaye Discovered she had won First prize with her Japanese Floweing plant. She also won 2 seconds in other classes.
William being presented with the first of his 4 trophies for the day

Just some of the rosettes for TVNR Cooms Farm and Shepherd William Nixon
The top award
A proud man and a well deserved win. 
Our friend Wilma collecting the first of her 2 Cups and 1 Shield

A lovely view of the showfield with Westerkirk Church in the background

Four Cups for Cooms Farm and TVNR

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