The poet William Wordsworth once described the Lake District in England as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found”. When I visited the place recently, I realised that Wordsworth was right to describe it that way. It really is a lovely spot and it is also a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The Lake District is located in the northwest of England, in the county of Cumbria. It is known for its beautiful scenery. The landscape is verdant and is a feast for the eyes. It was refreshing to be in the countryside away from the hustle and bustle of big cities.
The one thing that amazed me about Lake District was the dry stone walls which exuded old-world charm. These walls were visible almost everywhere in Lake District. They functioned as retaining walls and boundaries, and were built using stones without any cement holding them together.
They are so durable that they have been around for aeons and are still standing today. This is an ancient engineering feat in my opinion and could still be applied in modern day. However, building these walls require skills and alas, not many possess this skill today.
The first spot I visited was Windermere. It is purported to be the largest natural lake in England. There, I went on a 45-minute cruise from a quaint town called Bowness-on-Windermere. During the cruise, it was pleasing to see the different hues of autumn leaves while enjoying the cool breeze. There were some magnificent mansions along the lake as well.
After the cruise, I enjoyed a dollop of lip-smacking ice cream and walked around the town visiting a church that was a few centuries old. Another interesting attraction was the World Of Beatrix Potter section. Beatrix Potter was the author and illustrator of The Tale Of Peter Rabbit and other books.
Living in a place surrounded by stunning nature must have inspired Potter to write and illustrate her books. She owned large farmlands in the area and was fond of breeding and raising Herdwick sheep. This breed of sheep has dark brown wool when they are young and grey wool as they age. It was nice seeing these sheep grazing around the farmlands.
The next spot I visited was Grasmere Village, where Wordsworth lived. His cosy house was named The Dove Cottage; the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden is also located here. Although there were no daffodils blooming at the time of my visit, I could imagine the garden teeming with daffodils when in season.
Grasmere is a picturesque village with a river and mountain nearby, as well as houses built using stone and slate. As I walked into the village, a sweet aroma wafted in the air from a cottage ... it was Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread. This gingerbread is unique as it is a cross between a cake and a biscuit. It is baked fresh daily since 1854 in the same cottage and the recipe is a closely guarded secret. The rectangular-shaped gingerbread was sweet, crumbly and had a chewy centre. It sure was a treat worth trying.
The school and church next to the gingerbread shop are closely related to Wordsworth. He taught at the school and is buried in the St Oswald’s church compound together with his family members.
The third spot I visited was Hawkshead. The cobbled stone streets and stone houses in this village made me feel like I had gone back in time. In this village, there were some nice tearooms serving traditional British desserts like scones and cakes. It was an enjoyable experience dining al fresco while enjoying the desserts.
Besides that, I visited the Hawkshead Grammar School, which was where Wordsworth went to school. You can also find a Beatrix Potter gallery here.
There was also a church built approximately 800 years ago on the hill that has nice views of the Lake District.
The final spot I visited was Coniston Water. This was a large lake that was tranquil and flanked by trees. It felt serene to walk by the lake and gaze at the scenery while enjoying the fresh crisp air.
Visiting the Lake District was a weekend well spent as it was quiet, peaceful and simply breathtaking. I enjoyed the greenery, the friendly people, the good food and the cool weather. I truly appreciate how the National Trust (an organisation for heritage conservation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) looks after and preserves the landscape so that it could be enjoyed by the generations to come.
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