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.
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.
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.