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The Lake District

May 23, 2014

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Goodbye to 116 Gifford Street, Islington.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Yesterday evening, after stepping off the Picadilly Line, we turned in our Oyster Cards for the £5 deposit. It was a rather poignant moment – our days of rambling through London were at an end. We had enjoyed uncharacteristically sunny weather almost from the start, our Airbnb flat could not have been more comfortable or conveniently located, nor our hostess more hospitable.

This morning we said adieu to Gail, packed our bags and set off for Euston Station, passing the King’s Cross Station that had been the starting point for so many forays into London, and within an hour we were on a train headed for Penrith, in Cumbria.

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On the bus from Penrith to our B&B in Keswick.

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Main Street in Keswick (pronounced “Kezzick”).

Once off the bus, we quickly located the Dunsford Guest House and were greeted at the door by our hostess, Deborah Graham. She insisted on making coffee and tea for us and suggested a walk to nearby Derwent Water, the lake that anchors the town’s setting amid the fells of the Northern Lake District.

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Dunsford Guest House.

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Hotels overlooking the lake.

20140524-004146-2506898.jpgThe landing.

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Sailboats on the lake and the fells (hills) beyond.

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Around the shore.

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Sheep, and more sheep. Sheep are by far the dominant agricultural animal in Lake country, and can be seen in practically every field throughout the District.

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A stream in the woods nearby.

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Flowers in a park at the head of the lake respond well to the rain-rich weather.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

This morning we boarded a bus for a circuit of the lake and environs.

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Waiting to board. Most of these folks were decked out in climbing gear.

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Scenes from the bus.

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A slate mine at Honister. Slate deposits are abundant in the hills, and slate is very commonly used as a building material, both for walls and roofs.

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More bus shots. It’s difficult to capture, with a camera, how steep these valleys are, and how overwhelmingly gorgeous and green.

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Not a cork in the lot. After the bus ride we stopped at the local co-op for a bottle of wine. I was surprised at the prevalence of screw caps, more so than in the states.

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The surrounding countryside is very popular with hikers, and outdoor gear stores in Keswick outnumber restaurants.

For the afternoon Deborah suggested we climb Latrigg, a local fell. The trail to the summit is relatively gradual, and the view therefrom is outstanding.

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We cut through a park with a cricket game in progress.

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Latrigg beckons.

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Snack break.

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Almost there. Derwent Water at right.

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From the top. A very nice view of Keswick and the lake. Look close and see the sailboats.

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The farmland below seems like some incredibly detailed model.

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…and more sheep.

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We were surprised to find that Latrigg is a popular place for gliders.

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A pleasant descent. We were at about 1200 feet, but a neighboring fell, Skiddaw, is almost three times as high.

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The river Greta runs through Keswick.

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Our B&B is on Stanger Street, down on the left.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Our last day in Keswick. Peggy is a devoted Beatrix Potter fan, so we took a trip south to Hawkshead and the Beatrix Potter Gallery.

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Our run of sunny days has ended.

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A church (Methodist) in Ableside, where we changed buses.

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Even the miniature golf course fixtures are slate.

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Hawkshead knows where its bread is buttered, but I’ve seen worse.

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The gallery, maintained by the National Trust, is dedicated to Potteriana. These are some early sketches. The fossil drawings are quite detailed.

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A couple of illustrations for the childrens’ books. Ms. Potter was comfortable working at a small scale, and these are not much larger than the pictures in the books.

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A very nice day. If anything, the rain kept the crowds down, and the ride back to Keswick, through much of which was essentially rain forest, was pleasantly memorable.

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