Monday, August 03, 2009

Has my absence made your hearts grow fonder?

Never mind – I’m thick skinned and I plough on regardless ;-)

Reidski and I have had a few days away and we stayed in Lancaster.

We got up early the first morning there determined to make the most of our time in the city. Our first trip was to the Tourist Information Office – which was shut. So we walked up to the (very impressive) castle – which was shut. Undeterred we walked down to the Maritime Museum (strange but true fact – Lancaster used to have a thriving port) and you will already have guessed that that was also shut. So having got up and about early we found ourselves killing time in Reidski’s idea of hell – the local shopping centre. I can tell you that Lancaster shopping centre looks remarkably like every other shopping centre in the UK.

We did eventually visit both the Maritime Museum and the Museum of Lancaster. Returning briefly to a previous topic regarding how when one lives in a place one never does what is on ones doorstep, Reidski had been in Lancaster for less than 18 hours and went to its Maritime Museum. He has lived near Greenwich for more than 18 years and only went to the Maritime Museum there last April.

Picked up one or two little snippets of information in the museums as one does. I learnt that John of Gaunt (Father of the Lancastrian king Henry IV, and known in Shakespeare as 'Time- Honoured Lancaster") spent precisely 9 days of his life in Lancaster. I also learnt that before the railways travellers went to the Lake District on horse drawn coaches across Morecombe Bay when the tide was out. We went to Morecombe Bay and very attractive it is too but what with all the quick sand around I wouldn’t want to cross it by any means other than boat. It was very easy to understand how this disaster happened there.

Should you ever find yourself in Lancaster this pub was superb.

We came back via the Peak District, stopping off for a walk round Buxton which I have just learnt is the self styled Cultural Capital of the Peak District, and continuing on for a bite to eat here. The Good Pub Guide describes this place as an’ Unpretentious local with very tasty home-cooking’, and very accurate that description is too. I had what the menu listed as ‘Chicken fillet’. The sauce it came in had no fancy title but was described as being ‘delightful’ – which was true. Reidski had a steak sandwich which came in a ‘cob’ the size of a dinner plate and the ‘few chips’ that according to the menu were served on the side was actually a chip mountain. We both agreed the place had obviously not been altered one iota in the past forty years and it was a surprise for me just now when I found the place has a website . It was an even greater surprise to find in this ancient village pub, the trendiest toilets that I have ever encountered.

We finished our break with a walk in beautiful Dove Dale.

No pictures yet as Blogger doesn't seem to want to co-operate with them just now.

And now back to work – groan – for all of four days before I jet off to the Far East – hooray.

More on that to follow.

Much more I suspect.


Gill said...

Ah lancaster shopping centre, that great architectural splendour..

naldo said...

I bet Lancaster Shopping Centre makes St James Centre (Edinburgh) look like the Alhambra (the palace not the bingo hall).

The Borough pub looks right good. Special Oatmeal Stout - ya beauty!

J.J said...

Gill - bloody gorgeous isn't it? :-)

Naldo - I certainly recommend the Borough ahead of the shopping centre!