Yesterday, we booked our tickets for a one-week trip back to the UK. I can’t wait!
We’ll be staying in the same place we stayed last year – this lovely apartment in Kendal. A few months ago, the owners won ‘best holiday cottage in the world’ for this place, which makes us really lucky that Phil stumbled upon it last year.
Last year’s trip was all about testing out the waters to see if we could imagine moving back to the UK. Phil wasn’t at all sure and, while I was keen, I was very open to the idea that the reality might not match my memories.
We were originally planning to stay in West Yorkshire as I had identified Hebden Bridge as a place we might enjoy living. But being from Manchester, Phil has a natural aversion to the word ‘Yorkshire’ and one day he told me he had found a place online that he wanted me to check out. Honestly I was so happy that he was going to make the trip that I was more than willing to go along with wherever he wanted to stay, so we booked a week in the flat.
I think that might have been the best and most fateful spur of the moment decision we’ve ever made because we both fell in love with Kendal. I had looked at it on Google Streetview and thought it looked OK. Nothing special but nice enough. But you can’t really get a feel for a place on Streetview. As soon as we arrived, and drove down the hill into town, I knew it was a special place. I’m really not sure whether we’d be heading home for good if we hadn’t picked Kendal for our trip back. They call Kendal the ‘Auld Grey Town’ which makes it sound really dull but is really because of the color of the local stone. I love so many things about the town.
There are the quaint old ‘yards’ that run off every street in the center.
There’s the farmer’s market.
There are cobbled streets crammed with interesting little shops.
Photo by LindaH
There’s the river running through town.
Photo by foshie
There’s a buzzing arts scene.
Photo by Nicholas Smale
There are world-class restaurants.
There are direct trains to Manchester and London.
And 5 miles one way there’s the awesome majesty of the Lake District.
And 5 miles the other way are the rolling green hills of the Yorkshire Dales.
While none of our friends and family live in Kendal, they’re all dotted around at about equal distances, which makes it a great place for us to see as many people as we can.
And then there’s the apartment we’ll be staying in. This place is just wonderful. It overlooks the river and has a balcony where you can sit and watch the water flow by. It’s beautifully furnished and equipped with everything you could possibly need for a comfortable stay. The beds are to die for and the kitchen is far nicer than mine! And it’s less than 5 minutes walk right into the heart of town.
This photo is one we snapped of the living room. There are lots more lovely photos on their website at kendalcottages.com.
Better go and get out my maps and notebooks so I can start making plans. (Can you tell I’m excited?)