Yarn Bombing at Acorn Bank

Acorn Bank is a National Trust property very near to Penrith and the Lake District. Having read on the UK Hand Knitting website about a community project located there I was eager to visit. People had been asked to knit natural things to decorate the trees! Unfortunately there is not a lot to see in the house itself although there are hopes for some restoration work in the future.

Acorn Bank has lovely gardens and a working water mill that grinds flour. Unfortunately the day I visited was very wet so I didn’t spend too long looking around, instead venturing into the woods to find the knitted creatures and plants.

The bluebells were all out and as they are one of my favourite flowers I had to get a quick picture 🙂

Knitted pieces had been created by lots of different people, the name of the contributers could be found in a book inside the house. If I had more time I would have loved to have joined in, but we have our own Yarn Bombing project set to go up at the end of this month so needed to concentrate on that! Here are some pictures of the things we saw.

At first I wondered why there were playing cards hanging up but then I realised that this is an Alice in Wonderland Tree and from a previous post you will know how we love Alice in Wonderland!

After getting rather damp in the woodland we rushed into the cafe for tea and cake (any excuse!) and this I can thoroughly recommend. I had a truly delicious slice of gluten free almond cake.

Jungle Book and Bateman’s

All of my family are members of the National Trust and love to visit houses and countryside preserved for our National Heritage. The Trust oversee Bateman’s, the house that Rudyard Kipling and his family moved into when they required some peace and quiet but still within easy traveling distance of his London publishers. Rudyard Kipling as an author is beloved by children and adults alike. His ‘Just So Stories’ and ‘The Jungle Book’ have inspired everyone from media giants like Disney to school plays. I was therefore very excited to see his home and how he spent his days.

The house was wonderful, largely because it retained the sense of being a family home. No areas were taped off and you could walk around freely just as the family had. There were volunteers keeping an eye on things but they were all very friendly, easy to chat too and willing to give out interesting facts about the Kipling’s lives and the surrounding areas. Their genuine enthusiasm made the visit all the more enjoyable.


This is the entrance with the cafe on the left and the house at the end of the path. Rudyard and his wife Carrie fell in love with the house the first time they saw it and he is reputed to have said ‘That’s She! The Only She! Make an honest woman of her – quick!’ When they found Bateman’s he was already a world-famous writer and this house with its mullioned windows and oak beams was to give him the sanctuary he was looking for. There is still a garage with his Rolls Royce, walled gardens and an apple orchard.


Before we looked around the house we visited the cafe for coffee and cake. I didn’t take any photos in there but was most impressed by both the food and service. I had a delicious gluten free cake and later for lunch some homemade leek and potato soup with a gluten free roll.

A few more photos of the interior:


This last one shows a corner of Rudyard’s study where his secretary sat at the typewriter as he sat at the desk on the left. He had wooden blocks added to his chair legs so that he could still see out of the window while sitting.

My last two pictures are of the guest bedroom and a mouse on the staircase!








We’ve Been On a Bear Hunt!

I’m sorry for the lack of blogs recently, I promise there’s many wonderful things in the pipeline, including some yummy recipes, wonderful tutorials and exciting competitions. Recently I have found myself somewhat preoccupied with keeping the kids and puppy entertained, I’m sure many of you have been doing similar. We’ve had lots of wonderful trips out and about, here are just a few pics from our recent bear hunt at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire!

The National Trust had kindly provided maps for the young explorers, so off we went on a bear hunt!

Various Olympic inspired activities had to be completed during the expedition.

Occasionally we were lucky enough to find a sign that aided us on our way.

Our search ended when we found the Teddy Bear Olympics taking place in the Ice house!

The children were rewarded with bear shaped shortbread at the end of their hunt, while I took the time to say hello to the resident deer.

I even spied this most handsome white fellow off in the distance.

The spotty crocodile found time to explore and get overly excited at every new smell and sight. All in all everyone had a wonderful day out and we shall be visiting again soon.