For the last part of our birthdays celebrations we headed off to Ulverston, we set off about 09:30 and arrived at 11:00, so not too early a start; after parking the car near the B&B we set off to explore, one of the things we like to do when visiting a new place is find the local Tourist Information Office, unfortunately Ulverston have had theirs closed down, but luckily the Laurel and Hardy museum was trying to fill the gap and had a good range of leaflets in their foyer. After picking up what was probably far too many leaflets we went for a wander round the town calling in at the indoor market, we went to Gillam’s
Tearooms, they specialise in tea of which they have over 50 types, all of which are loose leaf. Inside the place was warm and cosy with a real fire in the upstairs room where we sat. Alison had a liquorice tea while I the house chai, to eat I had the Cumbrian Rarebit which was so cheesy it came in a dish and Alison had the creamy mushrooms on toast,
recommended by none other than Dave Myers of Hairy Bikers fame and very tasty they were too, as was the rarebit. After lunch we went to the Laurel and Hardy Museum, well it would be rude not too after all we were in the birthplace of Stan Laurel. The museum is in the main auditorium of the Roxy Cinema, as it was a cold Friday in February the place was quite, there was only one other couple in and there didn’t seem to be anybody “official” there. The museum is a little run down but there is lots of information and memorabilia and there is a mini cinema which shows Laurel and Hardy films on a loop, unfortunately it was so cold you couldn’t really sit and watch for too long. On the way out we found the attendant and paid our entrance fee (he had been sorting out some of the exhibits). From
there it was off to Cumbrian Crystal to watch the glass blowers, it was a quiet day with not a great deal happening but it was lovely and warm.
As the B&B would still not be open for another hour or so we decided to check out the gin parlor at in Virginia House where we had a couple of nice gins while we were there we also booked our evening meal.
We booked into the Rock House B&B and were show to our room which was big room with a very high ceiling there was an on-suite, tea and coffee facilities and proper coat hangers! After a cup of tea and a wash and brush up it was of the Virginia House for our evening meal. When we arrived we were show into the bar were we ordered cocktails, a Forager’s Fizz (Sloe Gin, Raspberries and Prosecco) for Alison and a Autumn Angel (Gin, Frangelico, Autumn Spices and Egg White) for me. When our table was ready we were shown into the dinning room had given the menus, after much deliberation we decided to go for The Cumbrian Way Tasting Menu, with matching wine flight, this consisted of an Amuse Bouche (a Cassoulet) and home baked bread, this was followed by Duck with scratchings, beans & shallots, the accompanying wine Chateau Corbin, Montagne St Emilion, Bordeaux (France), next Mackerel two ways tartare, ceviche, pan fried; yoghurt, peanuts, the wine, Chapel Down Bacchus (England); Pheasant “Pot au Feu”; wild mushrooms, tarragon, cabbage, bacon, roasted potatoes, thyme broth, Turi Carmenere (Chile), Goats Cheese with candied walnuts, hazelnut & juniper, wine Rioja, Vega Crianza , (Spain), Plum & Figgy Pudding steamed pudding, macerated fruits, ice cream, Tokaji 5 Puttonyos, Tokaji (Hungary), finally Chocolate Orange meringue, zest, orange, Brown Brothers Orange Muscat (Australia), each dish was served with a description as were the wines, we did quite well with the wines as nearly every time we got them it was near the end of the bottle so me had more!
In the end I had to take one for the team and help Alison out with the wine; both the food and the wines were excellent and I would recommend eating at Virginia house if you are in Ulverston.
The next day after breakfast at the B&B, we set of on a walk, it was a 12 circular walk we had picked up at the museum the day before, with it being circular you could start at any point and we decided to start in the center of Ulverston, the walk then took us up and out the back and afforded us views over the town, then into woodlands and up to the Sir John Barrow Monument the highest point of the walk, from there it was down to the Ulverston Canal which claims to be claimed to be the deepest, widest and straightest canal in the UK (there is some debate on all these points!), From the end of the canal the walk takes you along the coast passing The Bay Horse where we stopped for something warming, which confused the staff completely! Now the Bay Horse looks like a upmarket establishment, posh carpets and chairs so may be a pair of wind swept hikers dressed in boots and cagools may not be there usual clientele, but when we asked for two coffees with spiced rum in they were flummoxed, after explaining things in words of one syllable a couple of the bar staff came back with a bottle of Lambs Navy Rum and said that was all they had, oh and there was only one measure ,no more rum in the place; so I had that and Alison had brandy!
From there we carried on the cost before turning inland and making our walk back to Ulverton over fields. It was a good walk that had a little bit of everything, hill, woods coasts, even a bit of industrial landscape. After arriving back we went to Fourpence Cafe for a snack, its an interesting quirky place run by a quirky couple, but the food and drink were good and homemade and they also have homemade produce for sale, including a lemon drink which is very good with gin. From there it was back to the guest house for a bit, before going out for our evening meal.
For tea we went to the Stan Laurel Inn which is a short walk outside the center, this is an independent pub run and owned by the landlord and landlady, straight way when entering it felt warm and friendly, they had a good selection of beers including some local ones. First I tried on from the Ulverston Brewing Company and after this I went for on of there beer flights, which I asked the landlord to choose for me. To eat I had Stan’s Special Chicken (butterflied supreme, marinated in oregano, sauteed in a creamy wine and garlic sauce oozing with peppers, onions, olives and garlic sausage), Alison had Chicken Forestiere (Strips of chicken, bacon and mushrooms, sauteed in a creamy wholegrain mustard sauce) for dessert we shared three scoops of English Lakes Ice Cream. As I say it was a very nice local pub, with friendly staff.
I the morning after breakfast and checking out we made our way to Furness Abby for a bit of history and after walking round the ruins we did a short walk to Bow Bridge both of these are ancient monument looked after by English Heritage.
Then a short trip to Dalton-in-Furness, which on a cold Sunday in February was pretty much shut!