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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ashness Bridge and Herdwick Sheep

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

Crummock Water
Crummock Water
A Pied Wagtail and a fayrie?

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

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.

Castlerigg Stone Circle
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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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now 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. 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 🙂

  2. 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.

  3. 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 😀

  4. Thank you so much for this wonderful tour and the special treat for Siri and Selma, dear Jude! 🙂

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