Raining and singing (but not in the rain)

Today’s guest picture was taken by my daughter Annie and shows some old gentleman or other in the garden on a wet day at Dalemain in Cumbria.


Our daughter was visiting for a couple of days so naturally the rain clouds set in and it was a miserable morning.  A quick check on the weather forecast showed that it was going to go on being miserable all day so what could be better than an excursion?  Nothing.

The forecast had suggested that it might rain slightly more gently in the Penrith area around lunchtime so we headed off in that direction.  Our first stop was at Dalemain, a fine house on the edge of the Lake District.


You can buy a ticket for a tour of the house or one for a tour of the garden and as it was raining quite steadily, we naturally chose the garden.  It was beautiful, even in the rain.  There were gorgeous flowers on every side…



Great views in the garden…


…and lovely views from the garden….



One of the highlights was a display of meconopsis set against rhododendrons that even in the rain positively glowed with colour.


It was pleasantly warm and the garden was well sheltered and we enjoyed the stroll immensely.  We will certainly come back again.

As well as the garden, we visited the Great Barn…

Great Barn Dalemain

…which houses a display of old machinery of all sorts including early washing machines, agricultural implements and transport of various kinds.


We passed by an old gentlemen who was feeding great tits from his hand in the courtyard and we waved at a passing deer…


…as we left and headed down to Pooley Bridge at the top of Ullswater.  Annie was keen to see a lake while in the Lake District.

The weather forecast didn’t let us down and the rain eased for a while as we walked along the lakes shore.

Ullswater steamer
The Ullswater steamer was waiting for a cruise
Some swans were already out there.
Mrs Tootlepedal and Annie walking along the lake shore
A glimpse of the lake
It wasn’t a day for seeing the tops of the hills.

We were in full tourist mode by now and soon left the lake as the rain started and headed across country to Larch Cottage Nurseries.  This, as well as being an excellent garden centre, has a nice café.  We were too late for lunch and made do with a cake or scone each.  This was the view from the window as we sipped our coffee.

Larch Cottage

Larch Cottage is a most unusual garden centre but it has featured in the blog before and as it was pouring with rain while we walked round, I only took one picture today.  This was a combination of blue plants that really appealed to Mrs Tootlepedal.

Larch Cottage

I was much struck by the red flowers on this chestnut tree at the entrance to the car park.  I have never registered seeing one of these before but I saw three today in various places.


There is no doubt that it won’t be too long before we are back in this part of the country but once again the rain ensured that we didn’t stay too long today and at my daughter’s suggestion, we were soon driving up the valley of the river Eden to see one of the largest bronze age stone circles in England.

This was Long Meg and Her Daughters near Little Salkeld.

Even in the rain, this was an impressive sight and site.  It is far too big for a ground based photographer to do it justice.

Long Meg
The stone are in varying states of uprightness
The circle is very large with a road running through it
Long Meg
Long Meg is the large stone on the left, the other stones are her daughters.

I had seen this on the map but I didn’t realise that it was such an impressive site on the ground.  I am surprised that so little is made of it.  There was no information board or proper car park.  I can only assume that the land owner is not keen on visitors.

We drove back home on quiet country roads line with buttercups and cow parsley as far as Brampton and then whizzed up the last twenty miles on main roads in pursuit of a well earned cup of tea.

Although it had rained for pretty well the whole of the outing, it had been very successful and the wet weather had hardly dampened our enthusiasm at all.

After a quick pasta meal for tea, Mrs Tootlepedal and I left Annie at home to get on with her crochet while we went off to our local choir practice.  I had a young lad sitting next to me who could not only sing very nicely but could also pitch those tricky notes correctly so I enjoyed myself.  As the song says, I can get by with a little help from my friends.

The visit to the lake side provided me with a welcome flying bird of the day.

flying gull





Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “Raining and singing (but not in the rain)

  1. I really enjoyed reading this and the photos were beautiful as always – meconopsis, three swans a-swimming and the seagull especially. I have been to Dalemain but not recently and your post has made me want to re-visit. Pooley Bridge we’ve visited this year but have never been to Long Meg which looks fascinating. Thank-you for introducing me to it!

    1. The pictures today were all taken in the north of England as we crossed the border on our way to the Lake District but we think of it as home territory and it is very beautiful country.

    1. They must have been about but I have never registered them before. Maybe the warm winter has made them flower more than usually vigorously this year….or maybe I just didn’t have my eyes open.

  2. What a splendid visit to Southern parts. Glad you had such an interesting and enjoyable day despite the rain – beautiful photographs.

  3. My, oh my, what a pleasurable post to read with such fabulous photos! You have such a gift, Mr. T, making rain drenched gardens look so beautiful. Many artistic shots in this post. I really enjoyed it!!

    1. The rain isn’t too bad when the weather is warm as it does make everything grow. We would just like a few day of uninterrupted sunshine to balance it out.

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