Wednesday 30th July: Part 2; Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount (just!)

By the time we reached Dove Cottage (which was quite some time after leaving Grasmere as we got lost a number of times on the way, which is weird considering that the cottage is literally 5 minutes down the road from the centre of the village), it was clear that the children were losing the will to live in the back of the car. I sensed this when James started screaming, "Ageee!!!" and Bethan kept repeating, "Are we in Coniston Daddy?" "Mummy, are we in Coniston?"

Observing the pained look on my face knowing that I would be so close to Wordsworth's cottage, yet so far, Rob suggested that although it wouldn't be quite the same as visiting and wondering around his beloved home, I should run out of the car and quickly take some pictures of the cottage and dash back. This would then mean that we could go and have a look around Rydal Mount, where hopefully, the children could have a run around. Ok, I conceded and ran out of the car into...a coach full of tourists that had just pulled up into the car park too.

As I ran past them in the rain, posh camera around my neck in tow, I began to feel like I was in a damp version of dodge-ball. Undeterred, I continue to run up the slippery cobbled streets, flashing the aforementioned camera at anything along the way. At least, I thought to myself, that I would be able to look at Dove Cottage and its surroundings through the screen bit of my camera later on over a glass of Chenin Blanc.

Another sign; just in case...

Pictures taken on the way up to Dove Cottage. Unfortunately,
a rogue tourist ran ahead of me just as I had
thought that I had the game of dodge-ball in the bag!

Finally, Dove Cottage. I might not have had chance to
get in the cottage but I did some serious damage to my credit card in
the gift shop! You can never have too many Wordsworth
fridge magnets

Next stop was Rydal Mount. By our calculations we would be there approximately 10 minutes after leaving the car park at Dove Cottage. Wrong! Again we got lost and the noise in the back of the car got louder and Louder and LOUDER!!! It was like a noisy version of Total Wipeout; trying to work through all of the obstacles just to get to the prize - to sit on a chair in one of Wordsworth's Houses.

Nearly there...Crap! As we were driving up a steep hill to Rydal Mount there was a funny smell emanating from inside the car and no, it wasn't wafting from James' nappy. Shock! Horror! It was  a burning smell coming from the engine! Now this was a regular occurrence with our previous car, a Rover 25; in fact, if there wasn't a funny smell on a daily basis I would worry. But the C-Max??!! This could not be happening!

Again, undeterred, I told Rob that he would have to look after the car (and subsequently the safety of our children) whilst I attempted to get in Rydal Mount. In the distance, as I ran across more soggy cobbles I could see Rob's head under the bonnet whilst the windows in the car had got very steamy. However, I knew I couldn't let Wordsworth down, I had to reach the entrance to Rydal Mount! It truly was an epic moment!

Unfortunately, Rydal Mount was closing so I had to settle for taking a picture of the sign :-s

Another sign :-s