Grasmere

Grasmere Village Church

Grasmere Village Church

Grasmere In Cumbria

Set within the heart of the Lake District, Grasmere is a very popular Lakeland village, whilst famous for being home to one of England’s best known romantic poet William Wordsworth, who described Grasmere as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found”. Today Grasmere is totally given over to the tourist industry, whilst probably Cumbria’s most popular village, with plenty of gift shops, places to eat and stay.

Wordsworth lived at Dove Cottage from 1799 to 1808 with his sister Dorothy. Her journals record their life together in Grasmere. Dove Cottage and gardens are open to the public and there is also an award winning museum with one of the greatest collections of manuscripts, books and paintings relating to British Romanticism.

Grasmere Village

In nearby Rydal you can visit Wordsworth’s later home, the beautiful Rydal Mount and Gardens, where he lived for 37 years.

The main event in Grasmere is the village sports days which takes place in August and was first held in 1852. This is the premier event in the village calendar, whilst being one of the most popular traditional events in the Lake District. Participants compete in a variety of sports, including Cumberland Wrestling, Fell Running and Hound Trails.

looking Down Upon Grasmere

looking Down Upon Grasmere

Most of the buildings in and around Grasmere date from the 19th or early 20th Century, though the farms around Grasmere are much older. The Grasmere church of St Oswald’s dates from the 13th Century, and named after St Oswald, a 7th Century Christian King of Northumberland. It is the parish church of Grasmere, Rydal and Langdale, whilst each township has its own separate gate into the churchyard. In 1850 William Wordsworth died while out walking, having a simple tombstone in the churchyard, now one of the most visited literary shrines in the world. The church stands on the bank of the River Rothay, which is a popular novice’s river for canoeing, being grade 2 and approximately 6 kms and meandering through Wordsworth territory.

Grasmere

Wordsworth's Grave Grasmere

Wordsworth's Grave Grasmere

From the village of Grasmere it is only a short walk to the lake, which can be superb early on a summer’s morning, with the mist still hovering upon the water. Rowing boats are available for hire seven days a week between March and early November. There is a walk around the lake, although part of it is on the main A591 road which runs along the east side of the lake.

A number of very popular walks begin near the centre of Grasmere village, including the ascent of Helm Crag and a longer route up to Fairfield. The village is also on the route of Alfred Wainwright’s Coast To Coast Walk.

Easdale Tarn walks, Grasmere is a very popular walk for beginner fell walkers, with a great feel of being in the mountains, although the route from Far Easdale is a walk best reserved for spring, autumn or summer due to the boggy ground.  This walk is approximately 4 miles.

Great How, near Grasmere is another popular short walk of only 2 miles in length.

Should you wish to see better quality photographs of Grasmere village, please visit Grasmere on our Lake District Walks Flickr account.

There is an abundance of holiday accommodation within Grasmere village and the surrounding area, with Campsites, Guest Houses and local pubs. For a pet friendly home search our Lake District Cottages for a local cottage close to the village centre that was once home to William Wordsworth.

Whatever time of year you visit Grasmere you will find one of the best Lakeland villages.

Wainwright Fells 214

214 Wainwright Fells

214 Wainwright Fells

Wainwright Fells

Alfred Wainwright in his Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells incorporates 214 fells described within his seven books. Written over a period of 13 years from 1952, whilst they consist entirely of reproductions of Alfred Wainwright manuscripts, hand produced in pen and ink with no typeset material.

Many people simply come to the Lake District to enjoy the beautiful scenery and spectacular walks with no other objective in mind other than to simply enjoy.

For some it is a great challenge to follow in the footsteps of the great man himself, and enjoy the countless walks by completing the 214 Wainwright fells described by Alfred Wainwright.

Visiting all 214 of Wainwright fells is a common form of peak bragging.

Over two million copies of the Alfred Wainwright Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland fells have been sold worldwide since their first publication way back in 1955 and 1966.

In the notes at the end of Book 7, Wainwright lists what he considers to be the ‘finest half dozen’ fells in Lakeland. His list consists of;

Wainwright Fells

Scafell Pike

Bowfell

Pillar

Great Gable

Blencathra

Crinkle Crags

Below is the full list of all 214 Wainwright fells in book order.

