I had quite a slow start to the morning. Breakfast was a quick affair for me. We’d pre-booked tickets for a boat on Windermere which would take us over to Wray Castle. We’d picked an 11am sailing and the pier was a mile down the road, so allowing for general mucking about we left at 10am.
My online receipt was exchanged for a physical ticket fairly quickly at the pier and we were directed to a particular jetty for our boat. It wasn’t due to leave for half an hour though, so we popped into a nearby cafe for coffee and hot chocolate. That passed the time for a bit.
The weather was a bit variable. It looked like rain, and the sky was grey and cloudy.
The boat turned up on time and we were fairly close to the front of the queue, so we grabbed some decent seats inside. We’d booked tickets for the “Green Cruise”, which only allows travel to Wray. That meant a short 15-minute ride out and we found ourselves at Wray around 11:20.
Wray Castle is a Victorian neo-gothic building on the west side of Windermere. It’s been in the possession of the National Trust for a hundred years or so. We were expecting there to be something significant to look at, but there wasn’t really. Most of the house is still being renovated. Two of the downstairs rooms have a photo exhibitions. One was of the family that built the house and the Potter family (of Beatrix fame). The other was an exhibition of “old skool” photos contrasting the work of a Victorian gentlemen and that of more of a rustic local. Forgive me for not remembering their names.
So that made us conclude it was lunchtime. Well, by most measures, it was lunchtime. In that it was well after nreakfast, and it was about 12:30. And we were hungry. The cafe at Wray Castle is an all-vegan affair, which I didn’t notice until we were in the queue. It’s not like there was anywhere else to go though, so what the hell. Turns out it was really good. I had a steakless pasty, which was essentially a meat and vegetable pie in pasty form, but with no actual meat. It was really good, to be honest.
What to do now
Because wandering around the house didn’t take long, we were left wondering how to fill our afternoon up. There were a few geocaches around the site but on questionning I wasn’t surprised to learn the girls didn’t want to do that. So we agreed I could go for a walk while they occupied themselves wandering around the grounds and searching for the beach on the lakeshore.
There were about 10 caches and they took me about an hour to do. Halfway round I bumped into the rest of the family, who were trying to get to the beach at the time.
We were ready for the return boat at 2pm. It really hadn’t taken long because to be honest there isn’t a lot there. We could just have lazed in the grass for a while, but equally we could go back.
Back we go
The Green Cruise took us straight across Windermere to a different location before going back to Ambleside. We weren’t bothered, but it meant the return took half an hour instead of 15 minutes.
We walked back into town and stopped off to buy a new raincoat for Minimus – I mean, everyone should have a coat that actually fits, right?
All this put us back at home quite early in the afternoon, but nobody was really in the mood for anything else, so we chilled until dinner time.
Dinner consisted of enchiladas for me and Minimus, with snacks and reheats for the others.
It had been a gently-paced day, to be honest.