I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane

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?)

12 thoughts on “I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane

      • Ahh, yes, well there was that little hiccup, we missed Quebec as well. When we got there both myself and dad decided there wasn’t much to Quebec, we were surprised and a bit dissapointed by it. Until we rang you and it turned out we were in a small town approx 5 miles outside Quebec!
        But on the plus side we did find an amazing Sugar farm with a restaurant in the middle of Octoberfest, that was cool!

  1. No wonder you’re excited, it looks like such a special place! Like a fantasy of what I’d picture a village in England would look like though. You’d better stop posting photos like this or you really are going to have a visitor if I win the lottery!

  2. Thank you for posting about Kendal and, in particular, all the kind words about our apartment, Louise! We’re so lucky to live here too… just on the edge of town so we have views of the countryside but town is a stone’s throw away. We went to the Brewery Arts Centre the other week and saw Gervase Phinn, once a school inspector and now a public speaker doing the rounds (you might have read some of his books… in fact, one of them is in the apartment, I think!!!). They have some great events on there and, for such a small venue, do well to attract some of the bigger names occasionally.

    If I recall correctly, your visit this time co-incides with Mintfest. If I’ve got that right, I’m sure you’ll love that event. We took in quite a bit of it last year, and it’s great fun for all ages. Anyway, I’m glad your excited about the trip and hope it lives up to last time!

    • You’re right about Mintfest and I’m really looking forward to it (now I know that it doesn’t mean we have to eat Kendal mintcake for days! I love it but my waistline can do without it)

  3. The town is so charming and the apartment is absolutely beautiful. I must ask you about those combination washer/dryers that seem to be so common in Europe (at least from what I’ve seen on House Hunter’s International), how do they work? I can’t get my brain around the concept and I don’t understand why they aren’t used here in the U.S.

  4. Donna, they’re mainly for space reasons. Lots of English homes are smaller and don’t have a utility room, so the washing machine has to reside in the kitchen like the dishwasher (British homes don’t have basements either as a rule). Hence the combined washer/dryer. Utility rooms seem to be becoming more common now and in some homes, I’ve seen separate washers and dryers as we have here, but it’s definitely not the norm.

    As to how they work … beats me!

    • We had our washing machine in the kitchen when I was a child, however, the dryer was the clothesline that extended from the kitchen window to a telephone pole in the backyard…what fun that was in the middle of winter! Good times and frozen fingers, heh!

  5. Lovely lovely lovely. And there’s Kendal mint cake, of course.

    But I think Phil needs to get over his antipathy to the word Yorkshire. It’s a lovely place too, and as you say, you’re not far from the Dales in Kendal.

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