Friday, 26 February 2016

From Elterwater Towards Little Langdale, The Lake District

Last Saturday we came back from a lovely, relaxing seven day break in the Lake District. We stayed in my favourite Grasmere and shared the delightful Hollens Farm Cottage with our dear friends Liz and Dave. The weather was very good, especially the first couple of days. It only rained on our last day but by then it did not matter any more as we had already done a lot of walking, and we were more than happy to stay at the cottage just enjoying its old fashioned charm.
I did not take as many photos as I would have done if I had not been in company, but I did end up with quite a few shots to process and share. It was a socializing and resting holiday in the first place; we all had a great time, and I would not change anything about it.
Sunday, our first full day, was Valentine's day and also Liz's birthday. It was a beautiful, sunny day so we decided to start our holiday with a nice walk somewhere none of us had been before. We chose this walk from my little pocket size, much loved "Walking with Beatrix Potter" book.

Pretty village of Elterwater where we started our walk. In the distance there is a lovely cafe where we had excellent coffee on our way back. I also bought some goodies there like a home made beetroot and horseradish chutney.

Loved the dramatic sky and contrasting white cottages on our way out of the village.

Beautiful lakeland scenery as seen on a fine February day.

The Elterwater lake. We only saw it from a distance on this occasion. It was not a shoreline walk.

Our lovely mates, always a good and welcome company.

With G in the National Trust owned Fletcher's Wood. Loved the light and all the moss.

My beautiful and very dear friend on her fifty first birthday. We made sure she had a lovely day.

Another scene from the magic Fletcher's Wood.

We walked up a drive and passed a Low Hackett Farm outbuilding.

Further along the same drive. The light and colours were stunning! And love the snow on the just visible mountain peaks in the distance.

After climbing over a stile we were awed by this breathtaking view over Little Langdale Valley and Wetherlam mountain. We lingered here for a little while entranced by the magnificent scenery.

From this point we were unsure of our route as there was no evident path as indicated in the book so we just continued in what we guessed was the right direction.

I smiled at this simple scene bathed in beautiful winter sunlight.

The early flowering pink azalea was such a delightful sight at this time of year.

On reaching the road we found our bearings and worked out we needed to turn left to get back onto the walk. This was the view to the right of the junction. How I love the cottage and its backdrop!

Soon we reached Little Langdale Beck and were supposed to go over some precarious looking stepping stones. They were fairly large but with quite a bit of space between them and covered in moss. The one half way across was hardly a stone but rather a jutting rock and unfortunately G slipped over it and fell into the freezing, knee high water (he landed on his feet luckily). Dave tried to play it down by hopping along the stones backwards and forwards but no amount of encouragement could persuade Liz and me to tackle the stones. I regret that amidst the hubbub I never took a photo of the stones. Anyway, with G being soaked through and crossing the beck out of question now we retraced our steps back to the road and followed it back to Elterwater village. We missed seeing Little Langdale hamlet and tarn and Slater Bridge in the second half of the circular walk but we still felt satisfied with our walk. And we know where to go next time to complete the mapped out walk!

In the evening we went out to celebrate Liz's birthday and had a lovely, romantic dinner at Dove Bistro of the Wordsworth Hotel in Grasmere. Because it was Valentine's Day the waiter kindly gave Liz and me a red rose each. They are pictured in this image which I took the following evening. By the time we got back to the cottage it was too late to light a fire. It was a day that will be remembered!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Grasmere Lake, The Lake District, 4/5/2015

As our next visit to Grasmere this month is fast approaching I have been getting more and more excited and have started planning our walks and thinking about what photos I would like to take this time. I still have quite a few shots from our previous trip last spring on my hard drive waiting to be edited and shared, so I thought now is a perfect time to do that.

This is a random shot taken not around Grasmere, but the adjacent Rydal lake. It is the only image I took on the day because of persistent rain. In order not to waste the day due to bad weather we decided to visit the fascinating Rydal Mount - the home of the poet William Wordsworth for the last three decades of his life. I came across this storybook scene while walking around the grounds of the house. I thought the little hut looked magic in the woodland clearing, surrounded by the luscious green of the early spring leaves with a smudge of red in the middle.

The following day was fine, although a bit nippy, with blue skies and white puffy clouds. The sun was frequently slipping behind the clouds and then pushing out again. It was a beautiful day both for photography and a nice walk around the lake. This image epitomizes the sort of scenery our eyes were treated to throughout our walk: rugged hills and mountains with their purplish pink hue and odd distant houses charmingly dotted at the foot. The photo was taken before we reached the lake's edge.

This farmer drove past us in his blue land rover, and then proceeded through a gate onto the field. I watched him curiously to see where he was going. As he pulled up next to the sheep feed container I knew what he was going to do and started getting my camera ready. Love how the sheep are coming on towards him and how the white house and the fell in the background add to the beauty of the rural scene.

And then we saw the lake...but only just, in the mid distance.....and the light was lovely silvery purple.....

The lake was soon tantalizingly hidden again by a mossy dry stone wall and various spring growths in the foreground... emerge within seconds in its full glory. My camera started clicking away.... I could suddenly see so many good shots, exhilarating shots, wherever I looked....

This scene was just a combination of delightful detail an light....a photographer's must grab!

A typical, impressive Lake District view. The sort of shot that shows why I love the Lake District so much and go there every year. I am not a keen fell walker, I just enjoy lakeside walks and not too high or strenuous climbs.

I try to imagine what it is like living or staying in a house like that. For sure the views across the lake are very similar to this one. I know I would love it. No, isolation would not bother me in the least. I would never feel isolated or lonely surrounded by such magnificent nature. It would speak to me all the time and I would listen intently and eagerly.

I always get bowled over by these little boathouses. Every lake seems to have at least one of them. They are such a great detail in the wonderful Lakeland scenery. This particular one seems very old and rather fragile.

At a certain point the lake meets the River Rothay and we followed the path along the river leaving the lake behind. Loved the scene at the crook of the river.

The river and the path further along the walk, not far from where we came out onto the main road leading back to the village. It was a most satisfying and invigorating walk.

The weather, of course, is going to be completely different when we get there later on this month. I prey for some snow or at least for no rain. There has been so much rain already this year causing distressing floods in the Lake District. The area deserves some drier weather conditions. However, no matter what the weather is going to do I cannot wait to be back to gorgeous Grasmere.


On Nature's invitation do I come,
By Reason sanctioned. Can the choice mislead,
That made the calmest fairest spot of earth
With all its unappropriated good
My own; and not mine only, for with me
Entrenched, say rather peacefully embowered,
Under yon orchard, in yon humble cot,
A younger Orphan of a home extinct,
The only Daughter of my Parents dwells....

....Embrace me then, ye Hills, and close me in;              
Now in the clear and open day I feel
Your guardianship; I take it to my heart;
'Tis like the solemn shelter of the night.
But I would call thee beautiful, for mild,
And soft, and gay, and beautiful thou art
Dear Valley, having in thy face a smile
Though peaceful, full of gladness. Thou art pleased,
Pleased with thy crags and woody steeps, thy Lake,
Its one green island and its winding shores;
The multitude of little rocky hills,                       
Thy Church and cottages of mountain stone
Clustered like stars some few, but single most,
And lurking dimly in their shy retreats,
Or glancing at each other cheerful looks
Like separated stars with clouds between. 
William Wordsworth