The Wainwright Fells

No Mountain Book Rank By Height Height(feet) Height(metres) OS Grid Ref
1 Arnison Crag Book 1 – Eastern Fells 194 1,421 433 NY 394 150
2 Birkhouse Moor Book 1 – Eastern Fells 78 2,356 718 NY 363 160
3 Birks Book 1 – Eastern Fells 125 2,041 622 NY 382 145
4 Catstye Cam Book 1 – Eastern Fells 10 2,920 890 NY 348 158
5 Clough Head Book 1 – Eastern Fells 74 2,382 726 NY 334 225
6 Dollywaggon Pike Book 1 – Eastern Fells 18 2,815 858 NY 346 131
7 Dove Crag Book 1 – Eastern Fells 38 2,598 792 NY 375 104
8 Fairfield Book 1 – Eastern Fells 13 2,864 873 NY 359 117
9 Glenridding Dodd Book 1 – Eastern Fells 191 1,450 442 NY 380 176
10 Gowbarrow Fell Book 1 – Eastern Fells 181 1,579 481 NY 408 218
11 Great Dodd Book 1 – Eastern Fells 19 2,812 857 NY 342 206
12 Great Mell Fell Book 1 – Eastern Fells 155 1,762 537 NY 397 254
13 Great Rigg Book 1 – Eastern Fells 54 2,513 766 NY 356 105
14 Hart Crag Book 1 – Eastern Fells 27 2,698 822 NY 369 112
15 Hart Side Book 1 – Eastern Fells 61 2,481 756 NY 359 197
16 Hartsop Above How Book 1 – Eastern Fells 137 1,903 580 NY 383 120
17 Helvellyn Book 1 – Eastern Fells 3 3,118 950 NY 342 152
18 Heron Pike Book 1 – Eastern Fells 128 2,008 612 NY 356 083
19 High Hartsop Dodd Book 1 – Eastern Fells 165 1,702 519 NY 394 108
20 High Pike (Scandale) Book 1 – Eastern Fells 109 2,152 656 NY 374 088
21 Little Hart Crag Book 1 – Eastern Fells 120 2,091 637 NY 387 100
22 Little Mell Fell Book 1 – Eastern Fells 173 1,657 505 NY 423 240
23 Low Pike Book 1 – Eastern Fells 172 1,667 508 NY 374 078
24 Middle Dodd Book 1 – Eastern Fells 111 2,146 654 NY 397 096
25 Nab Scar Book 1 – Eastern Fells 193 1,444 440 NY 355 072
26 Nethermost Pike Book 1 – Eastern Fells 9 2,923 891 NY 344 142
27 Raise Book 1 – Eastern Fells 12 2,897 883 NY 343 174
28 Red Screes Book 1 – Eastern Fells 49 2,546 776 NY 396 088
29 St Sunday Crag Book 1 – Eastern Fells 22 2,759 841 NY 369 134
30 Seat Sandal Book 1 – Eastern Fells 69 2,415 736 NY 344 114
31 Sheffield Pike Book 1 – Eastern Fells 99 2,215 675 NY 369 182
32 Stone Arthur Book 1 – Eastern Fells 175 1,640 500 NY 348 092
33 Stybarrow Dodd Book 1 – Eastern Fells 21 2,766 843 NY 343 189
34 Watsons Dodd Book 1 – Eastern Fells 41 2,589 789 NY 336 196
35 White Side Book 1 – Eastern Fells 16 2,832 863 NY 338 167
36 Angletarn Pikes Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 143 1,860 567 NY 413 148
37 Arthur’s Pike Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 157 1,745 532 NY 461 207
38 Beda Fell Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 170 1,670 509 NY 429 172
39 Bonscale Pike Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 161 1,718 524 NY 453 201
40 Branstree Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 81 2,339 713 NY 478 100
41 Brock Crags Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 144 1,842 561 NY 417 137
42 Caudale Moor Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 55 2,502 763 NY 419 100
43 Froswick Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 77 2,362 720 NY 435 085
44 Gray Crag Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 90 2,293 699 NY 247 119
45 Grey Crag Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 118 2,093 638 NY 497 072
46 Hallin Fell Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 203 1,273 388 NY 433 198
47 Harter Fell Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 48 2,552 778 NY 460 093
48 Hartsop Dodd Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 126 2,028 618 NY 412 118
49 High Raise (Martindale) Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 31 2,631 802 NY 448 143
50 High Street Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 25 2,718 828 NY 441 110
51 Ill Bell Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 60 2,484 757 NY 437 077
52 Kentmere Pike Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 71 2,395 730 NY 466 078
53 Kidsty Pike Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 46 2,560 780 NY 447 126
54 The Knott Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 66 2,425 739 NY 437 127
55 Loadpot Hill Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 102 2,201 671 NY 457 181
56 Mardale Ill Bell Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 59 2,493 760 NY 448 101
57 The Nab Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 139 1,890 576 NY 434 152
58 Place Fell Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 108 2,156 657 NY 406 170
59 Rampsgill Head Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 39 2,598 792 NY 443 129
60 Rest Dodd Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 92 2,283 696 NY 433 137
61 Sallows Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 166 1,693 516 NY 437 040
62 Selside Pike Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 110 2,149 655 NY 491 112
63 Shipman Knotts Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 133 1,926 587 NY 472 062
64 Sour Howes Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 180 1,585 483 NY 428 032
