Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Lake District

Knitwits Yarns knitwitspenzance.co.uk

As October meandered it's warm (apparently) way along I had a bit of what Winston Churchill called "black dog" so wasn't in the right zone for blogging. There aren't many people who aren't feeling the economic effects right now and that combined with gloom and doom in the press (who have a lot to answer for, in my opinion) brought me to doom and gloom as well.

Fortunately, a long planned half term break in the Lake District came at just the right moment and spending a week with my bro and his family plus my parents (we hired a cottage in the village where they live) has done the trick and I've come back feeling revitalised and ready for the busy (we hope) winter season.

I love The Lake District and have been lucky enough to spend a lot of time there as it's where my parents now live. In fact, when we moved down here it was a toss up between there and here and the only reason we opted for here was the (then) cheaper house prices and warmer weather. Don't get me wrong, I love Cornwall and have never regretted our decision and although we have the fabulous moors and coast we don't have places like this:

That's the view above Ullswater as we climbed Helvellyn on the second day of our holiday (the person on the left is my bro). In true Hopson stylee it was agreed that a mountain needed to be climbed and, although Scafell is the highest it's also a swine to get to, so it was agreed that Helvellyn via Striding Edge was the peak to be tackled. My niece (aged 11) came too, which was one heck of an achievement for her. Having said that, she's actually taller than me so her long legs must give her an advantage - surely?!

For those of you who don't know - this is Striding Edge (you can just see the summit of Helvellyn at the top right of the photo):

and this is G & T (looking slightly military) approaching Striding Edge:

and this is us on it:

at the front you have my niece (Grace), then my bro (with the red backpack), then T and G and, finally me. As you can see, it's narrow and pretty unforgiving on both sides; it was also a little windy so hanging on was essential.

Here am I, nearly at the end (at which point there's a scramble to the summit):

The view is definitely worth the effort:

Just in case that wasn't enough of a thrill we then took the oldest of the 3 "smalls" abseiling:

That white blob in the middle of the rock face is T! And here is G:

To get there we had to go through some old mining tunnels, which were pretty spectacular in their own right:

We had the option of torch or darkness so, obviously, we chose the darkness option. It was, quite literally, pitch black so I pointed the camera and fired - I'm actually quite pleased with the result:

After all that excitement we also had some gentler days:

we took a boat across Windermere and walked to an English Heritage bobbin mill. It was absolutely fascinating - they made every kind of bobbin from sewing thread to wool bobbins for the mills and bobbins for electrical wires - this was the walk to it:

stunning - but I don't suppose the poor workers working 12 hour shifts thought much of the view.

This is Windermere at its autumnal best:

And we even managed to find a Roman Fort:

This is Hardknott Fort at the top of one of the most spectacular drives in the country over Wrynose and Hardknott passes - definitely not a drive for the faint hearted. The senior roman generals were actually allowed to bring their wives and families here - can you imagine a more desolate (or cold) spot - although, in fact, the climate was somewhat different then, of course. But - even so - if I'd been a Roman wife I think I'd have preferred Cirencester or Lincoln or, indeed, Rome!

Whilst we were away, there was some wool delivered (this being a wool shop blog after all) so they'll all be on the system tomorrow and I'll tell you all about them here. Don't miss it!

1 comment:

  1. Hope the black dog has been chased away with all those wonderful days up north!

    I love Cornwall to bits, but there are indeed other nice bits to the Isles. Mr beest and I still have to get to Wales (oh the shame, I know!), and we keep dreaming about going back to Scotland. But since we've been to Scilly, that's our number one paradise destination...