I suppose the clue’s in the name. If you visit a place that’s renowned for its lakes, rivers and lush green scenery you can probably expect to get the odd drop of rain from time to time – so for the last few days leading up to this trip we’ve been watching the weather forecast and hoping that the recent run of dreadful weather (apparently the wettest May on record) would come to an end. It was a bit of an inauspicious start as we motored our way up the M5/M6 between torrential downpours interspersed with short periods of brilliant sunshine, but our arrival in Hawkshead coincided with a break in the clouds and we were able to sit outside a local pub and enjoy a pint. As it was the first time we’d been able to do so for about 18 months it tasted especially good.
Hawkshead sits (or ‘nestles’ as they say in the guidebooks) midway between Windermere and Coniston Water and is an especially pretty little village with what appears to have one of the highest concentrations of pubs in the land. Its other claim to fame is the little known (unless, of course, you happen to live or work here) fact that it’s where William Wordsworth went to school – there, now you know it too!
Yesterday (Tuesday) morning we met James and Esther Brown and their children for a quick coffee before they had to high-tail it back home at the end of their short holiday break – by coincidence they happened to be visiting the area for a few days so the opportunity for a quick catch up was too good to miss. In the afternoon we risked the elements and walked about five miles up to Outgate and around Blelham Tarn which provided some nice views of the surrounding countryside and across to the mountains in the northern lakes.
This morning started with the usual and predictable downpour, but once the skies cleared we managed a walk in the other direction through Hawkshead and up towards Esthwaite Water which, after a bit of a climb, took us through a large area of Forestry Commission land before providing us with some more nice views and great scenery. This afternoon was an opportunity for some R&R followed by the usual French and Spanish lessons courtesy of DuoLingo – are we creatures of habit, or what?