GLORY on glory greets our wondering sight
As we wind down these slopes; mountain and plain
Robed in rich sunshine, and the distant main
Lacing the sky with silver; and yon height,
So lately left in clouds, distinct and bright.
Anon the mist enwraps us; then again
Burst into view lakes, pastures, fields of grain,
And rocky passes, with their torrents white.
So on the head, perchance, and highest bent
Of thine endeavor, Heaven may stint the dower
Of rich reward long hoped; but thine ascent
Was full of pleasures, and the teaching hour
Of disappointment hath a kindly voice,
That moves the spirit inly to rejoice.
– Henry Alford
My father-in-law moved to Cumbria a few years ago, which means lots of long walks around glistening lakes and over craggy fells whenever we visit. The good thing about photography is that it gives you an excuse to rest and get your breath back, as your much fitter relative strides purposefully ahead. You can pretend to be admiring the handsome Herdwick sheep, for example, or be intent on capturing the dappled sunlight on a rock…anything to slow down the pace and save face.
The Lake District is stunning. We have spent happy times inland: clambering over slate at Honister to reach the stunning views over Buttermere; slipping and sliding on damp rocks to reach Aira Force; eating fish & chips from the viewpoint above Derwentwater; slogging over miles of moorland on Askham Fell, sleet pounding our faces and wind whipping in our ears….ok, that last one was less fun. But you get the idea. And on our last visit, we made it out to the west coast for a sunny walk along the cliffs between Whitehaven and St Bees. Lighthouses, cormorants, pebble coves, and an ice-cream at the end to boot: glorious!
There are also places nearby perfect for extended stays. A few Christmases ago, in a frankly inspired move, Paul and I tagged on a night in Cartmel (of sticky toffee pudding fame), where we ate (and slept) in the amazing L’Enclume. Not something we can afford to do often, but a real treat. I’d really recommend.
And we have plenty more to do. Hoping, for instance, to re-book to see the baby alpacas at Bassenthwaite distillery (a victim of Covid); to build up the stamina to take the (easy) route up Blencathra; and to explore some of the lesser-known tarns and waters.
This is my first tandem blog post. A collaboration with the aforementioned – and very talented – FIL. Except…well, it’s kinda become a guest blog with just a few of my own photos thrown in. Dave is a much better landscape photographer than I am!
Scafell range from Styhead (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Catbells (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Blencathra summit from Scales Fell (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Lone Birch (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Tarn Hows (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Ashness boat landing, Derwentwater
Haweswater (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
St Bees Head
North western fells (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Lowther Estate (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Castlerigg Stone Circle (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Pooley Bridge (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Skiddaw (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Sunset at Derwentwater (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Lonscale Fell and Skiddaw from Tewet Tarn (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Dock Tarn over Borrowdale (Credit: Dave Adnitt)