Coach trip to Lake District: Cocoa and castles in Kendal

I woke up to find myself hunch-backed, with barely the pain tolerance to shuffle from my bed to the bathroom.2016-04-20 10.16.13 I had aged 80 years over night thanks to my impromptu hike.

My second full day in the tourist town of Windermere was not quite as adventurous, but certainly more enjoyable for my bruised feet and achy legs!

I caught the train to a neighbouring town named Kendal – apparently it’s known for its mint cake. But I gave that a pass.

Arriving at 10am, and I realised immediately that I preferred it to Windermere. Not as touristy, more of a humble, young family town, but a bit rough around the edges!

(But that might be because it was occupied by people who didn’t own a Range Rover and a pace maker.)

I wandered about and found a market that sold old people slippers and robes, which I found comical.

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Then I found what I essentially went all that way to find; the chocolate shop!

Walking in, I was overwhelmed with the smell of hot cocoa and floor to ceiling chocolatey treats! A three-storey building that had a chocolate cafe above.

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I got talking to the lady in the shop who told me the building was built in the 1600s, which was a residence for a while, before becoming a chocolate shop. Which makes sense, she said, because the 1600s was when chocolate came to England!

Who knew.

She said it is currently owned by two old dears who live somewhere in the town, but the building will forever be a chocolate shop. Some of the ladies who work there say some of the old inhabitants still lurk upstairs…

…the first thing that came to mind was a couple of bent and buckled hobos lingering in the corners, being shuffled around by irritated workers holding brooms. But she was, of course referring to ghosts.

With sloping floors and creaky beams, however, I would say personal safety of being in this ageing building would be of more concern than lingering spirits – I almost slid off the loo, the slope in the floor was so steep!

Nevertheless, I did hang around long enough to indulge in a chocolate milkshake and a coffee flavoured chocolate gateau.2016-04-20 10.33.57

I was the only patron, and I picked the best seat to read my Harry Potter book in peace.

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I then took the scenic route to the ruins of the castle, which had a beautiful view of the town.2016-04-20 11.32.30

From the castle, the echo of the town square clock striking 12 was almost haunting as it filled the silence between the distant drone of cars, and tweeting red robins.

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That was until some fighter jet’s deafening blow! It flew over head, with its noise bouncing off surrounding mountains and polluting my magical chiming clock moment.

No clue where it came from, or what it was hoping to achieve in such a peaceful area.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed being away from the busyness of the town and read my book by the castle for a while. (The perfect setting for reading Harry Potter.)2016-04-20 11.50.31

Finally, I circled around and into the Kendal museum.

Again, I was the only patron, and the lovely museum worker, Margaret, almost gave me a guided tour. There was mostly taxidermy, so I asked her about the history of the castle.

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She handed me a leaflet that I read only to find out there is not a massive amount known about the history of the now sporadic ruins.

It was starting to get a bit warm and clammy, so I made my way back to the station. The station is set away from the town, and almost isolated. I was all alone when a man sat on the same bench as me. He pulled out a beer bottle from his coat and began to make conversation.

I was rather nervous, particularly because he had a deep voice until he laughed, which was a squeaky and menacing laugh that made me uneasy. But after polite conversation about his job as a travelling chef, my train arrived and I was happy and alone again at last.

2016-04-20 14.06.29In other news, I’m almost half way through the first Harry Potter book! Reading about chocolate frogs while sipping at cider back in Windermere was wonderful.

I’m hoping people don’t think I’m getting Beatrix Potter and Harry Potter mixed up.

I am aware the Lake District is famous for Beatrix and not Harry.