We're enjoying a very welcome week off, away from it all in the Lake District. We are staying in a really special place, Winder Hall in Low Lorton. Originally a Jacobean manor house, it looks like the Victorians had a hand in updating the interior, and much more recently the owners have created a magnificent place to relax. In the grounds there is even a hot-tub, and a summer-house containing a sauna! We've taken advantage of both - fantastic. The food is good, too - if you ever stay here, then be sure to have some of Clodagh's home-made seville-orange and lemon marmalade, it's epic!
There are some great pictures of Lorton Hall (before it became the Winder Hall hotel) on the Visit Cumbria website. Scroll down about half way to see the house and grounds, and the Pele Tower which forms part of the hall.
The surrounding area is simply outstanding. Today we walked up to the top of Barrow, close to Braithwaite, which is a short drive from Low Lorton. Barrow is not that high (around 1500 feet) but you get one of the best views in the Lake District from the top. The weather has been kind, so it was possible to see all the surrounding fells and a long way further out. This was a warmup for longer, higher walks later in the week - I'd like to get to the top of Great Gable, about twice the height of Barrow.