20 September 2022


Hoad Hill above Ulverston

Like the vast majority of British citizens, we spent most of yesterday glued to the television watching our nation's fond farewell to Queen Elizabeth II. It was an amazing spectacle, brilliantly choreographed and utterly flawless. It felt as if we were saying goodbye to the Great Britain we have known. What now, now that our noble queen has left the stage?

Late in the afternoon we drove into Ulverston for a walk. We climbed up Hoad Hill to the monument to Sir John Barrow that overlooks the town. Then we drove back to Summer Hill where I prepared a meal of  baby potatoes, cheesy crumb  crusted chicken breasts and broccoli. And we toasted Her Majesty with a nice bottle of viognier.

Today we woke to the news that the Piel Island ferryman has decided  there will be no more weekday sailings for the rest of the year. We were so close and yet so far. Maybe I will never get there.

Donald Campbell's grave in Coniston

Instead today we drove up to Coniston Water and took a cruise in a motor launch around the northern half of the lake. Then we walked up into the village of Coniston where we visited the graves of both John Ruskin and Donald Campbell before happening upon "The Green Housekeeper Cafe".  There we ordered bowls of broccoli and cheddar cheese soup with hunks of  fresh homemade bread. Before departing, I told the waitress that it was the best soup I have ever had and I meant it. "To die for" as folk sometimes say.

Coniston Water today

We drove home via the quieter east side of the lake  It was a narrow country lane but fortunately in those eight miles we only met three other vehicles. Clint was grateful of my slow and vigilant driving.

Back in Ulverston, we had a stroll around the shopping streets and found the statue of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy outside the theatre. Stan Laurel was born and raised in Ulverston long before he headed to Hollywood.


  1. Well that's too bad about the ferry but now you have a reason to return.

    Coniston Water was where "The Lady of The Lake" was discovered.

  2. Anonymous12:31 am

    Ulverston looks like a pleasant place. I don't remember Ollie smiling very much in the tv shows. At least they both appear happy.

  3. It sounds like you made the most of this beautiful locale. The soup sounds delicious!

  4. Yes. A very fine holiday, it would seem. But I am truly sad you didn't get to the island.

  5. Your love for the Queen is very clear. How do you respond to the people who say the whole funeral is a waste of money when people are suffering a cost of living crisis?

  6. A nice way to spend the day after the ceremonies yesterday.

  7. Love the statues but which is Laurel and which is Hardy? I never remember. I like that lovely big load of firewood by that gate, I bet it won't last long once the cold weather sets in.

  8. It sounds like a good time with a variation of activities. A pity that the ferry wasn‘t operating, but the best soup you ever had made up for it.

  9. Broccoli and cheese soup sounds... interesting. Not sure if I will try that one.

  10. Sad news about the ferry, but it is the middle of September so probably now considered the end of the official holiday season. Better luck next time, as I'm sure you'll go back - it's such a large area to cover.
    I often make broccoli soup but had not thought of combining it with cheese, so must give that a try.

  11. You didn't happen to see Donald's head anywhere? According to Wiki, it is still missing after all these years.

  12. I think the broccoli and cheese soup has a French ancestry, but with loads of onions, floating baguette and cheese. Looks a lovely break, forgotten that John Ruskin had once lived there, did you visit his home as well?

  13. Out Of This World by Marillion is an excellent Prog track about Donald Campbell.

  14. Lovely photos, as usual, though sad about the ferry. One day ... ?

  15. Wasn't Coniston Water the inspiration for "Swallows and Amazons"? I'm not sure I've ever heard of Donald Campbell. I imagine Britain will continue on much as it has even with the unthinkable absence of the Queen. Too bad about the ferry.

  16. It is a pleasure to watch *Ulverston Then vs. Now* YouTube.
    The monument to Sir John Barrow has an inner spiral staircase.
    I am not sure I would climb the 235 steps of Worcester Cathedral tower again.
    Legs and lungs are strong enough, but it is claustrophobic, and there were too many people on the stairs, below and above me.

    As the French say, the soup is enough, if there is enough soup.
    With crusty bread & butter & a glass of wine, soup is supper on a winter's night.

  17. You were able to explore a lot and sounds like you had a very nice time. Sorry you didn't get to the island - put it on your list for next summer...


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