This is exciting – my first post on a blogging site! It took ages for a non-technical person like me just to learn how to navigate this blog system, and I am not sure I have the hang of it yet. However, here goes . . .
Blenheim Lodge, our B&B in Bowness on Windermere, has been around for many years. For us, this is our 10th anniversary, and I thought I should take the plunge and do something different – like writing a blog – to let more people know about our wonderful place. It has a quiet and gentle ambiance, rather like being wrapped in a much loved downy blanket – safe, secure, warm and friendly, oozing traditional values and hospitality.
When we came to Bowness all those years back, we never envisaged we would grow into the business quite as much as we have. The kids were small then, we had a large dog, and we were inexperienced. We knew it would take lots of hard work and prayer – and the Lord has certainly been with us through all this learning. Still, there are always new and newer things to learn along the way: for example, we have only now decided to embrace on-line booking – rather a little late when compared with other establishments, but as I said earlier, I am technically challenged and do not find technology a walk in the park!
People often ask us why we chose to locate to the Lake District. Well, it is beautiful, and Blenheim Lodge itself possesses the most marvellous views of Lake Windermere to the mountains and fells beyond. Indeed, on any given day, as anyone who knows anything about British weather will testify, one could gaze out across the scenery and see all four seasons in all their various guises reflected against and on the face of the Lake. From pretty hilly snowcaps overlooking the scintillating waters of Lake Windermere to storm-gathered clouds glowering upon an angry Lake roiling with white horses, whilst round about wind and rain lash the surrounding vegetation, the many faces and moods of Lake Windermere never fail to intrigue and stir one’s fascination for the living beauty of the English Lakes.
Blenheim Lodge itself, of course, also appealed to us. It nestles against enchanting woodlands and fells at the top of a hill and, whilst only a 5-minute walk to the Lake and village centre, is nonetheless hidden away at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac away from the noise and fumes of traffic on the main road and the busyness of bustling crowds in the main thoroughfares. We particularly did not want to be on a main road, as we had once lived on a ‘B’ road in Scotland that turned into a rat run, making it rather less quiet than we had hoped for.
Our then dog, now sadly no longer with us, loved the great open spaces at the back of the house, and we always thought that one day we would try also to walk at least part of the Dales Way Walk, which goes all the way to Ilkley in the Yorkshire Dakes and starts just a minute’s stroll from our front door. Well, needless to say, we have only walked a miniscule length of the Dalesway, although we have managed, from our front door, to walk the 20 and 40 minutes respectively to two view points, Post Knott and Brantfell, in order to enjoy the stupendous 360-degree views afforded by them.
But I digress. Blenheim Lodge appealed to us not just for its lofty situation at the top of Bowness on Windermere and the views we enjoyed from all its rooms, but also for the character of the house. A substantial Victorian house built in 1868, Blenheim Lodge still retains its original marble fireplace in the lounge, cornicing in the rooms, a lovely mahogany staircase, and even some of the original servants’ bells in the (current) dining room.
We have tried, since arriving at Blenheim Lodge, to decorate this grand old lady with beautiful Laura Ashley colours and soft furnishings in keeping with the period character of the house. More than this: we have also tried to draw attention to the elegant original features of this house (high ceilings and large windows in many rooms typical of the Victorian gentleman’s residence) by furnishing Blenheim Lodge with antique pieces, including antique 4-poster and Louis XV beds, where we can. We also respect the house and work with its quirks – small shower rooms, some odd-shaped bedrooms, beams in the attic, etc. It has been a labour of love, and continues to this day.
Well, so this is a short description of our B&B where we work and live. A man’s home is his castle, so goes the maxim; for us, a man’s home is not only his castle but also his joy to share.
‘Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’
Visit our website: www.blenheim-lodge.com
Telephone: 00 44 (0)15394 43440