Sunday, 16 June 2013

10 Views of Cumbria that most people miss.

Amazing when you think of it that millions of folk visit the area every year and yet the ten views below are generally only seen by a relatively small number of people.  For such stunning views that seems an awful shame.  Some of them are easy to find, some are a bit of a hike and others simply require you to stop and look a little more closely at what's around you.

Frozen Bubbles, Place Fell


We spotted these in a small tarn on the top of Place Fell in January.  Just down off the summit were two frozen tarns which we wandered over to explore. They were both partially frozen and had the most beautiful patterns of frozen bubbles in them; one of those things that looked stunning but was really hard to do justice to with the camera.

Laurel & Hardy, Ulverston



Ulverston is best known for the Hoad monument and being the birthplace of Stan Laurel.  The Laurel & Hardy statue is not exactly hidden away but most people only look at it from the front.  I love this view Steve captured from behind with the little dog nipping at Hardy's feet.

Launchy Gill, Thirlmere




We found this view (and perfect picnic spot) because we're nosy; there's a way marked path from the shore of Thirlmere to Launchy Gill, but that only takes you part of the way.  Once we'd admired the falls from the wooden bridge we noticed a very small path leading up into the woods so we followed it and were rewarded with this.  Well worth it I'd say.

Piel Island


Another place not exactly hidden from view but very few people find their way to the end of Walney Island, which is a shame because the views across the sand to the castle at low tide are fabulous.  As are the views in pretty much every other direction too.  This was one of those perfect timing shots; dark grey clouds behind and the sun briefly lighting up the castle.

Wild Pansy, Eskmeals Dunes


Wild Pansies don't only exist on Eskmeals Dunes but they did look particularly stunning there, somehow surviving in the middle of barren looking sand dunes.  We're guest bloggers for Cumbria Wildlife Trust and thoroughly enjoy learning more about the wildlife of Cumbria as well as exploring hidden away corners we would otherwise have missed.

Pillar Rock from Ennerdale route


A very recent one this but already one of my all time favourite views in the Lake District.  We were making our way up Pillar via the rather long Ennderdale route; by the time we reached this point we'd already hiked over 7 miles.  We emerged from woodland, rounded a corner and BAM, there it was; it quite literally stopped me in my tracks.  We only saw 1 other person that day on the route, a crying shame when there are views like this to be had.

Smardalegill Viaduct


Not all of the stunning views in Cumbria are natural, some of them are man-made, like the fabulous Smardalegill Viaduct.  This now disused viaduct sweeps elegantly across the valley; a huge viaduct for such a small gill.  Built in 1861 the viaduct fell into disrepair after the line closed in 1962, the structure was threatened with demolition in the 1980's before the Northern Viaduct Trust saved it; they fully restored it and in 1992 it was reopened to the public.

Blindtarn Gill Waterfalls


Now this one *is* tricky to find.  The easiest approach is to follow the main track from Grassmore towards Easedale Tarn then peel off towards Swinescar Pike.  Half a mile or so along the track a "sort of a path" drops away steeply towards the falls, slither down there and this is what you'll find.  Be warned though, the approach is very steep and isn't easy in either direction.

Skylarks


Is there anything finer on any sunny day than being serenaded by a Skylark to two?  They're often heard but hard to see, well hard to see close up anyway. This particular chap posed perfectly for us during one of our longer hikes, but it's a good job we were quick with the camera, he didn't stay still for long!

Barkbooth Lot


Barkbooth Lot is another of the Cumbria Wildlife Trust's nature reserves and lies just a few miles south of Bowness.  Half woodland and half open heathland this is a wonderfully varied little spot plus on all of the occasions we've been we've never seen another soul, so it's the perfect place to escape the crowds. It's beautiful at any time of the year but really comes into its own when the bluebells and garlic are in full bloom.