65 Steel Knotts Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 195 1,417 432 NY 440 181
66 Tarn Crag (Londsleddale) Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 104 2,178 664 NY 488 079
67 Thornthwaite Crag Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 43 2,572 784 NY 432 100
68 Troutbeck Tongue Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 207 1,194 364 NY 422 064
69 Wansfell Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 178 1,597 487 NY 404 053
70 Wether Hill Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 103 2,198 670 NY 456 168
71 Yoke Book 2 – Far Eastern Fells 85 2,316 706 NY 438 067
72 Armboth Fell Book 3 – Central Fells 182 1,572 479 NY 297 160
73 Bleaberry Fell Book 3 – Central Fells 132 1,936 590 NY 286 196
74 Blea Rigg Book 3 – Central Fells 152 1,776 541 NY 302 078
75 Calf Crag Book 3 – Central Fells 154 1,762 537 NY 302 104
76 Eagle Crag Book 3 – Central Fells 164 1,706 520 NY 275 121
77 Gibson Knott Book 3 – Central Fells 198 1,379 420 NY 318 099
78 Grange Fell Book 3 – Central Fells 200 1,345 410 NY 265 163
79 Great Crag Book 3 – Central Fells 192 1,444 440 NY 270 147
80 Harrison Stickle Book 3 – Central Fells 68 2,415 736 NY 282 074
81 Helm Crag Book 3 – Central Fells 201 1,329 405 NY 326 094
82 High Raise (Langdale) Book 3 – Central Fells 56 2,500 762 NY 281 095
83 High Rigg Book 3 – Central Fells 210 1,161 354 NY 309 220
84 High Seat Book 3 – Central Fells 130 1,995 608 NY 287 180
85 High Tove Book 3 – Central Fells 167 1,690 515 NY 289 165
86 Loft Crag Book 3 – Central Fells 97 2,231 680 NY 277 071
87 Loughrigg Fell Book 3 – Central Fells 211 1,099 335 NY 347 051
88 Pavey Ark Book 3 – Central Fells 89 2,297 700 NY 285 079
89 Pike O’Stickle Book 3 – Central Fells 83 2,326 709 NY 274 074
90 Raven Crag Book 3 – Central Fells 186 1,512 461 NY 303 188
91 Sergeant Man Book 3 – Central Fells 72 2,395 730 NY 286 089
92 Sergeant’s Crag Book 3 – Central Fells 141 1,873 571 NY 274 114
93 Silver How Book 3 – Central Fells 202 1,292 394 NY 325 066
94 Steel Fell Book 3 – Central Fells 146 1,814 553 NY 319 112
95 Tarn Crag (Easedale) Book 3 – Central Fells 150 1.804 550 NY 304 093
96 Thunacar Knott Book 3 – Central Fells 76 2,372 723 NY 280 080
97 Ullscarf Book 3 – Central Fells 75 2,382 726 NY 292 122
98 Walla Crag Book 3 – Central Fells 204 1,243 379 NY 277 213
99 Allen Crags Book 4 – Southern Fells 42 2,575 785 NY 237 085
100 Black Fell Book 4 – Southern Fells 212 1,060 323 NY 340 016
101 Bowfell Book 4 – Southern Fells 6 2,960 902 NY 245 064
102 Brim Fell Book 4 – Southern Fells 37 2,611 796 SD 271 986
103 Cold Pike Book 4 – Southern Fells 88 2,300 701 NY 263 036
104 Coniston Old Man Book 4 – Southern Fells 30 2,635 803 SD 272 978
105 Crinkle Crags Book 4 – Southern Fells 17 2,818 859 NY 248 049
106 Dow Crag Book 4 – Southern Fells 47 2,552 778 SD 263 978
107 Esk Pike Book 4 – Southern Fells 11 2,903 885 NY 237 075
108 Glaramara Book 4 – Southern Fells 44 2,569 783 NY 247 106
109 Great Carrs Book 4 – Southern Fells 45 2,559 780 NY 270 009
110 Great End Book 4 – Southern Fells 5 2,986 910 NY 227 084
111 Green Crag Book 4 – Southern Fells 176 1,604 489 SD 200 983
112 Grey Friar Book 4 – Southern Fells 52 2,526 770 NY 260 004
113 Hard Knott Book 4 – Southern Fells 151 1,802 549 NY 232 024
114 Harter Fell (Eskdale) Book 4 – Southern Fells 112 2,141 653 SD 219 997
115 Holme Fell Book 4 – Southern Fells 213 1,040 317 NY 315 007
116 Illgill Head Book 4 – Southern Fells 129 1,998 609 NY 165 048
117 Lingmell Book 4 – Southern Fells 35 2,625 800 NY 209 081
118 Lingmoor Fell Book 4 – Southern Fells 184 1,539 469 NY 303 046
119 Pike O’Blisco Book 4 – Southern Fells 86 2,313 705 NY 271 042
120 Rossett Pike Book 4 – Southern Fells 115 2,133 650 NY 249 076
121 Rosthwaite Fell Book 4 – Southern Fells 149 1,807 550 NY 258 125
122 Scafell Book 4 – Southern Fells 2 3,162 964 NY 207 065
123 Scafell Pike Book 4 – Southern Fells 1 3,210 978 NY 215 072
124 Seathwaite Fell Book 4 – Southern Fells 123 2,073 632 NY 229 102
125 Slight Side Book 4 – Southern Fells 57 2,499 762 NY 210 050
126 Swirl How Book 4 – Southern Fells 33 2,630 802 NY 273 005
127 Wetherlam Book 4 – Southern Fells 58 2,502 762 NY 288 011
128 Whin Rigg Book 4 – Southern Fells 156 1,755 535 NY 151 034
129 Bakestall Book 5 – Northern Fells 100 2,201 668 NY 266 307
130 Bannerdale Crags Book 5 – Northern Fells 96 2.241 677 NY 335 290
131 Binsey Book 5 – Northern Fells 190 1,466 447 NY 225 355
132 Blencathra Book 5 – Northern Fells 14 2,848 868 NY 323 277
133 Bowscale Fell Book 5 – Northern Fells 87 2,303 702 NY 334 306
134 Brae Fell Book 5 – Northern Fells 134 1,920 585 NY 289 351
135 Carl Side Book 5 – Northern Fells 64 2,448 746 NY 255 281
136 Carrock Fell Book 5 – Northern Fells 105 2,174 663 NY 342 337
137 Dodd Book 5 – Northern Fells 174 1,612 502 NY 244 273
138 Great Calva Book 5 – Northern Fells 95 2,264 690 NY 290 312
