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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Sunday, 4 July 2021

Crikey that was tight and homeward bound at last.

 There is something to be said about being totally isolated and away from  any technology. And so it was when we went to visit good friends Chris and Sue. They lived in a renovated Forge (all done by themselves) in a small hamlet at the bottom of a valley, about 15 miles from Carlisle. No phone signal and no internet, although TV was good, quite surprisingly. Probably because where MB was parked on on their land was way above the house.

The barn to the left, MB at the top of a long drive and the house far beneath.

During our stay Chris took us to Lanercost Priory where in the 11th century the first religious order of men in the Roman Catholic Church combined clerical status with a full common life. They were known as Augustinian Canons.

We have been to many Priories during our stint away from FS, each with its own merits. This one had a unique way of bell ringing as well as tombs, in remarkable condition, and nothing like any seen in others Priories. I took this excerpt from the history of Lanercost.

Like most monasteries, Lanercost served as a mausoleum for its founders and their successors – members of the Vaux, Multon, Dacre and Howard families. Many of their tombs still stand in the roofless eastern end of the church.

On the top photo, you may just be able to see the rope hanging down. The bottom photo shows the pully system, the end of the rope and the hole in the wall (R) where it enters the church. 

 As the afternoon was still young Chris then drove us to Carlisle Castle.

As magnificent as it looked, it was sadly lacking in information boards. There were rooms leading from halls, but what were they for? And sadly, the third floor of the Keep was shut off because of crumbling masonry. This allegedly housed the Bonnie Prince Charlie story and would have been interesting if only we could have viewed it. But like all Castles some of the stories were fascinating. In the dungeons, prisoners were kept so thirsty that walls were licked for the moisture, and graffiti was present on doors and walls made by bored men on guard duty.

 What Carlisle Castle did have was the Military Border Regiment Museum which relates the history of Cumbria’s County Infantry Regiment, the Border Regiment and the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment and local Militia. Now this was a fascinating place full of military uniforms, weapons, medals and silver dating back 300 years. Unfortunately, I was that engrossed, I forgot to take any photos.

By now time was getting on, and Carlisle Cathedral was but a short walk from the Castle. We didn't dawdle on route, but we were still too late to see inside. The exterior was pretty impressive and a return visit will be on the cards later this year so we can go and see the interior. This, I have been reliably informed, is a spectacle in its own right.

On Saturday, we left Cumbria and headed for home. The weather was set to turn nasty and to tell you the truth, trying to find a site to take MB was getting beyond a joke. Wild camping is great until water is required and loo cassette need emptying. Then it's a constant worry about finding somewhere to take you in. Also, we noticed more and more car parks had little or no space for a motorhome, especially in the smaller towns and villages. Trying to shop at a Co Op in Brampton, we ended up going along Union Lane and was horrified to find a 6' 6" width restriction. We couldn't go back, cars behind us, so all we could do was breath in and hope for the best. We made it, but by the skin of our teeth!

 It took all day to do the 200 miles home. Several comfort stops and lunch of course and at one point the weather was so bad, deciding to sit it out was the best bet. 

 This will be the last post for a while. With school holidays in a couple of weeks and knowing the staycationers will be out in force on the canals, we have decided to stay at Langley for the summer. FS is due to be dry docked end of August and we will probably go away with MB in September. Maybe October then will be the right month for us to cruise the canals. I think we will just wait and see.

And wildlife,



Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

You've had a splendid holiday and done lots of really cool things - it is obvious you have had a lot of fun and seen a huge amount of stuff that you have found really interesting - as have we. So well done and thank you!
I am admiring of your fortitude in wild camping (called freedom camping here). I'm always a bit anxious about it - scaredy cat ...
Here in NZ almost every town has a dump station, quite often at a service station, and there is always potable water there too. So those tasks are not a problem - esp as they are David's jobs. Strangely, on the boat I am usually the poo tank emptier!
Big hugs, Mxx

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

And we have enjoyed your adventures, Marilyn. So many memories brought back so thank you too.
As for wild camping, we have never really felt uneasy. Yes, the exuberance of youths can be a bit off-putting at times, but just like on the boat, we keep quiet and let them get on with it.

Unfortunately, the UK will never be as good as NZ when it comes to motorhome facilities. Getting water can be had at some garages, and we found that water is always on tap at a cemetery to fill a container, but as to discharging grey water or emptying cassettes, only in a designated site can this be done.

Looking forward to seeing your photos (as promised in your last post)so you had better not forget!
Loads of hugs back

Jennie said...

What a fabulous trip you have had, Irene and thank you for sharing it with us. Enjoy your summer at Langley Mill. Jennie x

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks Jennie. Xx

Jo Lodge said...

Hi to you both.

I have been following your adventures in your motorhome. Your photos have been gorgeous and the sights have been amazing. Getting him to FS was a bit of a long slog, but I bet she welcomed you with open arms?
Enjoy your time back home and your blacking. We were supposed to black this year, but have decided that we will do it next year, because getting a slot is hard work and the canals are very busy.
Love to you both Jo & Keith xxx

Anonymous said...

A wonderful trip which I enjoyed so much, thanx for all the informative text accompanying your fantastic photos, specially the wildlife ones.
Ann Makemson. xx

Anonymous said...

I am going to miss your informative travel blog with all those wonderful pics you take.
Nothing like a rest to wind down in such a lovely tranquil mooring spot as yours.
Relax, enjoy and recharge your batteries after all your exertions.
Thanx for saring them all.
Bfn Ann Makemson xx

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