Midsummer Shows


2009 has been a very busy year for Sally’s Cottages. A new website, a new office, lots of new cottages, a new house – and a new garden. We’re blessed with mature trees and a bit of space, but oh, my gardening skills aren’t what they might be. Good job the Cumbria Life Garden Festival is on at Dalemain House, near Ullswater, this weekend; I think it may come to the rescue.

I hear that Marcus Wright, a woodland specialist, is going to be talking about native trees. I especially like the fact that he is keen on conservation and encouraging wildlife in and around the garden. There’s a ‘show and tell’ from Shelagh Todd, Cumbria Uni’s flower expert and tips on creating a ‘Cumbrian Cottage Garden’ from Tom Attwood. There’s also a demonstration of ‘vintage-style’ flower arrangements. I see that John Crouch, the famous local chef, has invented some recipes for ‘Eating your Weeds’, which beats composting as a way of recycling the less desirable bits of the garden!

Find cottages in the Lake District near these events.

The Cumbria Life Garden Festival has a great reputation. As well as all the demos, there are displays and stands from all sorts of specialist nurseries and Dalemain House itself has a gorgeous rose garden. The kids don’t miss out, either – ‘Magical Mel’ enchants all ages with fairy stories, games and crafts.

The show is on for just one day, 21st June, from 10am-5pm. Dalemain House is three miles outside Penrith on the A592 at Ullswater (turn off at the Rheged junction on the A66).

If we have time, we may pop over to Hutton-in-the-Forest, a castle-cum-stately-home a couple of miles north of Penrith. They are hosting the Lakeland Historic Vehicle Show, again for just one day, the 21st June.They plan to have hundreds of vehicles on display from old Rollers and Aston Martins to mini steam engines and vintage tractors. It’s the show’s seventh year, and, as you can imagine, the visitor car park is almost as interesting as the show itself – this is event of the year for classic car enthusiasts for miles around.

The grounds of Hutton-in-the-Forest are perfect for a picnic, although they have tea rooms as well. The castle itself is fabulous, with castellated towers, rattling chains and clanking suits of armour. Perfect for small boys of all ages! Hutton-in-the-Forest is on the B5305, a minor road off the M6 and A6, north of Penrith.

See our Review of the Lake District Shows.