139 Great Cockup Book 5 – Northern Fells 159 1,720 526 NY 273 333
140 Great Sca Fell Book 5 – Northern Fells 114 2,131 649 NY 291 339
141 High Pike (Caldbeck) Book 5 – Northern Fells 107 2,157 658 NY 319 350
142 Knott Book 5 – Northern Fells 82 2,329 710 NY 296 330
143 Latrigg Book 5 – Northern Fells 206 1,203 367 NY 279 247
144 Longlands Fell Book 5 – Northern Fells 179 1,580 483 NY 276 354
145 Long Side Book 5 – Northern Fells 70 2,408 734 NY 248 284
146 Lonscale Fell Book 5 – Northern Fells 80 2,346 715 NY 286 271
147 Meal Fell Book 5 – Northern Fells 148 1,770 541 NY 282 338
148 Mungrisdale Common Book 5 – Northern Fells 121 2,068 630 NY 311 292
149 Skiddaw Book 5 – Northern Fells 4 3,054 931 NY 260 291
150 Skiddaw Little Man Book 5 – Northern Fells 15 2,838 865 NY 267 278
151 Souther Fell Book 5 – Northern Fells 163 1,680 522 NY 335 292
152 Ullock Pike Book 5 – Northern Fells 98 2,230 680 NY 244 288
153 Ard Crags Book 6 – North Western Fells 136 1,906 581 NY 207 198
154 Barf Book 6 – North Western Fells 185 1,536 468 NY 215 267
155 Barrow Book 6 – North Western Fells 188 1,494 455 NY 227 218
156 Broom Fell Book 6 – North Western Fells 169 1,677 511 NY 194 272
157 Castle Crag Book 6 – North Western Fells 214 951 290 NY 249 159
158 Catbells Book 6 – North Western Fells 189 1,481 451 NY 244 198
159 Causey Pike Book 6 – North Western Fells 119 2,090 637 NY 219 209
160 Dale Head Book 6 – North Western Fells 63 2,470 753 NY 223 153
161 Eel Crag Book 6 – North Western Fells 24 2,753 839 NY 193 204
162 Grasmoor Book 6 – North Western Fells 20 2,795 852 NY 175 204
163 Graystones Book 6 – North Western Fells 187 1,496 456 NY 178 265
164 Grisedale Pike Book 6 – North Western Fells 40 2,595 791 NY 198 225
165 High Spy Book 6 – North Western Fells 113 2,143 653 NY 234 162
166 Hindscarth Book 6 – North Western Fells 73 2,385 727 NY 216 165
167 Hopegill Head Book 6 – North Western Fells 53 2,525 770 NY 186 222
168 Knott Rigg Book 6 – North Western Fells 145 1,824 556 NY 197 189
169 Ling Fell Book 6 – North Western Fells 205 1,224 373 NY 180 286
170 Lord’s Seat Book 6 – North Western Fells 147 1,811 552 NY 204 266
171 Maiden Moor Book 6 – North Western Fells 138 1,890 576 NY 237 171
172 Outerside Book 6 – North Western Fells 142 1,863 568 NY 211 215
173 Rannerdale Knotts Book 6 – North Western Fells 209 1,165 355 NY 167 183
174 Robinson Book 6 – North Western Fells 67 2.417 737 NY 202 169
175 Sail Book 6 – North Western Fells 50 2,536 773 NY 198 203
176 Sale Fell Book 6 – North Western Fells 208 1,178 359 NY 194 297
177 Scar Crags Book 6 – North Western Fells 101 2,205 672 NY 209 207
178 Wandope Book 6 – North Western Fells 51 2,533 772 NY 188 197
179 Whinlatter Book 6 – North Western Fells 160 1,722 525 NY 197 249
180 Whiteless Pike Book 6 – North Western Fells 106 2,165 660 NY 180 190
181 Whiteside Book 6 – North Western Fells 84 2,320 707 NY 170 220
182 Base Brown Book 7 – Western Fells 117 2,120 646 NY 225 115
183 Blake Fell Book 7 – Western Fells 140 1,878 573 NY 110 197
184 Brandreth Book 7 – Western Fells 79 2,344 715 NY 215 119
185 Buckbarrow Book 7 – Western Fells 197 1,378 420 NY 136 061
186 Burnbank Fell Book 7 – Western Fells 183 1,558 475 NY 110 209
187 Caw Fell Book 7 – Western Fells 94 2,264 690 NY 132 110
188 Crag Fell Book 7 – Western Fells 162 1,716 523 NY 097 144
189 Fellbarrow Book 7 – Western Fells 199 1,363 416 NY 132 242
190 Fleetwith Pike Book 7 – Western Fells 116 2,126 648 NY 206 142
191 Gavel Fell Book 7 – Western Fells 158 1,726 526 NY 117 184
192 Great Borne Book 7 – Western Fells 127 2,021 616 NY 124 164
193 Great Gable Book 7 – Western Fells 7 2,949 899 NY 211 103
194 Green Gable Book 7 – Western Fells 34 2,628 801 NY 215 107
195 Grey Knotts Book 7 – Western Fells 91 2,287 697 NY 217 126
196 Grike Book 7 – Western Fells 177 1,601 488 NY 085 141
197 Haycock Book 7 – Western Fells 36 2,615 797 NY 145 107
198 Haystacks Book 7 – Western Fells 131 1,959 597 NY 193 132
199 Hen Comb Book 7 – Western Fells 171 1,670 509 NY 132 181
200 High Crag Book 7 – Western Fells 65 2,441 744 NY 181 140
201 High Stile Book 7 – Western Fells 29 2,648 807 NY 167 148
202 Kirk Fell Book 7 – Western Fells 32 2,630 802 NY 195 105
203 Lank Rigg Book 7 – Western Fells 153 1,775 541 NY 092 120
204 Low Fell Book – Western Fells 196 1,404 428 NY 137 226
205 Mellbreak Book – Western Fells 168 1,680 512 NY 148 186
206 Middle Fell Book 7 – Western Fells 135 1,908 582 NY 151 073
207 Pillar Book 7 – Western Fells 8 2,927 892 NY 171 121
208 Red Pike (Buttermere) Book 7 – Western Fells 62 2,479 755 NY 161 155
209 Red Pike (Wasdale) Book 7 – Western Fells 26 2,710 826 NY 165 106
210 Scoat Fell Book 7 – Western Fells 23 2,760 841 NY 159 114
211 Seatallan Book 7 – Western Fells 93 2,270 692 NY 140 084
212 Starling Dodd Book 7 – Western Fells 122 2,077 633 NY 142 157
213 Steeple Book 7 – Western Fells 28 2,687 819 NY 158 117
214 Yewbarrow Book 7 – Western Fells 124 2,060 628 NY 173 085
214 Wainwright Fells

