The Lake District (UK), Part 1

No, I haven’t had a chance to visit England’s Lake District yet, but my daughter, who’s revisiting Scotland for a while, made a recent trip to the famous land of fells and lakes and waterfalls and sent some photos and information that I thought might be of interest to the readers of Rivertop Rambles. This post is the first of a two-part series on the Lake District based on reflections and photos from our guide, Alyssa Franklin.

The Lake District is a mountainous region of northwestern England, a place of scenic beauty and significant human history. For many years I’ve found the district fascinating for its literary contributions, especially from William Wordsworth and the “Lake Poets.” Much of the area lies within the Lake District National Park, containing the county of Cambria and all of England’s territory rising above 3,000 feet in altitude.

Renowned for its impressive natural features and historical value, the Lake District National Park is roughly 32 miles east-west and 40 miles north-south. Whereas rocky fells (mountains) dominate the northern most areas, moors and bogs are found at lower altitudes in the central and southerly portions of the district. Orrest Head

The complex geology and the varied ecological aspects of the Lake District have been modified by many centuries of human use. Whereas only a handful of major settlements will be found in the National Park, the touch of human history and modern-day living is never far from view.

Dippers, peregrine falcons, ravens, and even a golden eagle may be seen flying over the lake country. The iconic red squirrel lives among the forest edges. Arctic char inhabit the coldest lakes.

Windermere from a hilltop at dawn

Windermere from a hilltop at dawn

The district has been the home of famous writers such as William Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge, Beatrix Potter, and Norman Nicholson. Renowned villages such as Keswick, Ambleside, Windermere, and Grasmere dot the region and lure the tourist tide interested in fine restaurants, microbreweries, castles, and museums.

Small roads and hiking trails connect the many points of fascination in this region where dreams and everyday pursuits stroll hand in hand.

valley fog

valley fog

Keswick

Keswick

heath and falls

heath and falls

Honister Pass

Honister Pass

falls with bridge

falls with bridge

gingerbread house

gingerbread house

field and mountains

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Castlerigg Stone Circle

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About rivertoprambles

Welcome to Rivertop Rambles. This is my blog about the headwaters country-far afield or close to home. I've been a fly-fisher, birder, and naturalist for most of my adult life. I've also written poetry and natural history books for thirty years. In Rambles I will mostly reflect on the backcountry of my Allegheny foothills in the northern tier of Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York State. Sometimes I'll write about the wilderness in distant states, or of the wild places in the human soul. Other times I'll just reflect on the domestic life outdoors. In any case, I hope you enjoy. Let's ramble!
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6 Responses to The Lake District (UK), Part 1

  1. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful pictures of a, I think, largely ignored part of England. I’d guess that the vestiges of Britain’s Celtic culture, Scotland and Wales notwithstanding, can be found in the north and western parts of the island. I was unaware of the Lake District’s literary heritage. Cool stuff!

    • Thanks for reading and the comment, A. I would say that the Lake District represents England’s finest vestige of wild nature and ancient human culture. Prior to my daughter’s visit and her reflections here, I knew a little of that, but mostly through my readings of the great Romantic poets and other writers. And I think you are correct in saying that, for better or worse, the district remains “largely ignored,” except by tourists.

  2. Bob Stanton says:

    Oops! Don’t know why that posted as anonymous.

  3. I can’t imagine trying to absorb that much natural beauty and history. Your daughter is an excellent virtual tour guide.

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