Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Lake District - Keswick

On the first weekend in August, we took off for another holiday. This time to the Lake District and Northumberland - in the North-West and North-East of England. 

The Lake District is probably the most picturesque part of England, and features many mountains (here, known mostly as 'fells'), lakes, and forests. The area has been popular for a long time, particularly with poets, and at the end of the 1800s, numerous well-known poets such as William Wordsworth lived in the Lake District, taking inspiration from the beautiful landscape. 

Much like Bath, the Lake District was a particular favourite of the Georgians, and it became the next best thing to taking the Grand Tour. As a result of the Napoleonic Wars and other conflicts in Europe, travel to the Continent was restricted, so tourism increasingly turned to the Lakes. Today, the area is still popular and has around 12 million visitors each year. I suspect most of this 12 million were there when we visited, but we did manage to avoid the crowds by staying away from the two biggest towns of Ambleside and Windermere. 

Once we got close to Keswick, the base for our visit, we came across Castlerigg, an ancient stone circle dating to around 3200 BC. Yes, that's right, a Neolithic/Bronze-Age meeting place or ceremonial site. Don't get many of those in New Zealand now, do ye?

The Neolithic circle. Note the people just lounging around on the 5,000 year old stones...
Britain is so cool!!!

After leaving Castlerigg, we made our way to Keswick and established ourselves at our B&B. This was the view from the window, plus friendly local jackdaw (which totally made me think of the Famous Five, as they always seemed to encounter jackdaws). 
Looking almost due-East from our window.
Look at those houses and slate roofs!
Our friend, Jacky.
We then had pizza by Derwentwater, the lake beside Keswick, and the following night we took an evening cruise there (Hence the differing levels of sunlight in the pictures!).

The bigger of the two islands (the one on the right) is the island that Owl lived on, and the one to which Squirrel Nutkin and his fellow squirrels paddled out!!
(Fangirl squee! I looked very hard, and was pretty sure I saw at least one little red squirrel on its little bark raft)
What a great place! And as I said to Adam many times, I can see why Elizabeth Bennet was so disappointed not to get there with her Aunt and Uncle. Stay tuned, as more stunning pictures of the Lake District will feature in our next post!


  1. Lovely I really should visit there, the Swallows & Amazons series was always a favorite.

  2. Yes, definitely put it on your list, Chad. It really is such a beautiful place! (Adam explained your Swallows & Amazons reference :) )