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The English Lake District – Inspiration not just for walking

Of course my association with the Lake District is the love of the mountains, and over the next weeks and months I will be profiling many many of my favourite climbs and hikes there.

BUT! It’s not just me or other fell walkers who have wandered the lakes and mountains for motivation .  Some of the greatest names in British literature and poetry have lived or travelled here for their inspiration.  I can understand why and their work that we value today is owed much to this wonderful place.

7514300-8147929-thumbnail The English Lake District – Inspiration not just for walkingWilliam Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

I suppose the most famous of the ‘Lake Poets’, the above poem ‘Daffodils’ was written by the sight of  the flowers on the banks of Ullswater, one the grandest Lakes.

Wordsworth was born and died in Cumbria and his house in the village of Grasmere attracts many a traveller from around the world.

 

7514300-8147953-thumbnail The English Lake District – Inspiration not just for walkingSamuel Taylor Coleridge

And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The albatross … did follow, And every day, for food or play, Came to the mariners’ hollo!
His most famous piece of work.. ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’
A great friend of Wordsworth they together formed the Romantic movement of poetry. This duo was also joined by Robert Southey. With the inspiration of the beautiful land about them it is easy to see how the  words came to be.

 

 

7514300-8147957-thumbnail The English Lake District – Inspiration not just for walkingBeatrix Potter

Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were — Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter. They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big tree. Now then, this lady could be considered the Queen of the Lake District.  She loved animals, she loved nature.  In her childrens books she incorporated both and went on to bring us Peter rabbit and Co that we all know and love.  The money she made from the books went into buying farm after farm in The Lake District.  On her death she gave all to the National Trust and thus ensuring we have much the lovely untouched scenery we can see today.

 

7514300-8148005-thumbnail The English Lake District – Inspiration not just for walkingArthur Ransome

Another classic writer of childrens books.  His most famous being ‘Swallows and Amazons’ Many of the descriptions in his books stem from his surroundings in the Lake District and of course his love of sailing.  The Lakes being the perfect place. I could quite honestly go on and on with this list as many many writers famous or not have gone to the Lakes to write and live.  If you have never been then I would say it is a must for any trip taking in the Nort of England.  I look forward to sharing in the near future many of my travels there, past and present.

Written by Paul Steele

Founder of BaldHiker.com and avid hiker, climber and trekker. Never liking to sit still and always seeking new adventures around the world. Sharing personal views here and tweeting live via @paul_steele

5 Comments

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  1. I think you should add Sarah Nelson (add her famous gingerbread) if anyone has been to Grasmere you will now what I am talking about and how amazing it is!

    Emily

  2. Great to see a walker/climber appreciating the more creative side of the area too Paul! Agree with ref to John Ruskin; his home Brantwood graces the shores of Coniston. There are so many more – including Tennyson, the Brontes, Thackeray, Hugh Walpole & the Rogue Herris series, Sir Walter Scott, our very own Melvyn Bragg and Hunter Davies … oh so many. And then the painters – Turner, Constable …. etc A truly quirkiliciously inspiring place – as you know so well!

  3. Thank you for the history lesson Sir Paul.. Good to know some of the greatest names in British Literature and Poetry, cannot wait for your next post.. I am exploring the lake district from your post.. you'll be my eyes … 🙂

  4. There's also John Ruskin, a poet and novelist from the 19th Century.

    I certainly don't think it's a co-incidence for so many high profile names to emanate from the Lakes. What better inspiration could you wish for when living in such a beautiful area?

    We walked up Wansfell Pike yesterday… and it was a glorious day. Truly magical.

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