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in England's favourite outdoor area, the Lake District, Cumbria
number one walking area
is among the lakes and peaks of The Lake
Park in the distant north west of the country. The weather
here is not at all stable but the unspoilt space is grand, the
mountains unique in England and the views magnificent, so if
you're rain-shine-whatever tolerant and like a walk in the park
or a hike on a bike then this is definitely worth a bus ticket. Don't stay in a characterless hotel as there are masses of wonderful cottages in the Lake District for rent, as well as B'n'Bs, guesthouses and little hotels that ooze rural charm and old-fashioned ways.
only one of the 15 or so bodies of water here is named ....Lake,
and that's Bassenthwaite Lake. The others use the suffix ...water
Sailing on Lake Ullswater, Cumbria. Kayaking is also popular and rentals available.
© Paul Banton
is the largest lake and has a sizeable town of the same name
about a mile away that doesn't have much going for it.
but attractive Bowness is the nearest
lakeside town where marine action - such as ferries or rowing
or sailing boat rental - takes place.
Across Windermere from
Bowness is the tiny village of near Sawrey where the children's
author Beatrix Potter's bought
and lived in William Wordsworth's
home, Dove Cottage - which still stands and is particularly
popular with Japanese tourists. Wordsworth attended the local
Ullswater is probably
the lake that inspired Wordsworth's 'Lonely as a Cloud' poem
and also the place where Donald Campbell set a water speed record
in 1955. Campbell died 12 years later on Coniston
Water at over 300mph.
Cumbria county, at 9 miles long is the second largest of the
district's lakes after Windermere.
narrow, winding stretch enclosed by mountains is considered
by some to be the prettiest of the lakes and offers steam boat
trips as well as the usual sailing, rowing and canoeing.
Campbell preferred something a bit faster than steam
boating and set a noisy but nice world water speed record of
202mph here in 1955 in his Bluebird.
After surpassing various world speed records - including being
the only person ever to set new land and water speed records
in the same year (1964) - died in 1967 on neighbouring Coniston
Water when Bluebird K7 lifted off and started to cartwheel
at well over 300mph. Neither the boat nor his body were found
until 2001. He is now buried in Coniston cemetery and the village's
Ruskin Museum houses Campbell memorabilia.
is the main Ullswater activity base and William
Wordsworth - who lived in the area for sixty years -
was inspired by lakeside daffodils to write his most enduring
poem here - 'I Wandered as Lonely as a Cloud'.
at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee.
Lake District National Park, England. Next, Hadrian's Wall Pictures.
© David Hughes
to The Lakes from London
is perhaps best by train to Lancaster and a bus thereafter or
a coach (long-distance bus) directly to the lakes. Alternatively
get your own wheels and zig-zag up the country stopping off
at various attractions en route. The M6 motorway passes near
the Lakes but in summertime roads leading from the M6 can get
There's plenty of low cost accommodation and campsites in the
area and bike rental is easy to find.
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