I volunteered to drive to Coniston, which was a mistake. I’m normally sure of my width (ie. the width of my car – thank you!) but I found myself going down tiny roads which made me want to breathe in when another car went past. After what seemed like hours, I was relieved when we finally got to Coniston (and even more relived when my Mum offered to drive back!).
We managed to park for free on the street which was a bonus, as most parking in the Lake District is payable – you can be driving along in the middle of nowhere and see a lay-by with a few parking spaces in a wood – and there’s a parking meter!! It seems a bit tight, but I guess it’s a different approach – in the USA you would have to pay around $25 to enter a National Park in a car but parking is then free. We have free entry – but you pay to park. That’s my philosophical approach to parking charges anyway… and breathe!
When we arrived we happened upon a tractor rally, which meant about 80 tractors driving past – from old vintage tractors to modern-day machines.
We then ambled down to the famous Coniston Lake through the fields and sheep. The grass was so green due to all the rain (see photo – the colour of the grass has not been enhanced!)
Coniston Water was something special. We approached it down a small footpath through trees, and it was a revelation when we stepped out and found a watersports paradise – sail-boats, kayaks, pedalos, and the famous Steam Gondola, run by the National Trust.
Coniston Water is also where Bluebird crashed in 1966 after Donald Campbell made a water-speed record attempt. (He had previously done a land-speed record attempt on Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA)
We sat on a bench enjoying the sunshine and soaking up the relaxed atmosphere, before heading back into Coniston for some lunch. There is also a cafe on the waterfront but it was quite pricey. Coniston has a few cafes, pubs, and small shops but it is small so before long we headed back. As promised my Mum drove back, so I had the chance to look out the window past the streams, meadows and sheep in the road!
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