A Few days ago I took a trip up to the annual Dickensian Christmas Festival in the pretty Cumbrian market town of Ulverston. It’s a riot of an event, the whole town gets into the spirit of the thing and the narrow winding streets and market square of the town only add to the atmosphere of the two day event.
It’s popular, very popular. I made the blunder on my first visit of driving there. A lot of other people had also driven over so getting parked was a bit fraught so for my next visit I came up with the idea of driving part of the way and using the train for the rest of the journey. So my routine is now car to either of two places, Arnside or Grange over Sands, both on Morecambe Bay, both on the rail route through Ulverston to the ship building town of Barrow in Furness.
The trains are every hour, the journey twenty minutes or so. A further refinement has been to get a cup of coffee and a quick bite to eat before getting the train so I don’t have to step off the train in 1860’s Ulverston, flag down a Hansom cab and instruct the driver to take me to the nearest eating house so I could seek some victuals.
For this years trip I ended up in the small cafe on the first floor of The Country Shop on the promenade ( the link will be below…..) It provides tea, coffee and cakes only, if you’re looking for something a bit more substantial don’t worry. Arnside may be a compact place with a delightfully quaint promenade but you would have to put some serious effort in if you wanted to starve. The windows of the cafe area offer views across the top of Morecambe Bay and the Leven Estuary. Arnside is where the River Leven flows into the bay after it’s journey down through Kendal from the Lake District. If you watch carefully you can see across to the far side of the Bay and watch the trains rumbling back and to on the coast hugging route before crossing the Leven Viaduct and into the station. It’s a window on a world that changes as the seasons tumble through their kaleidoscope of colours, light and shade.
It’s a place to sit and ponder, enjoy your coffee and indulge your cake habit. I had a toasted teacake this time. That’s a slightly sweet, fruited bread bun for any of my oversees viewers. Excellent spread with butter and if you really want to sin just add the jam of your choice.
The Dickensian post is grinding it’s way through the system and will be with you shortly.
Some Of My Stuff