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A hunch about Richard III

A hunch about Richatd III and the Lake District … the Dockray Hall  pub doorways are built this small to accommodate his stoop.

I know, the Shakespearean baddie and royal gargoyle is associated more with the Tower of London and a Leicester car park than Penrith in the north.

But Tricky Dicky was here!

Tricky Dicky was the Sheriff of Cumberland, his role to keep the revolting neighbouring Scots at bay.

Richard was here

Stooping to conquer: Richard IiI

Richard is said to have lived at Penrith Castle for spells between 1471 and 1485.

Except for a period when building work was being done and he kipped in Dockray Hall.

And who could blame him?

Dockray Hall was a sensible choice… a 307-yard tunnel from the castle which his grandfather built.

While we instead opted for the front door!

Fit for a Plantagenet

Richard was here: Dockray Hall

Dockray Hall offers banquet-sized meals in old-style ambience with wooden panelling which wouldn’t have gone amiss in Richard’s day.

And our man Richard still has a room in Dockray Hall, the Gloucester Hotel, and we hope it’s well-cushioned for that famous hump.

While in another nod to the Plantagenets dynasty (Richard was the last) the family plant, the planta genista or broom plant, grows in the hotel garden…

Every day is a War of the Roses schoolday.

We sup up our Loweswater Gold draught ale and wine and stroll along the road.

Lounging around

Lounge people: In Penrith

We have booked a room in our way back from Liverpool to breathe in one of our favourite regions in England.

The Lake District, which enchanted William Wordsworth, John Ruskin and Beatrix Potter among others.

Our billet is The Lounge Hotel, a snip at £79 a night, with the type of plumped-up beds fit for a kong or queen.

Today’s goblets are filled for the modern sweeter palate with Hello Sailor and Aperol Spritz cocktails

Penrith home base

Where’s that wall? At Hadrian’s Wall

The beautiful olde worlde shopfronted Penrith is an ideal base for the Lakes.

There are 16 with Ullswater the closest to Penrith which is also served by train

The Lakes have transfixed everybody from the Romans through the Plantagenets and the Romantic poets to today’s motorbike packs who throng the roads.

Alas we are on an overnight stay and can only dip our toes in the lakes and their wooded walks.

We must return from whence we came, Scotland, stopping only to take in Hadrian’s Wall.

Legend has it that it was designed as a military outpost from which to invade Scotland.

Or just as likely the hairy hordes coming from the north… these days they come on motorbikes.

And so to sum up, a hunch about Richard III and the Lake District was borne out and the only hump I have is that we had to leave.


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