When I mention the English Lake District, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? If you’re British and have been there, my bet is that you would associate it with rain . After all, it s not called The Lakes for nothing!
However, if you’ve never been there and have only heard of it as a tourist attraction, you’d probably be linking it with wonderful lakes with sailing boats, William Wordsworth, the famous English poet and other Romantic poets known as Lake Poets, whom were known to be inspired by its amazing natural beauty and mystic surroundings. You’re absolutely right in your assumption.
It was precisely that romantic notion that pulled me there when I first visited Windermere many years ago, en- route from Scotland to the English capital. Two decades have passed but I remember it vividly, me getting off at the train station, with a small black umbrella which was blown out of shape by the strong wind and the incessant rain which poured down from the moment I arrived until I left. My compulsive picture-taking impulse was greatly discouraged by the grey sky above and dark, menacing waters below. Being an English literature graduate and a fan of Romantic poetry of the 19the century, I did pay homage at the Wordsworth house which was a black and white period residence situated near Windermere, the larger of the “Meres” in the South Lakes. I might have even taken a picture of the Swan pub which Wordsworth once frequented, but the yellow daffodils looked a tad withered in the wet and damp conditions. Sadly I cut short my visit without feeling inspired, and wondered whether or not I would ever return.
Return, I did, on a number of occasions, usually stopping by for a brief visit en-route to somewhere as it is on the main route between England and Scotland. I even attempted camping once, but as I mentioned earlier, the permanent feature of rain in this part of England did make sure that it was abandoned very quickly.
Last weekend, I was there again, and this time it was a three-night stay, as my husband and I were honoured guests at a wedding which was to take place in a small village Witherslack. Better weather hopefully? You bet. To everyone’s surprise and delight, we had sunshine and no downpour! Consequently, we enjoyed a lovely service in the small village church, took numerous fabulous pictures, were treated with a Champagne reception in the Marquee tent and danced the night away with Jazz bands and a Scottish Ceilidh band, working off the excessive but excellent festive food.
To top it off, we stayed in a Sawrey House Hotel (John’s review on Trip Adviser) in the village of Near Sawrey, right next to Hill Top Farmhouse, where Beatrix Potter used to live and write her famous children’s stories. When I looked out of our window, overlooking a manicured lawn with a number of rabbits wondering about, and the lake view in the distance, I did feel inspired, enough to write this blog post on return.
I hope you enjoy the pictures – I have made another short video, so please indulge yourself with more fab views of this English gem, the marvellous, mysterious and utterly stunning Lake District.
England’s Lake District – A Wonderful Retreat