I suppose I have a love-hate relationship with England, as a country, in general. This attitude comes from the time I spent living in the city of Manchester (hate), trying to get away to its nearby wild places (love). I was reminded of how rockin’ the English countryside is on my recent trip to the Lake District.
I took the train from Manchester to Windermere, and on the walk up to my lodgings, these lovely, happy-go-lucky creatures greeted me:
Just a ways up this mossy-rocky road I was walking, I had views that stretched out over endless miles of green rolling hills:
One thing that seemed to strike me over and over again about being in England was this sense of permanence. The stone walls dividing pastures have been around for hundreds of years. Country houses in the Lake District look centuries of years old, and most of the places I walked among are now immortalized in English poetry. There are no strip malls here. No billboards. No neon signs. Even the trees seem to have been around longer than most:
After staying two nights in Windermere, I moved on to Grasmere. This town is important as a historic landmark…British Romantic poets lived in Grasmere (Wowrdsworth at Dove Cottage) and the nearby Rydal Mount (Wordsworth and Coleridge). Big hills surround Grasmere, and they seem to just sit there, begging for visitors.
So, heeding the call, I decided one evening to go “fell walking,” as the Brits call it. I didn’t know where I wanted to go besides up, and I luckily stumbled upon a public footpath pointing to Alcock Tarn (above). Just as the sun dipped behind the hills, I reached the tarn, and then walked down as the town lights started to twinkle in the night.