A link to the past

The modern guidebook is the one you're reading now … on the internet. But go back a few years and A.Wainwright was the authority on routes in the Lakeland Fells.

One of the earliest writers however was Thomas West and walking with one of his guidebooks was a much more formal affair. West selected what he thought were the best viewpoints and constructed small stone lecterns or 'stations'. The visitor, having reached the designated 'station' placed his or her book, open on the lectern and the view was laid out for them.

West's Station above Skelghyll

There are two of West's stations on the WIndermere Way. The one between Troutbeck and Skelghyll is particularly prominent and attracts many visitors, very few of whom seem aware of it's true purpose. Most of these assume it's another cairn and add rocks to the top making it a more like a short obelisk than a flat topped platform.

The station has suffered in recent years and is danger of collapse. The trouble with old monuments such as these is that they are only of minor significance and the responsibility for it's upkeep could lie with anyone of a number of organisations.

Oner thing is certain. West did appreciate what made a good view.