Monday, May 17, 2010

Woolfest 2010

I've been able to get an option for a limited time period on two more rooms for each stop throughout our trip to Italy. Have a look at my website: I'm working on two different itineraries for 2011, and the Italian Idyll Tour will most likely not be offered next year, so don't miss out! You can email me at: or phone me at: 613-695-0889. I'd be pleased to answer any questions you have.

One of the stalls I visited at Wonderwool Wales last month was hosted by the Wool Clip from Cumbria. Those who travelled on a former tour to Yorkshire, Cumbria and Wales will recall our visit to the tiny village of Caldbeck. (In fact, the woman I chatted with at Wonderwool even remembered the visit of our group--probably because of the prodigious shoppers!)

Initially, I learned of the Wool Clip cooperative in an email from one of the members, Christine Crofts. She said that she'd noticed my website and read about our textile-themed tours, and although the timing may not work out to take in Woolfest (which takes place yearly on the last weekend of June), perhaps we would like to visit them at the Wool Clip.

The more I learned about their endeavour, the more convinced I was that I should include it in an itinerary. Consequently, the next year, saw us following a narrow road in the Cumbrian dales to our destination. (Coach drivers frequently tell me that I include routes where they have never travelled before, in fact, didn't even know existed!) Chris met us and briefly told the group how their cooperative was started--which was initially out of necessity due to the result of the devastation of the foot and mouth epidemic in the area. They have worked very hard to make this a very place interesting to visit, but also is a significant attraction in the entire area. The home of the Wool Clip is in a former water mill called Priest's Mill. The members have a wide variety of products--knitting yarn, rugs, handweaving--for sale, plus offer textile workshops and a catalogue and mail order service. There is also a small restaurant called the Watermill Cafe, serving delicious, homemade meals next door.

Woolfest takes place in nearby Cockermouth (also the site of the boyhood home of William Wordsworth.) There is just way too much information in both these websites for me to touch on the many highpoints. I know you'll find them an interesting read.

While we were in Caldbeck, there was a sign that the cemetery in the church yard was the burial place of John Peel. The Canadians in our group immediately started singing, "D'ye Ken John Peel" and when the Americans asked us what he was known for, none of us could say! I've since looked up a website which gives his history.

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