Thursday, 30 August 2012

Cumbria - The English Lake District

This post is dedicated to lovely Olympia who likes mountains, and who very kindly gave me the Liebster Award.
When staying in the Lake District we prefer the far Western Lakes; they are quieter, more remote, a feeling expressed by the words of Lakeland poet, William Wordsworth 'I wandered lonely as a cloud, that floats on high o'er vales and hills'.
We enjoy staying in this beautifully converted barn with a magical pathway leading to Black Combe Fell. 
The visit was brief with only a two night stay. Our thoughts immediately turned to Wasdale, reached down a long, narrow, twisting road, passing through ancient woodlands until Wasdale Head looms into sight revealing it's breathtaking scenic beauty.
The head of Wasdale sits at the foot of Scafell Pike which soars off to the right of the picture, and at 978 metres - 3,209 ft it is England's highest mountain.
The distinctive Lakeland Hardwick sheep and her black lamb. She is looking rather comical without her shaggy iron grey coat. These sheep are an integral part of the mountains in the Lakelands. They are the hardiest of British sheep, well adapted and robust enough to survive the inclement winter weather and terrain.
Mr. Ram was huge.  I have never before seen a sheep so big that it walked all around the field on it's knees!!! 
At the head of the dale is a small community with a shop, an inn, a few farmsteads, and a tiny church.
The church of St. Olaf. The roof timbers are said to have been taken from a Viking ship. Several of the graves belong to people who have sadly lost their lives climbing in the surrounding mountains.
A very small memorial light in the leaded window showing Napes Needle on Great Gable a magnet for fell walkers and rock climbers.
I regret that I cannot hand the Liebster Award on; I am far, far too fond of you all, it would be impossible for me to pick just 11 blogs. Please forgive me - 11 Questions?
1.   Which is the most boring book you've read?
      I have read two chapters of The Hare with Amber         
      Eyes by the exquisite ceramicist Edmund de 
      Waal, but I am having difficulty getting into it. 
      However, H informs me that it is a wonderful book
      so I intend to persevere.
      You can explore Edmund de Waal's site here
2.   Which movie made you cry your eyes out?
      Sometimes my eyes may become moist but I
      never cry my eyes out when watching a film.   
3.   Do you like "Friends" and if so, which character do 
      you identify with?
      I have never, ever, seen a single episode of 
4.   What do you find more relaxing, going camping or
      staying at a 5 star hotel?
      Neither - small friendly, family run hotels for me, 
      like the one above.     
5.   What is the ideal way to spend a work free day?
      Relaxing with the family.
6.   Coffee or tea?
      Both, coffee when chatting with friends, tea when 
      we have been out all day, and are then dying  
      for a cup of tea.
7.   What is the best present you have ever received?
      Could not possibly name my best present. The
      grandchildren have all made and given me so
      many wonderful things over the years. However, 
      perhaps my most exciting present is currently in 
      the pipeline, but keeps being cancelled due to 
      circumstances beyond our control!!! For this
      present everything has to be correct and in order.
      You will all know what it is eventually. 
8.   Have you ever been given a really bad haircut and 
      how did you react?
      No, I have been going to my hairdresser for years
      and she knows how I like it. 
9.   What colour is your car?
      Metallic Black.
10. When is your birthday?
      Virgo is my sign.
11. Do you use a camera or your cell-phone to take 
      Camera only - my mobile phone is very basic
      and has no camera.
first image courtesy wikipedia


  1. What a breathtaking beautiful landscape.
    I love those old stone walls in the midst of all the green meadows, always have, and hope to once really see them and touch the old stones. The village is so cute and neat and feels like stepping back into time. The little church with the old wood benches I would just have to enter if I was there. A beautiful post Rosemary! Thank you for sharing all this with us.
    Have a wonderful day,

    1. Dear Marian - the British mountains do seem to be different from those in other parts of the world. They carry lots of colour which alters within minutes. In a moment they can go from being pale blue to navy blue, some of it is to do with the sky and the cloud formations overhead, but also the heathers, ferns and rock formations.
      Thank you and glad that you enjoyed your visit.

  2. Such a beautiful part of the UK - one of my favourite :-) Your photos portray it perfectly!

    1. Dear Nat - you are right, once you have visited, it calls you back again and again.

  3. A very bleak area of the UK, but spectacular views and great photos of all the different hues and greens.
    The little cottage looks like a perfect hideaway.
    A lovely post Rosemary.
    Congratulations on the award. Very difficult.
    I too received one from dear Olympia..and last year from sweet Christa. I found it difficult to pass it on.
    I like the way you responded.

