1989 3. Great Britain - Lake District <)))

t89c -

0335-30 - Broomhill Bed and Breakfast.
Heading south from Scotland toward the Lake District, we take a stab at the map. The town of Windermere seems central and we let the local tourist information office set us up with accommodation at a bed and breakfast place called Broomhill. The proprietors, Mr. and Mrs. Potter, welcome us into their home.

0335-18 - Down the garden path.
Our room overlooks Lake Windermere. Beneath the window is a wild growth of rhododendrons and way down at the foot of the garden stands a sundial with a gate in the hedge behind it. Is this a message from the Great Travel Agent in the Sky? Tempus Fugit, perhaps, or, Gather ye Flowers While ye May.

0335-13 - Queen Adelaide's Hill.
We hurry off to get in some walking. Queen Adelaide's Hill beside the lake offers no real challenge, but provides a fine view to orient us to our new surroundings.

0335-16 - Beech tree

0335-16 - Beech tree
The path into town leads past this huge beech tree. Taking advantage of the hot weather near the end of May, people are swimming in the lake, but we've not thought to bring bathing suits.

0335-17 - The view from Broomhill.
Back at Broomhill, we lie in bed sipping Scotch whiskey and watching the sun go down over the balcony. The lady at the travel office was quite correct. This is a beautiful room. We may never want to leave.

0335-21 - Waterhead.
Next day we take a boat at Bowness on Lake Windermere and travel to the north end of the lake at Waterhead.

0335-22 - Bus view, Ambleside.
From the top of a swaying double-decker tour bus, the streets of Ambleside look even more winding and narrow than they really are.

0335-23 - Grasmere.
Grasmere is a likely spot for a short excursion from Windermere. The town is full of boutiques, eateries and picturesque houses.

0335-24 - Dove Cottage.
Dove Cottage, Wordworth's residence from 1799 to 1808, is located in Grasmere and worth a visit. It has an arbour and garden seat in the back yard. Compare to Woodside.

0335-26 - Above Grasmere.
After our pilgrimmage to the stamping ground of Romantic poetry's patron saint, we walk up into the hills behind Grasmere. Actually, the image of Wordsworth "stamping" doesn't seem to fit, but "tramping" probably does. The poet did a lot of walking.

0335-27 - Alcock Tarn.
Our destination is Alcock Tarn, an unpreposessing body of water, mainly frequented by sheep. The tarn was certainly known to Wordworth, being almost directly behind his house.

0335-29 - Green Head Gill

0335-29 - Green Head Gill
The pathway down skirts Green Head Gill. I believe Wordworth mentioned it in a poem.

0335-31 - St. Somebody-in-the-Fields.
Another day, we take the ferry across to the west side of Lake Windermere and walk by public pathways through the fields toward the village of Sawrey. This must be Saint Somebody-in-the-Fields.

0335-33 - Sawrey.
!The outskirts of the village of Near Sawrey.

0335-36 - Hilltop Farm.
Hilltop farm, one of Beatrix Potter's residences is in the village.

b-potter - A. Wainwright: Hilltop (farm), Sawrey
These from A. Wainwright; A Lakeland Sketchbook. Borrowed from Dian Hinman, Arts Place.

0335-34 - Mr. McGregor's garden.
Was this the garden where Mr. McGregor nearly caught Peter Rabbit?

0335-35 -
And was that the gate he was almost too fat to squeeze under and escape?

0335-38 - Stile, public right-of-way.
Heading back to Lake Windermere, we decide to walk cross-country via public laneways. Public rights-of-way across private land are a wonderful English institution. For the urban hiker, they create a sense of actually having a right to be in the rural countryside, as opposed to being a mere spectator, nose pressed to some vehicle window.

0336-01 -
Bracken ferns are just coming out.

0336-02 - Lake Windermere.
We break out of the woods overlooking Lake Windermere in the east with the towns of Bowness and Windermere in the background.

