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For our wedding in 1994 we were given a gift of place mats and coasters by one of Richard’s friends.  The mats were decorated with paintings of Lake District attractions – Beatrix Potter’s cottage, The Bridge House at Ambleside and so on.  One of the pictures was a really attractive painting of Ashness Bridge, and for some time we had no idea where it could be found.  Before we left home we decided that as we were staying near Derwentwater, we ought to include it on one of our trips.

The day was bright and sunny and as it was St Swithin’s Day we hoped it would stay dry.  We thought we would take the ferry round Derwentwater from Keswick to Ashness Gate, the stop nearest to Ashness Bridge and then walk up to the bridge.

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The views of the surrounding hills look wonderful from the boat

The woodlands here are mainly of oak.  These ‘Atlantic Oakwoods’ are an example of temperate rainforest.

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I love looking at cloud shadows sliding over the hills

The ferry was crowded with walkers and other tourists like us, so it wasn’t too easy to take photos.

We got off the boat and began the steep walk up the lane to the bridge.  I saw a shrew running about at the side of the road and tried to take its picture but it wouldn’t show its face with the long snout.

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Shy shrew

I saw a few wildflowers by the roadside.

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Self-heal (purple) (Prunella vulgaris) and Lesser Stitchwort (white) (Stellaria graminea) with Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) also known as Brake Fern

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Lady’s Bedstraw (Galium verum)

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Looking up the hill from the path

After quite a long steep climb we left the road and carried on up a pathway and eventually got to the bridge.  It is a very popular attraction and again, trying to get a picture of the bridge without lots of people in the way was hard.

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Ashness Bridge

This is an old pack-horse bridge which enables the road to cross Barrow Beck, the stream that joins Derwentwater at the foot of the hill.

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These old bridges are beautiful as well as being very useful. The skill of the bridge builder is apparent from this photo – each stone being placed so carefully, one next to the other.

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Richard took this photo from further upstream. Derwentwater can be seen in the distance

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I found some Wild Thyme (Thymus serpyllum) growing by the stream

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It’s scent was wonderful!

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I also found some Blue Water-speedwell (Veronica anagallis-aquatica)

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Tormentil (Potentilla erecta)

We walked back down the hill and caught the ferry back to Keswick.

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Derwentwater with Skiddaw in the background.

Thanks for visiting!