    1. Dear Val - it is remote but a very very beautiful area, and one that we love. I am glad that you enjoyed the post, thanks for all your comments.

  4. Hello Rosemary:
    The English Lakes have such dramatic beauty and you have shown them to perfection in these glorious images. Like you, we prefer to stay in smaller, family owned and run establishments when away as they always seem to be full of good advice about what to see and take great pleasure in looking after one.

    We do urge you to persevere with the 'Hare with Amber Eyes' as we thought it to be very good indeed. Congratulations on your award!

    1. I intend to take the book on my next trip, so hopefully I will get past the first two chapters. Sometimes books do not grab you straightaway and I am sure you are right about it being very good.
      We are always happy to visit the Lakes, and normally go in spring. This was just a couple of weeks ago and we had the dale almost to ourselves accompanied only by some serious walkers.

  5. "...and all at once I saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils..." Fantastic photos Rosemary. Thanks for sharing your beautiful world with us.

    1. Dear Gina - we are always happy to visit the Lake District, it is a special place that we love. We normally go in the spring when you can see a host of golden daffodils!!!

  6. Breathtaking scenic beauty, indeed! Mountains, lakes, pastoral fields, valleys....this is one of the most beautiful regions of England. The typography is definitely dramatic. Your photos captured everything beautifully.

    So wonderful to learn more about you, Rosemary! No bad haircuts? Lucky you! :)

    Cheers from DC,

    1. You sound as if you have visited the Lake District Loi, and obviously you have experienced a bad haircut, but now I am left wondering what happened!!!

    2. I used to cut my own hair, haha! Because of a bad incident, I was afraid to let others do it. Talk about bad haircuts.....that be me!

    3. Hope you have found someone you are happy with now.

  7. Hello Rosemary

    The Cumbria area is calling me. I have not been and would love roaming the mountains and hills. The stone walls remind me of my birth place Galway, Ireland. The little church is perfect and I can imagine how beautiful and intimate a service would be.
    I am reading The Hare with the Amber Eyes and am half way through. It is well written but slow moving, with so many characters.

    Helen xx

    1. Dear Helen - with your artists eye I am sure that you would love it.
      I have only been to beautiful southern Ireland once, and I do remember that they do have lovely stone walls too. I shall persist with the book, everyone is teling me to. I do love the nesukes featured in it, Edmund inherited a beautiful collection.

  8. My dear Rosemary
    I just saw your post .. First I want to thank you for the dedication and second my breath caught from the photos. Here we saying , I am speechless .... I do not know which picture to look ..... So ,fast and quickly I searched to learn about these lakes in Wikipedia (I have a big drawback ... I should know, about the geographical space) .. and I see once again the special beauty of the English country side ... I am glad that you enjoyed there and thanks for shared this with us.Breathtaking !! Excuse me , but today I take the most beautiful award from you ! These Great Photos !

    1. Dear Olympia - it was my great pleasure to present the mountains to you, and I am delighted that you enjoyed them. I am sure that you discovered that the Lake District is at the top of England in Cumbria, the last county before crossing the border into Scotland on the west side.
      I am so pleased that you enjoyed seeing the post, and thank you for your generosity and lovely comments.

    2. I am sorry .. Your photos took my mind ... I forgot to thank you for your advice for the horseshoe.. I fixed it .... Here , we don't know about this !!
      But , general I don't have luck as people mean it ... But I have my family and our health ! Those enough to me !

    3. It is just old folk law Olympia, but whether you have luck or not it is said to be better to keep the horse shoe up otherwise whatever luck there is stays there and doesn't drop out.
      You definitely have the two most important things - your family and your health.

  9. Wow what a fantastic landscape's your are showing. Must be beautiful to be there.
    I love te read I am not the only one who is involved with mobile telephone's. I still don't have one.
    Have a lovely evening Rosemary.

    1. Dear Marijke - glad that you enjoyed seeing the Lake district, it is a special place to us, and somewhere we always enjoy visiting.
      I cannot be bothered with mobile phones, I just use mine very occasionally to text if we are held up arriving somewhere.