214 Wainwright Fells

Honister Slate Mine

Honister

Honister

Honister Slate Mine

Let me ask you firstly if you have ever visited a slate mine before, if the answer is yes, then what makes Honister Slate Mine special I here you asking.

Did you Know ?

Honister slate formed from 450 million year old metamorphosed volcanic ash, is the hardest slate in the world. Honister is the ONLY working slate mine in England.

Should you have watched the recent royal wedding, did you notice the Honister Roofing Slate at Buckingham Palace, whilst you will also find Honister roofing slate at St Pauls Cathedral, Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

It is believed that the first slate was probably mined from the Honister area in the Roman era, although it is quite possible that it began even earlier. Slate roofing was a feature of many thirteenth century monastic buildings and it has been used as a building material in the region for many centuries.

Honister Slate Mine

Honister Slate Mine

Honister Slate Mine

The first confirmed records of slate mining in Honister do not appear until the early 1700’s, whilst quarrying on a significant scale was taking place in the 1750’s and from 1833, under the managerial eye of entrepreneur Sam Wright, the business expanded with the creation of underground mines as well as open quarries.

It is hard to imagine in this day and age, as the slate workers lived at Honister (often inside the mines) during the week, returning home at the weekends. In the twentieth century, some stayed in barracks at The Hause and the company built some houses for the workers in Borrowdale.

The slate was originally extracted in large blocks or ‘clogs’ which were first ‘docked’ or reduced in size with a chisel and mallet, whilst cutting across the grain. After 1856, this process was replaced by sawing. The docked or sawn block was then ‘rived’, or split down the grain, with the resulting thin slates dressed to shape on a ‘slate anvil’ using a slate knife or ‘whittle’.

This process was also mechanised in the 1890’s, whilst slates where finished in stone built huts on the mountain side near the quarries, or in the mines, until the construction of a factory at The Hause in the 1920’s.

Honister Slate Mine

Honister slate was used extensively in local buildings, but the best quality roofing slate was exported far afield.

Honister Pass

Honister Pass

Honister Slate Mine is situated near the summit of Honister pass which starts at Gatesgarth Farm, at the southern end of Buttermere. The pass connects the Buttermere valley with the eastern end of Borrowdale valley. Rising some 1167 feet in height at the summit, whilst being one of Cumbria’s highest passes, with a gradient of 1 in 4.

There are several great walks from the summit of Honister pass, where the slate mine is situated, as the start of walks  footpaths lead up to Great Gable, Dale Head (2473 ft) to the north, Fleetwith Pike to the west, Grey Knotts to the south.

There is also the Lake District Hostels of the Hause.

If you would like to explore this area by car the Honister pass forms part of a beautiful circular scenic drive from Keswick that includes Newlands Pass, Buttermere and Crummock Water, areas that are not as dominated by visitors compared with other parts of the Lake District such as Bowness on Windermere.

For more information on visiting Honister Slate Mine and tours please visit www.honister-slate-mine.co.uk and enjoy a day out at Honister.

Outdoor Survival – Bushcraft

Outdoor Survival - Bushcraft

Outdoor Survival - Bushcraft

Outdoor Survival

The Lake District National Park and Cumbria is the country’s biggest adventure and outdoor survival playground offering breath taking scenery, England’s tallest mountains with the deepest and largest lakes.

You can explore outdoor survival and discover some of England’s most beautiful scenery, although it does not matter if you are a seasoned adventurer or simply wishing to learn the ropes from a qualified guide, there are outdoor activities to suit everyone.

Whatever floats your boat and gets your pulse racing, outdoor activities from pedal power to paddle, hiking or climbing, get outdoors and enjoy.

Would you like to experience Outdoor Survival making fire to building a shelter, foraging for fungi to navigating by the stars, wilderness survival is a diverse and fascinating subject. Hands on outdoor survival courses are the perfect choice for those wanting to learn or perfect the art of bushcraft.

Outdoor Survival In The Lake District

Outdoor survival or bushcraft, are generally techniques a person may use in a dangerous situation to save themselves or others, providing the basic necessities for human life, water, food, shelter and habitat. In any dangerous situation it is a must that you think straight, signal for help, to navigate safely, to avoid unpleasant interactions with animals and plants and for first aid.

Outdoor survival skills are often basic ideas and abilities our ancient ancestors would have had to use for thousands of years, these skills are partially a re-enactment of our past. Learning outdoor survival and bushcraft skills is a great way to enjoy extended periods of time in remote places, or alternatively to thrive in nature.

Outdoor Survival and bushcraft has many areas of expertise, although mental competence and physical fitness being the main requirements. Mental competency includes the ability to admit the existence of a crisis, overcome panic and think clearly, whilst physical fitness includes the ability to carry loads over long distances on rough terrain.

The Lake District has a fascinating, beautiful landscape which is ideal for outdoor camping and indulging any ideas you might have to coexist with nature, at a fundamental basic level as our ancestors did.

Outdoor Survival

Within the Lake District there are many outdoor adventure companies offering everything you would imagine, from Walking and Hiking days out, Canoeing on the lakes, Climbing, Ghyll Scrambling, and then there are the Family Bushcraft courses and Outdoor Survival courses.

Any type of outdoor survival or simple group activity in the Lake District can be an awe inspiring day for all, helping to build and develop great team spirit, whilst not forgetting the fun which can be enjoyed for both stag and hen parties.  Team building whilst outdoors will help promote logic, creativity, leadership qualities, whilst supporting each other in different situations.

The following list of outdoor survival and bushcraft schools is for information only. Please check that any school meets your particular requirements before booking any courses.

Reach Beyond Adventure, Penruddock, Penrith www.reachbeyondadventure.co.uk

Woodsmoke, Cockermouth, Cumbria www.woodsmoke.uk.com

GlaraMara, Near Keswick, www.glaramara.co.uk

Remember on any outdoor Survival walking or camping holiday to use common sense and be careful, which in turn will result in a great time for all involved, family group, friends, stag or hen party.

The Lake District

The Lake District Jan 2010

The Lake District Jan 2010

The Lake District

For those who have never visited ‘The Lake District’ of England, and no matter where you live in the world I will in this article try to give you my insight into the beauty and splendour which makes the Lake District so popular with visitors from around the world, with a liberal sprinkling of facts.

