We have just returned from a week’s holiday in the Lake District. (For those people who don’t know, it is an area situated in Cumbria in NW England). It took us nearly six hours to drive there but that included a twenty minute stop to eat lunch. We hired a cottage to stay in for the week which was well appointed and quite comfortable though I would have preferred it if it had been a detached cottage with its own garden. The weather wasn’t too bad either. We had some rain and some wind but we also had a couple of completely dry days and some sunshine too. It wasn’t very warm and I was glad I brought two pullovers and two cardigans with me. On a few occasions I wore all four at the same time over a shirt. I feel the cold! If I had been at home I would have warmed myself by doing some housework or gardening but I was on holiday and wanted to read my book!
Fortunately, the next day was much brighter. After some early rain the clouds lifted and we saw the top of the fells.
I have been reading a book about the Lake District (‘The English Lakes – A History’ by Ian Thompson) while we’ve been away and have been boring Richard with quotes from it. Richard knows the Lakes quite well and has walked up many of the hills so it has been a little like ‘teaching my grandmother to suck eggs’.
The hills are made of rocks thrown up by volcanic explosions 450 million years ago which were then ‘humped and crumpled into shape’ by tectonic movements 400 million years ago. They were then carved by glaciers in the ice age 13,000 years ago making the hills look like a miniature version of the Alps. The fells often seem larger than they are as many of them start from valleys close to sea level – Blencathra’s summit is 845 metres above sea level for example.
The local name for these hills/mountains is ‘fells’ – a word deriving from the Norse word ‘fjall’. The name ‘Blencathra’ is said to come from the Celtic words ‘Blain’ and ‘Cadeir’ which means ‘hill of the chair’.
The previous three times we stayed in the Lake District we stayed near Kendal in the south-east but this trip we were in the north of the region near Keswick and were able to see a lot of different places.
I will be showing you a few of the places we visited in subsequent posts.
Thank-you for visiting!