Cumbria, England: Appleby


On the Friday evening that I was supposed to depart for my homestay, I was conflicted. To go or not to go? I had a midterm exam that I had to study for but I had not even completed all of the required readings. I feared that I would be unable to study during my homestay. Also, I was worried that I would not be ready for the exam. Another worry was that the other students on the homestay would be distant and unfriendly. My flatmates helped talk me out of my rescheduling my homestay and in retrospect, I am glad that I went.

We set out on Friday evening and arrived in Cumbria around 8:30 pm. We were picked up by our homestay parents and drove about 20 minutes to their house. At that point, we were all hungry and extremely tired. Luckily, we were fed immediately. We got to know our homestay parents and had a nice conversation. I got to know other students and my fears that they would be unfriendly was abated. They fed us Stilton blue cheese and oatcakes for dessert and we all loved it. Then, we spent the night playing a geography game.

The following morning, we were taken to the village of Appleby and shown around. Then, the highlight of the outing that day: Pendragon castle.


Pendragon castle.
Pendragon castle.

We looked around the castle and our homestay parent told us the myth surrounding Uther Pendragon and how his son, Arthur was conceived. I was glad to have seen such a spectacular historical sight.

That evening, we got to help out on their farm. They had sheep and a few chickens. It was my first time on a farm and I was excited to help out. The following day, which was our last day with them, we were shown around the farm. We learned more about what they did.

Outskirts of the farm.

Finally, it was time to leave. The last stop before bidding farewell was a visit to Morrison’s. They had gotten us hooked on the Stilton cheese and some of us wanted to buy it. I am glad that I can say that I enjoyed my homestay despite my initial hesitation.