Keswick, Cockermouth and the Northern Lakes

by David Murray on 4 August 2009

in Buttermere, Cockermouth, Crummock Water, Derwentwater, Keswick, Lakes, Loweswater, Northern England, Towns

My time in the Lake District has been very limited so far this year but I did get three days there last week, the primary reason for the visit being to visit elderly relatives. In addition to an overnight in Workington I managed to spend two nights in one of the sleeping ‘pods’ of a large tent belonging to some friends on a camp site near Threlkeld and attended a few meetings at the Keswick Convention, an annual inter-denominational Christian event drawing thousands of people every year and that has been running for around 130 years since being started by a local vicar in the mid-1870s. It was also possible to fit in a couple of afternoon trips into areas easily accessible from Keswick.

Earlier in the week the weather had been wet (as is necessary to fill the rivers and lakes, so we shouldn’t complain too much about it) but my days there were quite pleasant. Friday afternoon took me with two friends past Bassenthwaite to Cockermouth where we enjoyed a late lunch at the Trout Hotel and followed this with a drive to see Loweswater, Crummock Water, Buttermere, Honister Pass, Borrowdale and Derwentwater. I love the northern lakes. They’re so much less congested with traffic and people than the honeypot areas of Windermere, Ambleside, etc, beautiful as those areas are.

The contrasting scenery of Loweswater and Buttermere, the different shaped valleys, the sudden transition from the steep scree-covered slopes of Honister to the greenery of Borrowdale, all these made for a great afternoon. As we drove along we talked of The Secret Valley and the Herries Chronicles, fictional accounts of this fascinating landscape. What a pity that having passed Lodore we didn’t have time to visit Watendlath and Ashness Bridge.

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