0336-05 - Lake Windermere.
A steam yacht cruises serenely over the waters. Looks like it has passengers on board. We begin wondering if there's any way to get a ride and experience this outmoded form of transportation.

0336-07 - Bowness.
Cows graze in the public park between the ferry dock and the centre of Bowness. It seems a little odd at first, but then, what could be more reasonable? The cows mow the grass, fertilize the soil, bring in revenue, and add visual interest.

0336-08 - Bowness.
The Bowness-Windermere business district is a good place to find a meal. We eat in a different restaurant each evening.


1989-06 The Lake District, Helvellyn{#1}

0336-09 - Picturesque rural property.
Determined to do at least one significant hike while in the Lake District, we start out to have a go at Helvellyn, one of the district's higher peaks. This cottage is located close to the beginning of our route and near a convenient bus stop. (Incidentally, the British prefer to call their hikes, "rambles".)

0336-10 -
!Through green paddocks and on up toward rougher pastures on the flanks of the mountain.

0336-11 - Sheep folds.
The sheep folds are located at the top of the fenced paddocks and just below the open moorlands and high ridges.

0336-12a - Tongue Gill.
Our path leads up Tongue Gill and continues toward that dip on the left horizon. At first we're under the impression this is the major part of the ascent, but it turns out to be only the approach.

0336-17a -
Looking back from a point near the head of Tongue Gill, you can see the lush valley bottom north of Grasmere where we began the ascent. A squadron of fighter jets on excercises swept up the valley while we were walking. The name Gill or Ghyll means narrow stream or valley. Origin Norse.

0336-19 -
A waterfall marks the spot where the path begins to cross ridges of bare rock.

0336-20a - Grisedale Tarn.
!Over the first ridge and down the opposite side to Grisedale Tarn. Merle is on the path below. At this point you're on the shoulders of several major summits. Tiny figures cross the moors in the far distance. Space recedes in all directions.

0336-21a - Grisedale Tarn.
Skirting the tip of Grisedale Tarn, we aim for that scarred pathway up the mountainside on the left. The hiker's "high" begins in this kind of terrain. You have a wonderful sense of being able to plan your route for a great distance ahead. It's a powerful sensation, not given to dwellers of canyons, urban or otherwise.

0336-24a - Grisedale Tarn.
!Grisedale tarn, looking back. Distance translates into purpose, keen desire to journey to that far point where the eye alights. A powerful sense of expectation, gradually translated by hard work into clear achievement. Not many projects in life offer that kind of straight forward satisfaction.

0336-26a -
We bear right off the beaten path and tramp along the knife edge looking down into eastern valleys. Each summit is an aspiration. Each valley contains a traditional way of life. Or it did, before the coming of the automobile. This is Grisedale Beck looking toward the tip of Ullswater on the top left.

helvellyn - A. Wainwright: Helvellyn from Fairfield
These from A. Wainwright; A Lakeland Sketchbook. Borrowed from Dian Hinman, Arts Place.

0336-29a - Summit approach

0336-29a - Figure in a landscape
The ridge path to the summit is just beyond the high point on the ridge to the right. By tackling each eminence along the route, we're able to claim several additional peaks to add to the list. !Dollywaggon Pike, High Crag, Nethermost Pike.

0336-33 - Peaty soil
Where sheep and hikers haven't worn it away, the soil can be fairly thick, even at 3000 feet altitude. I'd be interested in a microscopic examination, to discover whether these peaks ever had forest cover. My obscure interest in Britain's forestry probably stems from a background as a colonial in a still heavily forested country, plus a youthful fascination with Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest.

0337-01 - Summit, Helvellyn.
!Finally, the summit of Helvellyn, 3118 feet. The flecks in the sky are not birds in flight. Merely the debris found on ancient cardboard-mounted slides as they were scanned for a doubtful posterity. It can take 5 to 10 minutes per slide PhotoShop work to clean these up.