  10. Hello Rosemary, The Lake District sure is beautiful; I especially love all the stones, the ones in the buildings and walls as well as those in natural settings. As someone who is used to a smaller and more intimate scale of nature, I am wondering if it ever seems desolate there?
    --Road to Parnassus

    1. It is never desolate to me Parnassus, but I am a mountain person. They are surroundings that I am happy to be in. I know that some people are overawed by them and find them intimidating.
      In the winter this valley must seem very remote and no doubt cut off from time to time when the snows comes. The people that live there will get a good stock of food in the freezer and lots of wood for fires to see them through.

  11. Thank you for sharing your wonderful pictures of the lake district another place we have our list of places to go. I will remember your advice of about the Western lakes I much prefer less crowds too.
    Sarah x

    1. You must go Sarah, but best to go out of season and when the schools are back.

  12. The 6th picture is fantastic.


  13. Rosemary! What can I say! This post is brilliant and exciting! I love it ALL! Oh, how I wish to walk all these mountains, to hear the sheeps bleat, smell the air and let the eyes wander over the green and the fresh water and enjoy the calm! It is all really wonderful! I will now go to bed and dream myself into this landscape! It will taste sweet... CHrista

    1. Good morning Christa and hope that you had sweet dreams. I know what you mean about the landscape, our world is simply beautiful, and you too are surrounded by beautiful mountains. If I had to choose one location to be above all others it would be mountains, I love the sea, but mountains for me, just beats it.

  14. Dear Rosemary, when you mentioned Daffodils in the Spring, it brought back wonderful memories of walking with Basil, the Welsh Stallion, harnessed to our Gypsy wagon, for 7 days through Wales. It was Springtime and Daffodils were growing in enormous drifts amongst the newly born lambs and their mothers. It was the best of the best experiences.

    1. So pleased that it brought back happy memories for you Gina - I remember you mentioned to me that you had travelled in a Gypsy wagon through Wales. Did you take any photos, why don't you do a blog on the experience?

  15. Those are beautiful photographs, and I would not have guessed that some of them were in Britain (I would have identified the 5th photo as New Zealand!). I agree with you — I'd much rather enjoy the charm of a unique small hotel like that renovated barn!

    1. We have repeated trips back to the barn because it is so beautifully renovated. The owner is a great cook, and it sits in an ideal spot.
      I have never been to New Zealand but from images I have seen, I can see what you mean. However, I think that perhaps the mountains in South Island are far more extensive and bigger than those in our Lake District.

  16. Dear Rosemary, I posted a few photographs a little while ago. You can find the post by looking for "Gypsies" under Labels.

  17. Oh my Rosemary, this is the kind of post that I love. All of your photos are really fantastic but number five is a beauty....wait no number 6, oh I can't decide. All I know is that I want to pull on a pair of good strong boots and walk those fells!
    Scafell Pikes strikes a chord with me for as a child I would take great pleasure in telling all and sundry that it was the highest mountain in England!
    Never had a bad haircut as an adult, had some questionable hair styles though.
    The barber I was sent to as a child was next to a cemetery hence his nick name "Cemetary Siz"! Most boys got a haircut called "The usual" and had a terrifying wait in a line on a long bench for Siz to cut your hair shoving your head from side to side with a poke of his finger and nicking your ears! I've never been to a Barber since!

    1. Who cuts your hair then Paul?
      I had very long hair as a child which my mother plaited everyday. She would not let me have it cut. I was longing to have a fringe, but she said 'no' they are common!!!
      What a magical place the Lakes are, we are always happy to pay them a visit. You cannot go wrong taking photographs there, the colours are just so lovely.

  18. I only steer clear of Male barbering shops, I am much more at home in a unisex salon these days. I love your 'common' fringe story, mother always knew best. At least you escaped the legendary pudding bowl!

    1. Yes, mothers were definitely in charge then!!!

  19. You are on what feels like home territory for me in the lovely post, Rosemary. DH and I spent the first 4 years of our married life in an old and dilapidated Cumbrian farmhouse on the western edge of the Lake District. Wastwater and Ennerdale Water were our closest lakes and favourite weekend destinations. Your photos brought back lots of happy memories.

    1. What a lovely spot to start your married life, and what a pleasure that this post brought back lots of happy memories for you.

  20. Dear Rosemary,
    What gorgeous photos of the glorious countryside. Enjoying being an arm chair traveler for today but hoping to go next year. I wonder how it would be in September?
    Have a happy day and come and visit...
    Best, Ruthie

    1. Dear Ruthie - these pictures were taken at the end of August last year, so as long as we have the kind of summer we are enjoying now it should be very pleasant. Then as September rolls into October, the tree colours look magnificent.


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