Monday, 11 September 2017

Day 10 - Local tourist

How far from home do you need to be before you're classified as a tourist? I think I've asked that before but I still don't know the answer.
 One of the things I've enjoyed on this adventure is being a tourist in my home county.

When you wander around with a huge rucksack on your back people tend to assume you're a visitor and it's been fascinating seeing how we're treated. For the most part people have been fantastically helpful - though one farmer in a 4x4 nearly ran us off the road just outside Cartmel.

Today we ditched the rucksacks for the day - and after yesterday's epic hike I was pretty glad of the rest!  We spent most of the day with Keswick Brewing Company but not all of it was guzzling beer - for the morning we got to play with a Twizy.

Twizzies (not 100% sure if that's the correct pluralisation) are electric quad bike type vehicles painted as sheep. There are a number of them for hire across the county, one of which resides at Keswick Brewing Company, and they are the perfect way (baaa none!) to zip around and see the sights.

They have a range of 35 - 40 miles depending on the terrain and there are a number of charging points dotted around the county where you can top up on juice.  We whizzed around Basenthwaite visiting the foot of Skiddaw (home of Langton's Gin) and Thornthwaite (home of Bedrock Gin). Sadly we weren't able to meet with either producer but we did nip into Lakes Distillery for tea & cake and we'll be back there tomorrow for the full tour!

The Twizy is enormous fun and attracted a lot of attention wherever we went with folks waving and taking photos (probably something to do with Karen's over enthusiastic use of the dinky horn! 😀) and we'd definitely recommend it.

Once our driving duties were complete we turned our attention to beer - as we couldn't meet the distillers we figured we'd make up for it with the brewers.

 Click here to visit Keswick BrewingCompany & learn about the Twizy

Keswick Brewing Company has been going for 11 years and produces a wide range beers from pale ales to stouts. Perhaps their best known is Keswick Gold which can be found in pubs all around the county.

Our merry little tour group

After a fabulous talk & tour by Nigel we got stuck into the tastings where they are very generous with their samples.  Pretty soon we were a very merry band of folks chattering away and swapping email addresses - I really think things like the G8 summit would be a lot more friendly and productive if there was more beer involved.

Home for the night is the fabulous Armathwaite Hall on the shores of Basenthwaite. A few years ago me & Steve wrote some walks for the hotel so it's lovely to come back and remind myself how lovely it is.  The views from the terrace are spectacular and, although it's undeniably "posh", it's also very lovely and cosy.

Click here for Armathwaite Hall website

We're probably one of the few guests to arrive on foot - we caught the bus out of Keswick and walked up from the A66 with both the driver and a lovely lady sitting near us keen to make sure we got off at the right stop and knew exactly where we were going from there. I think being a tourist for this trip is definitely reminding me how friendly Cumbrian folk generally are and I really am rather glad I live here.

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