When I originally started planning our holiday to the Lake District, one of the main destinations on my list was Keswick. We stayed in Keswick during the legendary school trip which inspired this whole holiday, so I was absolutely determined to go back for a nostalgia fest. I had 3 key places I wanted to visit – the Derwent Pencil Museum, Friars chocolate shop and Fitz Park – all places I had visited before and was eager to see again.
The journey to Keswick was the longest of our whole stay in the Lake District, as it was about one hour from our cottage. Luckily it was a picturesque drive with stunning scenary, Mini Mess slept most of the way and the rest of us enjoyed listening to music and watching the world go by.
First stop was the Derwent Pencil Museum which I had visited as a child and may have benefited from the rose-tinted spectacles of my youth. I’m not going to lie, it was probably not the most thrilling day out, but it still interesting and the girls enjoyed having a look around, albeit for about 5 minutes. I also found out that pencils were used during the war to smuggle notes, maps and compasses, so clearly it was an informative experience as well.
Perhaps most exciting of all was the Pencil Museum shop, which was paradise for a stationery addict like myself. The shelves were lined with pens and pencils of every variety, there were sketchbooks, note pads and colouring books, something to suit everyone from experienced artists to creative children.
As it was coming up to lunchtime and we were all getting peckish, Mr M suggested we should stop in the pencil museum cafe and get some food. Mr M had a bacon roll, the girls each had picnic boxes with sandwiches, crisps etc and I had a cumberland sausage roll with salad and chips. I did not expect the food to be quite as delicious as it was. That might be the best sausage sandwich I have ever had and I’d be tempted to head back to the pencil museum for the food alone!
After lunch, we walked into Keswick town centre. It was only about a 10 minute walk, not long at al, although Mini Mess insisted on being carried most of the way. I had been really looking forward to seeing the beautiful Moot Hall. Sadly it was covered in scaffolding which didn’t make for a great photo, but it was as lovely as I had remembered.
There were lots of lovely shops on the high street, but the only one I was really interested in visiting was Ye Olde Friars of Keswick, a simply amazing confectioners that I had VERY fond memories of. There were SO MANY different kinds of chocolates and sweets. I thought I had died and gone to chocolate heaven.
Somehow I managed to get out of the shop without actually buying anything for myself. Both girls picked a treat for themselves (Jelly beans for Miss Mess and a chocolate game controller for Mini Mess.) We also picked a few presents for family and friends, but that was it. It showed remarkable restraint if you ask me.
My Dad had reminded me of a great park we used to visit called Fitz Park. As there is simply nothing the kids love better than a playground I knew we had to have a look. The playground was much bigger than I remembered and there were lots of different pieces of equipment, although I do think most of them were a bit too big for the girls. Still, they had a great time running around and burning off some steam before it was time to head home.
Back at the cottage we spent a quiet evening in front of the fire, colouring and playing yet more Uno. We all agreed it had been a lovely first day, but there were still plenty more adventures to come.
And now, the moment you have all been waiting for (even if you didn’t know you were waiting for it). A Mess In A Dress productions is proud to present our first ever blog to accompany this blog post. It’s not as polished as some you might see but I enjoyed creating it and I hope you enjoy watching it!