Our ongoing Lake District sunshine this Spring has leant much brightness and cheer to residents very much in contrast to the sorry figures that the Coronavirus pandemic is putting into the ground right now. Each day, there are reports on new deaths, new sorrows, new woes that make it difficult for some people to live and/or to move on. It makes me feel very grateful for the fresh air and peacefulness that denizens of the Lake District National Park enjoy despite the fact that Cumbria is one of the worst hit councils in England. Yesterday, as we enjoyed our once-a-day-allowance of one form of exercise, we came across someone who commented that we really couldn’t have a better place to isolate than the Lake District National Park. With all the beauty and tranquility surrounding us, he was stating the obvious and we couldn’t have agreed more!
The Kirkstone Pass
Yesterday’s sojourn took us to a well-known place close by Blenheim Lodge, which we’d never previously explored. The Kirkstone Pass is the highest pass open to motor traffic in the Lake District, with an altitude of 1489 feet. We’ve driven it often, but had only ever stopped to visit Brothers Water a few times. Due to the present lock down, we decided to stay local, and Hubby began by reading the ordnance survey map for a place to walk the dogs. Can I tell you exactly where we walked? My apologies, but the answer is “No”: I ‘m sure that I couldn’t find my way there again because I have a hopeless sense of direction. Hubby could, though.
Our walk began by walking towards a river that was running dry, with large swathes of its course littered only by the bone dry boulders and stones that formed its bed. The Lake District has been suffering from a lack of precipitation for some time now, and seeing what should have been a mighty river so dry gave rise to sobering thoughts. The same person we spoke to pointed out that what should have been a cascade of water rushing down from the fell top into the river had all but disappeared. Indeed, there was no cascade at all – only a bare trickle that didn’t submerge the rocks and stones. The river’s song was very definitely absent!
Of dogs and water
Our Great Dane, Horatio, loves water. He enjoys tasting the water of every single lake and beck he encounters. He even loves puddles, although we do draw the line there if its standing water and looks dirty. He’s also not allowed to drink from Lake Windermere.
About 7 months ago, our son adopted Jake, a black Alsation. He is a great imitator, and Horatio has happily obliged as his mentor. Thus, Jake now copies Horatio when they go out together: yesterday, they descended what should have been water-filled natural drains and waterholes looking for clear fresh water to drink. Unfortunately, they can’t tell what is potable and what isn’t. We will not allow the dogs to drink water that does not run freely, and were hard put to find places where the dogs could quench their thirst. So, it got to the point where they were checking every runnel for water . . . but, alas, there was none! Thankfully, we had brought water with us, and they drank that instead.
But oh, the views!
Walking uphill upon stoney ground is hard work. But oh, the views! They were stupendous! We could see Lake Windermere; and the many fells that surrounded us both near and far. We could hear birds singing, and a cuckoo calling. In an amphitheatre of natural beauty, we were but a jot in its (not quite) centre. But no one was about save one walker who passed us – and the absence of extraneous worldly chatter engendered a wonderful feeling of being cocooned – if only for a short time – from the very real threats of the unseen virus that is currently wreaking havoc around the world.
When it’s all over
It may be a long time before we can go out and about again without taking any thought of getting infected by the Coronavirus. However, we can but hope and pray that this pandemic will be over sooner rather than later. And, when it’s all over . . . then please do come and visit with us at Blenheim Lodge. Stay a while and make time for exploring the natural beauties of the Lake District National Park.
Of days to relax and enjoy
There is much in the Lake District to discover. We have been slowly, over the years, finding more places to visit. Some of them have become firm favourites which we have visited many times hence.
Some guests do ask us for suggestions for things to see and do. The question is always, “Where shall we go explore or do today?” “Hmmm . . . What do you like doing and seeing?” is our invariable reply. There are so many options!
Waterfalls? How about Aira Force, a beautiful and much visited site? Fell walking? Take your pick! There are numerous routes to suit all walking abilities and none. Something different? What about ghyll scrambling? Oh, and don’t forget the many beautiful and historic homes and gardens to visit, including those of the literary greats, like William Wordsworth and John Ruskin.
Look forward to having you visit when the pulchritudinous Lake District National Park is open again!
Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’