Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

A Weekend in the Lake District

I had a weekend in the Lake District recently.

The weekend was organised by the Northern Branch of the Group Travel Organisers Association (GTOA), as a familiarisation weekend which also included the branch Annual General Meeting.

My wife Anne was booked to accompany me on the weekend, but a sudden and unexpected family bereavement changed everything. She understandably felt that it would be more appropriate to be with her mother and brother.

So on the Friday, I travelled up to Cumbria, arriving at Kendal on the branch line that runs steeply down from Oxenholme.

The accommodation was at the County Hotel opposite Kendal Station.

During the afternoon, before the actual event started, I explored Kendal town centre and walked up to the remains of the impressive Kendal Castle.

It was nice to meet delegates from all over the North of England and Ireland, including such places as Beverley and Skipton.

On the Friday evening, we walked up into the town centre and visited the K Village. This is its temporary home, as the original building has been demolished and new premises are taking shape.

We then went on to the local Wetherspoon pub, where we had a dinner sponsored by Success Tours.

On the Saturday morning, we all boarded minibuses (three of them) belonging to the Mountain Goat company, and were taken to Bowness-on-Windermere, where we got on a boat and had a cruise on Windermere, disembarking at Lakeside.

Next, we had a guided tour of the impressive Aquarium of the Lakes, followed by a light lunch at the cafe next door at Lakeside Station.

The rest of the afternoon was taken up with another tour by Mountain Goat. We stopped at Hawkshead, where I investigated both the parish church and the cottage used as the Methodist Church, the oldest in England used for this purpose.

We made a brief stop to admire the view at Tarn Hows, and a slightly longer one at Grasmere, where our driver acquired some of the famous gingerbread as samples for us.

In the evening, after dinner at the hotel, there was musical entertainment.

On the Sunday morning, I attended the AGM, after which everybody said goodbye.

I walked up into the town centre again, and had a look at the earthworks known as Castle Howe, site of the original Norman castle, as well as the Kirkland area, the original settlement at Kendal.

Then it was time to come home.

I enjoyed the weekend, which was well organised, and I am sure I will attend similar weekends run by GTOA.