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      03.06.2001 00:04



      When living in Wimbledon as a child, my Father loved to take us on holiday to the Eden Valley (when not back to his beloved Kinnaty in Co. Offaly in Ireland – bit of a clue to the name if you know your Saints Rebekah!) and all the little villages surrounding places like Carlisle and Penrith. Lazonby, a small village, was always one of his favourite places, as it was (and still is) one of mine. **In Brief** There isn’t really much that I can write under this section, except to say that in my dictionary of English place names, it says that the name “Lazonby” originates from “Leysing’s By”, which was a home of a Freed man’s farm, who was likely to be a Viking. As I’ve already mentioned, Lazonby is in the Eden Valley in Cumbria, it’s very close to the City Of Carlisle, and it’s about eight miles from the Town of Penrith. **Places To Stay** There aren’t really that many places to stay in Lazonby itself, although there is a Camping Site, a few Pubs that are also Hotels, and like most villages like Lazonby it has one or two holiday cottages available for renting. The campsite is run by the local swimming pool. It isn’t all that big, with only a few lots, but it’s nice enough, and the spots are mainly rented by families (in my experience anyway), and there’s hardly any trouble. The nicest thing about the site though, is that it’s right next to the River Eden, and great for strolls along the River bank, and even, as I remember my Father doing, chilling wine, if you tie a bottle to a nearby tree (works just as well as a fridge!) **Transport** Being a small village, you wouldn’t expect Lazonby to be a massive Transport centre. Lazonby has a railway station “Lazonby And Kirkoswald Station”, which is on the famous Settle to Carlisle Line. I’m not to sure about services such as buses, but I
      have a slight feeling that there are a few that run between the villages. **Shopping** Obviously, there isn’t anything like a super shopping arcade in Lazonby, so if you’re expecting anything like that, or your ideal holiday is to spend as much money as possible on clothes, wine etc etc, and leave with bags 10 times as heavy as they were when you came, then Lazonby isn’t really the place for you. Lazonby does have a few shops that you would expect to be in an English Village, a newsagent, a bakery and a post office. If you do though want to go on a shopping spree, or at least buy a bit more than a ‘paper, bread and some stamps, then you can either travel to Penrith, which as well as the usual town centre, Woolworths/ WH Smith type shop, has a rather large Safeways. Otherwise, there’s Carlisle, which has a bit more variety, along with lots of Touristy type things. **Things To Do** OK, I’ll be honest. There’s not a lot to do in Lazonby itself, and you’ll probably have to travel to the neighbouring towns and cities. As I’ve already mentioned though, there’s a swimming pool (open-aired – beware of the dead flies floating about!), which despite it’s grotty changing rooms and smelly toilets, it has a little snack bar, and playing fields that back on to the local C of E primary school, it’s alright. There are lots of walks you can go on, should you get bored of the pool (very likely), such as to the close by village of Kirkoswald (known to locals as K’O). There are also some longer walks that you can go on, such as to the Standing Stones of Long Meg and her Daughters. The story goes that Meg, was a witch, and was turned to stone along with her nine daughters (I think they all do have names, but I can’t quite remember them all!) Apparently, if you touch any of the stones on a certain time on Midsummer’s night eve (
      I haven’t actually tried so can’t honestly say if it’s true – lol) you yourself will be turned to stone! (I’m not scared – honest!) In places like Carlisle, if you get fed up of the swimming pool and walking, or if you’re just interested, then there are some museums, such as the Tulley House Museum, which is great, and I’m sure children will enjoy as there’s quite a lot of “Hands On” things to do there. There’s also a castle, which is quite interesting. **Eating Out** I would have to say, that if you were camping, I suspect you would be likely to be eating food cooked on a little gas stove. However, if you do get a bit fed up of baked beans, cold sausages (Veggie for me please!) for breakfast, and Ambrosia creamed rice, then I would recommend that you visited the Pub, “The Carpenter’s Arms”. It’s nice and friendly, and caters for all ages. It’s usually filled with a mixture of locals and visitors to the area, so that you won’t fell lost or that you are being treated badly for being a “tourist”. It also has a lovely little beer garden around the back. If you’re thinking of a proper restaurant meal, or even a bag of fish and chips, then I’m afraid you’re going to have to once again go to a nearby town or city. And well, if you can’t be bothered to do that, then I’m afraid you’ll just have to go back to your campsite food! **Churches** There are quite a few churches in the surrounding villages and towns of Lazonby. In my opinion, the best being The Church of Saint Oswald which is in K’O. I think, that the church was built (and village founded) after St. Oswald fled Northumberland. The Church also has a well, which you are supposed to drink from to cure your illnesses (although I’m not actually to sure you should drink from, because a few years ago t
      here was some sort of oil/petrol spillage at the bottom of it!) The Carlisle Cathedral, is pretty ermm, big, and quite nice. Though I personally feel that it is very touristy, and not as nice as the smaller churches in the area. **To Conclude** Well, I’ll have to say that Lazonby’s a lovely little village, which you’ll enjoy if you don’t particularly like the big holiday tourist packed resorts or centres such as Butlins. There won’t really be much to do if you have children with you over the age of about eleven or twelve, who can’t be bothered to do the walking type stuff, which really is one of the main attractions of Cumbria. It’s easier to go with younger children (which I think my Father realised with me and my brothers) because on the whole they’re a lot easier to entertain. The best time to go to Lazonby or the area, would be in July/August time, mainly because the weather’s generally better then, and those who know will agree that it’s awful camping/walking in the rain. I don’t think that I’ll ever want to live in Lazonby, because it’s a bit too remote for all year round, but it’s great for a short holiday or a weekend break! noodle.gorillaz2001©


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