Holiday 2016 Reports.


A report with many pictures can be found using the link below. It is a PDF file, and is 6.8 megabytes in size.


Details of the Shap Wells Hotel are here -


Monday 26th September 2016.

Not the weather we wanted for the holiday, as there was light rain upon arrival at the coach pickup point in Droitwich. Although we were on time, by the last pickup in Bromsgrove, we were 26 minutes late; this was due to traffic.

After a half hour break at Sandbach, we left the motorway, passing Jodrell Bank on the way to Lyme Park, where we arrived at 12:30. As it was raining, we didn’t spend much time outside, but there were umbrellas available, so we had a short walk in the gardens. We left at15:00 and got to our hotel at 17:30. As there were two other coach parties already there, our dinner was re-timed for 19:30 each evening.


Tuesday 27th September 2016.

After a lay-in and breakfast, we left the hotel at 09:30 for the short drive to Penrith. It had been raining, but stopped while we were there. We left at 11:30 and drove to Keswick, with more rain on the way. Once again, the rain stopped before we arrived, so we wandered around the town, then walked along the Derwentwater shore. Then we drove to Ambleside, where we had an hour. We visited the NT house on a bridge. The weather by now was warm and sunny. We drove down along Lake Windermere, then turned north east, and drove through the Kirkstone Pass, stopping at the top to take some photos. We passed Ullswater before joining the motorway at Penrith, and returning to the hotel.


Wednesday 28th September 2016.

Another wet start to the day! After breakfast, we had an hour’s drive north over the border into Scotland. First stop was Gretna Green, where there was plenty of cover from the rain. We saw the famous blacksmith’s, and looked around the shops. We then continued to Dumfries, driving through rain and fog, where we had expected to stay for a few hours. However, the town was very busy, and there was nowhere to stop the coach to drop off or park. There was a large funfair along the river front, and many of their vehicles were in one of the car parks, which probably caused the problems. So it was time for Plan B! We drove to Carlisle and had two and a half hours there. There was no rain, but a strong wind, although it wasn’t cold. We then returned to the hotel, encountering fog for the last couple of miles.

Thursday 29th September 2016.

Another 09:30 start, and another short drive, this time to Appleby. The weather had cleared by the time we arrived, so another town visited. We were back on the coach at 12:00 for the very short drive to the railway station. We caught the 12:36train to Settle. There was a volunteer from the Friends of the Settle and Carlisle on the train, and he gave a short talk about the line, and also sold guide books. The ride to Settle was about an hour.

There was another coach party at our hotel, and they arrived at Settle at the same time as us, and they went north on the train to Appleby. One of our joined them by mistake, and went off on the train. The mistake was realised, and he got off at the next station, and was lucky to get a lift from a railwayman who was about to drive to Settle. Meanwhile, the rest of us had a good look around Settle. We drove back to the hotel via Kendal and the A6 instead of using the motorway.

Friday 30th September 2016.

Guess what – another rainy start to the day! A few of us ventured out to try and see the red squirrels, but they all seemed to be sheltering from the rain. We drove to Bowness on Windermere, and once again by the time we arrived, the rain had stopped.

Most of us then went on a 75 minute boat ride up to Ambleside and back. It was very smooth on the lake, and the sun was shining. After exploring Bowness, it was time for the drive to Grange over Sands. From the Promenade, it was possible to see Blackpool Tower, 31 miles away. When we got back to the hotel, we all posed in front of the coach for a group photo.

Saturday 1st October 2016.

At last – a dry morning! After breakfast a number of us visited the feeding station for the squirrels, and this time there were quite a few to be seen. Sometimes one would allow people to get really close, and didn’t seem bothered by the flash on cameras.

We drove back south, and arrived at Tatton Park, near Knutsford. As it was still dry, we could explore the gardens as well as go in the house. On the way home, there was heavy rain, and traffic problems around Birmingham. So we used the M6 Toll, then the M42, and dropped off at Redditch, Bromsgrove then Droitwich.


Our thanks go to John Webb for organising the holiday, and to Matt, the Johnson’s driver, who was excellent throughout.