The Lake District National Park is the largest of England’s National Parks and includes Scafell Pike, which is the highest mountain in England, with Wastwater being the deepest lake, whilst Windermere is England’s largest lake. The Lake District is also known as The Lakes or Lakeland and is situated in the North West of England. The Lakes are a popular holiday destination, for short breaks, outdoor activity holidays and walking holidays.

The Lake District is famous for its lakes, mountains and fells, and its association with the 19th century poetry and writings of William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter and the Lake Poets.

The Lake District Winter 08

The Lake District Winter 08

The Lake District was designated as a National Park in 1951, whilst also being the largest of thirteen National Parks in England and Wales, and the second largest in the UK after the Cairngorms of Scotland.

All the land in England higher than three thousand feet above sea level lies within the Lake District National Park, including such peaks as Scarfell Pike (3,209), Scarfell (3,163) and Helvellyn (3,117).

The Lake District is one of the most highly populated National Parks. Its total area being 885 square miles, and is considered one of the most scenic regions and England’s premier destination for hiking, climbing, outdoor activities and walking.

The Lake District

The northern gate way to the Lake District is Penrith, with Bowness on Windermere at the middle.

The Lake District Mountains and hills are known locally as Fells. The Lakeland Fells are England’s only true mountain range and though not high by world standards they nevertheless offer a huge number and array of challenging and rewarding hill walks. All can be walked without ropes and the like, and due to the long tradition of recreational walking in the Lakes there is a great network of paths and routes you may embark upon. Additionally worth a mention is the free access to virtually all areas above the “intake wall” (ie the last wall as you climb out of the valley).

According to the most respected authority (guidebook author Alfred Wainright) there are 214 fells, which will suitably test all levels of walker, most of which offer a number of routes, plus many opportunities to ridge walk between the fells.

The Lake District April

The Lake District April

The highest fell as previously stated is Scarfell Pike, although this tag of “highest” designation leads to a lot of traffic, and visitors who want to experience a high Lake District fell may want to choose another. Some of the slightly smaller fells can be a lot more rewarding to walk, whilst offering better views such as, Great Gable and Helvellyn being popular choices. Less well known hills include Grisedale Pike, Bowfell and one of my favourites being Blencathra (sharp edge).

Getting around the Lake District is easy with and served by multiple bus routes, with many being operated by Stagecoach.

Budget travellers can book a day tour to get to see the best of the Lake District in a day, with Mountain Goat being one of the popular tour operators in the area. There is some great value Lake District Hostels throughout the area providing simple no frills accommodation.

The Lake District

The National Trust is one of the largest land owners within the Lake District protecting a quarter of the National Park and approximately 90,000 acres, whilst offering some unique National Trust cottages for holiday lets.  If you are looking for holiday accommodation there is a large selection of self-catering idyllic country cottages available for your holiday although book in advance as the popular one’s go quickly.

The Lake District Spring 09

The Lake District Spring 09

Bed and breakfast is one of the more popular types of accommodation in the area, and a great way to meet local people, on farms, villages and in the towns depending on your requirements.

Eating and drinking in the Lake District seems to go hand in hand with traditional Lakeland pubs being more prevalent than restaurants in the region, whilst most of them serve traditional English food. With so much sheep farming in the area of the Lake District, roast lamb is a favourite local dish. Cumberland sausage is a speciality throughout Cumbria, and locally caught Borrowdale trout is a popular. Not for getting the great opportunity to sample many local types of real ale in a traditional English pub after a long day walking in the fells of the Lake District.

The mountains and fells of the Lake District are by no means the most extreme mountains in world, although as with any outdoor adventure can still present a serious threat to your safety whilst walking, and underestimating them can be fatal, be safe and as my grandmother said use your common sense and enjoy.

There is an abundance of holiday accommodation within Cumbria, the Lake District National Park and the Eden Valley, with Campsites, Guest Houses and local pubs. For a pet friendly home search our Lake District Cottages for a local cottage close to your desired Lakeland destination. Making your visit to the Lake District something special.

Lake District Hostels

Black Sail Lake District Hostels

Black Sail Lake District Hostels

Lake District hostels

The awesome landscape of the mountains, fells and lakes of the Lake District offers outdoor activities for all, which will keep active people occupied for days. You can experience extreme sports such as ghyll scrambling or simply explore on foot or bike. If you should wish to take it easy there are lots of charming villages and towns such as Keswick, which you can spend days exploring, or shopping, enjoying the local tea rooms and a snack.

With the alternative way to holiday using Lake District Hostels and Barns can make for an ideal holiday for visitors and groups willing to make the most of the great outdoors, although do not fancy the idea of staying outdoors and braving the elements. Whether travelling in a group, as a family or as a couple, staying in Lake District hostels will be a great experience you will not forget. This can also help to save on your accommodation costs, whilst at the same time allowing you more spending power to enjoy the atmosphere of the countryside.

If you are wondering what a camping barn is, I will explain, as these are generally old stone barns or farm buildings, sometimes referred to as ‘stone tents’. There are over a dozen in the Lake District sleeping from 8 – 18 people. You have a choice of buying a bed from £6 per night or hire the whole barn, which can be great especially for groups. Facilities differ greatly between barns, although all have cold running water, flushing toilets, sleeping area, somewhere to cook. Some of the barns in Cumbria and the Lake District have log fires, hot water, showers, whilst sleeping areas are communal with some barns providing mattresses, although you will need a sleeping bag. These are a great alternative to the traditional concept of Lake District hostels.

It does not matter if you are looking for a town centre Lake District hostels such as the Keswick hostel, something a little more rural, or searching for the tranquillity of a picturesque lakeside retreat, there is a hostel to meet your requirements.

Lake District Hostels

Lake District hostels are a very popular destination for groups of intrepid visitors and walkers, ready to tackle some of the most challenging of the Lakeland walks. Hostels offer great value for money and are the perfect base after a hard days hiking on the fells, offering a homely and relaxing atmosphere to unwind after a day outdoors, whilst allowing for clothes and boots to dry if the weather turns wet as often does in the Lake District.

