Howtown under Lockdown
Spring Diary 2020
Fusedale with the bracken just beginning to show

These unprecedented times have led to a Spring diary of a different sort and as with the rest of the country, the last few weeks have seen strange times here at Howtown. We are pleased to report that Howtown, Martindale and the surrounding valleys are keeping well and our community have witnessed a breath-taking Spring, with the lake so still and an air of quiet calm around the fells - certainly unusual times!

Mrs Baldry is staying safe but of course routines have changed and are far more relaxed than we would normally experience at this time of year. Although missing the chat and companionship of visitors, the lockdown had given Mrs B the opportunity to take a rather more relaxed breakfast than would normally be enjoyed during the beginning of the season. The length of the breakfast is in line with what is in the news. Sitting in the dining room looking out over the gardens onto Hallin beyond and accompanied by the birdsong which is clearer than ever, Mrs B devours the papers with David confident that not a page is left unread!

Along with this perfect Spring the garden has bloomed under the clear blue skies, and the rhododendron, azaleas and clematis display an abundance of flowers. After a very hard prune the lilac has come back better than ever with the fragrance washing over the car park. Although early morning frosts continue and we are still being cautious, the lawn is undergoing a bit of maintenance and beginning to look better already.

During the storms of last winter, the Magnolia standing at the entrance to the hotel and which has been the first welcome to Howtown for so many over the years was split completely down the middle. Always magnificent at this time of year we now have just half the tree in bloom and a bit of first aid is certainly needed.

With the absence of guests a family of 7 hedgehogs have settled in the gardens, happily making Howtown their home. The fields are filled with thriving lambs as the weather has made for an almost perfect lambing season (although you’d never hear a farmer saying that!!)

Pooley Bridge itself has been making the news both locally and nationally. It is amazing to think it is nearly 4 ½ years since the old Bridge was destroyed in the wake of Storm Desmond but on the 7th May with the help of one of the largest cranes in the country, which could be seen as far away as from the golf course in Penrith, the new bridge was finally lifted into place. The perfect weather has meant that the river has been low and work able to continue with the bridge due to open in approximately six weeks.

So, for now our news is complete, we just wanted to communicate with you all and share the last few months here at Howtown. As always we look forward to welcoming friends old and new back to our idyllic corner of Ullswater when the time is right. For the moment though the most important message is to stay safe and that is what we wish for all.