0337-02a - Figure in a landscape
!Connecting ridges and trails enough for many another day. This is one of those pictures that sums up much of the charm of high-level walking. Those wayfaring paths, leading off the edges of visibility, are a concrete reminder of fruitful possibilities in life. And perhaps of hazards too. No other context provides, for me, quite as strong a union of metaphor and reality. It's like walking into a story, a lucid dream, where you have the vision but are fully awake at the same time.

0337-03a - Red Tarn.
Merle gazes down on Red Tarn, with Striding Edge just above her head. The name alone makes me want to reach down and tighten the laces of my hiking boots. Actually, we've been wearing sneakers the whole distance. Today the route is dry and the weather perfect.

0337-07a - Herdwick sheep.
!The highest sheep in England, the Herdwick variety. All day long they drift uphill, looking for cool breezes. By the time we arrive, they're standing on the summit looking plaintively around, nothing left to do but jump over the edge. Our daughter in Welland keeps a few sheep, not this variety. But she lacks the scenic amenities of Helvellyn.

0337-08a - Descent, Helvellyn.
!The beginning of the descent, looking back toward the summit.

0337-10a - Descent toward Thirlmere.
Somehow, we have to get back down to the road beside Thirlmere in time to catch the bus to Windermere. The lake is a reservoir.

0337-12a -

0337-15 -

0337-12a - < The White Stones route
This is the so-called "white stones" route. Marker stones along the path in the distance were originally painted white for visibility.

0337-15 - Ruined wall >
This ruined stone wall could have been built 200 years ago.

0337-16 - Down to the highway
Close to the end of our ramble, we head for one of the farms down below. A public path gives access to the highway and the bus back to Windermere town.

0337-18 - Roman road, foreground.
Mountain Goat Tours runs mini-buses out of Windermere to points of interest all over the Lake District. This tour is called "High Adventure" and featurs a visit to the Roman Fort in Hardknott Pass. The gouge in the rocks at the bottom of the picture is the remnant of a Roman road leading to the fort.

0337-20 - Roman fort, Hardknott Pass.
The fort stands just below the top of the pass and overlooks the valley on the opposite side.

0337-23 - Walls, Hardknott Castle.
Considerable sections of wall remain or have been rebuilt from the ruins.

0337-24 - Hardknott Castle, interior.
The interior once contained barrack blocks and guard rooms. The weather this day is dampish, but perfect to give an idea of what garrison duty on the frontiers of the Roman Empire might have been like.

0337-25 - Hardknott Castle, interior.
It's hard to imagine why garlic-eating, vino-drinking Roman soldiers thought this remote mountain pass was worth keeping open. Must have had something to do with communications to Hadrian's wall not far north of here.

0337-26 - Inheritors of the classical tradition.
The sheep add a note of eternity to the scene. Likely, the British inhabitants of the district back in Roman times would also have kept sheep.

0337-27 -
Roman soldiers, looking down from their ramparts might have viewed a scene like this. In places, the Roman roads run straight over the tops of the hills, providing rapid communication and good visibility. The army could then cast a protective eye over the local manor houses and keep freedom-fighters and brigands under control. If this was the reason for putting the roads up on top, then the hills must have been deforested at least as far back as the Roman period. Amazing what environmental changes you can make with only an axe.

0337-17 - Lunch stop, the Britannia pub.
Somewhere along the way, we have lunch at a pub like this.

0337-31 - The Gosforth Cross.
While visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, we saw a copy of this old saxon cross, located at Gosforth. Superimposed against a tree, it looks like a curious carving we saw on the front of Bath Abbey.

0337-35 - Muncaster Castle.
Muncaster castle, one of the last stops on our Mountain Goat Tour, has an aviary of birds of prey and beautiful grounds. The building is trying to look older than it really is. Today it's run as a tourist business with the present owner in residence.

0337-36 - Rhododendrons, Muncaster Castle.
Everywhere we've been in England and Scotland, the rhododendron flourishes as a small tree. Our own attempts to grow it have so far produced only a sickly specimen about three feet high. I've never seen it doing really well in Canada except on the we't coast of B.C.