Buttermere Lake District Hostels

Buttermere Lake District Hostels

A number of Lake District Hostels offer great homemade cooked food, which is great after a full on outdoor activity day, being great value and at a good price. Lake District Hostels are also well furnished with fantastic communal areas ideal for groups and families and with an ever growing list of amenities to enjoy whilst you regale the day’s events and enjoyed activities before heading of the bed for an early start the following day.

Collectively Lake District Hostels have everything you may need, offering great value for money, excellent facilities and services, individually they capture the variety and beauty that is typically Lakeland.

Lake District Hostels, Black Sail Hostel.

Black Sail is an isolated Lake District Hostels once a Shepard’s bothy situated at the head of Ennerdale, on the ‘Coast to Coast Walk’, whilst being something of a Youth Hostel legend. The Hostel is only accessible by foot enabling walkers to take advantage of the Lake District beauty without the crowds and cars. Meals are available, whilst there is a self-catering kitchen. This location provides great access to the surrounding fells, Great Gable, Pillar, Red Pike and Steeple to name but a few.

Buttermere Hostel.

Set in a quiet and tranquil part of the Lake District with walks right from the front door which is great for families and walkers alike. Walks for all levels of experience start from the doorstep, Haystacks is just one of the famous fells easily reached from Buttermere. Afterwards it is possible to unwind in the lounge with views of Red Pike and High Stile then enjoy a fantastic meal in the restaurant along with local ales and wines. For something special Red Squirrels and Woodpeckers can be seen in within the grounds of this Lake District Hostels.

Lake District hostels are a great way of enjoying the beauty and splendour of the lakes on and saving money.

National Trust Cottages

National Trust Cottages

National Trust Cottages

National Trust Cottages

The National Trust is one of the largest landlords within the Lake District and if you are out walking or hiking there is a good possibility you will be on National Trust land, as around one quarter of the Lake District National Park, which includes 90,000 acres, is in the care of the trust.

Therefore it goes without saying that along with the fantastic Lake District scenery that there will be some varied and interesting National Trust Cottages within the trusts care.

National Trust Cottages

The National Trust has a unique and substantial collection of over 370 holiday cottages situated in outstanding locations in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, for short breaks, weekends away and holiday lets, with advanced National Trust Cottages search to find the perfect romantic holiday. Within the Lake District there are approximately only 20 National Trust cottages for holiday rent.

National Trust Cottages

National Trust Cottages

Some of the National Trust Cottages have been acquired as part of a larger rural estate, or historic building. Small houses can be of great historic interest, especially if part of an estate village, once used for the estate workers and can be of great architectural interest in their own right. This can make for a great holiday base for any family, group or individuals.

You will find that the National Trust Cottages as a general rule will be buildings or dwellings that would be less satisfactory as a family home on a day to day basis, although make great and interesting places to stay and visit for a short period of time.

Lake District National Trust cottages, access to the country’s highest mountains, most stunning scenery and lovely countryside. You can walk hike and climb on the mountains and fells, sail and fish on the lakes. Whilst within the National Trust protection you also have the central fell area, the major valley heads, and six of the main lakes and much of their shoreline.

National Trust Cottages

National Trust Cottages

National Trust Cottages

With all that the Lake District has to offer any National Trust cottages make for a great alternative holiday let.

Dogs are permitted in some National Trust cottages, although please check when you enquire or make any bookings.

It is also worth pointing out that whilst visiting and staying in any rural community that farming and other local ways of life may begin early in the morning and continue late into the evening.

The National Trust also offers camping facilities within the Lake District and a great outdoor alternative to holiday lets.

There is an abundance of holiday accommodation within Cumbria and the Lake District National Park, with Campsites, Guest Houses and local pubs. For a pet friendly home search our Lake District Cottages for a local cottage close to your desired Lakeland location.

Or for more information on National Trust Cottages and to check availability visit National Trust Cottages

Lake District National Trust

Lake District National Trust

Lake District National Trust

Lake District National Trust


The National Trust in the Lake District and Cumbria is the most important single organisation protecting and preserving the natural beauty of the Lake District and surrounding areas.

Currently in the hands of the National Trust there are over 248,000 hectares or if you are like me 612,000 acres of countryside, over 300 historic buildings, plus gardens which offer a range of visitor facilities, including car parking, restaurants and shops, whilst not forgetting 600 miles of coastline.

One of the great co-founders of the National Trust was Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, who lived in the Lake District and became its first secretary (Castlerigg Stone Circle was purchased by Canon Hardwicke Rawsley in 1913 for the National Trust) along with co-founders Miss Octavia Hill and Sir Robert Hunter in 1895. The first property of this kind was Brandelhow Park, on the shores of Derwent Water.

Lake District National Trust

Should you be out walking or hiking within the Lake District there is a good possibility you will be on National Trust land, as around one quarter of the Lake District National Park, which includes over 36,000 hectares (90,000 acres). The National Trust also owns Buttermere, Crummock Water, Loweswater, and large sections of Derwent Water, Ullswater and Rydal. Wast Water, another trust owned lake is also the deepest lake, with the mountains of Scafell Pike being the highest in England, Great Gable, the Langdales, and Great Mell Fell are also in their trust.

Camping in the Lake District.

With the National Trust owning so much land within the Lake District, there is also the great opportunity of camping out on the Trusts designated camp sites such as Low Wray, Wasdale and Great Langdale and you can easily check for availability and bookings on the National Trust website.

Some of the most popular Lake District properties are;

Beatrix Potter Gallery, located at Hawkshead.

Fell Foot Park, located at Windermere.

Hill Top (home of Beatrix Potter, where many of her famous books where written) Near Sawrey.

