Lake District Break

For the third year now we have had a few days away in the Lake District.  This is in the county of Cumbria, north west England.  We decided to set off a day earlier than planned to take advantage of some decent weather.  Turned out to be a good move as mid week it was murky and damp but brightened up on the last day.  It would have been nice to have had more sun as we have yet to see the mountain views without a covering of cloud!

Up on the Roof. A view east towards the Yorkshire Dales

The first day we stayed in south east Cumbria and took a short hike up to Hutton Roof Crags.  This is a fascinating geological area known as a limestone pavement.  Here the rocks are 300 metres thick and 350 million years old.  Over the years people have been removing these rocks for building, mill stones or garden features and only about 8sq miles (20sq km) remain in the UK.  Now the pavements are fully protected by law.  Many rare and interesting plants grow in the cracks and I saw several different butterflies and my first Chimney Sweeper moth (Odezia atrata).

Chimney Sweeper moth
Black Darter (Sympetrum danae) at Foulshaw moss

Day two was a search for butterflies and dragonflies.  Started at Arnside Knott the 500ft limestone hill in south Cumbria.  This year the butterfly activity was quite low and slightly disappointing.  We then went over the Kent Estuary to Foulshaw Moss, a raised peat bog, for dragons but the cloud was building and not much was seen except the distant nesting Ospreys.

Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis). The ‘sting’ is actually the sex organs of the male

Tuesday and our daughter the ‘Lemming’ joined us from Manchester by train for the day.  She has now finished uni and will shortly be going to live in Berlin.  So we had a bit of a ride around in the damp.  Started at Bowness on the eastern shore of Windermere.  This is the largest lake in England, 11.23 miles (18km) long, 0.93 miles (1.49km) wide and at it’s deepest 219ft (66.7m).

Windermere in mono, pretty much the same in colour!

Decided against a boat trip and instead visited the ‘World of Beatrix Potter’ attraction.  I used to love reading the stories to my daughter and the models and sets here were superb.  Those of you not familiar with Beatrix Potter must really check out her work.

The Tale of Jeremy Fisher at the Beatrix Potter world

Wednesday and we drove the narrow, windy road up the west side of Coniston Water.  High above the village of Coniston at the northern end, on a narrower and windier road, is the popular beauty spot of Tarn Hows.  A tarn is a small mountain lake.  Tarn Hows used to be three smaller lakes but was dammed to create one large one.  This was done in the 1800’s by the rich landowner.  Now it is looked after by the National Trust and is a lovely walk of about two miles around.  Sadly the views were lost in the cloud.

Tarn Hows

Last day and Tina wanted to see Levens Hall and gardens where her friend works.  Not the usual stately pile, it had some very interesting displays.  The gardens were outstanding with ancient topiary and a beautiful selection of plants.

The River Kent by Levens Hall

As the sun broke through I managed one last butterfly trip to nearby Latterbarrow which despite being a riot of wild flowers was pretty short on butterflies.

Northern Brown Argus (Aricia artaxerxes) at Latterbarrow, a last minute bonus


31 thoughts on “Lake District Break

  1. Thanks for the tour and beautiful photos, which are just as lovely despite the weather. We enjoyed two days on Lake Windermere last year about this time. Beautiful. Managed to get a few bee photos, not butterflies then. Had a fabulous dinner in Conniston at Steam Bistro.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shame about the weather, but some great photos. I used to read Beatrix Potter to my 2 daughters. We had the 2 full boxed sets (still have somewhere). I hope you’re a member of the National Trust otherwise the parking at Tarn Hows costs a fortune. We only wanted to pop out and take a photo, but they still wanted to charge us £5. Disgraceful.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. What really annoys us about the NT, is that always have plenty of staff trying to get you to join. I’d really like to look at their accounts to see where all the money goes and what percentage is spent on what you think it is… That said, we stayed in a beautiful NT cottage in N. Wales near Capel Curig, called Dyffryn Mymbyr Cottage. It was reasonably expensive, (i.e. not extortionate) but worth it if you like to be away from it all, but close enough to civilisation and some nice walks.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. ‘Tarn Hows’ shot … hist … is this an arm clothed in white samite I see, raising aloft what appears to be a medieval swor— no. Naaaaah. Impossible.

    But … but …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If you’re into Beatrix Potter, the latest semi-animated movie starring Rose Byrne and others is absolutely our new most very favouritest.


  5. What interesting places you have over there – thanks for allowing me to tag along on your trip from afar. That Scorpion Fly looks really cool – wings look almost like stained glass. The Windermere in mono shot is a wall hanger in my opinion – specially like how the middle line of geese lead you right to the previously overlooked white swan. Sounds like the butters and dragons might have been a bit light, but the scenery should have been good for the soul. Thank for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The good thing with the UK compared to the US is we don’t have to travel vast distances to get to new scenery. This journey was only 270 or so miles but the traffic can be a pain so it can take several hours!
      Thankfully I had seen the special butterflies of the area in the past but I missed out on two dragons this year.
      Ah well, thanks for checking out the post B great to read your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Very nice meander, Mister B. Never visited the Lake District while I lived in Chester, though my folks have been up there numerous times.
    Funny you should mention you kid is off to Berlin. My son’s girlfriend was sent there by her firm when she was doing some post grad work.

    Liked by 1 person

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