Staying on my predictable streak we went on another day trip this weekend, but -plot twist- we did it on Sunday and not Saturday! So anyways, we decided to go back up to the Lake District and visit the town of Kendal. My friend was told that we had to get up to this town before the leaves fall of the trees because it is beautiful. And let me say now that we were not disappointed. We wanted to take a train up to Kendal, but the one when we got to the train station we were told that the train was delayed and the next one wouldn’t arrive for another two hours. Disappointedly we turned around and headed to the bus station. Which seems to be our second home nowadays and our only mode of transport. Side note: have no fear I will be taking on the untamed devil known as the train in a couple of weeks. I will say that I am becoming a pro at the whole public transportation thing. Back at home I’ve never ridden a public bus and I’ve taken the subway a handful of times in different cities. Luckily we only had to wait 15 minutes for the bus we needed. The only issue we had on travel was I had no idea what the bus driver was asking for because he had such a thick accent. He told us the price was 30 pounds for the group rate, but it just sounded like gibberish when he spoke! After we got the communication issue sorted we got in our seats and began the journey. I absolutely love the rides we go on because we get to see the spectacular English countryside and adorable villages. Bad thing about the Lake District buses is that none of their stops are labeled, so it was guess work on when we had to get off. So we ended up getting off too soon and had to walk into the city center. Once in town the fun began. There was a ton of people strolling around because there was an art festival happening in the town hall. We didn’t go into the art festival, but headed to the Kendal Castle. At this point in the trip it started raining and I mean raining raining. Cats and digs rain! Through the down pour, which was on and off all day long, we navigated our way through the roads and bridges to the castle site. The castle is located on top of a hill overlooking Kendal. This meaning we had to climb a baby mountain to get to it. And I mean climb literally because we the path was not clearly marked and we ended up using trees to put ourselves up the muddy hill. Luckily I have practice in this type of hiking for the woods and stream that surrounds my house back in America. The climb was definitely one of the best parts of the trip; talk about an adventure! Kendal Castle is from the 12th century and is in ruin now. It was built for the Barons of Kendal and the most famous residents were the Parr family. This is the family of Queen Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of King Henry VIII of England. Though she never lived in the castle because her father preferred to live in London, so the castle fell into disrepair. Kendal Castle had been in ruin since the Tudor era, which means it has been abandoned for around 400 years. We spent some time exploring the ruin, snapping pictures, taking in the general splendor of the view and we even saw part of a football game happening down in town.
Then we walked around the town and eventually went back to the bus station to make it to our next destination. This trip was definitely heavily influenced by castles because our next stop was also a castle. This one being whole and still lived in. Just outside of Kendal is Sizergh Castle. Pronounced sigh-zer (we were saying siz-urg and a kind old lady at the bus stop told us how to say it correctly). The bus dropped us off on the main road and we then had to walk up to the estate from there. This walk was in now way a short little stroll. I’d say it was easily over a mile walk and a half walk to get to the castle. It was a pretty walk through some fields and forest, but when we finally saw the castle I was extremely happy! The castle’s solar tower dates back to the 14th century and has been added onto several times to adapt to different styles. Sizergh Castle’s estate has been owned by the Strickland family since 1239 and the family still inhabits the castle to this day. Which means after closing time they have free reign of the entire castle and not just the wings. I love architecture and this castle was magnificently made and decorated. Each room was lavish from the wood paneled walls to the carved ceilings to the fancy decor. I love looking at old house (in this case it was a castle) and taking in the history. Unfortunately we had to zip through the castle in order to explore the grounds and make it back to the bus stop. We did make sure to walk around the estate to the different gardens and pounds. It was gorgeous to say the least. Everything was so colorful and made me feel like I was in a movie. Sadly we had to leave and truck back to the bus stop to catch the last bus home. We had one shot to make it and we didn’t want to be stranded. Happy ending for the day, we had it on the bus and back to Lancaster a little wetter and a lot more cultured.