Steam Gondola, located at Coniston Water.

Sizergh Castle, located near Kendal.

Stagshaw Gardens, a woodland garden, created by Cubby Acland, with some delightful walks and access to the nearby fells.

Townend, located at Troutbeck, which is a great place to visit with a wealth of family history.

Wordsworth’s House, located at Cockermouth.

Support the Lake District National Trust

The Lake District National Trust is a registered charity and rely on the generosity of its members and supporters. Family memberships are availably whilst this then allows free admission into all its properties, along with other benefits. Supporting the trust and being a member, you are helping to protect our heritage and saving the landscape for generations to come.

Five million pounds needs to be raised to repair 145 footpaths in the Lake District, visit Fix The Fells to find out more and make a donation. This initiative is supported by the National Trust, Lake District National Park, Nature Lakeland and Natural England to name but a few.

Please support the Lake District National Trust.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Castlerigg Stone Circle

One has to wonder who built, and for what purpose Castlerigg Stone Circle, located within a short distance of Keswick, whilst believed to have been built around 3000 BC at the beginning of the Neolithic Period. Castlerigg is also one of the earliest stone circles in Britain, spectacularly situated a top of the plateau of Castlerigg Fell, within a panorama of rugged hills and fells of ever changing character, depending on the ever changing Lakeland weather and seasons.

Although the circles origins are unknown it is believed that it was used for ceremonial or religious purposes, whilst it is important in terms of megalithic astronomy and geometry, as the construction contains significant astronomical alignments.

Castlerigg Stone Circle consists of 38 stones of variable size and shape, whilst they are all un-hewn boulders, and natural in formation. Some of the stones stand over 5 in height, although some have fallen since the circles erection over the last 5,000 years. Just inside the eastern end of the circle is a group of 10 stones forming a rectangular enclosure known as a cove, the purpose of which is unknown. The circle is 32.6 metres at its widest and the heaviest stone has been estimated to weigh 16 tons.

Castlerigg Stone Circle was bought in 1913 by Cannon Hardwicke Rawnsley, who was a co-founder of the National Trust, and the stone circle is on land owned by the National Trust, whilst maintained by English Heritage.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Excavations within the cove, in 1882 provided very little in the way of archaeological finds, although quantities of charcoal where discovered. There is a wide space to the northern end of the circle, framed by two large stones, which may have served as an entrance. A stone axe head was found on the site in 1875.

On a more mysterious level Castlerigg Stone Circle has been the focus of one well-recorded sighting in 1919 by a man called T Singleton and his friend, of mysterious and strange light phenomena, as they watched white light balls moving slowly over the stones. Strange light themes are a recurring oddity to ancient sites throughout the world, and this may have been one of the reasons for the construction of such monuments at specific locations.

On a clear day you will be rewarded with spectacular rugged Lakeland panoramic views from Castlerigg Stone Circle, with some of the highest peaks in Cumbria, the mountains of Hellvellyn, Latrigg, Skiddaw, Grassmoor and Blencathra. The plateau of Castlerigg being surrounded by such peaks creates a natural amphitheatre with the raised Castlerigg Stone Circle at the centre.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Sitting within the stone circle on a summer’s solstice as the sun rises, surrounded by the power, beauty and authority of Mother Nature it is hard not to be in wonder at the original magnitude and real purpose of the circle. I am no historian, although 5,000 years ago where we not still hunter gatherers? Here at Castlerigg Stone Circle moving anything up to 16 ton of rugged stones about would be an arduous task today, so imagine why you would have even considered stepping out of your rural dwelling of 5,000 years ago without any of life’s modern luxuries to construct such a lasting monument as Castlerigg Stone Circle, when surely survival would have been top of my priority list.

Should you wish to see better quality photographs of this walk please visit Castlerigg Stone Circle on our Lake District Walks Flickr account.

I hope you enjoy your visit to Castlerigg Stone Circle.

Go Ape

Go Ape Whinlatter Cumbria

Go Ape Whinlatter Cumbria

Go Ape In Cumbria

There are 2 Go Ape destinations within the Lake District National park. These being Go Ape at Grizedale Forest, and Go Ape at Whinlatter Forest Park. Both are award winning hire wire forest adventure courses of extreme rope bridges, Tarzan like swings and zip slides, up to 40 feet up. You can climb the trees and slide across rope bridges and zip wires high above the ground.

Go Ape provides a great fun day experience, with friends, family and colleagues. For safety you will be kitted out with climbing harnesses and all you need to enjoy this great facility without injury. You and your group will be given first hand expert instruction in the do’s and don’ts before trekking off of to enjoy the high level fun above the forest floor.

Go Ape In Cumbria

Whinlatter Forest Park is England’s only true mountain forest, rising to 790 metres above sea level, offering spectacular views of the Lake District and into Scotland. Whinlatter is also the highest Go Ape in the country at 360 metres above sea level.

Go Ape Appropriate Clothing.

Appropriate clothing should be used whilst at Go Ape, sturdy walking boots, warm clothing and waterproofs to keep the rain out. Depending on the time of year no harm is done, filling the flask for your return to the car and a well enjoyed hot drink. Do check with Go Ape for their full advised clothing list.

Height Requirements.

Here in the Lake District Go Ape at Grizedale Forest and Whinlatter are very popular tourist attractions for people of all ages, however for safety reasons there are restrictions.

Height 1m 40cm / 4feet 7 inches

Minimum age 10 years

Maximum weight 20.5 stones

Supervising children, under 18’s must be accompanied by a participating responsible adult.

For more information and bookings

Whinlatter Go Ape telephone 0845 643 9215

For more information on Go Ape please follow the link Go Ape

I hope that this article has been helpful and should you visit either of the Go Ape Lake District attractions that you have a great time and lots of fun.

Go Ape In Cumbria

Whilst holidaying in the Lake District Go Ape is a great fun day out to enjoy.