Whenever I'm out and about I try and get some good photos to add to this site. I also keep a lookout for other photography sites. I've recently had correspondence with John Morrison who also lives near Windermere. His website has many fine pictures of Windermere and the surrounding area, like this atmospheric shot, looking north from Brantfell.

Copyright:John Morrison

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.

Arthur Ransome and Windermere

It's forty years today since the death of Arthur Ransome. For many people their first introduction to the Lake District may well be the writings of A. Wainwright. For others it's Wordsworth or maybe Beatrix Potter.
For me however, my first literary encounter was through the books of Arthur Ransome. My uncle, Alex Kirby, an inveterate traveller and another renown journalist was given many of the Swallows and Amazons books as a child and passed them on to me whilst I was still young and they remain amongst my most treasured possessions.
Arthur Ransoms books are notionally set on Coniston Water but for several years he lived at Ludderburn in the Cartmel Valley, which is just a short distance from the route of the Windermere Way. The house is in private ownership, but it is possible to view it from the road. The best approach is to leave the route at the Birks Road crossroads and take the road that goes East, rising slightly.
The house is only a couple of hundred yards on the left.

Belle Isle

One very large part of lake Windermere not covered by the Windermere Way is of course Belle Isle in the centre of the lake. Belle Isle is privately owned but if you fancy including it in your walk now might be a good time. It seems the owners are spending a few weeks at Her Majestys pleasure. Apparently there was some confusion over whether or not their son had received notification of a speeding ticket. It does seem a tad silly when you own the best piece or real estate on the entire lake not to just cough up a few quid and pay the fine.
Before you do set foot on the island however, check whether the dogs are around. I have a feeling they will still be in residence.