During our visit to Grasmere yesterday, clouds lay low over rolling hills, but the greyness just added atmosphere to the water, hills, woods, dry stone walls, ferns and wildflowers along our way.
We’d stopped off here to walk around the lake: my idea of exercise! Our route took us past houses, lakeside businesses, farmland and woods before swinging down to the path around the shore.
The views along this three mile walk are uplifting (they’ll entice you to dawdle, so allow a little more time than you think you’ll need) and there are relatively few hills to negotiate. For the hikers amongst you, there are plenty of more challenging walks nearby, including the relatively short but steep ascent to Helm Crag which overlooks the lake.
Wildflowers around the lake testify to Grasmere’s unspoiled nature, despite the tourists its heritage and beauty attracts. The lake itself offers rich pickings for lovers of coarse fishing.
Even the narrow, moss covered jetty on the Dove Cottage side of the lake could hardly be more picturesque, despite its no-frills functionality for those with deft footing.
Above and below, you’ll perhaps be able to make out a wooded island in the lake. These days it’s privately owned, but two centuries ago, it was a favourite haunt of the poet William Wordsworth who lived for a while at Dove Cottage, close to the lake shore. It doesn’t take a critic to work out why nature played such an important part in his inspiration.
I promise to come back to take pictures on a more classically beautiful day, so you can see what a blue sky would add to the view – I’d guess, to northern eyes like mine, it’s a difference in the character rather than degree of beauty. But a repeat trip would hardly be a sacrifice!
We said farewell to the sheep, left Grasmere refreshed by its natural beauty and headed on north.
On the way home, we were tempted by a well placed sign post to visit Holehird Gardens where we found their hydrangeas and astilbes in full flower. I’ll be posting pictures soon, but will just say it’s the perfect time for a visit!
If you know The Lake District, please feel free to share any favourite walks or places in the comments.