Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Lake District of England

It's been about 10 days since our last post which had us in Keswick, England,
a sizable tourist village in the northern part of the Lake District.

Since then we moved to a second home in a much more remote area in the southern
part of district where we spent a week, and then finally further south
to Wales where we are now.

Our spotwalla map below shows our travels from York, Northwest to the Lake District,
and then south to Wales and Snowdonia National Park where we did some exploring today.

Travel Map York to Wales
We only had 4 nights in our cottage in Keswick and that time flew by.
The photo below shows Keswick, sitting at the foot of Skiddaw Mountain,
and on the shores of Derwent Water.

Keswick - Courtesy Wikipedia
On our last night in Keswick, the sun cast a red glow on the lower slopes of Skiddaw.

Leaving in the morning, headed for our next home, we took some less direct scenic roads.
Our route took us over the mountain and down along Ullswater.

Ullswater seen from A5091
Then we crossed over Kirkstone Pass which is the highest road pass in the Lake District.
The narrow road with stone walls close on each side crosses the pass at 1,489' before 
dropping down to Ambleside on Lake Windermere

Kirkstone Pass - Lake District England
After a detour to Lancaster to resupply with dog food, we headed to our home for
the next week.   Called Coal Yeats, it is a cluster of buildings in sheep farming country,
several miles up a single track road about 7 miles north of Ulverston.

The white in the center building is next to our cottage.

Coal Yeats from the single track road
Closer - you can see our stone cottage to the right of the white building

Home sweet Home

Coal Yeats Cottage
This was a perfect place for some well deserved down time.
It seems like we've been on the run non-stop for 4 months.
This cottage had everything you could possibly need including a full package on
Sky Satellite TV.   I was even able to catch the opening weekend of the NFL!

In addition - our views were fantastic!

Great walks in our neighborhood.
Around every curve - an idyllic scene.

The neighborhood near Coal Yeats
Our neighbors were all of the 4 legged variety

Neighborhood Sheep
It was not all relaxation however...
Besides some local walks, one day we took a drive thru the Langsdale Mountains.

First passing by Coniston Water

Coniston Water from A5084
Then we turned off on the narrow single-track road that took us west to climb over
Wrynose Pass, and then Hardknot Pass.

Portions of the road follow the old Roman road built in the first century.

The view up on Wrynose Pass

The Fall color in the higher elevations was in full display along with the
waterfalls that cascaded down the sides of the valleys.

The descent from Wrynose Pass into the Duddon Valley is steep.

The the mountain valley the sheep grazed along the road.
In the distance you can see the road climb Hardknott Pass where we were headed next.

The road up Hardknot pass is the steepest in England with a gradient of 33%

The twists and turns up Hardknot Pass

Hardknot Pass Road
The view from the top looking back east towards the Duddon Valley

Duddon Valley from Hardknot Pass
Just over the west side of the pass is the Hardknot Roman Fort.
Similar to the Housesteads fort that we visited a couple of weeks ago at Hadrians Wall.

As it had been heavily raining the past few days and the ground was quite muddy, I did not
want to climb up to the fort and get soaked.

Over the pass and back down into the trees.
It was a day of contrasts in both scenery and weather. 

Eksdale Green Area on the Hardknot Pass Road
While in the area we turned north a tad and took a side trip up the Wasdale Valley
to Wast Water.

Wasdale Valley - Lake District England
The scenery on the small single-track roads is the best!

Pastoral Scene in the Wasdale Valley
Our turn around point for the day was Wast Water.
From here we headed south down the west coast and back to Coal Yeats.

Kate on the shore of Wast Water.

The Lake District is known for its "walks"
Although the Lake District is about 1/2 the size of Rhode Island (our smallest state)
the diversity of scenery is impressive, and the assortment of trails provides plenty for
walkers of all abilities.

One day we took a drive up to Tarn Hows and took the walk around the Tarn (Lake)

Tarn How
 The trail is only about 2 miles in length and with only gentle grades.

Tarn How Trail
A nice assortment of scenery on the walk. 
Tarn How Trail
The view of the Tarn from the high point of the trail.

Tarn How
Our 7 days at Coal Yeats came to a quick conclusion and on Friday 9/14 we packed up
and headed to our next home for 4 nights in Conwy, Wales on the coast.

Our view here is similar to the view from our old house.
Look familiar anyone?

Conwy Marina - Conwy, Wales

While in Wales our goal is to visit some of the famous castles built by Edward I in
to tighten his grip on Wales, as well as to take a taste of Snowdonia National Park and
perhaps a side trip to Chester.

More on that next time.

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