If you didn’t just sing that title then who are you and go and check out the band Blur here before you read on. Done that? Right OK.
My Grandma turned 85 at the end of Dec last year and to celebrate she wanted to take the whole family away for the weekend and in a large country house – you the kind you would buy if you were mega rich.
So that is exactly what we did the other weekend. All 17 of us ranging from a toddler to my 85 year old Grandma took over Oakdene Country house in Sedbergh for the weekend.
Sedbergh itself, sits just within the boundaries of the Yorkshire Dales National Park despite it being a civil parish of Cumbria and is located about 10 miles East of Kendal and 10 miles North of Kirkby Lonsdale. This small, sleepy, rural town is comes complete with its own boarding school (founded way back in 1525!), picturesque church and quirky shops and tearooms making you feel like you have just wandered onto a Downton Abbey-esque TV series set.
The town is surrounded by farmland primarily used for farming sheep and at this time of year you can see all the new lambs out and about too! There are plenty of walks and not all them involve climbing the many nearby by fells. In fact we chose a circular route that took us along the river and across several farms, including one field that had a couple of inquisitive looking Emus. One of which was guarding the gate to the field forcing us to find an alternative route involving climbing a fence. Another group of walkers coming from the opposite direction then appeared and marched straight past the Emus with any fuss and probably very amused by our actions. However, I’ve seen people be chased by those things and I wasn’t in the mood for that kind of drama!
We stayed at Oakdene Country House, an 11 bedroom house just outside of the main town. The House has an air about it that almost lets you peek into the world of the ‘haves’ and allows you feel what it could be like to actually have a country house of your own with its classic decor and solid wood furnishings (including one of the bathrooms!). It has been used as a B&B in the past but is now rented out as a whole but consequently the kitchen wants for nothing. There is a draw each for knives, forks and spoons! There are 2 large sitting rooms with coal and wood burning fires and a large dining room with the biggest table that I have ever seen! The basement has been converted into a games room complete with a full sized snooker table, darts board and table football and the views from all the windows are just unbelievable.
I’m lucky that I have quite a close family and that whenever we get together it usually results in a good time and this weekend was no exception. While we split up during the day on the Saturday either exploring Kendal or Sedbergh we all reunited in the evening for a curry from the local takeaway (which by the way I recommend) and just a general chilled out evening with the 3 youngest (10, 5 and nearly 2) providing some entertainment as only they can. On Sunday we went to a local open farm, Holme farm (I will leave that for another post) and for Sunday Dinner at Sedbergh golf club which was delicious and well worth a visit.
I’d never really heard of Sedbergh before we hired out the house but it is a perfect alternative to the tourist heavy towns of its nearby neighbours of the Lake District. Here you have the freedom to wile away the hours in this quiet, leafy town, walk it’s fells and fields or even venture further out towards the Lake District or even go deeper into the Dales. I would definitely return to both the town and the house we stayed in for a few more little countryside adventures.
Until next time keep adventuring!