Just Back From… The Lake District

I don’t know why I haven’t been back to the Lake District since I was a young girl, apart from gallivanting around the world, raising four children and not being able to afford holidays for many years. Then again, I am  not one to go back to the same place very often. Cornwall currently being the exception.

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Keswick Town Centre

So to celebrate the OH’s recent significant birthday I decided that it was time we headed north again and booked an apartment in Keswick, one of the most northern lakeside towns in the National Park. It so happened to be where I spent my last holiday with my parents, but that being over 40 years ago I wasn’t expecting to recognise anything. And I didn’t except for the Moot Hall. Wasn’t pedestrianised then though.

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The Moot Hall

The apartment turned out to be fine. Within walking distance of the town and therefore shops and pubs and restaurants and also 10 minutes walk down to the lakeside for lovely late evening strolls. And a parking space! A real bonus in this town. Stepping outside the front door the views were wonderful in every direction.

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The Churchyard Opposite

With no real plans in mind, just to take each day as it came and decide where to go and what to do, we ended up having a very relaxed week, with reasonably fine weather. Only one day with heavy rain. A few light showers. Lots of gorgeous views that blew the mind, some delightfully gentle walks around lakes and one stiff climb up a hill for a stunning view that made the effort worth while. And hearing a cuckoo for the first time in years.

Grasmere is probably Cumbria’s most popular village as it was the home of William Wordsworth (1770-1850) and the place of his burial. It attracts coachloads of visitors and walkers too as there is a fairly easy walk circumnavigating the lake. A pretty village, geared more towards the tourist market than locals, it nevertheless has a timeless charm about it.

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Houses around Grasmere

I can vouch for the gingerbread – it is delicious! There is a walk around the lake, but I’ll post that separately.

Driving through Borrowdale and over the Honiston Pass where a slate quarry provides a place to stop and exclaim at the astonishing views. You can get a slate name plate made while you wait too if you want. We need a house first though. Stopping at local pubs for lunch of  home-made pies or thick, spicy Cumberland sausage. Admiring the lovely Herdwick sheep with their black lambs.

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Ashness Bridge and Herdwick Sheep
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Borrowdale

Discovering the sheer quiet beauty of Crummock Water where I thought I caught a glimpse of a fayrie – but maybe not.

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Crummock Water
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Crummock Water
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A Pied Wagtail and a fayrie?

and Lake Coniston with the steam-driven Gondola and nearby Tarn Hows.

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Tarn Hows

Heading over to Ullswater, reached by driving over Kirkstone Pass. The ‘Struggle‘should have given the game away when we decided to turn off at Ambleside “I don’t want to go up that really narrow, windy road” says I. Too late.

And then there was the  Castlerigg Stone Circle, only a mile or so from Keswick,  with panoramic views and the mountains of Helvellyn and High Seat as a backdrop and where the light on the surrounding fells took my breath away.

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Castlerigg Stone Circle
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Castlerigg Stone Circle – View

I can see why people return here time and time again. We saw but a tiny portion of the Lake District, but enough to whet our appetite and consider another holiday there in the not too distant future.

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Heyjude

I now live back in the UK, but spent several years travelling the world and then living in South Africa. I look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

42 thoughts on “Just Back From… The Lake District”

  1. You were very lucky with the weather Jude. It isn’t called the Lake District for nothing, and that water has to come from somewhere! Some great photos, and wonderful scenery too.
    I haven’t been back since the early 90’s, and it rained every day on that trip…
    Regards as always, Pete. x

    1. We went expecting rain, with jumpers, fleeces and raincoats, but hardly required them at all! Very lucky, as you say. The scenery is spectacular.

    1. Thanks Meg. Yes the light was wonderful there, even when it was cloudy. I must admit it is a region I’d love to return to. Autumn must be amazing.

    1. Thanks Sue – I was playing around with the tilt-shift focus in Photoshop Elements, glad you think it worked.

      I told you that my lakes are not quite as impressive as YOUR lakes, but it is pretty good for England 🙂

  2. Sigh, this is the England I really really miss. It’s so incredibly beautiful and so are your photos. I could break my “never go somewhere twice” rule for this magical place! Oh and happy significant birthday to the OH 🙂

    1. Thank you Karen. I can’t believe I have neglected this place for so long (although we did nip briefly into it on the way to East Cumbria a few years ago). Nice to know I’m not the only one who likes to find new places to explore
      😀

  3. Oh, lovely, three decades since I was there. Like you, I have been gallivanting to foreign places… But, funnily enough I happened on some images my father took of Castlerigg… (Need to hunt mine out)… Perhaps I’ll post one day, along with the 1960s Stonehenge!

  4. I also haven’t been there for many decades. Looking at your photos, I can understand why my sister-in-law and her husband go for a walking holiday in the Lake District, at least twice a year. It really beautiful. 🙂

  5. I thought I recognised some tilt-shift going on in those first shots. I use the Photoshop blurs on work images, sometimes. So many gorgeous, and different, photos here, Jude! I really like the b/w stairs along the building shot.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth! Those stairs just caught my eye as we were returning to the apartment. B&W seemed a good choice for such a strong image. I don’t usually like the tilt-shift effect, but in these shots I think it was OK because I wanted to blur out the people in the scenes and concentrate on the buildings. All very much trial and error 🙂

  6. I could understand if you wanted to buy there, Jude, but it’s expensive, and it definitely rains. You can’t deny the beauty of the place though. Some parts I find quite haunting in their loveliness.
    My favourite shot is ‘Across to Derwent Isle’ 🙂

    1. Haunting – I like that Jo. It is. Breath-taking. Awesome. I doubt we’d move there as you are right, properties are too small for our budget. But I may holiday there more often. Thanks for your lovely comment.

  7. I adore The Lake District and remember visiting Grasmere when we spent a week one Easter there about 8 years ago, last time we were up there. It is a glorious place isn’t it? Your churchyard photo is glorious. Did you see a fayrie Jude? I know I would have done… 😉 Crummock Water looks absolutely gorgeous, I remember going there too but it was raining so your photos have caught the scenery just perfectly. Makes me want to go again 🙂 xx

    1. We were very lucky with the weather. Things look very different in the rain, and it’s not easy to take photos either! Even I want to go back having looked at these photos again 😀

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