Through the Viewfinder
And What Alice Found There
This week I've managed to go out on 2 trips into the Lakes - on Sunday I visited Wastwater near Gorsforth, and on Tuesday I went to Tilberthwaite Ghyll near Coniston.
My first outing to Wastwater was just beautiful. We had perfect weather for a trip out so we decided to pack a picnic and drove over towards Ambleside. We decided to take the route to Wasdale via Wrynose and Hardknott Pass - both known as two of Britain's most challenging roads! We slowly made our way up the steep single track lane, around what Alfred Wainwright once described as "a heart-stopping series of sharp and narrow hairpin bends". Although the journey was pretty scary (especially when another car was coming the opposite way!) the views were fantastic! With it being a clear day you could see right along the valley and all the surrounding fells. I was mainly trying to photograph from the car as we were moving because it was too dangerous to stop and there wasn't many places to pull over!
After about 45 minutes of driving over both passes we eventually arrived on the shore of Wastwater - England's deepest lake! It's a gorgeous location, surrounded by the Screes that run right down to the water and huge mountains (including Scafell Pike), with large open areas down by the lakeside - perfect for picnics! There wasn't many people around even on such a beautiful day so we easily got parked by the side of the road. There's quite a few large laybys down there and also further along the road is a National Trust car park so there seemed to be plenty of room even if it did get busier. We ate our picnic on a little island that we climbed out onto, with stunning views right up and down the lake. When it was time to leave we took a different route home, down via Newby Bridge and back up to Kendal. I would definitely recommend a visit to Wastwater - it's really beautiful and also very peaceful - not much traffic coming down from Wrynose and Hardknott! For members of the National Trust there is a car park at Overbeck, a National Trust campsite at Wasdale Head, and a youth hostel also owned by them. Pubs and shops are also situated in nearby villages.
My second adventure this week took me to Tilberthwaite near Coniston. We parked in the car park next to the bottom of the ghyll and walked up the stone steps in the hillside towards the old slate quarry. It was quite an easy walk but with stunning views - the old quarries were brilliant! Standing in the middle of them really made you feel small! There was also some old mine shafts still around which you had to be careful not to fall down as some of them were quite deep! We wandered round the different levels of the quarry for a while, slowly getting higher up the hillside as we went. At one point I was admiring the view of the surrounding fells from the top of the quarry when I dropped my lens cap down over the cliff edge! Luckily Dad went down to the bottom and found it for me - bit of a miracle really with all the old bits of slate still on the ground, my lens cap could easily have got lost among them!
We carried on walking and crossed the river over a little wooden footbridge, then up a bit further where we found a small cave - it also started snowing on us! We decided then it was time to head back so we walked down the opposite side of the river to they way we came up. It joined up with the road again and we walked past the farmhouse and back to the car park. It was a nice little walk to do - we could have easily spent longer there going further up the hill and seeing how many other quarries we could find.
We had a picnic in the car then went home via Coniston. We drove down by the lake, stopping at a small car park by the shore. We got out and had a quick walk on the pebble beach - the views were beautiful, especially as the sun started to come out!
I will definitely be visiting both Wastwater and Coniston again soon for more photos, both places make great days out! Which lakes have you visited in the Lake District? Share your stories in the comments below!