The Lake District

Oh, magical weekend in Cumbria. The landscape a feast for my eyes, everywhere I look it's beautiful. Yes, it certainly seems as Wordsworth so lovingly wrote,  like the "most loveliest spot that man hath found." I never tire of looking at England, it seems that every corner I turn presents me with more joy.

What a wonderful Valentine's Day surprise, a visit yet again to the Lake District. The last time we visited, it was very snowy. This time we wandered the landscape that Wordsworth so lovingly wrote about, the paths upon which he contemplated his words, the cottage where he wrote The Prelude. 

It's possible that it was this stream that inspired his line, "...and what clear stream shall with its murmur lull me into rest?" I think I could wander these hillsides, these paths, for a lifetime and never fail to be inspired by their beauty. 

Blue skies, stone walls covered in bright green moss, a path traveled by many, and now by us.

Yes, it's really as lovely as it appears, surely more so. Every mile I beg Jonathan to stop the car so I can get out and breathe the air and take just one more photo.

 The narrow roads make for anxious driving, I'm glad my husband is used to these one-way bridges.

Who lived here and when? The landscape bears human traces but nature is all around. What an inspiring vista.  Can you imagine looking at this everyday?

 These strong stone walls covered in bright green moss, they are still maintained today. Why? Because, they work better than any modern invention could. They've stood for hundreds of years, and we see, as we pass, farmers repairing them. Tradition and heritage lives on.

No, this is not a golf course. Can you see the sheep grazing? This land is protected for everyone's eyes.

Look at the architecture of this building that was built in the 1600's.  Naturally, they used what was available to them. The stones are beautiful and stand strong after hundreds of years. Rumor has it that  Charles Dickens enjoyed some refreshment here.

And so did we! Gotta love that English beer.
The pathway to Wordsworth's cottage, one of my favorite poets of all time. Very special to me. 

I'm in the back garden of Wordsworth's cottage. Well, I never....

And here I am, at Hill Top Farm, home of Beatrix Potter. We were lucky to happen upon a day when there were very few visitors.  Normally, there are 400 to 600 people a day lining up for hours outside, so the guide said. But today it was very quiet, and very lovely and very sunny. Possibly, it was the way she experienced many of her days writing about Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck, and many of her other enchanting creatures.   I remember reading these tales to my girls.

This is Wray Castle, where Beatrix Potter first fell in love with the Lake District when she was sixteen years old. Her family rented this property for the summer and it was then that she became forever entwined and inextricably tied to the area, and eventually moved here from London in her late twenties. It was here that she wrote her timeless tales of childhood wonderment that continue to charm and entertain children the world over.  A librarian at heart, I hope that you have read these lovely tales to your children. This land does exist and possibly the creatures of these tales, too. At least, it felt that way to me.


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