Perhaps we should have spent more time roaming the villages of the Lake District, but after a few they all seemed very much alike. After breakfast, we did do a “walk about” around Windemere before going to Ambleside.
One of the reasons to visit Ambleside is to see the stone work. For the most part, the town is constructed of neatly cut slate taken from the nearby hills. Jeanne did a bit of shopping and then we drove on to the nearby village of Grasmere, where a number of other people had the same idea at the same time. Again, we walked around and then headed out of the Lake District toward York, hoping to be there in the morning on Sunday.
On the way, Jeanne had circled the town of Thirsk and we arrived on Saturday afternoon to a town square set up for market day. There is really nothing
special about Thirsk except for it being the home of James Herriott. The only thing of note besides this was that the town had a rather authentic English feel about it. There was really nothing touristy, just people going about their business. For this reason we liked it.
We stopped in at a tea room and had a nice sandwich, tea, chips and carrot cake and then drove toward York with the idea of finding a B and B before nightfall. It turns out that we had no such luck. Most places had signs in the window, “No Vacancy'” so when we did see an opening we took a look, but being disappointed with it, we went back the way we had come trying to find something more suitable in a rural setting. Perhaps I have said this already in one way or another.
Note: Next time, and this is my advice to you, just find a place to stay for three nights and make day trips, England is not all that big compared to America and one could make day trips in various directions and not have to set up accommodation or haul tyour bags from place to place.
We began to panic as it grew darker and darker and we weren’t finding any “rooms to let.” We drove through a number of small towns in the direction of Thirsk and would only occasionally see a room over a pub. I finally got off of the roads that made sense and decided that I would follow my instincts back toward York. Don’t do this. Roads almost never go the way you think they should. We finally came through a little village in the middle of farmers’ fields called “Liston-on-Ouse.” Just as we were about to leave the edge of town (this took all of thirty seconds), on our right was a lovely home called The Manor House, Mann Farm Bed and Breakfast. Though there was no sign, I pulled around to ask. They were quick to say they were filled and gave me rough directions toward York. I must have looked like Joseph because as I talked to them they seemed to soften and finally said, “We do have a room but I’m afraid it’s not made up yet.” I could tell by the tone of her voice that she was about ready to make a bed. I said, “How long would something like that take? We need supper, we could go to the pub. Would you have it ready in, let’s say an hour?” We got the deal and had a perfect room at a reasonable price staying with some very nice people. We heartily recommend it but do call for a reservation. It is situated about thirty minutes from York and well in the country side.