Adventures in England - Nature, Painting, and Fashion

Oct 10, 2019 8 comments
Hadiran's Wall, UK
Chris and I have recently returned from a vacation in Cumbria, UK, visiting the famously gorgeous Lake District.

We rented an airbnb cottage for the entire length of our trip. It was a converted byre of a 17th century farmhouse set off the beaten track.

Wood Farm Cottage, a lovely AirBnB
Most of the days were spent walking in the countryside. We visited Hadrian's Wall, climbed up Gummer's How for an incredible view of Lake Windermere, and ambled around Aira Force taking in the natural spaces.

A chunk of Hadrian's Wall

Painting atop Gummer's How with a view of Lake Windermere

A Gummer's How Cow - omg they were so cute!
I took mostly tweeds with me and put them to good use. I bought a few choice pieces from Walker Slater earlier this year and have been waiting oh-so-patiently for colder weather. It also rained several days, and my 1940s style raincoat was put to good use.

Walker Slater waistcoat and trousers, thrifted shirt, and Royal Vintage "Rosie" boots.
The whole of the Lake District is peppered with painfully quaint and beautiful cottages, pubs, and farmhouses, but there are also grand hotels and former estate mansions too, many of which were best-admired from the decks of the many historic steamers and ferries still operating. We rode the 1930s steam launch Teal between Bowness and Ambleside and down to Lakeside a couple times, but my favorite trip was on the tiny private 1902 steamer Osprey, which launched from the Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats and tootled around islands and far shorelines, quietly puttering along under coal power with its original 1901 two-piston engine.

1901 Steam "Osprey."

Tootling around on "Osprey." It was peaceful and lovely.
My favorite historic house visit was to the Blackwell Arts & Crafts House, a truly gorgeous 1901 manse on the shores of Windermere, full of that wonderful Arts & Crafts aesthetic. There were huge open medieval-inspired fireplaces, hand-painted wall coverings, carved woodwork, stained glass and idyllic window seats. It was peaceful and beautiful on a rainy day. I could've stayed there all day.

The bridge house in Ambleside - the original tiny house built in the 16th century on a former bridge.

Backstreet doodle in Bowness...this must've been a pub.

Rainy-day car painting of a typical Cumbrian farm.
All in all it was a wonderful off-season trip to a beautiful place. I did a few paintings, but I could've drawn and painted 12 hours a day and not captured the scope and detail of the beautiful little villages and rawness of the landscape. Guess that means we'll have to go back!


  1. Your everyday style is so inspiring!! I desperately want a pair of pants from Walker Slater now.

    1. Walker Slater is great! Their online shop is quite limited, but if you can get to one of their stores the selection is terrific.

    2. Oh no, there's more in stores? I mean that's great, but probably overwhelming! I'm going to England in a few weeks so I might have to see if I can find one...

  2. You look like Harriet Vane on her walking tour in "Have His Carcase"! Uh, hopefully without the murder mystery part.

  3. Nice photos and very beautiful paintings! You make me feel like going there, too. :)

  4. Lovely! I'd have a very hard time leaving that house! I'd have to become a permanent fixture....


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