Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Featherstone Castle - Part III

The next morning, after a really good sleep in the 30-year-old down sleeping bag Bill brought for me, I looked out the window to find that all the sheep had magically turned into cows. And (oh, my) it was still raining.

The breakfast crowd was slightly thinner than the previous night, in part because some people chose to pack up first. As it turned out, we were supposed to have had 15 people, but a couple couldn't make it because one of the major roads was closed due to flooding. Fortunately, no one seemed concerned that we wouldn't be able to get home (not that I cared, I wasn't going to work the next day). I had a last wander around the castle snapping pictures before setting off on a walk. A big group went off on a bike ride and were were all to meet up at the pub around noon.

I found a wonderful kitchen garden to one side of the castle, though I didn't actually see any food plants that I recognised. I was just impressed by the hedges and paths and the sheer size of it.

I meandered over the river, though crossing the bridge with all that water rushing past made me a bit dizzy (so I quit looking down).

There were some rather pictureque stairs and trails, but suddenly I realised (a) I didn't have a watch; (b) it was very muddy and slippery; (c) I was now on the opposite side of a potentially rising river from the car; (d) no one knew where I was. So I made my way back, drove to the pub and sat in the car, knitting and listening to the rain. The others arrived before too long.

When they did, some of us had a lovely pub lunch, others had dessert only or a snack of some sort. Before everyone headed off, we divvied up the groceries that were left. Bill's little Citroen was already loaded down with bikes and baggage, but we managed to add some onions, tomatoes, coffee and bottled water. Bob had already snapped up the Brie cheese, the swine.


rosepetal501 said...

Shelley: Thank you for the advice and info on Featherstone Castle. Looks like an overnight stay is out of the question. Do you think a drive by and photo op on the outside of the castle would be possible? Is it really far out in the Wilderness? Any advice you can give is greatly appreciated.

Shelley said...

I'm the last person you want to ask directions from, but it is near a small village and so not totally inaccessible. You just go down the road to the castle, turn into the courtyard and you're there. A picture from the outside shouldn't be any problem. I think it would be work asking permission to have a look around if it's really important to you. Otherwise, have a wander around some of the public footpaths across the river and you can get some great scenic shots. Looking at Google maps it appears that Carlisle is the nearest town of any size and it's easy enough to get to Carlisle by train. Pretty sure you'd need a car to get to Featherstone, though. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, been invited to a weekend do there and wanted to check it out, but not much info on net, yours v informative.

btw you can get lurchers that are a cross between the two dogs you liked, and a huge variety of sizes adn fluffieness, a lurcher is a cross between any variety of such dogs but must include sheepdog and greyhound within its close lineage, I had one that was collie wippet cross greyhound deerhound and it was the most lovley creature. Originally breed by poachers as most game belonged to lords of the manor and commoners not allowed hunting dogs, so it ws a crafty cross breed, now much favoured by poachers, one warning, goes selectivly deaf if chasing small fluffy things such as rabbits or neighbours cats/lapdogs etc, but v affectionate w kids etc.

rosepetal501 said...

Shelly. We did it. U gave some advice on visiting Featherstone castle, our namesake. Turns out the owner JohnClark let us tour the inside, and served us tea and cake. It was a lovely visit. I will try and post photos later. Rosepetal501

Shelley said...

RosePetal - I'm so pleased you had a good visit. I didn't deal directly with the owner on our visit, but he seemed very reasonable at the time and now it sounds as though he's quite nice. I'll look forward to photos.