0337-37 -
You have to realize that this garden is located at approximately 55 degrees north, roughly the same latitude as Goose Bay, Labrador. Glasgow, where we saw a similar growth of rhododendrons, is even further north. !Parallel to James Bay, in fact.

0337-38 -
It just goes to show that the propaganda about Britain having a miserable climate hasn't filtered through to the plant community. They've migrated here in droves, or should we say, in groves, from all parts of the Empire.

0338-02 - Miss Windermere.
Our last project in Windermere is a visit to the Steamboat Museum. Merle inspects the lines of Miss Windermere IV, one of the Campbell speedboats. In 1971 it held a world speed record of 111 m.p.h.

0338-03 - Antique steamboat collection.
A collection of antique lakeboats, both steam- and petrol-engined, is tied up at indoor docks.

0338-04 -
Many are beautifully restored to former elegance.

0338-05 - The Osprey.
The Osprey waits for passengers. This is the boat we saw on the way back from our visit to Beatrix Potter's Hill-Top Farm.

0338-06 -
Graham Leach takes the helm. He's an old salt from the navy and merchant marine.

0338-10 -
Pulling away from land, we have a view of Bowness waterfront and the Windermere Ferry.

0338-13 -
Captain Leach has to keep his eye on quite an array of controls, including a steam pressure gauge and water injection system. The engine's pistons dance up and down on the left.

0338-15 - Tea time.
Near the opposite shore of the lake, we throttle back to dead slow while the Captain prepares tea on a Windermere tea kettle. Drinking water is brought to the boil in that samovar-like tank. A heat-exchanger coil uses steam from the ship's boiler to heat the water.

0338-16 -
Tourists in the bow wait patiently during the tea-making operation. See the smiles on those faces? Nothing disturbs their serenity. The engine is so quiet as to be almost inaudible, even at cruising speed. The machinery is well-made, perfectly adjusted and nearly vibration-free.

0338-17 - Captain Leach.
Captain Leach had interesting experiences during the war, but for a long period afterwards, because of a demand for his specialised knowledge, had to sit around waiting to be demobilised. He's 70 years old.

0338-18 -
He spent much of the idle time writing up his experiences. Pages from his scrapbooks and diaries are on display in the museum, enlivened by his own photographs and cartoons of military life.

0338-20 -
On the return voyage we find ourselves wondering why such a peaceful mode of transportation died out. It's like hot-air ballooning, but with full control over your direction.

0338-21 -
Does the rest of the world really prefer noisy transportation, or have we all gone deaf?

0338-22 - Orrest Head.
On our last ramble in the Lake district, we ascend Orrest Head, a very short but rewarding walk near the edge of Windermere town. This park was donated to the public by the previous owner of the property. Merle sits with water bottle in hand and her feet up.

0338-23 - Lake Windermere from Orrest Head.
We eat supper and lie under a tree overlooking Lake Windermere. Sometime tomorrow we have to catch a train back to London, but not just yet.
The End

black -
History {hist}
07-04-17: finished hi-res scans. Sound seems to come from inside a bottle. Fixable or re-record?

07-05-19: finished picture edits except spotting. Renamed sound clips using alt-x/z/z6(?) option. Tested the show. Pictures previously scanned as wall prints may have been sharpened too much -- gritty looking. These are the "A" versions. Try using the more recent versions.

07-05-20: The above, done. Repaired 2 sound clips for stumbles. Voice is lower today. Chopped out some lower freq.

12-12-07: The T89c pictures were an earlier transcription attempt: by photographing the projector screen, low resolution. Ignore.
Two side-by-side vertical format pics work well. See Tongue Gill, 0336-17a. The pics can be both put on the screen, no delay without sound, then repeated with sound and no screen erase.
14-03-05: Edited pics for dust specs to 0337-18. Seeing the pics enlarged for the first time recently, noticed many interesting details that don't always show up in a slide show. 14-03-06: finished dust spotting.
15-03-04: Cleanup for HTML.
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