Road Trip – Scarborough to South Lakes
I’ve just returned from spending an entire, blissful week in a very remote cottage in the Lake District. Expect a few posts on this one over the coming weeks.
Jubilee weekend, most people aren’t daft enough that they would undertake a long drive on that particular weekend. Bank holiday traffic magnified by the fact there were 2 bank holidays in a row. Well, that Friday, you guessed it, we were off on our travels. The car was packed to the roof with all we would need for the week ahead, and we were on our way. I really need to work on travelling light.
Child in, dog in, we were off. Leaving the coast behind us. Thankfully it looked like most of the traffic (and there was a lot) was heading in the opposite direction. Two hours in, it was mid afternoon and we were famished. I started to keep an eye out for pub signs as we were driving through the picturesque Yorkshire Dales. I most definitely did not want to be queueing at the local Maccie D’s for a McPlant burger, thank you.
In no time at all, around Harrogate, I spotted a pub sign. The Shoulder of Mutton. Turning off the A59, we descended on the idyllic little village of Kirkby Overblow. I love taking little detours when driving, you never know what you might find. The village was decorated in bunting and flags, and the pub was well and truly open. It wasn’t bustling, but there were a few people enjoying lunches with family.
I ordered a delicious Brie and red onion toasted baguette with a bowl of courgette and potato soup. Wholesome and delicious, it was the perfect choice before hitting the road again.
The journey continued to go well, without too much traffic interrupting our progress. We stopped for another cuppa and stretch of the legs just past Skipton, and then we started hitting the roads into the Lake District. This is such a beautiful drive, right through the Yorkshire Dales and into the Lakes there’s beautiful villages, moors, rural vistas and then, hills and mountains as you get into the lakes.
When booking our cottage, I’d purposely wanted something remote and away from it all, which was great until it came to trying to find it. Passing through the delightful village of Broughton (more on that in another post), I knew we were close. We turned off for the amazingly picturesque Duddon valley, were bathers were dipping in the glistening waters of the river Duddon, and over little stone bridges punctuated the landscape. All of a sudden, Google maps declared that I was at my destination.
This didn’t look like the place, and by now, it was 6pm. I walked down to a barn conversion, where the people sat drinking beer in the garden tried to help me, but they were holiday makers too so they didn’t know the area. I turned back, and then spoke to a girl who was driving a tractor. She tried to help, but didn’t really know where St Francis Cottage was either.
Eventually, I spoke to a lady who obviously knew the area well. We cruised slowly back up the road checking the signs for the various cottages very carefully when we saw one for St Francis Cottage. At last! We drove along our private bit of road with pigs in fields by the side of it, through some beautiful trees and there it was. Our fairytale cottage was waiting for us with the lights on and a bottle of Prosecco and some local eggs on the table.