Sunday 27 September 2015

#CountryKids A sunny September stroll to Sizergh Castle

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

It was a glorious September day in Cumbria today so I rounded up two protesting children and dragged them out for a walk! I have been wanting to find out how far it is to Sizergh Castle from ours on foot and it seemed to good a day to not try it (whatever the children thought about it!). The footpath starts not far from our house just along Natland Rd:

The beginning of the route was through a little woodland and it was really peaceful and cool walking under the trees:

Then the route opens up in the farmland which runs over the old Lancaster Canal. At times you would only know that it was a canal because of the beautiful old bridges that seem quite random in the middle of a field:

It was tempting for my children to pretend they were going to jump into the water as we passed underneath them though:

It is a shame that these bridges have lost their numbers but you can still admire the 18th century stone work: 

As it is across farmland there are plenty of stiles or kissing gates to traverse. Of course being children they just had to try to get over them without using the steps. For my tall daughter it was a case of stepping over:

Little brother's legs weren't quite as long:

But he was able to therefore get through the fences a lot lower down than his big sister:

On the deepest part of the old canal they got competitive about climbing up the old sides of the canal:

I was really winging it as to our route (its hard to too far wrong when on the canal!) but when I saw a path to the right heading to the river I guessed it was the shortest route to the castle. So we hopped up and over the squeeze stile to head away from the canal:

It was during the crossing down the hill in the sun that the children's tempers frayed a bit and the walk wasn't quite so much fun! Luckily we found some more shade in the woods alongside the river:

I was relieved to spot the suspension bridge that I had been told I would need to cross to get to the castle: 

The bridge came with a warning that a maximum of 25 people could be on it at any time. This led to a discussion if that was 25 mum sized or 25 child sized! My son was keen to head out on to the bridge to check its weight bearing abilities:

With it being a suspension bridge it was a wee bit wobbly to cross though it was fun to jump on it to make it even more wobbly! There were also good views of the River Kent in the middle of it:

It is strange that my daughter who climbs trees and loves Go Ape was not keen to cross over and we had to encourage her:

Once safely across the river the rest of our route was on quiet country lanes:

It was an "Are we nearly there yet?" kind of walk by this point as my children knew that reaching the entrance to the grounds of the castle wasn't actually getting there:

Even reaching the "You are almost there" sign for the car park didn't reduce the grumbles:

However lunch in the cafe with homemade sweet potato and red pepper soup:

or a Cumberland sausage bun:

seemed to make things better! However my daughter was adamant she wanted to go straight home but wasn't going to walk. Unluckily for her the grandparents weren't answering their phones so I persuaded both children to actually get into the grounds. All my son wanted to do was play the garden games like these skittles:

I was allowed a minute or two to photograph butterflies in the borders:

red admiral

Big sister wasn't keen to do anything but we walked through the rock garden and headed to the castle itself:

I think we set a family record for completing a castle quiz the speed we rushed through.. Some very patient volunteers helped us out and tried to make it a more pleasant experience! I really must get to the castle without children so I can stop and soak up the atmosphere:

We then managed to get Gramps on the phone who was going to be available to rescue us! He did give us time to have a slice of cake in the cafe though first. If you fancy the walk this is the route that Strava mapped:

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