Energetic Lakeland – and Where’s Keswick?

by David Murray on 17 May 2008

in Lakes

Last weekend (written in May 2008) it was a 112-mile cycling event over the Lakeland passes. This coming Sunday it’s the Brathay Windermere Marathon in which runners do a circuit of the lake. Much nicer scenery than the London Marathon! And a lot steeper in places as well.

Where’s Keswick? I recall more than twenty-five years ago collecting a London-based colleague from Manchester airport to drive to see a client on the West Cumbrian coast. When we’d been on the way for about an hour, and were somewhere near Lancaster, she wondered where on earth we were headed. I had to explain that we were not yet half way to our destination and that we were about to go through the mountains. I think she’d expected us to be almost in Glasgow by that time. After all, there’s not much in the North apart from the mill towns, is there! Those few days in Cumbria were quite an eye-opener for someone from the South who appeared to consider even the Midlands a foreign country.

This came back to mind when a day or two ago on a TV quiz show a team of highly knowledgeable quizzers were completely stuck when asked which lake was close to the town of Keswick. They eventually guessed at Coniston, after considering Ullswater as another possibility. It reminded me of the fact that after a generation and more of summer holiday destinations shifting from the British Isles to Spain, the Mediterranean and further afield many of our English countrymen and women know very little of the geography of our own country – and in the case of the Lake District that’s in spite of the millions of tourists that visit every year.

On our “English Lake District” pages there is much material from which to learn about this most beautiful corner of England. There’s a page on each of the major lakes, and these are updated, enlarged and added to from time to time. We also have an online bookshop, The Lake District in Books. So happy reading and, whether or not you can visit this year, enjoy the lakes and mountains.

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